LaPorta / Wilder / Britt Woodman

Playing for Keeps

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This CD matches together three under-recorded veterans: trumpeter Joe Wilder (69 at the time of the 1992 session), trombonist Britt Woodman and tenor-saxophonist John LaPorta (the latter two were both 71). Although Wilder and Woodman both show their age at times, the trumpeter's tone remains one of the prettiest ones around while Woodman (wa-waaing his way through "Britt's Blues") often steals the show with his spirited solos. LaPorta, doubling between tenor and clarinet, was never a major stylist but his fairly complex playing still sounds quite viable. Guitarist Jack Wilkins (along with bassist Ed Schuller and drummer George Schuller) does a fine job but this set would have swung harder and been more versatile had a pianist also been included. Even with a few adventurous pieces (most notably "While You Were Out"), the majority of the performances are fairly straightforward renditions of standards. An interesting set, both musically and historically.

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