Carl Fontana

Conte Candoli Quintet Tet

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As with the earlier volumes in this projected six-volume series, Conte Candoli Quintet Tet traces the arc of a club set featuring trumpeter Conte Candoli and trombonist Carl Fontana. The opening two tracks sprawl out, giving everyone a chance to blow and end with trade-offs between the horn men and drummer Bob Wainwright. This sets the tone with the front line offering characteristic bebop solos. Pianist Bill Anderson earns top honors, taking advantage of the open structure to construct solid, two-fisted solos, feeding off the steady thrum of bassist Warren Jones and the cantering ride of Wainwright. Then Candoli and Fontana each get a feature number. Candoli makes the most of "Darn That Dream," with some ebullient Dizzy Gillespie-inspired blowing. Fontana takes "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" as an up-tempo cha cha. Maybe too up-tempo, as the track falters mid-way through his solo. He recovers and ends with a flourish. He redeems himself on "I Can't Get Started" with a stellar, lyrical ride as good as anything he's played. The set ends with a brief run-through of the blues. Given the good-natured interactions during the music, it's easy to imagine the musicians retiring after more than an hour of friendly blowing for some off-stage socializing.

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