Bob Kindred's name doesn't turn up in most of the standard jazz reference books -- which is a shame because he is obviously a finer, more musical player than many of the journeyman tenor sax players who are mentioned. One reason must be that he doesn't record as a leader very often, but when he did, some stellar friends turned up to help out. The impulse is mostly straight-ahead mainstream jazz, nothing flashy, with Kindred displaying a potent, intimate lyrical gift with more than a touch of Stan Getz, as well as the requisite hard-nosed bop tenor. Clark Terry, in slippery, jovial form, does some guest trumpet/flügelhorn turns on "Doxy" -- chasing around with Kindred on some rapid runs -- and a tongue-in-cheek "Heart and Soul." Drummer Grady Tate alternates with Tim Horner, Bill Mays and Bill Charlap swap places in the piano chair, and Dave Finck and Sean Smith do likewise on bass. The program mostly sticks with jazz and pop standards, with a sole original, "Merry-Go-Waltz"; both the nature of the tune and choice of instrument (baritone sax) suggest that this is a tribute to Gerry Mulligan. There is one other treatment that breaks from the pattern. On "Soul Eyes," an unusual ensemble containing classical clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, classical cellist Fred Sherry, vibist Dave Samuels, and bassist Todd Coolman backs Kindred with a mournfully attractive chart by Richard Rodney Bennett. You wish that more ideas like this could have been tried out; Kindred certainly has the talent, as well as the heart and soul, to carry it off.
Hidden Treasures Review
by Richard S. Ginell