Gary Wofsey

Kef's Pool

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Trumpeter/fl├╝gelhornist/arranger Gary Wofsey recorded a series of LPs for the Ambi label during the early 1980s, though little has been heard from him since then. With personnel including Dick Oatts and Ronnie Cuber in the reed section, Laurie Frink in the brass section, keyboardist Michael Abene, and special guest Phil Woods added on several tracks, the album immediately shows some promise. Unfortunately, Wofsey's charts are often dragged down by his overly hip contemporary sound, and simply don't fit Richard Rodgers' "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue," while the choice of the rock group Yes' inane "Close to the Edge" is enough to drive most listeners there. That's not to say that there aren't some fine solos by Wofsey and company -- the leader's driving "Birth Without Violence" is an excellent showcase for his trumpet playing and Woods' always potent alto sax. In the final analysis, there are enough merits to this recording to make it worth acquiring.

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