Paul Meyers Quartet Featuring Frank Wess

Paul Meyers / Paul Meyers Quartet / Frank Wess

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Paul Meyers Quartet Featuring Frank Wess Review

by Ken Dryden

Count Paul Meyers among those relatively few jazz guitarists who concentrate on playing a nylon-string instrument. Assembling a terrific band for these sessions, including veteran bandleader and Basie alum Frank Wess on tenor sax and flute, bassist Martin Wind (a leader as well and regular collaborator with pianist Bill Mays), and drummer Tony Jefferson, Meyers includes a mix of standards, originals, and well-known jazz compositions. Oddly enough, the bluesy opener, "Snibor," is not one of Billy Strayhorn's more widely played works (though Duke Ellington fans will be familiar with it), but the light, swinging treatment with Wind's intricate solo, Wess' robust tenor, and the leader's subtle playing signals immediately that this is an impressive outing. All of the standards shine, including the breezy setting of "Just One of Those Things" with engaging features for Meyers and Wess; the warm rendition of "Lazy Afternoon" with guest vocalist Andy Bey; and the gorgeous "My One and Only Love," which opens as a duo by Wess and Meyers with a delayed entrance by the rhythm section. Wess contributed "Menage a Bleu," a tasty blues that sounds like the perfect wrap-up for a late-night club date. Meyers penned a pair of originals, "Blue Lantern," a pulsating vehicle featuring Wess' spirited flute and Meyers' cooking guitar, and the choppy, infectious "One for Miss D." The Paul Meyers Quartet Featuring Frank Wess is a delight from start to finish.

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