Song of the Black Knight

New York Jazz Quartet

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Song of the Black Knight Review

by Scott Yanow

In 1977, the New York Jazz Quartet, a part-time quartet most active from 1975-81, consisted of Frank Wess on tenor, flute and soprano, pianist Roland Hanna, bassist George Mraz and drummer Richard Pratt. The band essentially performed modern mainstream jazz, with the originals of Hanna and Wess consistently challenging the players to come up with fresh statements. On this set, there are four Hanna tunes (including "Time for the Dancers" and the lengthy title cut), plus a pair of Wess compositions. Excellent music that swings but avoids predictability.