Fred Wesley

Swing & Be Funky

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Although the live Swing & Be Funky captures Fred Wesley in typically sharp form, his backing band is woefully inconsistent. Saxophonist Karl Denson provides a strong counterpoint to Wesley's trombone leads, but the rhythm battery of bassist Dwayne Dolphin and drummer Bruce Cox is anemic at best, falling flat on the funkier numbers and delivering workmanlike performances on the more traditional jazz entries. For reasons unknown, Wesley nevertheless showcases all of his sidemen (including trumpeter Hugh Ragin and pianist Peter Madsen) via extended solos that take their sweet time going absolutely nowhere. Each song (culled mostly from Wesley's Antilles dates New Friends and Comme Ci Comme Ca) drags on interminably.

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