Sunday, August 3, 2014

Tom Wolfe Solerovescent Summit 2014

 
Consistent in the unpredictability of style, Tom Wolfe offers up a winner!
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Tom and I are neighbors...sort of. I live in Kentucky and Tom hails from Alabama. While the mid south is not considered fertile ground for a great many improvisational musicians, Tom Wolfe is indeed the exception to the rule. Solerovescent is a uniquely personal work of compositions both old and new that cover a myriad of styles yet all magically blend together in an ebb and flow that is heavy on variety and deep with the harmonic synergy normally absent in such a release.
 
A rock solid quintet anchored with all star drummer Danny Gottlieb and rounded out with Ken Waters on trumpet and the bass duties split between Tim Goodwin and Chris Kozak allows Tom Wolfe's clean lines to strike a new chord with each changing tune. The sound is rich, clean and with a subtle ambient flow of forward motion. An ethereal swing of lyrical proportions. "Gospel" is a Wolfe original that is an intimate and emotive flow of lyrical bliss, improvisational nirvana. "Sidetrack" is another Wolfe original that is more of a post bop odd metered swing with just enough attitude to push the melody without getting in his own way. The highlight may well be "Southwest" which is a somewhat dialed down ambient exploratory that transcends genre and takes that harmonic road less traveled by most guitarists. The disc closes with "Triste" from Antonio Carlos Jobim and "Naima" from John Coltrane. The covers are arranged well but the strength of Wolfe's original compositions carry the release on their own with ease.
 
Tom Wolfe is as technically proficient as he is artistically gifted. Lots of guitarists roaming the improvisational streets today, Tom Wolfe is one of the better guitarists you will find.
Tracks: Midnight Sushi; One With One; Timbuktu; Gospel; Solerovescent; Sidetrack; La Luna Llena; Southwest; Triste; Naima.
 
Personnel: Tom Wolfe: Guitar; Ken Waters: Trumpet; Tim Goodwin: Bass; Chris Kozak: Bass; Danny Gotlieb: Drums.