Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Frank Strazzeri is probably best known to some of you from his 1976 album "After The Rain", a funky electric affair featuring tracks like the often-compiled "Cloudburst" - I've got a few tracks from issues 2 and 4 of my rhodes compilations.
On this one we're back a few years - the album stands as a link between Frank's earlier straight-ahead piano sideman work with people like Louis Bellson, Leroy Vinnegar and Maynard Ferguson, and his more electric work in the later 70s.
Here, Strazzeri's on the fender rhodes, with a trio base supplemented by trumpet, trombone, sax, and sometimes flute. In most of the tracks, the subdued but amazingly tight horns establish the main melodies and harmonies before they and Strazzeri venture out into solos. It's a laid-back, cool rhodes album.
This album was originally released as "Taurus" on Revelation Records, then later retitled as "View From Within" for the Creative World Music release.
Drummer Dick Berk had been a member of George Duke's trio, and had recorded on the "Inner Source" album. Three weeks after this album he drummed on Cal Tjader's "Puttin it Together", and later in the year he worked on Tjader and Charlie Byrd's "Tambu". Bassist Gene Cherico had worked extensively with Gary Burton, Paul Desmond and Stan Getz.
Trumpet player Conte Candoli, who worked with Strazzeri in Oliver Nelson's Big Band, had a partnership with trombonist Frank Rosolino that went back almost two decades before this album - records they'd appeared on ranged from Anita O'Day to Paul Horn to Dizzy Gillespie to Leonard Cohen!
Little wonder then that there's such a strong communication between the two on this album. A few months after this, Candoli and Rosolino recorded their first duo album for the MPS label, "Conversation", later followed by "Just Friends" and "Westcoasting". Rosolino was also a veteran of several Francy Boland and Peter Herbolzheimer albums.
Don Menza, who had just played clarinet on John Klemmer's "Constant Throb", and recorded with people as diverse as Maynard Ferguson, Louis Bellson, Joao Donato and Sergio Mendes. Menza and Rosolino also worked on Luis Gasca's "Collage" and Moacir Santos' "The Maestro" around this time.
However, today's winner in the "link game" with these musicians is Louis Bellson's big band album "150 MPH" (1974), which features Menza, Rosolino, Candoli, and Cherico. Not sure why Strazzeri wasn't there, but Dick Berk was presumably asked to stay home for not having an Italian-sounding name.
If you enjoy this album, a good stylistic follow-on is Don Menza's more rhythmic "First Flight" (1976), which reunites Menza with Strazzeri, Rosolino and others.
Frank Rosolino played on the same Quincy Jones albums as Leon Ware - "Mellow Madness" and "Body Heat".
Don Menza played the saxaphone on the famous Henry Mancini "Pink Panther" theme.
Gene Cherico played bass on the classic Gilberto track "Girl From Ipanema".
Conte Candoli played trumpet in the "Tonight Show" band on TV from 1972-1992.
01 Taurus (4:40)
02 Lazy Moments (4:22)
03 Strazzatonic (9:14)
04 Calcutta (5:24)
05 Sphinx (7:32)
06 View From Within (5:57)
Frank Strazzeri (fender rhodes)
Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Don Menza (flute / tenor sax)
Gene Cherico (bass)
Dick Berk (drums)
All compositions by Frank Strazzeri
Recorded January 6th, 1973
Creative World Records CW 3003
Originally released as "Taurus" on Revelation Records
Other albums linked in this post are at : Oufar Khan, Orgy In Rhythm, My Jazz World, Latin Jazzoteca , My Favourite Sound , Magic Purple Sunshine, Abracadabra-LPs do Brasil 2, Call It Anything and Pharoah’s Dance. Please thank these folks if you click through.
LINKS IN COMMENTS
and a few comments would also be great :)