Ben Wolfe: No Pat No
No Pat No
Ben Wolfe (bass)
No Strangers Here (Max Jazz MXJ605)
Luis Perdomo (piano), Jesse Mills, Cyrus Beroukhim (violins), Kenji Bunch (viola), Wolfram Koessel (cello), Greg Hutchinson (drums).
Composed by Ben Wolfe.
Recorded: New York, February 6-7, 2007
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Starting with Hutchinson's driving trap and cymbal work pushing Wolfe's plump basslines in the intro, we are led to the raucous horn work of Marcus Strickland, who plays tenor more like the biting alto of Jackie McLean to my ear. Perdomo's keyboard accompaniment behind Strickland is well matched. Throughout this tight, swinging 3-minute piece, Wolfe and Hutchinson play an up-tempo line that never falters, accentuated only by Perdomo's succulent solo keyboard work and the vital-sounding Strickland's pungent horn lines. Wolfe's subtle arrangement of backing strings is tasteful and subdued, adding just enough legato to the bassist's bouncing beat. He utilizes nice breaks in time and tempos to emphasize his musical statement, which is basically precision swing at its best. The melody line is catchy, and Wolfe should be commended for a triple threat here. He plays a fluid, driving bass throughout, he has composed and arranged a potent swinger that showcases his chops to great effect with well-placed breaks and bends, and he deftly inserts strings in a complementary fashion that is woven into the fabric of the tune and not just tacked on like some clever afterthought. A talent to be followed.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello