Joel Frahm: Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
Joel Frahm (tenor sax)
We Used To Dance (Anzic 9101)
Composed by Tommy Wolf and Fran Lsndesman.
Recorded: New York, September 28, 2006
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Archie Shepp once said "Ballads are the biggest challenge. You can hear every minute of every hour of every year a guy has put in on his horn with a ballad." If that is the case, Joel Frahm has put in plenty of quality time on his horn. His stunning version of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" is a highlight of his CD, We Used To Dance. Frahm plays the entire song--verse, tag and all--and he has the good sense to let the song stand by itself. The flourishes and interpretive devices are kept to a minimum, but not so much that Frahm's identity is lost in the process. The rhythm section here--Kenny Barron (piano), Rufus Reid (bass) and Victor Lewis (drums)--played together with Stan Getz, and while Frahm's lyric improvisation features Getzian ideas, his beefier tenor sound makes the solo his own unique interpretation. The opening of his improvisation is very well-constructed with each of his first three phrases expanding and developing on the last. It is an excellent example of a player literally composing on the spot. Kenny Barron provides a sparkling piano solo which leads back to the tune. In the final section of the tag, Reid and Lewis (who had provided excellent support throughout) drop out, and Frahm and Barron perform a touching reading of the final bars. Such a wonderful interpretation leaves me wanting more. Let's hope that a tasteful all-ballads album might be in Frahm's future plans.
Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe