Bill Wimmer: Soy Califa


Soy Califa


Bill Wimmer (tenor sax)


Project Omaha (Wimjazz 108)


Bill Wimmer (tenor sax), Dave Stryker (guitar), Tony Gulizia (piano), Mark Luebbe (bass), Joey Gulizia (percussion), Victor Lewis (drums).

Composed by Dexter Gordon


Recorded: Vail, Colorado, May 13 or 14, 2008


Rating: 82/100 (learn more)

Omaha isn’t the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of very happening jazz scenes, but obviously there's something hip going on in Cornhusker country. According to saxophonist Bill Wimmer, all the musicians on this track started playing jazz in Omaha. At least two of them—guitarist Dave Stryker and drummer Victor Lewis—went on to have big-time careers in New York, but the others (Wimmer, keyboardist Tony Gulizia, percussionist Joey Gulizia, and bassist Mark Luebbe) are no slouches either. Written by Dexter Gordon, the (mostly) Latin "Soy Califa" (it has a swinging bridge) is well-treated by the native Omaha-ians (Omaha-ites? Omaha-ers?). Wimmer plays tenor with a large, deep tone and considerable facility. Best thing about him? Although he obviously draws on the great tenors for inspiration, his style is his own. The lithe, imaginative Stryker distinguishes himself, as does the hard-swinging Lewis. Pianist Tony Gulizia is a capable soloist. His brother Joey and Luebbe combine with Lewis to forge a solid groove. This was recorded live in a Vail, Colorado, restaurant. Perhaps that means there are more good players in Omaha than there are places to perform. Nevertheless, this is a reminder that quality jazz can be found almost any- and everywhere these days.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey


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