Joel Frahm Quartet – Live at Smalls (2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88.2kHz]

Joel Frahm Quartet – Live at Smalls (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88.2kHz  | Time – 01:03:35 minutes | 1,24 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © SmallsLIVE
Recorded: February 28 & March 1, 2011 at Smalls Jazz Club, Greenwich Village NYC

Joel Frahm has been one of the brightest talents on the New York jazz scene for over two decades. His performances on record and live are always a rich and beautiful experience. Recorded February 28th and March 1st of 2011, Live At Smalls illustrates that beauty with crisp sound and soulful musicianship. A great live date that shows Frahm in fine form with marvelous line up including Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joe Martin and Otis Brown III and featuring five Frahm original compositions.

One of Joel Frahm’s major strengths is his ability to adapt his saxophone playing to a number of seemingly incongruous settings with grace and ease. And while the tenor saxophonist’s chameleonic tendencies on this live set are largely kept in check, there’s enough shifting in tone and approach to make one wonder whether all of the saxophone parts are by the same guy.
They are, of course, and despite the stylistic zigzagging, there’s a consistency to the level of performance quality throughout the program, which teams Frahm with the ever more impressive Kurt Rosenwinkel on guitar, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Otis Brown III (a blatant error on the back of the CD sleeve lists Brown as pianist). The quartet navigates the multiple moods like the pros they are, transforming the music’s potentially off-putting eclecticism into a positive where others would have let it weigh the set down.
Or they do after the first tune, anyway. Launching the set with an 11-plus-minute blues isn’t the best way to connect—perhaps “Short Rack” engaged the audience at Smalls last winter, but on the recording, despite the stellar musicianship, it simply goes on way too long and never gets very far from where it started. Things recover immediately with Frahm’s probing and playful “A Little Extra,” the saxophonist and Rosenwinkel tearing it up as they duel, the rhythm section driving fiercely. By the time the band wraps with a fiery take on Bird’s “Steeplechase,” they’ve not only negotiated all sorts of incongruent terrain but have left the listener as breathless as the clubgoers must have been that night. –Jeff Tamarkin, JazzTimes

1 Short Rack 11:23
2 A Little Extra 7:06
3 What’s Your Beat? 9:38
4 Song For Mom 6:41
5 Chelsea Bridge 10:42
6 Alert 7:47
7 Steeplechase 10:18

Joel Frahm, tenor sax
Kurt Rosenwinkel, guitar
Joe Martin, trumpet
Otis Brown III, drums