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Ben Wolfe Quartet

February 28, 2015 @ 8:00 pm

On Saturday, bassist/composerBen Wolfe comes to The Side Door and, like E.J. Strickland, he’s celebrating the release of a new CD.  “The Whisperer” (Posi-Tone Records – here’s thereview). He, too, is bringing the musicians on the album, pianist Orrin Evans, drummer Donald Edwards and saxophonist Stacy Dillard. Wolfe, who has worked with so many contemporary musicians (Wynton Marsalis and Diana Krall, to name but 2), creates music that concentrates on melody and, certainly, rhythm but, unlike many leaders who come from the rhythm section, he does not take many solos (so, I suppose, it’s not “all about the bass”).

This particular quartet is quite strong, the revelation being the excellent saxophone playing of Stacy Dillard (pictured left). The Michigan native has worked with numerous contemporary musicians (including   being a member of Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band) and has released several fine CDs as a leader including 2011’s Criss Cross release “Good and Bad Memories.”   His work with Wolfe, especially on the numerous ballads, is heartfelt, emotionally strong and oh-so-melodic.  He also let loose with a flurry of notes when called for. Dillard is really finding his voice on his reeds and it’s refreshing to find a musician who does not overtly sound like John Coltrane or Wayne Shorter or Sonny Rollins.

— Richard Kamins / StepTempest



February 28, 2015
8:00 pm
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Side Door Jazz Club
85 Lyme St.
Old Lyme, CT
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