Friday, April 1, 2022

Keith Oxman and Frank Morelli; The Ox-Mo Incident

A pat on the back to whomever came up with the clever play on words which became the title of this CD. Keith Oxman and Frank Morelli are both Colorado based musicians. Oxman is a jazz fixture on tenor sax, and Morelli is a gifted classical bassoonist. But you’ll realize quickly that Morelli has comfortable, even formidable, jazz chops. Impossible on bassoon you say? I may have agreed before I auditioned this meeting. The two are joined by Denver stalwarts Jeff Jenkins, piano; Ken Walker, bass; and Todd Reid, drums. Probably taking into account Morelli’s background, many of the tunes here have roots in the classical arena. For example, consider “Full Moon And Empty Arms” based on a theme from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2; “Baubles, Bangles and Beads”, based on a theme from Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet No. 2; “Three For Five”, based on a theme from the third movement of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 3; “Poor Butterfly”, inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly; “Stranger In Paradise”, based on a theme from Borodin’s Polovtsian Dance No. 2; and a lovely rendition of Gabriel Faure’s “Pavanne”. For good measure, toss in a couple resilient Oxman originals and three Broadway hits in, “Happy Talk”, Surrey With The Fringe On Top” and “I Could Have Danced All Night”. There’s nothing to guffaw about here. This is easily the best jazz bassoon record I’ve ever encountered. However, as good as it is, it may indeed be the only one!

Capri; 2021; 68:08

No comments:

Post a Comment