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 Title:               Birth & Rebirth

 By:                  Greg Wall and Frank London Band

 Released in:   1999

 Format:          CD

 Catalog No:    MW 709-2

 Price :             12 EUR


1. To the Metal (Wall) [06:20]

2. Last Temptation of Lady (Wall) [05:46]

3. Clarity / Elegy (London) [06:08]

4. The Body Slam (London) [07:56]

5. Little Giant (London) [05:16]

6. Bush-wah (London) [05:38]

7. Birth / Rebirth (Wall) [08:02]

8. We Came To Play (London) [03:42]

9. To Be Continued (Wall) [07:02]



Greg Wall - tenor saxophone

Frank London - trumpet

Josh Roseman - trombone

Etan Iverson - piano

Kenny Davis - bass

Yoron Israel - drums

Ryvka Blumenleitz - vocal




This 1999's CD is worth looking for. According to the liner notes, Wall and London have been playing together since they were students together at the New England Conservatory nearly twenty years ago. Unlike their electrified Hasidic New Wave band, this sextet date of original compositions is a totally acoustic affair. Trombonist Josh Roseman joins them in the front line, with the rapid response rhythm team of Ethan Iverson, Kenny Davis and Yoron Israel rounding out the group. They like to develop the pieces dramatically, in a dynamic style with quick changes of feel and tempo. Take London's "The Body Slam", an extreme example. This winning performance begins with just the horns, out of tempo. Slowly the rhythm section comes in, then takes over as the horns fall into silence. The horns reenter and the music grows more forceful, with start and stop rhythms building in pace and volume. Only after about 3 minutes is there a theme, or rather a pair of themes: a staccato riff followed by a slow boppish line. The eight minute piece eventually features a questing tenor solo that's slowly enveloped by crying trumpet, booming bass and cymbal crashes before the unison line repeats. It's quite a trip. "Last Temptation Of Lady I" is a funky number by Wall, with the rhythm section playing patterns underneath mutated R'n'B lines laid down by the horns. The slow drag pace impels some hot solos from London, Roseman and Wall. London's "Little Giant" is a straight-ahead burner that becomes a vehicle for soloists, though even here the arrangements for the rhythm section make the piece more distinctive then it would be without the extra care that London and Wall put on their charts. Except for Karen Goldfedder's stagy vocal on London's "Clarity/Elegy", which sounds like it found its way onto the tape from another session entirely, this set has a lot to recommend it: good tunes, spunky performances, positive energy, and the feeling that they did indeed "come to play". 


(Stuart Kremsky, Cadence)

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