Bob Wilber – Bob Wilber Is Here – Arbors Jazz

by | Jan 9, 2011 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Bob Wilber – Bob Wilber Is Here – Arbors Jazz – ARCD 19402, 59:30 [Distr. by Allegro] ****:

(Bob Wilber – clarinet, alto & soprano sax; Antti Sarpila – clarinet, soprano sax; Nik Payton – clarinet, tenor, soprano sax; Jeff Barnhart piano; Nicki Parrott – bass; Bucky Pizzarelli – guitar; Ed Metz- drums; Anne Barnhart – flute)

Bob Wilber, one of the keepers of the classic jazz style, is alive and well as evidenced by his latest recording Bob Wilber Is Here. Surrounding himself with acolytes, along with a contemporary, Bucky Pizzarelli, Wilber embarks on a program of original compositions and mostly well-known standards, which give him an opportunity to expound on his Sidney Bechet-influenced traditionalism.

In addition to his playing, Wilber is no slouch as an arranger and composer. The disc leads off with a Wilber tune “Vampin’ Miss Georgia” which is based on the chord changes of “Sweet Georgia Brown” and offers some pure swing. If one remembers the Frank Sinatra languid version of “Only the Lonely”, the adaptation offered here by Wilber and friends is full of beans with Bob developing a well thought out clarinet solo. The disc swings along with another Wilber selection “Lou’s Blues” which is based on the changes to “Blue Lou” and gives Wilber a clarinet showcase. Errol Garner who is best known for his composition “Misty” wrote another original entitled “Dreamy “on which Anne Barnhart’s flute is combined with Wilber’s clarinet to create a mood that is evocative of the song’s title. Bucky Pizzarelli, who is the master of the seven string guitar, adds some texture to the proceedings with his single note and rhythm guitar playing. He is well presented on a number of pieces including “Love in Bloom”, “Land of the Midnight Sun” and especially on the disc’s closer “Bye Bye Blues” where he boisterously delivers a great finish.

Now in his 83rd year, Bob Wilber shows no signs of slowing down musically, and has created a splendidly structured album worthy of attention.

TrackList: Vampin’ Miss Georgia; Only the Lonely; Lou’s Blues; Dreamy; The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise; Intermezzo; Yes, We Have No Bananas; Bean; Love in Bloom; A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing; Land of the Midnight Sun; Across the Pond; Johnny Was There; Jewel of the Cotswolds; Bye Bye Blues.
— Pierre Giroux

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