Title - Unjust
Artist - Ben Wolfe
For those unaware, New York bassist/composer and bandleader Ben Wolfe�s music has been described as �Mingus and Miles Davis meet Bartok and Bernard Herrmann� (Ben Ratliff � The New York Times).
Acclaimed by some of the jazz world�s most respected critics for his �wit and cool intelligence� and signature �innovative, melding of hard-swinging jazz quartet, outstanding guest soloists and classical string quartet.�, Wolfe continues to produce works that draw top-flight reviews from fans and jazz journalists alike.
Ben�s February 3rd, 2023 release Unjust, is his tenth as a leader and features all original compositions. As stated in the liner notes �This project was a gathering of musicians I believed would find common ground with each other and would also find some magic within the ensemble. I very much enjoyed the process and I�m extremely proud to present Unjust.�.
1. The Heckler
2. Hats Off to Rebay
3. Lullaby in D
4. Bob French
5. The Corridor
6. Mask Man
9. Sparkling Red
11. Hats Off to Rebay (Interlude)
12. Reprise (Credits)
This quite vibrantly alive, wholly heartfelt new album opens on the fervency of The Heckler and the cinematic, Pink Panther-esque Hats Off to Rebay, and then follows those up with the smooth as silk Lullaby in D, the mid-tempo, gentle hipsway of Bob French, and then comes the softly orchestrated finger-snapper The Corridor and the upbeat swing sense of Mask Man.
Along next on this new recording is one of my own personal favorites, the veritably crystalline ballad Eventually and the drum-led, titular jaunt within Unjust, and they are in turn backed by the shimmering Sparkling Red, the perky Sideways, the album rounding out on the short, but sweet, Hats Off to Rebay (Interlude), and the lush Reprise (Credits).
Sometimes, if you�re lucky, when the right musicians are placed into a room together, it can result in unexpected magic � individual performances that honor the conception and philosophy of the pieces, but marry together to create a cohesive unit where these disparate voices speak as one.
Even rarer is the occasion when these voices come together to say something truly unique. Such is the case with Unjust.
Ben Wolfe @ Facebook
Ben Wolfe @ Instagram
Ben Wolfe @ Twitter