Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Paul Meyers Quartet: The Paul Meyers Quartet

Mile High Records
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 6.3.10
Buy CD: The Paul Meyers Quartet

Guitarist Paul Meyers is another “stealth” musician. He plays steadily in the New York area, and has supported a number of name artists, but isn't well known to the general public.

Tenor saxman/flutist Frank Wess is a polar opposite; he's 88 years old and has been a sideman with everybody. You name the band, and he played in it. (I first heard him with the Count Basie band in the 1950s.) Wess is another reed player who, as the years have passed, gained more fame as a flutist than as a tenor sax artist.

He plays both on this album, and in both cases he's another senior citizen who still swings. A lot.

This is a smooth, relaxing album. Meyers and Wess are joined by Martin Wind (acoustic bass) and Tony Jefferson (drums); vocalist Andy Bey pops up on one track. The album features three originals — two by Meyers, one by Wess — and the remaining tracks are covers of some wonderful old standards that aren't often performed: “I Cover the Waterfront,” “My One and Only Love,” “Lazy Afternoon,” “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” and a few others.

The track list also includes a Billy Strayhorn tune (“Snibor”) that I hadn't heard before.

And they're all performed beautifully.

This group would be great in a jazz lounge setting, or as background music while you're reading or working around the house.

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