Anthony Wonsey – Open The Gates (1998)

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Anthony Wonsey - Open The Gates (1998)

Artist: Anthony Wonsey
Title: Open The Gates
Year Of Release: 1998
Label: Criss Cross
Genre: Jazz / Post Bop
Quality: FLAC (tracks)
Total Time: 01:12:58
Total Size: 458 MB
WebSite: Album Preview

Tracklist:

1. Xavier's Arrival (7:43)
2. My Heart Is with You I (5:51)
3. Invitation (8:02)
4. A Song for Audrey (7:51)
5. Open the Gates (9:17)
6. Big Bertha (9:21)
7. Into the Blacklight (7:10)
8. My Heart Is with You II (5:49)
9. Blues for Russell and Polly (12:25)

Personnel:

Anthony Wonsey - piano;
Nicholas Payton - trumpet;
Ron Blake - tenor saxophone;
Gerald Cannon - bass;
John Webber - bass (tracks 3 and 6 only);
Nasheet Waits - drums;
Willie Jones III - drums (tracks 3 and 6 only).

Pianist Anthony Wonsey's debut on Criss Cross is his third recording as a leader and also his first non-trio outing. He has joined forces with his employer, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, tenor saxophonist Ron Blake, bassist Gerald Cannon, and drummer Nasheet Waits to create a recording with that classic '60s Blue Note trumpet-tenor sound, but coming from a '90s point of view. Wonsey, who claims Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, and Bud Powell as major influences, wrote five of the nine selections on Open the Gates, including the energetic waltz, "Xavier's Arrival," the burning title track, and two versions of the Shorter-influenced, "My Heart Is With You." Cannon contributed the catchy medium-up swinger "A Song for Audrey" and Payton contributed the modern "Into the Blacklight." Payton always comes to play when he guests on someone else's recording, as he contributes excellent solos throughout this recording in addition to contributing a composition, and blends nicely with front line partner Blake. Wonsey is also joined by bassist John Webber and drummer Willie Jones for two trio selections, a hip arrangement of the standard "Invitation," based on a bass-piano vamp similar to sound to what McCoy Tyner would play, and a slower-than-usual, but groovin' version of Duke Pearson's "Big Bertha." This is an excellent label debut from this fine young pianist, one of 1999s best releases. -- Greg Turner


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