This CD reissue of a Pablo date features Frank Foster (on tenor and soprano) and Frank Wess (tenor, flute and alto) at their best. They perform three Wess originals, one by Foster, and a variety of mostly underplayed standards (including Neal Hefti's "Two for the Blues," plus "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most") and a surprisingly uptempo "Send In the Clowns." With pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith offering stimulating support, this is an excellent showcase for the two Franks. A follow-up Concord set (Frankly Speaking) used the same personnel.
The same December 1987 session that gave rise to RÆg Bhupal Tori/RÆg Patdip produced a magical performance of the dawn raga "Lalit." Over 73 minutes, Ram Narayan coaxes out phrase and after phrase to set the senses tingling. Quoted on the back of this CD, Yehudi Menuhin spoke for many people when he said, "I cannot separate the sarangi from Ran Narayan, so thoroughly fused are they, not only in my memory but in the fact of this sublime dedication of the great musician to an instrument which is no longer archaic because of the matchless way he had made it speak." Others may have left space for a breath. That have would been the only difference.
There are DJs and then there are selectors -- individuals whose ability to choose what records people want to hear overtakes the need for turntable skills. Just having the stamp of approval on a record is enough to qualify it as good. Often, these gifted ears find their way onto the radio, as did Colin Dale. An original Kiss FM DJ when it was still a pirate station illegally broadcasting across London, Dale made it his mission to deliver the best in techno and house to the masses. Much like DJs Giles Peterson did for acid jazz and Fabio did for jungle, Dale was distinctly influential in carving out the taste of London technoheads in the '90s.
This compilation showcases Dale's leaning toward the smooth side of techno and house. Featuring subdued tracks by Kenny Larkin, David Alvarado, and Kevin Yost, it is futuristic music for home listening. Only King Britt's "Supernatural" really approaches a dancefloor pace. Dale's fixation on the Detroit blueprint for jazzy techno is openly declared on Ian O'Brien's "Mad Mike Disease."There are two problems with this compilation. The first: As usual, many of these loop-based tracks start to get stale after the third minute of play. Much of this music still sounds better when mixed. The second: You suspect that Dale might have made completely different selections in another month. Hence the purpose of a weekly radio program showcasing the newest in techno gets lost in the unchanging CD format.