Ken Wiley fresh french horn jazz
By Dick Metcalf, editor, Contemporary Fusion Reviews - September 14, 2017
I didn’t realize it when I first started spinning this very comfortable album, but Ken’s instrument is the French Horn, and as you listen to his interpretation of classic jazz standards like Freddie Hubbard’s “Little Sunflower“, you’ll hear why I fell in love with the album right away (this one gets the honor of being in a semi-permanent spot on my iPhone player)… The fact that he’s joined by such a stellar cast of players – Bob Sheppard, Mike Miller, Chuck Findley, Gary Grant, Dan Higgins, Luis Conte, Kendall Kay, Wally Minko and Trey Henry – makes the experience even more enjoyable!
The best descriptor for the music Ken has put together on this outstanding jazz set is “cool”… as you listen to the group’s performance on Jobim’s “Corcavado“, you’ll instantly fall in love with the album (just as I did)… yes, it’s “light & airy”, as the original was, but Ken’s weave of his French Horn through the track takes the tune to soaring heights… mellow, mellow, folks!
If funky & fun is what you’re listening for, you’ll dig down deep into Ken’s take on the closer, Eddie Harris’s “Freedom Jazz Dance“… his arrangement gives the classic & often-covered tune a life of it’s own, to be sure!
Of the eleven songs offered up for your jazz listening enjoyment, though, it’s the performance on Milt Jackson’s “Bag’s Groove” that got my vote for personal favorite, without a doubt! I give Ken and his fellow players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98 for this excellent jazz set.