Dan Wilensky -][- Back in The Mix –MP3– [Speechless Productions, 2012 | Review]
Ann Arbor, Michigan born saxophonist and composer Dan Wilensky joins us with his forth recording to illustrate his virtuosity, hard-working and endless pursuit to score new songs and re-invent the shape of timeless classics meshed together to underscored with precision on his latest “Back in The Mix.”
Thus far, I’m pleasantly surprised with Wilensky’s crisp and vibrant tonality, he noticeably enunciates his sound through the vine of nine lively and abstemious tunes which in essence solidifies his presence for new and seasoned listeners alike.
Out of the gate, I immediately hear why the legendary Ray Charles added Wilensky (who at the time just graduated from high school) as lead alto player for his big band. Wilensky called his analogous colleagues Mark Soskin on piano, Dean Johnson – bass, Tony Moreno plays drums and Russ Johnson on trumpet is here to serve up a palette of scrumptious grooves.
“Hand in Hand” resonates slowly melodically into an upward yet modest tempo that rumbles uniformly harmonically.
Inevitably, this gives the ensemble space to take their interconnected interplay to new heights and they do so with attractive registers to eventually intertwine with the heartfelt timbre of Wilensky’s tenor on “Tenderly.”
As I listen, it dawn on me that Wilensky’s voice is immerse deeply in traditional jazz while he labors painlessly with each through the music he loves. In the meantime, he manages to keep his sound applicable with his original compositions. With that said, on “Here” he is noticeably on the right path to stay on course his equable voice is showered with pearls of wisdom, as his sound flows with uncluttered shades.
The classic “Lament” appears, and eloquently conveyed through their ingenious artistry displayed by the ensemble. As I hear it, once you tackle a classic like this you must be ready to take it to another level. Undoubtedly, Wilensky and the crew raise the octaves to make this jewel their own.
The effervescence flavor of “Falling in Love with Love” is done in classic form, taste and bounce [swing] will definitely please the discriminating ears of classic jazz aficionados. Knitted close in texture, “Kenai” gels impeccably with the aforementioned tune sonically, while this time his sound gains leverage with a probing modern twist.
By clinging to the fabric of his early influences the gifted Dan Wilensky has proven to be a rock-solid player. Consequently, with “Back in The Mix” this album is a portrait of his grueling yet modestly successful journey. It always helps to hone your voice by performing with the house band at the Playboy Club, tour with Joan Baez, David Bowie, Steve Winwood and many more. Dan Wilensky, I’m not sure where you’ve been but you’re undeniably “Back in The Mix.” –Review by Rob Young | Urban Flux Media
Track Listing: Speechless Productions | Dedicated to his Teachers and Students
1) Back in The Groove
2) Hand in Hand
5) Just Happy
7) Falling in Love with Love
9) After All is Said and Done
At your leisure, visit www.danwilensky.com …