Paul’s Scene - The Wailing Sounds of Ricky Ford

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Ricky Ford, tenor sax legend, needs no introduction - but he’ll get one anyway, because it’s important to hear his lineage before diving into his...

Ricky Ford, tenor sax legend, needs no introduction - but he’ll get one anyway, because it’s important to hear his lineage before diving into his new recording. After getting his start filling the Paul Gonsalves chair in the Duke Ellington Orchestra (under Mercer Ellington’s leadership), Ford’s gone on to play with Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, and Abdullah Ibrahim, to name but a few of his more illustrious stints. He is, quite simply, a national treasure. His latest recording, a tip of the hat to his early roots and a focused, fabulous blast of multi-hued bebop and traditional jazz, reflects tremendous taste and virtuosity, with nods to his heroes (Hawkins, Duke, Mingus, and others) and affirmation that the guy can still play with the best of them.

While he may not have the same public profile as our present-day tenor heroes, Ford deserves every ounce of respect that they get and more. The Wailing Sounds of Ricky Ford: Paul’s Scene, made with his pianist Mark Soskin, bassist Jerome Harris, and drummer Barry Altschul, is wondrous, and his playing sounds as fresh today as it did decades back, when he was a legend in the making.

REVIEW:

Ricky Ford has been around for fifty years, basically recapitulating the history of jazz tenor sax in his playing, if you have been listening. Whether or not this recording is intended to reintroduce Ford to an American audience is not obvious, but if it does, that will be just fine. Benny Golson called this "a wonderful CD." He is not exaggerating.

Six of the tunes on The Wailing Sounds of Ricky Ford are originals, and the arrangements are all his. Starting with "Ricky's Bossa," which is just that: a tasteful, relaxed, melodious reprise of the genre, "Desafinado" among others. Ford tears into "Fer," which might well stand for "ferocious," and harnesses an outstanding rhythm section of Mark Soskin (piano); Jerome Harris (bass guitar); and Barry Altschul (drums). Ford quotes "Buzzy," in case Dexter Gordon and Red Rodney don't ring a bell. "The Wonder" is the longest track on the recording. It is full on Paul Gonsalves and a lot more, George Coleman included. Soskin's jagged piano comping gives Ford the harmonic freedom to play what he wants. "That Red Clay" is a kind of calypso which evokes Sonny Rollins without aping him. "The Essence of You" sounds as if it builds on "I Remember Clifford," whether it does or not, and is another "like Sonny" moment. "The Stockholm Stomp" is, well, vivace. "Angel Face" changes up completely. Is it a contrafact on "Lover Man?" If it is not, it should be. But with a lot of Coleman Hawkins bleeding through.

If you ever wondered what happened to Ricky Ford, "great player," wonder no longer. And if you have been tuned in all along, lucky you. You should have been telling the rest of us to pay attention. Better late than never.

-- AllAboutJazz.com (Richard J. Salvucci)



Product Description:


  • Release Date: April 29, 2022


  • UPC: 687606013520


  • Catalog Number: WCS135


  • Label: Whaling City Sound


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Composer: Ricky Ford, Coleman Hawkins, Al Goering, Jack Pettis, Hank Jones, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, G


  • Performer: Ricky Ford



Works:


  1. Ricky's Bossa

    Composer: Ricky Ford

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  2. Fer

    Composer: Ricky Ford

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  3. The Wonder

    Composer: Ricky Ford

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  4. That Red Clay

    Composer: Ricky Ford

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  5. The Essence of You

    Composer: Coleman Hawkins

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  6. The Stockholm Stomp

    Composer: Al Goering, Jack Pettis

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  7. Angel Face

    Composer: Hank Jones

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  8. Paris Fringe

    Composer: Ricky Ford

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  9. Can't Wait to See You

    Composer: Ricky Ford

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  10. Paul's Scene

    Composer: Ricky Ford

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  11. Frustration

    Composer: Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Gerald Wilson

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul


  12. Mabulala

    Composer: Kenny Graham

    Performer: Ricky Ford, Mark Soskin, Jerome Harris, Barry Altschul