Kai Winding Septet: Kai Winding, Wayne Andre, Carl Fontana (trombone); Dick Lieb (bass trombone); Roy Frazee (piano); Kenny O'Brian (bass); Tom Montgomery (drums).
Recorded live in Cleveland, Ohio in 1957.
After splitting up with fellow trombonist J. J. Johnson, Kai Winding frequently performed and recorded with a total of four trombones in his groups, although he and his former partner once included a total of eight in one recording, "Jay and Kai + 6." This 1957 concert in Cleveland seems to be his earliest date with four trombones in a generally well-recorded nightclub date that has a bare minimum of clinking dishes and audience conversations. The rich harmonies are a delight as Winding blends with trombonists Wayne Andre, Carl Fontana, and Dick Lieb (heard either on bass trombone or baritone horn). "Blue Lou" is the swinging opener, followed by "The Party's Over," which resists becoming overly maudlin. Horace Silver's "The Preacher" is given a snappy arrangement, too. The well-crafted arrangements throughout the concert utilize mutes and contrasting lines to keep things from getting dull. The somewhat obscure rhythm section of pianist Roy Frazee, bassist Kenny O'Brien, and drummer Tom Montgomery provide excellent support for the front line throughout this recommended CD. ~ Ken Dryden