4 Brothers 7
Longtime Woody Herman Orchestra tenor and soprano saxophonist Frank Tiberi is joined by a rhythm section and three other saxophonists who, at one time or another, were also associated with the Herman band: tenorists Larry McKenna and John Nugent and baritone saxophonist Mike Brignola. The group plays down arrangements of bop-era tunes like the title track and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Woody ’N You” with loose precision, high spirits and good humor.
Tiberi’s Coltrane-inspired, inside-out approach no longer seems as radical as it did in Herman’s ’70s and ’80s groups, yet he maintains a spontaneous edge and is the most interesting soloist. The fiery Nugent—also Coltrane-inspired—runs a close second. The rhythm section of pianist David Berkman, bassist Lynn Seaton and drummer Matt Wilson does its job well enough (although Seaton’s corny Slam Stewart-esque scat bass solo on “Four of a Kind” is cringe-inducing). Less a revision than a revisiting of the “Four Brothers” concept, this is a fun, unprepossessing set.