Walt Weiskopf: Song for My Mother

Weiskopf’s talent broadens into the arranging field on this excellent album. The tenor saxophonist, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and a veteran of the big bands of Buddy Rich and Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin, employs a nonet: four woodwinds, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass and drums. His charts put you in the mood of Gil Evans, Herbie Hancock and Duke Pearson. His tenor, reminiscent of Trane, Charles Lloyd and a cooler Mike Brecker, threads through the arrangements in integral fashion.

Anders Bostrom’s virtuosic flute and alto flute are prominent in solo on three Weiskopf originals. Here and elsewhere, the flutes and alto flutes (all the reedmen double) color the band, giving it a pastel or glowing character. Jim Snidero (alto saxophone) and Scott Robinson (baritone saxophone) cook in their respective solos. Trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and trombonist Conrad Herwig complete the horns, with Joel Weiskopf (piano), Peter Washington (bass) and Billy Drummond (drums) in the rhythm section.