March 1997

Bob Nieske's Wolf Soup
My Desire
GM Recordings

Inspired around Boston by mentors George Russell and Jimmy Giuffre, and by Monk's angular possibilities, bassist Bob Nieske achieves rangy effects from his quintet with drums, guitar, and two saxophones doubling baritone. Actually, he presents a joyous two-bari boogie led by Jim Cameron for the dixie proclivities of "I've Found A New Baby." While "My Desire" embraces the melancholy, the CD as a whole states Wolf Soup's ease with conventions while unexpected spatial and structural elements surprise listeners. Wolf Soup's name honors a friend's unusual culinary blends born of necessity, and suits the band fine. Drummer Nat Mugavero spans dixieland to the outer edges; reedists Cameron, self-taught, and Tom Hall are respectively inside and near-iconoclastic; guitarist Jon Damian enjoys country-swing Nieske, having a powerful sound, leads "Misterioso" and ten originals with authority, celebrating "Mr. Ives," Charlie Haden," "Dick Twardzik," Guiffre, and via "Transcendental Monk," yet another Thelonious (Lichter)...of Maine!

Originally published in March 1997
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