Here’s another beautiful solo by the great tenor saxophone player, Joel Frahm. Joel has commented on neffmusic.com quite a few times over the years and his passion for everything to do with the saxophone is very obvious.
This youtube video is one of my all time favorites. It is the tune “Aguas De Março” (Waters of March)by Antônio Carlos Jobim and is performed by the Sant Andreu Jazz Band with guest soloist Joel Frahm.
Before I write about this amazing solo, let me just say that this recording and the Sant Andreau Jazz Band completely blew me away the first time I heard it. The truth is that I have probably listened to this clip well over a hundred times by this point. It is saved on my computer and whenever I feel bummed out or down for whatever reason, I play it and by the end my sprits are lifted and I can get on with my day. This morning was such a day. I have been sick the last few days and when I woke up this morning I felt awful and just wanted to stay in bed.
Nevertheless, I fought my feelings, got a huge cup of coffee, trudged my way to my office and put on this youtube clip as I sipped my coffee. By the end, I felt much more hopeful, positive and determined. With my new positive frame of mind, I decided to transcribe Joel Frahm’s beautiful solo on this tune.
Joel does an incredibly sensitive and beautiful job with this solo. His tone and phrasing remind me a lot of Stan Getz. I love how melodic and perfect it is. If you are a fan of Joel Frahm, you know he could have torn this solo apart with 32nd notes, chord substitutions and “sheets of sound”. Instead, he chose to be lyrical, musical and in the moment. A young student might listen to this and think there is nothing impressive in this solo, but they would be wrong in my opinion. What Joel is achieving here is one of the hardest endeavors to achieve in music. A solo that is musical, sensitive and moves the listener in it’s beauty. In my opinion, he has achieved that.
I believe the entire Sant Andreu Jazz Band and Joel have achieved that in fact. I believe that because I have listened to this clip well over a hundred times and will probably listen to it another thousand times over the coarse of my lifetime. It has lost none of it’s original beauty for me, I don’t think it ever will…….
If you don’t know of Joel Frahm, here is a short bio from Joel’s website:
“Joel Frahm’s May 1st release, We Used to Dance, places him in the company of master musicians Kenny Barron (piano), Rufus Reid (bass), and Victor Lewis (drums). Frahm more than holds his own in showing both the chops and lyricism that has made him an irreplaceable part of so many sessions in his two decades on the jazz scene. Surrounded by jazz legends, Frahm makes this recording a true “coming out party” for his maturing artistry. It is his most ambitious CD to date, featuring six of his original compositions that come to life in beautiful and variegated ways in the hands of this remarkable band. “It was an honor and a watershed experience to make this record with these incredible musicians” he says. Having made a name for himself through his associations with singer Jane Monheit and boyhood friend, pianist Brad Mehldau, Frahm hones his own voice on this breakout recording. Joel has also worked with a vast array of musical peers and jazz legends including Maynard Ferguson, Betty Carter, Matt Wilson, Larry Goldings, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Andrew Hill, Ben Allison, Pat Martino, Ingrid Jensen, Dena Derose, The Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Kyle Eastwood and many others. Born in Racine, WI in 1969, Frahm attended the Mason Gross School for the Arts and earned his B.A. in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music. He released three highly regarded CDs on Palmetto: The Navigator, Don’t Explain (with Mehldau), and Sorry No Decaf. Don’t Explain, his latest, was the number one jazz release for radio play in the United States for two consecutive weeks in 2004, according to jazzweek.com airplay chart and also reached number one on college radio for one week, according to College Music Journal’s airplay chart. Joel was also recently selected in DownBeat Magazine’s Critics Poll as a Rising Star in the category of tenor saxophone.”
If you like Joel Frahm’s playing on this recording, make sure you check out Joel’s recordings! I have most of them and they are terrific! Also do yourself a favor and follow the Sant Andreau Jazz Band on Youtube! I can’t believe how great they sound and how young they look. I certainly don’t remember sounding that good in high school……….Wow!
Thanks again to the Sant Andreau Jazz Band and Joel Frahm for such a great performance! Also, special thanks to Alba Armengou and Rita Payes who did such an amazing job singing this tune with such contagious joy! Also, thanks to the director Joan Chamorro who must be the inspiration and direction behind this fabulous group.
Sant Andreu Jazz Band with Joel Frahm-Aguas De Março (Solo starts at 2:20)