Eric Frazier not only released one, but two CD’s at the same time celebrating his performance at Cecil’s Jazz Club in West Orange, New Jersey. He could have released them as a double CD, but perhaps it was a way for people to not get too much in one sitting, so if they liked one, they can get the other.
Frazier is a conga player who shines throughout both of these live albums, and he occasionally takes a time out to sing too, although not too much. Live @ Cecil’s Jazz Club Volume 1 (self-released) begins with a fantastic rendition of Dizzy Gillespie‘s “A Night In Tunisia”. Frazier and his quintet (Larry Williams on drums, ,B>Quintin Franklin on bass, Yoichi Izeki on piano, and Gene Ghee on tenor sax) honor this song with so much class, you feel like standing up and saluting your speakers as you’re listening to this. It’s a brilliant performance amongs these musicians who carry this song for almost 15 minutes, and you truly feel like you’re on a journey. The adventures continues as the flip John Coltrane‘s “Impressions” into Latin jazz mode. Frazier also takes on Herbie Hancock‘s famous “Chameleon” and turns it inside out by removing the electric groove and allowing it to go natural once again, as nature intended.
Live @ Cecil’s Jazz Club Volume 2 continues the festivities with another set of carefully selected tracks, including “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise”, “Cantaloupe Island” (another Hancock classic), “Moody’s Mood For Love”, and Miles Davis‘ “All Blues”, and even though you have no doubt heard “All Blues” countless times in the past, everyone in the group help out to dust off the cobwebs and puts on a new outfit to make it feel good again to hear again, the familiar becomes unknown for 10 minutes as it presents itself in a new way.
Both albums were recorded and mixed well, this isn’t just a casual bootleg-style recording done on a cassette deck or some German microphones and a laptop. Everything is captured perfectly, and it will become a perfect compliment to your jazz collection.