After the fiery introduction made on his 2011 eponymous debut, vibraphonist Warren Wolf takes a more melodic tack with the follow up Wolfgang, and the results are as inviting as they are joy-filled.
Wolfgang, due August 20, 2013, from Mack Avenue, finds Wolf performing with a pair of three-man rhythm sets. For the genial “Sunrise,” propulsive “Grand Central” and expansive “Lake Nerraw Flow,” as well as a lilting, deeply romantic cover of “Setembro,” Wolf appears with Aaron Goldberg, Kris Funn and Billy Williams Jr. Wolfgang features two tracks in a duo configuration with pianist Aaron Diehl, including the ruminative title song and the enchanting waltz “Le Carnaval de Venise,” which closes things out.
Even within this small sampling, the vibesman has already put his arms around a stirring array of textures, moods and forms — and he’s just getting started on an album that moves with breezy confidence and supreme pleasure from swing to blues to classical.
And Wolf hasn’t even brought in the big guns yet: On a frisky cover of “Frankie and Johnny,” as well as the crepuscular “Annoyance” and the fleet blues “Things Were Done Yesterday,” both originals, he is joined by Benny Green, Christian McBride and Lewis Nash. When McBride, so clearly in the moment, lets out a yelp during “Frankie and Johnny,” it’s like Ray Brown has come back to life.