You are here:Home>CD Reviews>Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews>Business Mans Bounce by Bill Easley

Business Mans Bounce by Bill Easley

Bill Easley’s Business Man’s Bounce swings through eleven songs with an easy going feel that is laid back, smooth and polished. Easley, a mellow toned tenor saxophone player, leads this band through some wonderful standards, an original tune, "Mentor" featuring the wonderfully melodic Frank Wess and a fast and furious blues tune. The fine trumpeter Warren Vache guests on "Memphis Blues" and blows with a pure swinging spirit. The rhythm section of pianist Larry Ham, who has played with the bands of Lionel Hampton and Illinois Jacquet, the bassist Hassan JJ Shakur, who played with Easley in the Ellington band, drummer Michael Carvin who has played with Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner and many others, all add their extensive experience to make for some exciting playing.

Bill Easley is a fourth generation musician he plays alto, tenor, and soprano saxes as well as flute, piccolo and clarinet. Easley has worked as a session player with Isaac Hayes and as a session man with Stax Records. He has performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Benny Carter, George Benson, Jimmy Smith, Ruth Brown, Bill Mobley, Victor Gaskin, Mulgrew Miller, Ron Carter, and Grady Tate, as well as a long list of many others. He has been a leader on four previous recordings. The liner notes indicate that the term Business Man’s Bounce is something Easley heard first as a teenager when playing in his father’s band. It refers to a two-beat feel intended to get even the most reluctant of listeners out onto a clubs dance floor. The opening number "Straighten Up And Fly Right" sure gives you that feel of wanting to jump into a jive or maybe a swing dance.

The album isn’t all about swing it has romantic interludes with beautiful melodies and delightful classics, the Strayhorn song, "Chelsea Bridge" flows with a smooth as honey, mellow toned tenor lushness that hypnotizes and entrances. Another track of equal delight is "Indian Summer" with its marching bass line and catchy melody the song resonates with warmth. The woodwinds in the background add much of the warmth care of the Off Broadway Woodwind Ensemble. The Charlie Parker classic "Anthropology" is given a nice work out with a Caribbean island flavour meeting hip New York jazz cats in a partying festive mood.

The closing tune takes over the party and moves it to the lets do it again show with "Just In Time," a double time romp with a blazing saxophone solo by Bill Easley. Wicked drumming that drives the song forward at breakneck speed, with intense bass playing in hot pursuit and solid percussive chords pounding out the melody even while running the keyboard with a lightning fast right hand. The intensity builds, the dynamics are grand and the session comes to an end, a wonderful ride - all on a Business Man’s Bounce.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Bill Easley
  • CD Title: Business Mans Bounce
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: 18th & Vine
  • Tracks: Straighten Up and Fly Right, Mentor, September Song, Chelsea Bridge, In The Still of the Night, Hi Fly, Memphis Blues, Spring Is Here, Indian Summer, Anthropology, Just In Time
  • Rating: Three Stars
Login to post comments