Frank Basile (ba-SILLY) has been heard with The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band, The Dave Holland Big Band, The Mingus Big Band, The Bob Mintzer Big Band, The Jimmy Heath Big Band, just to name a few. Being in high demand, he also gigs regularly throughout New York with his own quintet. His debut CD entitled Thursday the 12th is a testament to his uncommon command of the baritone sax.
Thursday the 12th features three of Basile’s original pieces including a beautiful ballad called "A December to Remember", the title track, and "Rabp’s Delight." Surrounded by offbeat standards like "This Could be the Start of Something Big," and the sweet swing of "A Certain Smile," Basile’s compositions provide more harmonic and rhythmic interest. "Rabp’s Delight" is reminiscent of the great Pepper Adams recordings, particularly with Donald Byrd. Anyone who thinks the baritone saxophone is no instrument for gorgeous ballads will think again after hearing "A December to Remember." Basile’s beautiful melody gives way to a captivating solo, followed by exceptional piano work by Birnbaum. Bassist Mike Blanco and drummer Mark Ferber round out the rhythm section and lay a completely solid foundation throughout the CD. Sharing the front line with Basile is trumpeter Joe Magnarelli who provides a healthy dose of tasty solos full of intellectual soul, drive, and lyricism.
Basile’s quintet brings a depth of character to the music. The quintet’s maturity is far beyond their years and is an inspiration to the future of jazz with their clarity, subtly, and straightforward execution. We can only hope that this is the first of many projects to come from Frank Basile and his quintet.