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A solid jazz set

Live at Humphrey's by the Bay
Live at Humphrey's by the Bay
By the Eric Frazier Quintet

Self-released: 2008

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This review first appeared in the May 8, 2008 issue of the North County Times.

An interesting release, this. Eric Frazier is a congero based out of Brooklyn, yet this set was laid down at the San Diego landmark venue in 2004 – and featured Del Mar local Tripp Sprague on saxophones.

There is a loose, relaxed vibe to the set, yet it is remarkably cohesive considering that, according to the liner notes, the band had never played together before and had only met shortly before the gig yet played all songs written by Frazier. Sprague (brother of guitarist Peter) plays with his typically fat, warm tone and usual energy; pianist Adam Wolff has a nice, bluesy sound to his playing. Ironically, Frazier's congos get a bit lost in the sound mix.

If not a particularly clear recording, it's still a very solid collection of original jazz songs played with spirit and solid chops. Frazier has written some sparkling melodies, and obviously did a good job of conveying them to the impromptu band he found himself playing with.