When the British saxophonist Jake Fryer walked out of Studio West in San Diego on April 1st 2009 after completing this recording In Good Time (Capri Records, January 18, 2011), he couldn't have imagined that Bud Shank would not have survived another day. Bud went home the day after the recording and passed away a few hours later. The last words Bud said to me with a warm handshake were 'Best of luck with the recording.'" Jake said sadly.
Bud was one of Jake's greatest influences on the alto sax and to make a recording with him was a dream come true. Bud put together his A-Team" rhythm section for the date that includes Mike Wofford, Bob Magnusson and Joe La Barbara. The recording is all first takes and there was little rehearsal. Both of the sax men wanted the date to be played like a gig.
Most of the tunes are originals by Jake along with a couple of classics: Caravan and Speak Low. Jake's tunes have a familiarity to them, all with chord changes that enable creative and spontaneous improvisation.
As booking agent Reggie Marshall says in the liner notes: The recording opens with Caravan and immediately we hear that Bud is still Bud, in spite of his physical problems...his ideas, fire and passion are wholly intact. Jake solos after Bud and it's clear right away that he belongs with musicians of this caliber, and that the bebop idiom is as much his as Bud's. Traces can be heard of Bud's influence, and that of Phil Woods, too. As for Mike, Bob and Joe, they provide sensitive and inventive support throughout, as well as some memorable solos."
It's obvious that everyone had a good time in the studio and for Bud, what would you want to do if you were a musician of his caliber on your last day on earth? Certainly playing a gig with old friends and a young lion on his way up would be at the top of the list.
Jake Fryer is a stellar saxophonist and composer who is quickly earning a reputation as a player to watch. He has appeared at Ronnie Scotts in London as part of the Brit Fest celebrating the club's Golden Anniversary with the group the LJC. In addition to playing lead alto with the Four Tops, he has played with Malene Mortensen supporting Stan Tracey and Guy Barker as part of the London Jazz Festival and headlined at the Duc des Lombards Jazz Club in Paris. His band The London BeBop Collective has headlined the Bandra and Utsav Jazz Festivals in India as well as appearing on Sky Televisions program 'Just Jazz' and receiving excellent reviews from critics. They have released one CD On Our Terms.
Capri Records is an independent label started by record collector, jazz enthusiast and entrepreneur Tom Burns. Launched in 1983 with a release by tenor saxophonist Spike Robinson, the Bailey, Colorado-based label now has a catalog of over one hundred titles including those by bassists Ray Brown and Red Mitchell, trombonists Al Grey and Phil Wilson, saxophonist Bud Shank and drummer Louie Bellson. Over the years Capri has helped launch the careers of a number of artists, including trumpeter Ron Miles, flutist Holly Hofmann, composer/ arranger Chie Imaizumi and the John Clayton/Jeff Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. The label has been named Best Jazz Label" in Denver's Westword Newspaper. In the past three decades, the Capri label has released stellar albums by the the Mark Masters Ensemble, the Grachan Moncur III Octet, pianist-composer Michael Pagán, saxophonists Bud Shank with Phil Woods, guitarist Joshua Breakstone, drummer Jeff Hamilton, pianist Mike Wofford, clarinetist Ken Peplowski, guitarist Graham Dechter, saxophonist Keith Oxman, the Curtis Fuller sextet, and many others.