Banks Gives Thanks: Paying Homage to the Jazz Trumpet Greats
On his first solo outing, University of Louisville Professor Ansyn Banks demonstrates that he is also a consummate student. Both in his writing and trumpet playing, Banks’ tributes ring true. The opening title track is invocational, with room for all to stretch out. Banks’ other compositions include the funky “Blues for Lee,” “5 Miles 4 Davis” (honoring Miles’ mid-’60s quintet), and the lovely ballad “Freddie’s Prayer” (for Mr. Hubbard). The U of L connection is strengthened by the inclusion of Professor John LaBarbera’s “Accordin’ to (Joe) Gordon,” and “K’s Delight” (a swinging classic Blue Note feel, with a Latin accent, for Kenny Dorham), plus two numbers by Banks’ former student, Joe Dunn, “Don’t Forget to Love Me” and “Counter Web.” Banks’ group draws from the best local and regional players, with saxophonist David Clark, pianist/organist Bobby Floyd, bassist Frank Smith and drummer Kenny Phelps. Throughout, Banks deftly navigates the competing demands of honoring his forebears by finding his own voice.