News About Bob Wolfman
“A force to be reckoned with, Wolfman has blistering technique and plays with an intensity and refinement that speaks to his deep musicality.”
Arts and Entertainment reporter
“Bob Wolfman brings his potent guitar to bear on both classic covers and his own material and he does it with class and a certain reckless abandon. He’s worked with the best and it shows!”
~ Dana Westover, Johnny D’s
“Simply one of the best guitarists in the U.S. today!”
~ Boston Globe
“The true test of any band is the live performance. You have it all – great musicianship, vocals, and stage presence…With your credentials, I had high expectations, and I was so pleased that you not only met, but exceeded them. You have such a warm, outgoing personality that your audience can’t help but connect and enjoy… If you have a mailing list for upcoming gigs, I hope you’ll add me to it.”
~ Dee Stone
“Guitarist Bob Wolfman grew up in the Bronx, started playing guitar at 11 and, after periods playing rock and blues, in the 1970s discovered both jazz and Larry Coryell. He became Coryell’s protégé, studied at Berklee, and in 1983 became an important educator when he opened Wolfman’s School of Music in Boston.
While he has played in many different situations during the past 30 years, Wolfman’s recent recording Transition is his most significant showcase to date. Produced by Coryell, who plays on all of the selections (most notably “Penultimate” and “Bailey’s Bounce”), the CD finds Wolfman joined by pianist Ferdi Argenti, bassist Victor Bailey and drummer Kenwood Dennard. Most impressive, in addition to the musicianship and constant creativity of the musicians, is Wolfman’s versatility. He sounds very credible in a variety of different styles.
Transition begins with “Listen,” a catchy number on which Wolfman not only contributes some melodic guitar that hints at Grant Green in spots, but he sings along with his guitar as well. Argenti, a major asset throughout the project, swings hard on piano while the rhythm team of Bailey and Dennard is quite tight. Things shift quickly to the left during “Transition” which has Wolfman displaying the rockish side of his musical personality with a fiery and explosive solo.
On the pop-oriented ballad “Trees,” Bob Wolfman’s high attractive voice is in the spotlight. He also sings on a rare male version of “Guess Who Is Saw Today,” a classic tune that was a hit for Nancy Wilson. “Seeds” has some vocalizing but is wordless as Wolfman blends in well with his passionate rock guitar.
Transition does not become any more predictable during the final four selections. On “Sirens,” Wolfman plays some octaves a la Wes Montgomery, takes a guitar solo worthy of George Benson, and has no difficulty with the complex time signature utilized during the opening and closing melody statements. On “Born Under A Bad Sign” he reinvents himself as a very credible blues vocalist, singing and playing a low down blues with plenty of intensity and passion.
The quiet ballad “Penultimate” and the Victor Bailey contribution, medium-tempo blues “Bailey’s Bounce” give Bob Wolfman opportunities to closely interact with Larry Coryell, showing how much he has learned from the master and also how he has developed into his own distinctive voice on guitar.
Even with all of its variety, Transition is consistently exciting and a major statement from Bob Wolfman. It is highly recommended to all fans of the jazz, blues and rock guitar.
~ Scott Yanow
Author of Trumpet Kings, The Jazz Singers and
Jazz On Record 1917-76
Bob Wolfman accomplishes much on Transtion CD
By Bill Copeland on July 18, 2012
Bob Wolfman just released his Transition CD and this Larry Coryell produced work marks a reunion for the two guitarists. Wolfman worked with Coryell 35 years ago and he still retains the influence from the master. Transition is made up of beautifully sung jazz ballads, a belted blues song, and fusion jazz instrumentals. Wolfman puts tremendous combinations of emotion and technique in each, whether he is focused on voice, his guitar, or his interplay with Coryell and the other players here.
“Listen” features Wolfman as the vocalist and lead guitarist and he is highly polished at both. His fluid lead phrases are as pristine and smooth as running water. His vocal reaches a beautiful high octave and travels through his chorus with an easeful grace that pleases the ear.
Title track “Transition” was written by Coryell and features Wolfman on lead guitar. The penetrating intervals of high notes, sustains, and shifting dynamics are artfully, intricately articulated. The players make you feel that they are taking you somewhere. The long phrases are a journey into dimensions of sound, a trip through time and space to some place other worldly.
Wolfman’s composition “Trees” is marked by his gentle, brittle guitar lines and his sweet flowing tender vocalizing. He draws out his vocal melody like a sustained violin note. He just lets those sustained vocal parts flow out of him as if they had a life of their own. That voice has been honed to perfection through years of performing. Wolfman could clearly hold up a song without any musical accompaniment if he so chose.
“Guess Who I Saw Today” is more in line with modern jazz vocalists of the late 1960s than early 1970s fusion jazz in the guitar-based instrumentals. Wolfman reaches deep into a lower range of his timbre while also reaching deep into his heart, pulling the feelings to the surface of the song. His tremendous ride out makes the listener feel his warmth turned into hurt by the person he was singing this for. This piano ballad also benefits from Ferdi Argenti’s classy take on lonely lounge ballads. Bass player Victor Bailey injects an undercurrent of knobby persistence that backbones this number. The bass notes underscore the newfound isolation the singer finds himself, giving the tune a three-dimensional quality needed for full appreciation of the drama.
Wolfman’s “Seeds” is a mellow grooving number filled with lush coos and carefree, exuberant guitar phrases. Victor Bailey sets a sublimated low end groove that makes a fine surface for Wolfman to coo and to press out those ephemeral phrases. Wolfman and his players gradually build an arc to this piece, and it’s climbing, adventurous sound is irresistible.
“Sirens” is a sweet interplay between brittle guitar chords and notes and dainty, dapper piano tinkling. When Argenti moves into an uptempo mode, he taps out a flurry of notes that dazzle with their speed, intricacy, and tone. Wolfman comes back in with his tasty, tender notes to close out with bright, cheery intervals. He sounds like he enjoyed working with Argenti.
Wolfman tackles the classic blues number “Born Under A Bad Sign” with a hearty vocal and a guitar phrase that broke loose from hell. Only a man possessed by the true spirit of the blues could make his guitar play with this kind of bite and sting. Although the 12-bar blues structure isn’t Wolfman’s current niche, he makes this style his own by belting it out like a life long blues man. He was actually a blues player in his teens before he discovered the fusion jazz genre.
“Penultimate” is a mellow mood piece marked by gentle touches on each instrument. Wolfman’s guitar sounds like he’s taking his sweet time finding just the right notes to hit, notes that ring out with a purity of tone after the note is played. Wolfman builds it as intricately as possible without losing the emotion in his expression. A somber piece, “Penultimate” is at once quiet and effective.
Bass player Victor Bailey contributed his composition “Bailey’s Bounce” and it is a compelling work. Along with Bailey’s throbbing bass lines is Argenti’s flight of fancy, tinkling his piano keys in a frenzied pace. Drummer Kenwood Dennard speedily works his hi hat and toms. That Wolfman guitar comes in strong with zipping phrases darting through and over the groove. Coryell makes his statement with a tightly compressed phrase that rides through the groove like an all terrain vehicle.
This Transition CD accomplishes many things at a high level of talent. The greater-Boston area is truly blessed to have a talent like Bob Wolfman in its midst. That Wolfman can attract talent like Larry Coryell to his recording project indicates how seriously he is taken in the fusion jazz genre. Wolfman’s guitar and vocal parts are compelling and he puts them to very good use here with assistance from a crack team of advance players. Only the best can play this material.
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
BOB WOLFMAN featuring LARRY CORYELL and “TRANSITION”
The New SUPERGROUP for the New Millenium
A band of legendary talents come together to perform music from BOB WOLFMAN’S brand new album/CD “TRANSITION”. ©2012
COME CELEBRATE THE RELEASE OF BOB’S NEW CD!!!
PERFORMING Saturday, JUNE 2nd, 2012
at The Bull Run, SHIRLEY, MA 8:00pm
Get tickets at: http://tickets.bullrunrestaurant.com/
TRANSITION BAND MEMBERS
BOB WOLFMAN ~ Guitar/Vocals
LARRY CORYELL ~ Guitar
VICTOR BAILEY ~ Bass
KENWOOD DENNARD ~ Drums/Vocals
FERDI ARGENTI ~ Piano
Produced by Larry Coryell, the “Godfather” of Jazz/Rock fusion, this new CD offering from Bob Wolfman reflects his influences from 60’s Jazz standards, Classic Blues from the 70’s and FUSION from the 70’s to the present. With music and lyrics composed by Bob Wolfman, Larry Coryell and Victor Bailey along with some classics, “TRANSITION” is possibly one of the most important new album releases this year. Bob Wolfman delivers stellar vocal performances in various styles and registers, and of course lots of burnin’ jazz/blues/rock fusion guitar work and solos he’s famous for. Larry contributes his wizardly guitar soloing and innovative comping style to all tracks. Regarding the level of musicianship, talent and overall experience, to quote Larry Coryell, “Ten million dollars couldn’t buy a better rhythm section!”
BOB WOLFMAN – Born and raised in New York City, the life of a struggling musician in the urban grit or the early seventies surely helped to put the ‘soul’ in his sound – having played with legends like Joe Beck, Chick Corea, Grover Washington Jr., and his lifelong mentor, teacher and friend Larry Coryell didn’t hurt either. Bob became Larry’s protégé and they formed a deep unbreakable bond that has lasted more than four decades. Bob started doing studio work in Manhattan when he was just in his mid teens, and has played and/or recorded with every type of band imaginable. After touring for a few years Bob came to Boston and graduated from Berklee College of Music and he shortly opened his famed Wolfman’s School of Music thereafter. To the delight of his fans Bob is now becoming much more active as a touring performer/recording artist again.
LARRY CORYELL – Truly one of the greatest of all the Jazz guitar giants ever, Larry Coryell deserves a special place in the history books. The pioneer/”Godfather” of Jazz/Rock fusion music, he brought what amounted to a nearly alien sensibility to jazz electric guitar playing in the 1960s. With a hard-edged, cutting tone, phrasing and note-bending that owed as much to blues, rock and even country as it did to earlier, smoother bop influences. Yet as a true eclectic, armed with a brilliant technique, he is comfortable in almost every style, covering almost every base from the most decibel-heavy, distortion-laden electric work to the most delicate, soothing, intricate lines on acoustic guitar.
VICTOR BAILEY – has been hailed as one of the worlds greatest bass guitarists since the late seventies while he was still a teenager. He gained international recognition in the early nineteen eighties when he joined the innovative jazz fusion supergroup Weather Report. He has made three of the most highly acclaimed solo records ever by any bassist. As a studio musician he has played on over one thousand records. He has toured and recorded with artists as diverse as Joe Zawinul, Mike Brecker, Mary J. Blige and Madonna. He is also a prolific composer, producer and bandleader. He is currently working as a solo artist and with CBW with Larry Coryell and Lenny White.
KENWOOD DENNARD – “Woody”, as he is affectionately known, is one of the world’s top performing and recording drummers. The list of giants he’s worked with is far too long to list and reads like an encyclopedia of music icons in Jazz, Funk, Rock, Blues, Pop, and Soul; Greg Allman, Chet Atkins, Ray Barretto, George Benson, Art Blakey, Hiram Bullock, George Clinton (P-Funk), Chick Corea, Larry Coryell, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, Stanley Jordan, Hubert Laws, Manhattan Transfer, Pat Martino, Dave Matthews, Bobby McFerrin, John McLaughlin, Marcus Miller, Charles Mingus, Maceo Parker/JBHorns, JacoPastorius, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Smith, Mike Stern, STING, Luther Vandross, Grover Washington, Jr., Edgar Winter, Joe Zawinul.
FERDI ARGENTI – Truly one of the finest and most versatile keyboardists you’ll ever hear anywhere, Ferdi began his career performing throughout most of Europe as a pianist, keyboardist, vocalist, composer and arranger. His skills rapidly gained recognition, as he played with many of the finest Italian and American musicians, most notably Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler and the Artie Shaw band. Ferdinando’s brilliant jazz piano sound and improvisational style are a composite of Charlie Parker‘s be-bop, Oscar Peterson‘s blend of bop and swing, the lyrical approach of Bill Evans and some of the harmonic innovations and rhythmic feel of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. To those of us fortunate enough to have experienced Argenti in action, he has found his own definitive style, which is consistently innovative, soulful and “in the pocket”. He has run the gamut of gigs as a solo artist, tasteful accompanist, and active member of many small groups and big bands.
This band is so tight it’s almost SCARY!
This is going to be a concert and a night to remember!
YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS SHOW!!!