Dan Wilensky | If You Only Knew

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danwilensky.com

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United States - New York

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Jazz quartet Moods: Instrumental
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If You Only Knew

by Dan Wilensky

Acoustic jazz with heart made by veteran musicians who don't rely on thousands of notes per square inch.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Tea For Two
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5:30 $0.99
2. Needs and Wants
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4:58 $0.99
3. If You Only Knew
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5:56 $0.99
4. Peace
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5:00 $0.99
5. Train Windows
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6:07 $0.99
6. In Our Time
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3:58 $0.99
7. Jazzapalooza
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5:52 $0.99
8. Reasons
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5:52 $0.99
9. Saxafras
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4:12 $0.99
10. Lucky 13
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3:56 $0.99
11. All in All
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4:32 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Speechless Productions is pleased to announce the release of If You Only Knew, the new CD by saxophonist and composer Dan Wilensky (Ray Charles, Jack McDuff), featuring pianist Bob Himmelberger (Charlie Rouse, Nelson Riddle), bassist Dean Johnson (Gerry Mulligan, Bill Frisell), and drummer Scott Neumann (Dave Liebman, Maria Schneider). This is Wilensky's first studio recording as a leader since 1997. After he played on over 250 records as a sideman, received a grant from the NEA, wrote 3 books, and toured with artists ranging from Slickaphonics to Steve Winwood, it was time. Wilensky delivers with his signature sound, strong melodic sense, and seductive compositions.

Discussing his new release, Wilensky says, “I've played and listened to all kinds of music my entire life, and my career has taken many detours away from traditional forms and instrumentation. Obviously, I'm not unique in that respect: most musicians of my generation have diverse influences, and are fluent in more than one genre. Anyway, it's great to get back to composing and recording 'live' acoustic music with no studio tricks. I've got a band that's a pleasure to lead. Bob, Dean and Scott play with command, sensitivity and heart, which made this project a joy from start to finish. I think this record is the beginning of something good."

If You Only Knew was recorded and mixed August 11 and 12, 2010 at Bennett Studios in Engelwood, New Jersey by ace engineer Dave Kowalski, and features nine compositions by Wilensky, plus new versions of “Tea For Two," and Horace Silver's “Peace. Please visit danwilensky.com for more information.


Reviews


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John B. Forsyth

wow
The standard opener of Tea for Two and an original composition All in All, are beautiful bookends to a wonderful CD. I have listened to this CD several times and appriciate it more and more every time I hear it. The title track, If I Only Knew, shows this quartet in full swing with all the musicians showing their raw talent. As you near the end of the CD, Saxafras and Lucky 13 pick it up and swing at a whole new level that makes you want to turn up the volume and let yourself go. For true Jazz fans, Dan Wilensky's - If You Only Knew - is a must have.

prjacobs

Excellent writing and playing!
For me, a sax player has to have a singing tone and Dan's sound is beautiful on these tracks. This is not about how many notes can Dan play in a second, it's about a mature musician telling his story. And it's a story that has variety, complexity, fun, funk, blues and more.... There were many harmonic threads to follow as I listened. And the bass player and drummer really kick it!
My initial favorites are Needs And Wants, If You Only Knew, and Saxafras. I've only listened to this once, but I'm about to go back for more. I'm impressed:)

Vidar Brekke

If Joe only knew
Danny Wilensky is no stranger to the recording studio, yet “If You Only Knew” is only his second recording under his own name.

While his former album offered a contemporary (1997) smooth jazz groove, “If You Only Knew” presents the listener with timeless, mostly 60’s style jazz mastery in the tradition of giants like Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson. (When Danny was 17 he actually studied under Joe).

Worth noting, in contrast to the many performers who pay homage to their forefathers, this is not yet another skillful neo-classic rendition of jazz standards, but mostly original compositions, many that feel as if they could have been lost takes from Saxophone Colossus!. Just listen to the opening track “Tea For Two” or “In Our Time” and “Saxafras” and you’ll know what I mean.

(Speaking of forefathers, is “Lucky 13” a Coleman or Monk composition? Nope. Again, a Wilensky original.)

Danny also comfortably morphs into the next decade’s aesthetic with compositions such as “Needs and Wants”, “All in All,” and ”Reasons” that channel more of the like the lyrical collaborations of Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek from back in the 70’s.

Danny is technically flawless (no surprise) and the most remarkable thing about this CD is Danny’s ability to coach his tenor to produce such a richness of expression, even when played softly and through swift runs as his sax faintly exhales. To me that's his signature that ultimately makes this CD unique.

Danny also recruited a solid rhythm section and pianist for this recording, who, like Danny, sound extremely disciplined. (They all sound as if they were competing to see who could play the most eloquent solos without breaking a sweat.) It’s hard to make it sound that easy.