North, South, East….Wess is an album by saxophonist Frank Wess recorded in 1956 and released on the Savoy label.
“This easygoing swing date is essentially a small group drawn from the Count Basie band of the day. The two tenors, Wess and Frank Foster, and two trombones, Bennie Powell and Henry Coker, all from the Count’s band, keep the sound comfortably cruising near the middle register.
Kenny Burrell is on the date as the only chordal instrument, contributing flowing chord selections when comping and clean, tasty choruses for his solos. Savoy house drummer Kenny Clarke and Basie bassist Eddie Jones complete rhythm section. On tenor, Wess and Foster are eminently capable, but, on these performances, there isn’t a lot to differentiate one from the other. The same can be said for the trombonists. The best moments come when Wess switches to flute, the instrument on which he does have a distinctive and appealing musical personality.
The other high points are Burrell’s, both as accompanist and in his brief solo spots. Both he and the leader, however, can be heard together to better effect on other Savoy dates, notably Wess’ bright and airy chamber jazz date Opus in Swing, and the Frank Foster-led No Count, which features the same group as on North, South, East…Wess.” – Jim Todd/AllMusic.
“What’d Ya Say” (Ozzie Cadena) – 9:41
“Dill Pickles” (Frank Foster) – 6:08
“Dancing on the Ceiling” (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) – 3:45
“Hard Sock Dance” (Frank Wess) – 7:42
“Salvation” (Frank Wess) – 3:51
“Lazy Sal” (Henry Coker) – 6:10
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ on March 5, 1956 (tracks 2-4) and March 7, 1956 (tracks 1, 5 & 6)
Frank Wess – tenor saxophone, flute
Frank Foster – tenor saxophone
Henry Coker, Benny Powell – trombone
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Eddie Jones – bass
Kenny Clarke – drums
Recorded: March 5 and 7, 1956
Studio: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey
Producer: Ozzie Cadena