“There are times,” says pianist Frank Woeste, “when I think how useful it would be to have a third hand.” That thought seems to encapsulate an important trait in Woeste's playing, namely his natural urge to arrange and to orchestrate at the piano, something which is evident right from the start of his album “Pocket Rhapsody.” Woeste is not just an exceptionally fine pianist and a gifted exponent of the Fender Rhodes, he also has a thorough understanding of his own creative process. If all art is about leaving an impression, then Woeste's mission is to etch a deep mark both as a player and as a composer. His debut as an artist on ACT, then, not only reveals a musician brimming with ideas, but also a fully-fledged composer and an extremely adept arranger. His trio with guitarist Ben Monder and drummer Justin Brown creates a sound which is orchestral in its scale and its impact. The intimacy of chamber music goes hand in hand here with the forward propulsion of a jazz trio, and with the power of a big band. In other words, the title “Pocket Rhapsody” gets it right.
From its debut with Suite Ravel in 2018, Reverso has established itself as a transoceanic and virtuoso jazz group whose compositions are inspired by classical French composers. To prepare for its second opus, The Melodic Line (a tribute to twentieth century composers belonging to the Group of Six), Reverso toured more than ten cities on two continents in February and March 2020. Its music was enriched. and deepened at each concert, culminating in an unforgettable performance at the Triton, in Paris, on March 13, 2021, recorded and filmed in high definition by France Musique for a national broadcast in the spring of this year. After listening to the band, the members of the trio - pianist Frank Woeste, trombonist Ryan Keberle and cellist Vincent Courtois - agreed that what happened that night was magical enough to make it into an album. The resulting Live showcases Reverso's melodic qualities, ample tones and obvious chemistry.
Although the atmospheric juke joint blues of Frank Frost remained steeped in unadulterated Delta funk throughout his career, his ongoing musical journey took him well outside his Mississippi home base.