Sticky Wicket

Daniel Smith, bassoon; Martin Bejerano, piano, John Sullivan, bass; Ludwig Afonso, drums

Thought you heard the last word on neo-bop, guess again. Bebop Bassoon! No, really. Sounds funny right? Actually it’s not a totally unprecedented jazz instrument. Ken McIntyre did some fascinating lower double-reed work from time to time, and a quick Google search on jazz bassoon will take you to the website of sometime Bela Fleck and Paul Dresher sideman Paul Hanso–located at, where else, jazzbassoon.com! Now along comes Daniel Smith, who ups the ante on all of them by putting out an album of covers of classic tunes by Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and even Miles Davis’s “All Blues” from Kind of Blue! You’ve gotta hear this to believe it. But IMHO, it’s on Dexter Gordon’s “Sticky Wicket” that Smith’s alternative horn most fully commands center stage. So, what’s next, bebop contrabassoon?

—FJO