A young tenor saxophonist of emotional range, with Kenny Barron in rhythm that can't be improved on.
According to a review in the German-language music magazine Rondo it was supposedly goodbye individuality when Harry Allen, the tenor saxophone master, recorded a CD with the last rhythm trio Stan Getz led before his death. If that "goodbye individuality" stuff hadn't been rubbish, Joel Frahm's yearning to record with the last Getz rhythm trio might have been diagnosed as a death-wish. While Allen sounds less like Getz than like his contemporary Herbie Steward (unsung giant), Frahm has a more assertive sound, which fits into hard bop (hear him with Pete Zimmer) and recalls more where Dexter Gordon came from. The slow unusual-blues opener (six of the ten numbers are Frahm compositions), and the lyrical "Joanne Julia" (a Barron composition) and the standard "My Ideal" are three tracks which notably satisfy expectations fed on Getz and Allen. While "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" shows a tenorist not afraid of open and tender feelings, Barron's "Song for Abdullah" falls into a sentimental trough not always avoided by its dedicatee Abdullah Ibrahim.