On his 22nd disc as a leader, Los Angeles upright legend Henry “Skipper” Franklin confidently leads a crew of some of L.A.’s best through an excellently selfproduced collection of sumptuous originals and standards. The 55-minute set showcases this ensemble’s easy camaraderie and enviable command of their instruments, and the arrangements are gorgeous and dynamic. Most of all, however, June Night makes one wonder why Skipper—a septuagenarian who has put the bottom under Freddie Hubbard, Roy Ayers, Willie Bobo, Horace Tapscott, Hugh Masekela, Archie Shepp, Count Basie, and Stevie Wonder—isn’t better known.
CD Review: Damian Erskine "Within Sight"
On this collection of mostly Latin-flavored groove-based tunes, bass ninja/educator/author Damian Erskine teaches a masterclass in leading from the bottom, giving his bandmates plenty of space while delivering carefully chosen solos and flaunting sumptuously recorded fretted and fretless tones.