Thanks to Rifftides reader Marla Kleman for sending an alert to the posting of a film about one of the late pianist Frank Strazzeri’s loveliest albums. Strazzeri died last year at about this time. He was 84. The album was his Woodwinds West with saxophonists Bill Perkins, Bob Cooper and Jack Nimitz, bassist Dave Stone and drummer Paul Kreibich. In the 1993 film Frank talks about his approach to writing for a woodwind chamber ensemble, what it means to play “outside,” and the inspiration of working with a reed section made up of men who have intimate knowledge of one another’s minds and moods. The video has generous portions of music. Being a small part of the documentary project and knowing the musicians was a pleasure of my years in Los Angeles. Here’s the complete half-hour film produced by Merle and Paul Kreibich.
A 2014 Rifftides obtituary and remembrance of Strazzeri, includes video of him playing when he was in the eighties, audio of his “Strazzatonic” and his story of working with Elvis Presley. To see it, go here.