The music bristles with the incantatory pulse of world beat rhythms
MARK STRYKER’S JAZZ & CLASSICAL HIGHLIGHTS: 2 old friends back in town
It’s been eons since either pianist Michael Wolff or saxophonist Paul Winter has been in Detroit, but both have landed in town for weekend gigs. Wolff, still best known for leading the studio band on Arsenio Hall’s late-night gabfest more than a decade ago, has a deeper resume than many realize, having worked extensively with Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Airto Moreira, Jean-Luc Ponty and Nancy Wilson.
His own music has been similarly eclectic, with fusion aspirations never completely crowding out his straight-ahead roots. Wolff’s band, Impure Thoughts, is powered by the unparalleled Indian percussionist Badal Roy, one of the world’s great tabla players. The music bristles with the incantatory pulse of world beat rhythms, resolving the tension between improvisatory spirit and populist appeal.
The quartet also includes bassist John B. Williams and drummer Mike Clark.
Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker, January 21, 2005