Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Silkheart product description
DTMGallery | 12/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bob Ackerman saxophones, clarinet, flutes; Wilber Morris bass; Dennis Charles drums
When we got together at his home in Irvington, Bob Ackerman eventually asked me if I could suggest some suitable musicians for a group he'd like to put together. I thought for a while and told him I couldn't imagine anyone better to begin with than Wilber Morris, and he lived just a few blocks away. I called Wilber and he came over to visit us, with his bass. He was pretty weary after a day of rehearsals, but Wilber and Bob got along famously. They rapidly became firm friends and were soon musical buddies.
I came across Wilber Morris as one of the late Charles Tyler's friends and I recall him speaking well of Wilber on any number of occasions. Wilber hails originally from Los Angeles and came to New York in 1978 from San Francisco. The first time he turned up on a production of mine was as long ago as 1980, on Charles Tyler's "Folk and Mystery Stories" (UK Sonet SNTF-849). We were in touch with each other from time to time in the interim and I learned, among other things, to appreciate Wilber's leadership abilities. An example is one of my favorite recordings, by Wilber's own group Wilberforce with David Murray and Dennis Charles, on the DIW label (DIW-809). His musicianship is never in question and the number of calls he has from David Murray for work with his octet, for which Wilber is the original and continuing bassist, bears this out. Wilber is magic. In the groups that he plays with he makes all kinds of wonderful things happen. When it was proposed that Dennis Charles should lead a group of his own for a Silkheart recording ("Queen Mary", Silkheart 121), Wilber was the self-evident choice. When Wilber told interviewer Ed Hazell (Cadence, February 1988) "It's the bass player and the drummer who really move the band", he was tapping into a whole lot of experience.
It wasn't long before the need for a drummer was brought up, but that was a relatively easy matter because Wilber and Dennis Charles are a bass and drums team of long standing. I like Dennis's drumming enormously and love him as a person. Wilber felt fine about the idea and he also knew how to find Dennis. Bob booked a studio and asked me if I would produce the session. This was during a January 1993 recording tour that I was handling for Silkheart Records. Bob and I had known each other for quite some years and were both happy to have a chance to spend some time together during the period when I was recording in New Jersey. He showed me his instruments and told me what was special about each of them, playing some phrases to demonstrate. Playing instruments to show off their special characteristics for his customers is pretty much Bob's life nowadays, in his work as The Mouthpiece Doctor. As a result, Bob Ackerman spends a good four or five hours a day playing his horns. That's quite apart from the gigs he plays and the rehearsals he participates in. The significance of all this is that Bob has a superb technique and can apply it flexibly to just about any of his saxophones, clarinets, or flutes, and he's also a pretty handy pianist despite his claims to the contrary.
I came across Bob Ackerman and his wife, Pam Purvis, in connection with the activities of trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez in Dallas, Texas. As one of a series of articles for Jazz Forum magazine, I wrote about Gonzalez shortly before Silkheart recorded his quartet in 1986 ("Stefan", Silkheart 101), so I knew a good deal about the Dallas improvised music scene of the period. In hindsight it seems inevitable that Bob, Pam and I should have met up together.