Mitch Frohman Daddy with Love

From Daddy With Love - album coverMitch Frohman's 'From Daddy with Love' - Reviewed on
by Raul da Gama

To be correct from the start, this recording by Mitch Frohman and his Latin Jazz Quartet, From Daddy With Love was released almost three years ago. But it still merits attention for the simple reason that the two-disc set is very possibly Frohman’s finest studio performance to date. It is a hard choice to make simply because Mitch Frohman is a consistently brilliant performer – live or in the studio. However, there is so much music to choose from on these two discs that it is almost embarrassing. And Frohman – who played with Tito Puente for years, as well as with Mongo Santamaria, to name two of the greatest Latin musicians – leads what is surely his best small band yet. To have the Curtis brothers, Luques and Zaccai, and Joel Mateo on drums and percussion for two sessions plus a host of stellar musicians, including violinist Ali Bello and trombonists Sam Burtis and Dave Chamberlain all in the same project is to have New York’s finest.

Mitch Frohman is one of those rare woodwind players who plays virtually all of the saxophones (with the exception here of the alto saxophone) absolutely flawlessly. Many saxophonists specialise in one instrument and playing another occasionally but not Frohman. He seems to specialise in every instrument he plays with each one being given a special something to create a personal vocabulary and language. His tenor playing is bold, on baritone he sounds monumental and his soprano sounds delicate and sensuous. Add to that he also plays magnificently on flute as well and shows off his chops on ‘Más Flauta’.

This album is also one of the most ebullient that I have heard in a long time. The cha cha cha pieces ‘Cha Cha with the Bronx Horn’ and ‘4B Cha Cha’ are exciting, big and bouncy. Listeners would be hard-pressed to sit down and let these two charts fly by, without being swept off their feet in an instant. The mambo and rumba pieces are viscerally exciting. And the performance closes with one a lush bolero version of ‘From Daddy with Love’, this after disc one is brought home with a buttery vocal version sung by Jorge Maldonado. In ...(read more)