Originally posted on December 13, 2007
Dennis Sandole was a Philadelphia-based guitarist and jazz composer who died in 2000. He is perhaps best known as the man who taught the legendary John Coltrane. He was little recorded and suffered undeserved neglect during his lifetime. Aside from one other that came out on Fantasy in the ‘50s I believe the CD we’re looking at today was/is the only recording around. It is called Dennis Sandole Project and it’s available on Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1102 (www.cadencejazzrecords.com).
What is especially nice about this recording is the three segment division showing different aspects of Sandole’s music. The first is a rare, slightly scratchy record transcribed to digital. It’s a quartet from 1958 with piano, bass, drums and Sandole on electric guitar. He really had an advanced harmonic and melodic sense which immediately comes out on these small group sides. And he cannot be pinned down; he sounds like himself and that’s it. The second part of this CD has Michael Grossman on piano and also with a quartet playing Sandole compositions. Nice and also rather unusual phrasing! The same can be said of the third part, a jazz ballet opera called “Even’in is Cryin." It's all quite interesting. Get this one while you can and be amazed at what he plays on guitar and how he thinks musically!