"African Cowboy", which opens "Wessell 'Warmdaddy' Anderson Live at the Village Vanguard," Leaning House, starts out making me think of Sonny Rollins' "Way Out West," by way of a New Orleans dance hall, and then segues into Ornette Coleman or Archie Shepp territory. "Now's the Time" gets similar treatment, with Anderson, mostly on alto saxophone, and trumpeter Irvin Mayfield opening pseudo Bird and Diz before giving it a more avant-garde flavor. Anderson's stint with the sopranino sax, a step higher than the soprano, on his own "Snake Charmer" begins like he plans to mesmerize a cobra and turns into a heck of a jazz burner. He also flashes a bit of Cannonball Adderley on "I'll Remember April" and a touch of Johnny Hodges on "Star-crossed Lovers."
I'm thinking Anderson, a mainstay of Wynton Marsalis' Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, enjoyed playing outside the necon confines of the big group and he took full advantage. I picked this up on a flier last week while poking around in my local used CD store, and I'm glad I did.