by Kent Zimmerman
Looking for something way off the post-bop radar screen that’s steeped in the jazz-rock-hard funk idiom? Then check out the tune “Surfin’ Dog” by Southern California trumpet player Willie Waldman from his indie solo disc, entitled Trumpet Ride.
As a professional horn player, Waldman has ventured well beyond safe Jazz undercurrents by playing session and live gigs with Hip-Hoppers Snoop Dog and Tupac, as well as with Alternative anarchists Perry Farrell and Sublime. Playing grinding fretless bass on “Surfin’ Dog” is Tony Franklin, whom we immediately recognized from his days with rock guitarist Jimmy Page and his first post-Led Zep quartet, the Firm. Also joining Waldman on this whirling, Bitches Brew-styled jam is electric keyboardist Greg Kurstin, who has notably played with surf doggin’ icons, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.