Ken Wiley: Cuerno Exotica


This a short CD in terms of time (44 minutes) and it’s also short on inspiration and imagination. Wiley is apparently a “top studio musician in Los Angeles” who likes to move within different areas of music; i.e. he has no specific commitment to jazz.

The two percussionists alongside the drummer underline the emphasis on Latin rhythms, but much of the music is over-arranged to the point of being dull. It’s a relief when Higgins, Loeb or Leggett has a rare chance to cut loose and improvise and the CD would have been much improved if that had happened more often.

The leader adds the special sound of the French horn to themes and arranged ensembles but in terms of improvising his limitations are obvious. You’d have to have a very special interest in the French horn to find this worth acquiring.

Wiley (frh); Dan Higgins (ts, f); Dave Loeb (p); Mark Leggett (g); Rene Camacho or Dominick Genova (b); Bernie Dresel (d) and others. Hollywood, 2018
Krug Park Music