A really amazing set of work from tenorist Clifford Jordan – a player who first rose to fame in the hardbop scene of the late 50s, but who moved into tremendous new territory with these Strata East recordings of the late 60s and early 70s! Jordan was a Chicago contemporary of players like Johnny Griffin and Von Freeman, but he was never content to rest on his laurels – and stretched out on these records with a spiritual vibe that he'd never expressed before – and which would go onto inspire countless other musicians in years to come! This set brings together all the Dolphy Series recordings that Jordan recorded – either as an artist or producer – two of which were never issued on record at the time.
In a way, Brown was the Wynton Marsalis of his time; like Marsalis, Brown came on the jazz scene following a period of significant stylistic change. However, unlike Marsalis (who rejected the free jazz made famous by the generation just preceding his own), Brown chose to embrace the innovations of his immediate elders. In the process, Brown became one of the great post-Gillespie trumpeters, developing a voice that spoke the language of bebop with a distinct, personal inflection. In September 1953 – having just recorded his first dates as a leader for Blue Note – Brown went to Europe with Lionel Hampton.
Whether at the helm of a record date or as a sideman, Clifford Jordan was known for giving his all. These studio recordings were originally made for Strata East, a label known for its adventurous spirit. The tenor saxophonist leads two separate groups. The sextet selections include trombonist Julian Priester, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassists Wilbur Ware and Richard Davis, drummer Albert Heath, and trumpeter Don Cherry. Jordan's pensive "Vienna" is given an extended workout, with Cherry's somewhat abstract playing fitting in rather well. The second piece, Jordan's "Doug's Prelude," is also a bit brooding, showcasing the leader, Priester, and Kelly.
Two excellent early Clifford Jordan albums, Starting Time and A Story Tale, are reissued in full on this single CD. Jordan, whose sound was just beginning to become quite distinctive in 1961, is heard with a quintet also including trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, and on a set with altoist Sonny Red, Tommy Flanagan or Ronnie Mathews on piano, bassist Art Davis, and drummer Elvin Jones. With the exception of four selections, all 16 tunes are group originals. Best-known are Walton's "Mosaic" and "One Flight Down," but all of the music is high-quality hard bop. Dorham and Red are both in excellent form, constantly challenging Jordan. Fine if formerly obscure music.
Dinah Washington (born Ruth Lee Jones; August 29, 1924 – December 14, 1963) was an American singer and pianist, who has been cited as "the most popular black female recording artist of the '50s". Primarily a jazz vocalist, she performed and recorded in a wide variety of styles including blues, R&B, and traditional pop music, and gave herself the title of "Queen of the Blues". She was a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
Although Lionel Hampton forbid his sidemen from recording during their trip to France in 1953, many of the musicians fortunately ignored his orders; the band broke up soon anyway. Trumpeter Clifford Brown is heard on this LP mostly with a big band actually put together by Gigi Gryce. A few of these tracks are excerpts but the two takes of "Brownskins" and "Keeping up with Jonesy" are fairly long as is a nearly eight-minute "Chez Moi." The music is not essential but Brownie did not live long enough to record anything less than excellent.
A companion release to Hollywood Quintet Sessions, The Complete Regent Sessions (including tracks from the LPs Art Pepper/Sonny Redd, Jazz Is Busting Out All Over, and The Cool Sound of Pepper Adams), also from 1957, features emerging baritone saxophone star Pepper Adams in a series of lengthy jazz jams, unlike the shorter and compact studio recordings he did with West Coast musicians. These two East Coast dates done during the early winter in Hackensack, NJ, at Rudy Van Gelder's house studio feature Adams' running mates who matriculated from Detroit to New York City with him, including Doug Watkins (who was also on the Hollywood tracks), Elvin Jones on all selections, Hank Jones, and Bernard McKinney.
Tal Farlow, was an innovative self-taught jazz guitarist who influenced generations of guitarists following in his footsteps. Although some of his peak years as a recording artist occurred during his association with Verve between 1954 and 1959, relatively few of the tracks were available for decades until the release of this comprehensive Mosaic box set. The music is consistently brilliant, as the leader's solos seem to evolve effortlessly, often finding fresh ground in the many standards and classic jazz compositions performed in this set. Aside from the three opening tracks from Farlow's days as a member of vibraphonist Red Norvo's trio, the guitarist is the leader.
Gil Evans released two records on World Pacific in 1958 and 1959. They were among his earliest dates as a leader. Gil Evans & Ten was issued by Prestige in 1957, but these dates stand out more. New Bottle, Old Wine was the first of the pair and the band included four trumpets, a trio of trombones, French horn (played by Julius Watkins), a pair of tubas, Cannonball Adderley as the lone saxophonist, and a rhythm section that included either Philly Joe Jones or Art Blakey on drums, Paul Chambers on bass, and Chuck Wayne on guitar.