One of Billy Taylor's greatest albums – far more than his usual easy-handed soul jazz, and much more of a modernist-informed outing, with one of the hippest groups to ever back Taylor on record! The rhythm's by Bob Cranshaw and Walter Perkins of the MJT+3 – and the group's augmented by guitarist Jim Hall, who's working here in a slightly less contemplative mode than his recordings with Art Farmer and Paul Desmond from the similar time, but who also adds a great deal of mood and color to the set. Titles are all Taylor originals – and tracks include "Impromptu", "Capricious", "Free & Oozy", "Paraphrase", and "Muffle Guffle". CD
A legendary album from this tenor genius from Chicago – a hell of a player who emerged in the same generation as Clifford Jordan, John Gilmore, Eddie Harris, and Johnny Griffin – yet never fully got his due! The album's easily one of the most sharp-edged for the Bethlehem label – and has the power of a rare Blue Note or Prestige date from the same time – thanks partly to Harold's sharp bite in the tone of his tenor, and partly to an ultra-hip lineup that includes Charles Davis on baritone sax, Julian Priester on trombone, Phillip Wright on piano, Thomas Williams on bass, and Walter Perkins on drums. The set really showcases that mix of modern and soulful that was the best side of the Chicago scene at the start of the 60s – a vibe you'd find from a group like the MJT+3 or the Gene Shaw Quintet on Argo – even more of a surprise here on the mostly-cool Bethlehem label. Ousley penned some great originals for the record – and titles include "Porter's Groove", "Struttin To Truckin", "Paris Sunday", "Decvachan", and "Dell A Von". CD
Roy Brooks —
Beat ... CD Workshop Jazz/Fresh Sound (Spain), 1963. Used ...
Out Of Stock
An amazing record – one of the best on Motown's short-lived Workshop Jazz subsidiary! The album is the first to feature Brooks as a leader – and the super-hip drummer from Detroit really knows what to do with the opportunity! He's working here with a hip group that includes members of the Horace Silver quintet – including Blue Mitchell, Junior Cook, and Gene Taylor – as well as Detroit contemporaries George Bohannon on trombone and Hugh Lawson on piano. The overall style of the record is quite different from Brooks' work with Silver – and has a much more open-ended feeling emotionally. The tracks are a mix of soul jazz numbers and others with a rougher-hewn sense of modernism – almost like the excellent work coming out of Chicago during the early 60s, from artists like Gene Shaw or the MJT+3. All the players are at their best, and the album features some of the nicest tenor work we've ever heard from Cook. Titles include "Soulsphere", "Soulin", "Homestretch", "Passin The Buck", and "My Secret Passion". CD