2 more of the lost albums by Chicago's supreme soul jazz hardbop group from the late 50's/early 60's! The MJT grooves like nobody's business, thanks to a core rhythm group that includes Harold Mabern on piano, Walter Perkins on drums, and Bob Cranshaw on bass. Add to the mix a young Frank Strozier on alto, fresh from Memphis (he made the trip to Chi-town with buddy Harold Mabern), and the smoking trumpet of Willie Thomas, and you've got one of the tightest combos to never make it in the big time. Who cares, though, because these albums are both gems, and they groove along mightily from top to bottom. Strozier and Mabern are fantastic, and they bring a unique soul jazz approach from their native Memphis into play with the firey Chicago rhythm of Cranshaw and Perkins. Great stuff, great remastering, and a dozen tracks in all! CD
(Out of print.)
MJT+3 ... CD Vee Jay/Blue Moon (Spain), 1960. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
One of the best-kept secrets of the hardbop era! This amazing group – formed in Chicago in the late 50's by ex-Memphis players Walter Perkins on drums, Harold Mabern on piano, and Frank Strozier on alto – has always been one of the best groups ever to sum up the meaning of the phrase "hard bop" – as they play with tight bop lines, but mix in longer, more relaxed playing, and some very soulful phrasing. Strozier especially is amazing, and Mabern's piano lines are as warmly lyrical and richly complicated as on his later work on Prestige – and the group also features the great Willie Thomas on trumpet and Bob Cranshaw on bass. The team of Cranshaw and Perkins is amazing – MJT, Modern Jazz Two, who really make the album cook – freely grooving with incredible rhythms, which makes Strozier sound almost better than on any other sessions from the time. Titles include "Branching Out", "Lil' Abner", "Raggity Man", and "To Sheila". CD
The incredible second album from saxophonist Frank Strozier – recorded for Vee Jay records after his initial debut, but for some reason never issued at the time! Strozier was really hitting on all burners at this point – fusing the Memphis soul of his roots with the soulful hardbop he was crafting in Chicago with Harold Mabern and the MJT+3 – a sound that he replicates nicely here, in an intimate quartet setting with Bill Lee on bass, Vernel Fournier on drums, and Billy Wallace on piano. The tunes are moody and soulful – a masterpiece in understatement, and proof that Strozier was one of the most inventive non-Charlie Parker inspired altoists of his time! The CD adds a huge amount of alternate takes to the original sessions – making for a total of 15 numbers in all, with titles that include "Day In Day Out", "Stairway To The Stars", "Cloudy & Cool", "She", "Chris", and "No More". CD
(Out of print.)
Frank Strozier —
Remember Me ... CD Steeplechase (Denmark), 1976. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
A gem of a record – the kind of overlooked 70s session we really treasure! Reed player Frank Strozier was one of the all-time under-discovered greats – and this set reunites him with his old Memphis partner/MJT+3 bandmate, Harold Mabern – a perfect pairing for Strozier's warm and fluid style on alto sax and flute! The pair always worked perfectly together, and on this session of laidback modern soul jazz material, they hit a very nice groove, and play off the best of each other's warm lyrical tendencies. Other players include Danny Moore, Lisle Atkinson, and Michael Carvin – and the set's filled with great original tutnes that include "Kram Samba", "Neicy", "Sidestreet", "Hit It", and "For Our Elders". CD