One of the killer early albums by the CBBB is paired with a nutty one by the Mitchell-Ruff Duo! Jazz Is Universal is one of the best pre-MPS sides by the Clarke-Boland outfit, and it features a slightly more stripped down version of the group than you'll hear on later records. The swing's still nicely in place, though – and the record features the usual great mix of European and American soloists, like Sahib Shihab, Carl Drewo, Zoot Sims, Jimmy Deuchar, and Benny Bailey. Titles include "Volutes", "The Styx", "Los Bravos", and "Box 703" – all from the highly imaginative pen of Francy Boland! And speaking of imaginative, the strange combo of Dwike Mitchell, pianist, and Willie Ruff, bass & French horn, is joined by Brazilian drummer Helcio Milito (of the Tamba Trio
) in this lively set of soulful instrumentals that mix up virtuosity and humor, in a way that's similar to some of the jazzier work by the Young Holt Trio
. Titles on that set include "The Prank", "Chou Chou", "Young Soul", and "Improvisation On Solo For Unaccompanied Bass". 15 cuts in all, with over 70 minutes of music – and in a nice package, too!