Nothing too mad here, Alto Madness is a wonderful record that really shows the genius of Richie Cole in the 70s! Cole on Muse is a wonderful combination – sharp-edged alto sax, rooted in tradition – but let loose on some freer soul jazz modes as well, really showing the strong jazz underground that was bubbling strongly at the time. Cole's alto is set up beautifully with rhythm from Harold Mabern on piano, Rick Laird or Steve Gilmore on bass, and Eddie Gladden on drums – and the record also features percussion from Ray Mantill and guitar from Vic Juris
– both players who shape the sound of the record differently than you might expect. As on other Cole records of the time, Eddie Jefferson makes a great guest appearance – singing wonderfully on "Moody's Mood 78" and "The Common Touch" – the latter of which is a great lost bit of Jefferson from the 70s. Other cuts include "Cole's Nocturne", "The Price Is Right", "Remember Your Day Off", and "Last Tango In Paris". Hollywood Madness, a great example of the Muse Records charm of altoist Richie Cole – bop-fired creativity at its peak, mixed with some added contemporary elements to keep things fresh! In this case, Richie's horn takes on some key bop classics, but also opens up a bit with vocalsits too – Eddie Jefferson on versions of "Hi Fly", "Relaxin At Camarillo", and "Waiting For Waits" – the latter of which also features Tom Waits as well! The Manhattan Transfer make some subtle guest appearances too – but in ways that are much more restrained than their own albums, really leaving most room for Richie's horn. Bruce Forman plays guitar and Dick Hindman piano – and titles include "Hi Fly", "Relaxin At Camarillo", "Hooray For Hollywood", "I Love Lucy", "Malibu Breeze", "Waiting For Waits", and "Tokyo Rose Sings The Hollywood Blues".
(Out of print.)