Warm Night - Mose Allison - The Collection (CD)
Now a permanent resident of the United States, this is his debut before the American public. His appearance in this album is by special arrangement with the company for which he records exclusively - Pathe-Marconi, subsidiary of Electrical and Mechanical Industries, Ltd. As these recordings were made on the eve of J J's launching of his new Quintet, it was impossible to line up the same rhythm section for each session.
The remaining tunes were made with Tommy Flanagan in place of Hank Jones. The drummer throughout was Elvin Jones, Hank's brother. All the arrangements in this set are by J.
J, himself. As usual, he has chosen a repertoire which is anything but overdone, and he has also written three originals. Naptown U. Tumbling Tumbleweed is an unexpected vehicle for a jazz group; J. Overdrive and Cube Steak are two up-tempo compositions by J. Johnson's musical efforts and reaching a new maturity in the work of his Quintet, is a considerable erudition in jazz forms.
But he carries his learning lightly and does not bore us with an archeological study of the dry bones of technique. By the time he puts the show on the road, the ankle bone is connected to the shin bone and the shin bone to the knee bone — and in the aliveness of the music, sometimes jaunty, sometimes serious, you can, if you wish, forget anatomy lessons.
Nevertheless, let's review them briefly, for the record. As Jay's talent matures, and that of the Quintet with it, the parallel of devices used to those employed by small orchestral groups generally, becomes apparent and we see how he has gradually enlarged the area of his musical interests and, in the process, improved upon his superlative craftsmanship, Like the playing of the Modern Jazz Warm Night - Mose Allison - The Collection (CD), that of the Quintet recalls a period in concert music, some three centuries ago, when improvisation was commonplace.
All of this began, for Warm Night - Mose Allison - The Collection (CD), in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was born on January 22, the oldest of three children given name, James Louis Johnson. Beginning at about the age of nine, he studied piano for two years with a private teacher, the organist of the church the family attended.
His two sisters also studied piano and they often practiced trios and duets together. An interest in jazz was stimulated by teen-age friends, his "buddies" at Crispus Attucks High School in It was then I realized that this would be my life's work. He wanted to play saxophone but the only one available for practice was a baritone, which was not his first choice. Although he studied saxophone, he soon became attracted to trombone and, as he explains it, "My interest and curiosity about the trombone began to increase to the point that I gave up my saxophone studies His father got him a trombone from a pawn-shop and Jay learned to play it in the high school band and orchestra.
Eventually, his friends at Crispus Attucks — who had formed a small dance orchestra —- invited him to sit in at rehearsals and Warm Night - Mose Allison - The Collection (CD) after this he became a regular member of the band, playing for school dances and neighborhood social events. By that time, he recalled, "I had also become interested in arranging and composing, and began to learn both.
When Jay graduated from Crispus Attucks High School in his parents, understandably, wanted him to go to college. Jay understandably, wanted to join a big band and travel.
Well, you can guess the outcome — Jay won them over and joined the ''territory" band led by "Snookum" Russell. Cool, in its most popular meaning, refers to a tendency towards understatement that one often finds in modern jazz and, in some instances to an extension of bop harmonic innovation in search of bland and cool sounds.
Like any other kind of jazz, it can be good or God- awful. Those in search of further enlightenment might bone up on the role of the trombone in Feather's "The Book of Jazz," a Horizon Press book of this year. Both periods are now history, the styles having been to some extent assimilated. The use of linear rhythmic patterns has perhaps helped to encourage a return to blues intonation including the use of rich sonorities though with less use of vibrato, and with various shades of timbre such as funky and hard bop.
The latter refers also to structure. As space allows, I'll indicate some of the interesting sounds provided in this album: Teapot In this tempest in a teapot, Jay's terse broken-off phrasing becomes a sort of abrupt angularity that contrasts to his sinuous legato line or, as later in the piece, to the burgeoning of tone when he is blowing and swinging that is the very birth of jazz sound. In Bobby's clipped chorus on tenor he demonstrates how to hold a tiger. Tommy Flanagan, who can approach the keyboard with the full power of both hands as on So Sorry Please concentrates on treble to make room for the bass of Wilbur Little, moving with such dexterity that, with the drums of Elvin Jones, it seems to cushion the music, This thoroughly satisfying composition concludes with the two horns playing in a dark, almost somber tonality.
Barbados There is an amusingly disciplined use of Latin-American rhythms, followed by rich sonorities as the horns state Warm Night - Mose Allison - The Collection (CD) theme of this Charlie Parker composition, Jay's chorus has an easy, deftly athletic quality.
On this, in contrast to the previous cut, Bobby's tone, though not rough, has more English on it; it is at once lyrical and strong in definition. Tommy, a cool cat, gets off the ground. In A Little Provincial Town. This quiet mood piece has an almost classical loveliness, especially in the flute chorus, with its delicately interwoven harmonies and what sounds like deliberate over-blowing, not a casual accomplishment — and in the subdued, muted trombone.
Cette Chose. Opens with clipped, cool ensemble Jay, playing superbly, sets the scene for Bobby, parts of whose tenor chorus, were it not for the inspiration driving it, would fall into the category of expertising. Melodically it is understatement, conveyed with a controlled intensity of rhythm. In this chorus Bobby — who has considerable versatility of approach — seems to throw lines away.
He is like a veteran actor laying booby traps for the ears and, like the veteran actor, he always knows the complete statement. On the chorus that climaxes the time, his tenor jumps like a pneumatic drill on a hot dig.
Blue Haze. This lovely melody by Miles Davis has an unusual and appropriate rhythm introduction. A thoughtful, beautifully-phrased statement by string bass is climaxed by a shattering drum roll, followed by a cymbal rhythm to which the piano adds its voice. Once the introduction is over, the featured instrument which I described in my notes for "J and K" makes its entry.
In his playing of it [valve trombone] Jay, in the quality of his intonation, combines the dignity of concert brass with the guttiness of honky-tonk horn. His fantastic technique on this valve instrument, which enables him to raise it to the dignity of a respected member of the brass family, never is allowed to overshadow his strong sense of music and of melody.
Bobby's phrasing on tenor, always assured, is especially enjoyable, and Tommy's piano has a restrained jump. Love Is Here To Stay. Few jazzmen can touch J. An old master at this form of the jazz maker's art, he demonstrates it with a long, luxurious chorus, in a warm intonation, that displays the scope of his improvisational talent. So Sorry Please. Naturally, there are other things to hear, but let's single out the piano for mention. Tommy opens with a full-bodied, two-fisted solo and then, as he assigns the heavy work to the right hand, is paced by Wilbur's articulate bass in a walking mood — then there is a return to full piano style in this, a most welcome and generous introduction to the work of Tommy Flanagan.
It Could Happen To You. The introductory flute passages are classic, delicately wrought, as Bobby opens in concert style, then gets off on a winsome jazz frolic. Perhaps indicative of the authority of contemporary jazz technique, there is no hiatus between the two. Bird Song. Veedon Fleece Label: Warner Bros. Wavelength Label: Warner Bros.
What's Wrong with This Picture? Inarticulate Speech of the Heart. The Skiffle Sessions - Live in Belfast Genius Loves Company Ray Charles. Van Morrison at the Movies - Soundtrack Hits. But it's a Grammy winner in comparison to the God- awful "John Brown's Body" that sounds like a throwaway, drunk-in-the-studio track that somehow found itself back onto the master.
Embarrassing is the most flattering adjective I can attach to it. The feeling I get from this song is that somebody at Auger's label had the bright but misguided idea of turning Brian into the British version of America's master of the jazz organ, Jimmy Smith, and gave the producers carte blanche to do just that.
Close, but no cigar. Their take on Wes Montgomery's "Bumpin' on Sunset" is next and I like the piece although Auger would produce a much better version with his Oblivion Express ensemble several years down the road. The album-ending "Definitely What" instrumental is as close as things come to even approaching prog but it fails miserably to be entertaining. As Auger explains in the liner notes, it was developed from "the idea of trying to play the organ as a conga drum one night when my drummer Clive was missing somewhere in Warm Night - Mose Allison - The Collection (CD) cloud of smoke.
In fact, it's not even a passable contemporary jazz record. Within the year the group would bring in the incomparable Julie Driscoll and record the vastly superior "Streetnoise" LP so I consider this no more than an unwise but valuable learning experience in his otherwise illustrious career. The album is like most other Trinity albums, loaded with brass arrangements that Auger, Ambrose and Thacker are now so used to.
Overall I'd say that most of the covers would sound a bit like a made-for- supermarket music if it weren't for Ogre's huge "Aurgan" and his tempestuous interventions. But Red Beans is a dynamite rendition; and Wes Montgomery's Bumping On Sunset is fantastic will be reworked much later in Oblivion Express version with Warm Night - Mose Allison - The Collection (CD) but discreet string arrangements.
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