Selected reviews


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Jazz Journal offers unrivalled coverage of recorded jazz old and new, with more than 20,000 words of expert comment and discography on recent jazz releases in every issue

Complete list of albums reviewed in JJ February 2018 (see below for excerpts):

Alexander, Eric: Song Of No Regrets (HighNote 7311)
B3: Get Up! Live At The A-Trane (Blackbird Music 201732)
Bartra, Corina: Takunde (Blue Spiral 13)
Basie-ites, The: How High The Moon (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 947)
Bates, Django/Belovèd: The Study Of Touch (ECM 573 2663)
Brahem, Anouar: Blue Maqams (ECM 576 7265)
Brown Jr, Oscar: Between Heaven & Hell + Sin & Soul (Soul Jam 600912)
Camilo, Michel: Live In London (Redondo Music 191924129394)
Charette, Brian: Backup (SteepleChase 31836)
Coltrane, John: Giant Steps (Green Corner 100893)
Daversa, John: Wobbly Dance Flower (BFM 302 062 438 2)
Elgart, Larry: Music In Motion! (Blue Moon 896)
Erskine, Peter/The Dr.Um Band: Second Opinion (Fuzzy Music 024)
Ervin, Booker: The Good Book The Early Years 1960-62 (Acrobat 7121)
Estrand, Lars: Good Vibes At The Pawnshop Jazz Club (Proprius 9558)
Fitzgerald, Ella: The Complete Birdland Broadcasts (Essential Jazz Classics 55726)
Gibbs, Georgia: The Georgia Gibbs Collection 1946-58 (Acrobat 3219)
Goodman, Benny: Like A Bolt From The Blue (Halcyon 176)
Gordon, Dexter: The Resurgence Of + Doin' Allright + Dexter Calling (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 944)
Grissett, Danny: Remembrance (Savant 2165)
Heliosonic Tone-tette: Heliosonic Toneways Vol.1 (ScienSonic 10)
Herman, Woody: The Woody Herman Collection 1937-56 (Acrobat 3221)
Hodeir, André: "Essais" Complete Paris & New York Sessions (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 945)
Holiday, Billie: The Complete Billie Holiday Song Book (Essential Jazz Classics 55727)
Holmes, Leroy: A Musical Portrait Of Ray Charles + Goes Latin (Blue Moon 895)
Horellou, Gael/Quintet: Coup De Vent (Fresh Sound New Talent FSNT 540)
James, Harry: East Coast Blues (Sounds Of Yester Year 2074)
Jordan, Duke: Complete 1954-1962 Recordings (Essential Jazz Classics 55772)
Kajfes, Goran/Subtropic Arkestra: The Reason Why Vol.3 (Headspin 024)
Kenton, Stan: Concerts In Miniature Volume Twenty (Sounds Of Yester Year 2072)
Koenig, Klaus/Jazz Live Trio: Night Thoughts (TCB 35202)
Kosins, Kathy: Uncovered Soul (Maristar 5418)
Ledgerwood, LeeAnn: Renewal (SteepleChase 31835)
Leiton, Martín: Inevitable (Fresh Sound New Talent FSNT 539)
London, Amy: Bridges (Fivecat 002)
Magris, Roberto: Live In Miami (JMood 014)
Marsalis, Delfeayo/An Evening With: Kalamazoo (Troubadour Jass 093017)
Martino, Pat: Formidable (HighNote 7307)
Montgomery, Wes: The Complete Montgomery Brothers Quartet Studio Sessions (Essential Jazz Classics 55729)
Moreno, Mike: Three For Three (Criss 1396)
Mostly Other People Do The Killing: Paint (Hot Cup 171)
Murphy, Mark: Midnight Mood (MPS 0212419MSW)
Negative Press Project: Eternal Life: Jeff Buckley Songs And Sounds (Ridgeway 007)
Nelson, Oliver: The Blues And The Abstract Truth (Green Corner 100894)
Nelson, Oliver: The Complete Blues And The Abstract Truth (Phono 870283)
Obara, Maciej: Unloved (ECM 576 4562)
Pau Brasil: Villa-Lobos Superstar (Stunt 17042)
Pearring Sound: True Story (Pearring Sound)
Person, Houston: Rain Or Shine (HighNote 7309)
Peterson, Lucky: Tribute To Jimmy Smith (Jazz Village 570135)
Peterson, Oscar: Canadian Keys Rare "Live" Recordings (Sounds Of Yester Year 2077)
Peterson, Oscar, The Trio + The Singers Unlimited: In Tune (MPS 0212400MSW)
Ploug, Mikkel: Alleviation (Songlines 1623)
Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers: Jungle Fire (Prestige 00102, vinyl)
Rantala, Iiro/Ulf Wakenius: Good Stuff (ACT 9851)
Salamander: Live At Northsea Jazz Festival (Wela 006)
Santilli, Marco/CheRoba: L'Occhio Della Betulla (Unit 4727)
Santilli, Marco/CheRoba & Il Fiato Delle Alpi: La Stüa (Unit 4729)
Serra, Arturo: Locomotive (Swing Alley 033)
Shew, Bobby: Class Reunion (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 946)
Skov, Kira/Maria Faust: In The Beginning (Stunt 17012)
Smith, Fraser & The Alibis: Fraser & The Alibis (
Solal, Martial: Solo Piano - Unreleased 1966 Los Angeles Sessions (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 943)
Spinifex: Amphibian Ardour (Trytone 559-075)
Stockdale, Dean: Origin (
Thompson, Lucky: In Paris 1960 Modern Jazz At Club Saint-Germain And The Blue Note (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 948)
Trallskogen: Trollskogen (Nikasound 77722)
Tranchina, Gabriele: Of Sailing Shiips And The Stars In Your Eyes (Rainchant Eclectic 1001)
Van Nuis, Petra/Andy Brown: Lessions Lyrical (self-produced)
Various: The Complete History Of Jazz 1899-1959 (ProperBox 201)
Vaughan, Sarah: After Hours (Columbia CL660, vinyl)
Waller, Fats/And His Rhythm: Rhythm And Romance (Halcyon 177)
Wallfisch, Joanna: Blood & Bone (Sea Gardens 01)
Wallmann, Johannes: Love Wins (Fresh Sound New Talent FSNT 538)
Washington, Dinah/Quincy Jones: The Complete Sessions (Essential Jazz Classics 55728)

Examples of the 75 album reviews in this issue (see more reviews as printed; subscribe to see 12 months of the print edition of Jazz Journal
, including over 20,000 words of CD review each issue):

Sadness All The Way Down; Giorgiantics; Little Petherick; Senza Bitterness; We Are Not Lost, We Are Simply Finding Our Way; This World; The Study Of Touch; Passport; Slippage Street; Peonies As Promised; Happiness All The Way Up (57.00)
Bates (p); Petter Eldh (b); Peter Bruun (d). Rainbow Studio, Oslo, June 2016.

ECM 573 2663


Don’t be fooled, beneath his court jester stage persona Django Bates is an extremely gifted composer-player. Debuting for ECM as far back as 1985 with First House and returning for a couple of outings with Sidsel Endresen in the 90s, the Loose Tubes co-founder has subsequently appeared on a host of international and domestic labels and grown comfortably into the role of jazz educator and mentor at Copenhagen’s Rhythmic Music Academy (RMC). Returning to the label in 2017 on Anouar Brahem’s stellar Blue Maqams with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, the great English eccentric now steps out in perhaps the most unlikely of settings – a piano trio.

Despite a longstanding vow to avoid this ubiquitous format, legend has it that when Bates chanced upon a rehearsal by students Eldh and Bruun at the RMC in 2005 he performed an instant volte-face and the Belovèd trio was born. Best known for their radical re-imaginings of the music of Charlie Parker, other than an elliptical take on Passport this set focuses on new and familiar pieces by Bates. From the juxtaposed bookends of Sadness All The Way Down to the rather more short-lived Happiness All The Way Up, the material is collectively disassembled, viewed from a variety of perspectives and artfully re-built. Human Chain’s Little Petherick becomes a classic Evans-esque ballad, the stunning title track highlights the trio’s remarkable chemistry in exquisite macro detail, while the more propulsive Slippage Street and humorously titled We Are Not Lost explore more expressionistic modes. Gripping from first to last, Belovèd are fast developing into one of today’s best and most exploratory piano trios.
Fred Grand


CD1: (1) Home Run; Dolo; Lovely Lisa; Affair In Havana; Jodi; Field Day; (2) I Was Doing All Right; You’ve Changed; For Regulars Only (62.20)
CD2: Society Red; It’s You Or No One; I Want More; (3) Soul Sister; Modal Mood; I Want More; End Of A Love Affair; Clear The Dex; Ernie’s Tune; Smile; Landslide (67.54)
Gordon (ts) with:
(1) Martin Banks (t); Richard Boone (tb); Dolo Coker (p); Charles Green (b); Lawrence Marable (d). LA, 13 October 1960.
(2) Freddie Hubbard (t); Horace Parlan (p); George Tucker (b); Al Harewood (d). New Jersey, 6 May 1961.
(3) Kenny Drew (p); Paul Chambers (b); Philly Joe Jones (d). New Jersey, 9 May 1961.
Fresh Sound FSR-CD 944

Dexter began with great promise, benefiting from his time in Billy Eckstine’s legendary orchestra. The duets with Wardell Gray rightly became legends too but after that his life became a Parkerian procession in slow motion, and for much of the 50s he was incarcerated. It was with these albums, one for Jazzland and two for Blue Note, plus Blue Note’s successful Go! album (not included here) that he not only returned but reached the brief peak of his achievement. His thoughtful, original and easily paced improvisations gave him a post to one side of the frenetic
bebop market and he eventually side-stepped it altogether by settling for 15 years in Copenhagen, where any pressure was off. He returned finally to the States in 1977.

So, outside of the roustabouts with Wardell, these more sophisticated tracks where he is accompanied by kindred musicians include his finest work. Having drawn a sketch of a loping, rangy soloist, I must point to the explosive agility of his work on Dolo. He could get round the horn with a Rollins-like intensity when he wanted to (conversely he was a landmark influence on Sonny and also in some ways pre-figured Coltrane). Dexter’s laconic ballad statements always led to good things, and even when he ups their tempos as in Gershwin’s I Was Doing All Right, he uses his building blocks with a fundamental grace that was unique – You’ve Changed is sublime. The pianists are all excellent and a comparatively subdued Hubbard fits nicely – he and Dex are eloquent on the 12-minute blues Society Red. One of the highs I remember from the Nice festival days was a duet between Getz and Gordon on It’s You Or No One. It was obviously a Gordon favourite for it’s here and he takes it faster and aggressively. It brings forth one of his best solos in the set and Hubbard also sparkles.
Steve Voce


CD1: (1) Cross Criss; Paraphrase; On A Standard; Esquisse (I); Paradoxe (II); On A Blues; (2) Parisian Thoroughfare; Evanescence; Bicinium; On A Scale; (3) Jordu; Criss Cross; Tension Détente; Paradoxe; (4) Triads; Milano; (5) Trope A Saint-Trop; Osymetrios (I); Osymetrios (II) (72.49)
CD2: (6) Jazz Cantata; (7) Le Palais Ideal; (8) Flautando; (9) Jazz Et Jazz; (10) Cross Criss; Paraphrase; Esquisse (II); On A Blues; Make Up Your Mind; Esquisse (III); On A Riff; On A Standard; Paradoxe II; (11) The Alphabet (77.59)

Hodeir (arr, cond) with:
(1) Jean Liesse, Buzz Gardner (t); Nat Peck (tb); Jean Aldegon (as); Bobby Jaspar (ts); Armand Migiani (bar); Sadi (vib); Pierre Michelot (b); Jacques David (d). Paris, 13 December 1954.
(2) Roger Guérin, Liesse (t); Peck (tb); Aldegon (as); Georges Grenu (ts); Migiani (bar); Sadi (vib); Michelot (b); Christian Garros (d). Paris, 26 June 1956.
(3) as (2) but Aldegon & Peck out on Criss Cross & Paradoxe. Paris, 27 June 1956.
(4) as (2) but Sadi out. Paris, 2 July 1956.
(5) Guérin (t); Peck (tb); Georges Grenu (ts); Martial Solal (p); Michelot (b); Kenny Clarke (d). Paris, autumn 1960.
(6) Christiane Legrand (v); Guérin, Christian Bellest (t); André Paquinet (tb); Pierre Gossez (as); Grenu (ts); Migiani (bar); Jean-Pierre Drouet (vib, pc); Michelot (b); Garros (d). Paris, autumn 1960.
(7) Guérin, Bellest (t); Peck (tb); Hubert Rostaing (as); Grenu (ts); Migiani (bar); Drouet (vib, pc); Michelot (b); Garros (d). Paris, autumn 1960.
(8) Raymond Guiot (f, overdubbed x 4); Solal (p); Michelot (b); Clarke (d). Paris, autumn 1960.
(9) Guérin (t); Emmanuel Soudieux (b); Richie Frost (d). Paris, 1952. Solal (p) added in electronically modified mix of 1960.
(10) Donald Byrd, Idrees Sulieman (t); Frank Rehak (tb); Hal McKusick (as, bcl); Bobby Jaspar (ts, f); Jay Cameron (bar, cl, bcl); Eddie Costa (p, vib); George Duvivier (b); Bobby Donaldson (d).
(11) as (10) plus Annie Ross (v), Hackensack, 4 & 5 March 1957.
Fresh Sound FSR-CD 945

Here is some of the most intelligently conceived and entrancing music Hodeir committed to disc, graced by an extensive and informative essay from Fresh Sound’s Jordi Pujol – who rightly observes that Hodeir (1921-2011) was “one of the world’s most literate composers and working critics in the world of jazz”. The French polymath’s Jazz: Its Evolution And Essence and Toward Jazz remain some of the most cogent and stimulating analyses of the music.

Hodeir studied with Messiaen and played violin with Django Reinhardt and Kenny Clarke. Such a distinctive background gave him a special aptitude for counterpoint and timbre and a particular sensitivity to the creative tension between compositional logic and improvisational élan (small wonder that Monk’s Criss Cross and Lewis’s Milano feature here). There is so much to enjoy in these cuts, from the brief, swinging serialism of the 1954 Paradoxe and the multitracked layering of Flautando (with Martial Solal, Pierre Michelot and Kenny Clarke accompanying flautist Guiot) to the mellow magic of, e.g., Bobby Jaspar, Hal McCusick, Frank Rehak and George Duvivier on the American Jazzmen Play sides.

While the tenor of Davis’s Birth Of The Cool is at times present (Cross Criss) the originality of Hodeir is everywhere evident. Sample the seven-movement Cantata and relish both the soaring verve of vocalist Christiane Legrand and the chromatic subtlety of the broadly spread yet incisive mix of punchy swing and atemporal abstraction. Hear Jazz Et Jazz to see how Hodeir could blend jazz timbres and the pitch-bending world of musique concrète. Or turn to the blues-shot The Alphabet and enjoy the walking bass groove and increasingly potent voicings which underpin and enfold Annie Ross’s sparely cast yet sensuous wordless vocal. All fabulous stuff – and just a small fraction of the delights on offer throughout this surpassing release.
Michael Tucker


(1) Tin Roof Blues; Autumn Leaves; My Funny Valentine; Sesame Street Theme; If I Were A Bell; The Secret Love Affair; It Don’t Mean A Thing; Introducing The Blues; (2) Blue Kalamazoo; (1) Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans (67.38)
(1) Delfeayo Marsalis (tb); Ellis Marsalis (p); Reginald Veal (b); Ralph Peterson (d). Kalamazoo, 17 January 2015. (2) add Madison George (d); Christian O’Neill Diaz (v). Same date.
Troubadour Jass Records 093017

A performance recorded in a university’s recital hall, this puts Delfeayo Marsalis alongside his father in a programme consisting mostly of standards, with The Secret Love Affair and the oddball Blue Kalamazoo the only Marsalis pieces. This gig came halfway through a week’s tour; many of the titles had appeared on a recent album featuring both Marsalises, and inset notes suggest the quartet did not do much in the way of rehearsal.

The album starts and finishes with tunes related to their home city, mostly treated with reverence. I was quite amused by the way Delfeayo rounds off Tin Roof Blues with snatches of bebop and Monk. Standards include a few with Miles Davis associations but there is not much in the way of cross-reference apart from If I Were A Bell, a feature for Ellis, who gives it the expected treatment but with less bounce and added delicacy.

Delfeayo shows off his impressive command of trombone styles: having started with bebop, he has developed a warm, gritty sound that adapts easily to the more traditional numbers. Mutes are to the fore on the bluesy Sesame Street Theme and also edge into Blue Kalamazoo, a largely impromptu affair with trombone and voice effortlessly weaving around each other.
Ronald Atkins

El Niño; Hipsippy Blues; Homage; Duke Ellington’s Sound Of Love; El Hombre; In Your Own Sweet Way; Nightwings; In A Sentimental Mood; On The Stairs (71.04)
Martino (g); Pat Bianchi (org); Carmen Intorre, Jr. (d); Adam Niewood (ts); Alex Norris (t). New Jersey, April 2017.
HighNote 7307

I’ve enjoyed this new album at least as much as Martino’s terrific live album Undeniable from 2011, when I was fortunate enough to be in the audience on one of the nights when the material for that album was recorded, at Blues Alley in Washington D.C. in 2009. This time it’s a studio album, so a different prospect in some ways, and a completely different line-up alongside Martino, but it’s similar in its hard-swinging nature, and in the excellent standard of playing all round.

The core trio, featuring the formidable Pat Bianchi on organ, is augmented by tenor and trumpet, so it’s a slightly larger band here, with more opportunity for arranged and harmonised melodies between the front-line players. With the greatest of respect to the other players, it feels as though Bianchi steals the show, with his extremely hard-swinging, fluent, urgent and vibrant solos, “tearing it up” as the album progresses.

Martino arranges the well-chosen opener El Niño (composed by Joey Calderazzo), and also El Hombre and the closer On The Stairs which he composed along with Nightwings. These originals along with Gerry Niewood’s Homage fit very nicely alongside the other material by Mobley, Mingus, Brubeck and Ellington, and it’s all performed with the same kind of seemingly effortless panache. It’s a very full-length CD at just over 71 minutes, but there are no complaints here after a number of domestic and studio listens. This one will be spinning around in the car for a while, on the way to and from gigs.
Dave Jones


Yellow House; Orangeville; Black Horse; Blue Goose; Plum Run; Green Briar; Golden Hill; Whitehall (46.42)
Ron Stabinsky (p); Moppa Elliott (b); Kevin Shea (d). New York, 13 March 2017.
Hot Cup 171

Who in their right minds sets out to successfully produce a note-for-note recreation of Kind Of Blue? MOPDtK did this on their 2014 Blue record, but it was less a tribute album than a work of conceptual art, performed with surgical precision. Then there’s This Is Our Moosic (2008) which took an almost heretical swipe at Ornette Coleman’s famous quartet. Piss-taking isn’t exactly new to jazz; Spike Jones and his City Slickers did it over 70 years ago as did Sex Mob and Billy Jenkins more recently. However, to do it properly you have to be immensely competent and then be able to create originality on top of the pastiche. MOPDtK do this with panache and apparent ease. Underlying this apparent frivolity is the serious intent to prick the pomposity of artistic adulation, but not the artists themselves. In that sense MOPDtK is an anti-art group in the Duchamp tradition.

Since its inception a little over a decade ago, MOPDtK has gone through several configurations, but always with its founder member, bassist and composer Moppa Elliott, who started the ball rolling with his 2005 album Mostly Other People Do The Killing.

On the opening salvo to the incendiary Black Horse, with its breakneck tempo, Ron Stabinsky’s piano playing is spectacular. The juxtaposition of Stabinsky’s Ellingtonian swing with Kevin Shea’s falling down the stairs drumming on Whitehall is just brilliant. If anyone is in doubt as to MOPDtK’s ability to clown and play with true virtuosity in equal measure they need look no further than the YouTube video of Shea’s performance on A Night In Tunisia/Philly Part 1. This is very serious humour indeed.
Roger Farbey


Jump For Joy; I Don’t Want Nothin’; Why And How; Alone Together; You Fascinate Me So; Hopeless; Sconsolato; My Ship; Just Give Me Time; I Get Along Without You Very Well (38.00)
Murphy (v); Jimmy Deuchar (t); Ake Persson (tb); Derek Humble (as); Ronnie Scott (ts); Sahib Shihab (bar, f); Francy Boland (p); Jimmy Woode (b); Kenny Clarke (d). Cologne, Germany, 18 December 1967.
MPS Records 0212419MSW

This reissue from 1968 sees Mark Murphy’s vocal shine in a number of different styles, attesting to his versatility, backed by a world-class set of musicians including Ronnie Scott on tenor sax. From track to track Murphy might play the scatting, swinging, postmodern jazz singer or the sincere, romantic crooner – but all is stamped with his signature cool nonchalance.

Jump For Joy is a particular treat: Murphy’s vocal fades in a capella before the rest of the band join in, and here he really lets fly, pulling and stretching the melody line like taffy to be draped across the percussion’s punctuation. He is by turns beatnik in his laidback approach, as in I Don’t Want Nothin’, then straight as an arrow, as in I Get Along, where the lyrics are sung simply and sweetly, backed by Francy Boland’s darkly ominous piano notes.

It’s an impressive 10 tracks that demonstrate Murphy’s unique sound, particularly in the world of male vocals: he manages to mix the New York swagger of Sinatra with the cool creativity of Sheila Jordan, and throws in a bit of Tony Bennett and Chet Baker for good measure. But of course, comparisons with other musicians can only go so far. Murphy had a jazz quality all his own, and it’s drawn out to great effect on this album.
Sally Evans-Darby


Class Reunion; A Child Is Born; Kachina; Runa Away; She’s Gone Again; Navarro Flats (41.02)
Shew (t, flh); Gordon Brisker (ts, f on 4); Bill Mays (p, elp on 3); Bob Magnusson (b); Steve Schaeffer (d). Hollywood, autumn 1979.
Fresh Sound FSR-CD 946

One of my favourite jazz gigs (ever) was a London appearance by Bobby Shew in the early 1980s, an elegant display of middle-register trumpet playing, thoughtful solo construction and nicely judged drama. The only thing marring it was a plummy know-all (or know-****-all) at an adjoining table who had an audible opinion on everything. At one point, after a particularly lovely ballad performance, Bobby and the pick-up group didn’t seem decided on what they were going to do next. Play chummy called out “Play A Child Is Born!” I got to my feet and wobbled over. “He just did, wee man” – these were the days when a Scots accent still had some deterrent effect – “now are you going to ******* shut up?”

The group plays the great Thad line here, uninterrupted and with consummate grace, demonstrating Shew’s ability to invest the top end of the flugelhorn with as much honeyed grace as the middle. It’s the only repertory piece in the set, everything else coming from Brisker (including the bustling title track) or Shew himself. It’s further evidence that the trumpeter, whose 75th passed all but unacknowledged in 2016, is among the most egregiously underrated players of recent times, not just a reliable section man. He handles boppish lines, balladry, the electric funk of Kachina with equal authority. The group’s great, too. Fresh Sound always offers an embarrassment of riches, but this one really shouldn’t be overlooked.
Brian Morton


Groovin’ High; Scrapple From The Apple; I Can’t Get Started; Night In Tunisia; Ornithology; Yardbird Suite; Embraceable You; Now’s The Time; Lover Man; Blue Monk; Billie’s Bounce; ’Round Midnight; Un Poco Loco (66.54)
Solal (p). Glendale, California, 18, 19, 21 June 1966.
Fresh Sound FSR-CD 943

In 1949 Ross Russell shut down Dial Records, famous for its Charlie Parker recordings, and took time off from the music business. He returned in 1966, determined to start up a new label. He booked some time in the Whiney Studio in Glendale, California and invited Martial Solal to play for three days, as the studio boasted a fine Steinway. Unfortunately, Russell’s plans came to nought, and the Solal recordings – enough for three solo albums – remained largely forgotten until eventually bought up by Fresh Sound and now released in what will become a two-volume set.

Usually best known for his own striking compositions, Solal sticks here to a bop and standards repertoire largely dominated by Parker, a choice no doubt heavily influenced by Russell. But in his hands this safe selection is transformed by his imaginative virtuosity, the sudden stops, accelerated passages, clustered chords and dramatic use of the extreme registers refashioning every piece. Night In Tunisia is turned upside down, I Can’t Get Started given a romantic twist, while Now’s The Time is almost vaudeville in its jauntiness. Every track springs surprises, and every track delights. I can’t wait for the second volume.
Simon Adams

CD1: I Could Write A Book; Make The Man Love Me; Blue Gardenia; You Don’t Know What Love Is; My Old Flame; Easy Living; I Get A Kick Out Of You; This Can’t Be Love; If I Had You; I Diddle (version 1); I Diddle (version 2); Wasn’t It; No! (You Can’t Have Him); Ask A Woman Who Knows; Relax, Max; Tears To Burn; The Kissing Way Home; I Know; I’ll Drown In My Tears; You Let My Love Grow Cold (78.05)
CD2: Somebody Loves Me; Perdido; Caravan; Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?; They Didn’t Believe Me; But Not For Me; You’re Crying; Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye; I’ll Close My Eyes; Makin’ Whoopee; Never Let Me Go; Bargain Day; Blues In The Night; Don’t Explain; In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning; Blue Gardenia; Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered; Am I Blue?; Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool; If I Should Lose You; Wake The Town And Tell The People; You Do Something To Me; So In Love; Secret Love; Mood Indigo; God Bless The Child (77.39)
CD3: I’m A Fool To Want You; A Stranger In Town; Sometime’s I’m Happy; Let’s Fall In Love; I Just Found Out About Love; When Your Lover Has Gone; Tears And Laughter; I Can’t Face The Music (Without Singing The Blues); Since I Fell For You; Dream; Such A Night; Salty Papa Blues; It Don’t Hurt Anymore; Trust In Me; Tell Me Why; It Isn’t Fair; Time Out For Tears; Mad About The Boy [1961 version]; Mixed Emotions; I Wanna Be Loved; Make Believe Dreams; If I Loved You; Stormy Weather; You’re Crying; Teach Me Tonight; *Invitation; *Mad About The Boy [1952 version] (78.00)

Washington (v) and Jones (cond) with Clark Terry, Joe Newman, Charlie Shavers (t); Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green, Quentin Jackson, Billy Byers (tb); Lucky Thompson, Paul Quinichette, Budd Johnson, Jerome Richardson (ts); Wynton Kelly (p); Barry Galbraith (g); Milt Hinton (b); Osie Johnson and Jimmy Cobb (d) among others. *bonus tracks. New York, 1955-61.
Essential Jazz Classics 55728

This attractively packaged compilation features all the sessions made between 1955 and 1961 by Dinah Washington with orchestras conducted by Quincy Jones. It includes the complete albums For Those In Love, I Wanna Be Loved and the superlative The Swingin’ Miss D, together with some lesser-known singles. From their first meeting, Dinah and a much younger Quincy formed a close professional and personal relationship – recounted with some relish by Jones in his autobiography, Q.

On the March 1955 sessions, an exciting This Can’t Be Love has an opening vocal by Dinah followed by cogent solos from Terry, Payne, Cleveland and Quinichette. Other highlights include I Could Write A Book, Blue Gardenia and Easy Living. The Swingin’ Miss D (1955) is arguably her best jazz album after Dinah Jams (1954). With a stellar trumpet section comprising Wilder, Royal, Shavers and Terry, trombonists Cleveland, Green and Jackson (with Tommy Mitchell on bass trombone), a reed section including Thompson, Richardson and Bank, and a rhythm section of Galbraith, Hinton and Crawford, things were bound to ignite. My favourite is Jerome Kern’s They Didn’t Believe Me which has Dinah competing with (and topping) an alternately restrained and blistering brass section. If the remaining tracks don’t quite equal Believe, Dinah’s perfect diction is heard to advantage on But Not For Me, Makin’ Whoopee and Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye – which bears favourable comparison with Ella’s justly celebrated version. Tizol’s Caravan has a full-throated Dinah, with appropriate plunger trombone from Jackson and fine drumming by Crawford; another Tizol composition, Perdido, is garnished with a laid-back Washington vocal and Terry’s bubbling flugelhorn.

I Wanna Be Loved (1962) features Dinah singing 12 torch songs, including Don’t Explain and You’re Crying, accompanied by Newman, Terry, Kai Winding and Al Cohn “plus” (better “minus”) some syrupy strings. Unfortunately, the arrangements (by Ernie Wilkins and Quincy) gave the jazz players little opportunity to stretch out, although Dinah managed to raise the temperature with uptempo versions of Sometimes I’m Happy and Let’s Fall In Love. The bonus tracks – Invitation and another version of Mad About The Boy – are welcome, if slight, additions to Dinah’s “pop” oeuvre. Not all the 73 titles in this anthology belong in the Great American Songbook, but as Quincy reflected after her death: “Every single melody she sang she made hers”.
John White


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