Wynton’s predecessor with the Miles Davis Quintet was first with an extended jazz recording of Someday but not to be outdone, the pianist here goes to town on it with help from Chambers and Cobb.
Kelly was fully engaged with the Miles quintet at this time although a couple of years later he would go out on his own taking the bassist and drummer with him. This session was recorded by Vee Jay Records of Chicago who put out some tasty sessions around this time.
This was one of the first LPs to feature Kelly with both Cobb and Philly Joe together on LP and the three tracks featuring Jones are outstandingly good. Whether he was playing impeccable time with sticks or smooth brushes, providing crackling fills or exchanging four-bar breaks with Kelly, Jones was excellent. His quiet but dead-on-the-beat brush work on Weird Lullaby is superb and just listen to his support behind Kelly and backing up Chambers’ bowed solo during On Stage. This is not to take much away from Chambers and Cobb or Sam Jones and Cobb, as all provide sterling rhythm work.
Kelly at the piano was a master of blues and hard bop and every solo on this LP is a gem. A near-perfect soloist, always inventive, he was also renowned as one of the very best accompanists in jazz.
The ultra-light touch, easy swing and constant invention at all tempi are all in evidence on all these 10 tracks. Gone With The Wind and Char’s Blues are worthy of special mention but really, the entire session is a winner. This is certainly one of the very best piano trio recitals, made at a time when, unlike now, there was an abundance of top bop pianists.
This 180-gram vinyl pressing is, the label informs me, a collector’s edition and strictly limited to 500 copies. Well worth seeking out if you are into top-class hard bop piano.
Someday My Prince Will Come; Gone With the Wind; Autumn Leaves; Come Rain Or Come Shine; Weird Lullaby; Sassy; Temperance; On Stage; Char’s Blues; Love, I’ve Found You (52.09)
Kelly (p); Paul Chambers, Sam Jones (b); Jimmy Cobb, Philly Joe Jones (d). NYC, 27 April 1960 & 20 & 21 July 1961.
Waxtime 500 408735