Philly Joe Jones Sextet & Quintet: Live At Birdland

Previously unreleased recordings are excused their audio imperfections for the skill and rarity of the performers, among them Dizzy Reece

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It is worth pointing out what the sleeve note says about these previously unreleased recordings: “The radio recordings presented on this CD showcase certain inherent distortions and flaws from the original broadcasts which despite meticulous restoration efforts could not be completely eliminated. Given the undeniable historical significance of this CD release we trust that listeners will comprehend and value our intentions in making them accessible. The depth of the music and the fervent energy of its performance undeniably highlight the unwavering unity that Philly Joe sought to cultivate within his ensembles.”

While caveat emptor seems appropriate here, releases featuring Dizzy Reece, Bill Hardman, Sonny Red, John Gilmore and Roland Alexander don’t come along every day.

Reece has a particularly memorable outing on Joe’s Delight, while Hardman gets close to his original inspiration Clifford Brown on The Scene Is Clean. John Gilmore, taking time out from Sun Ra’s Orchestra, weighs in with some Rollins-like tenor on Take Twelve. Sonny Red (aka Sylvester Kyner) later became involved with New York’s Jazzmobile programme. He was a bebop heavyweight as he demonstrates on Joe’s Delight. Despite the poor sound quality Philly Joe’s master class in small-group drumming comes through loud and clear.

Hats off to Jordi Pujol for his informative notes in the 13-page booklet.


Discography
(1) Joe’s Delight; I Remember Clifford; Take Twelve; (2) Shaw ’Nuff; The Scene Is Clear; Stablemates; (3) Muse Rapture; Shaw ’Nuff; Well You Needn’t (79.44)
Jones (d) with:
(1) Dizzy Reece (t); Sonny Red (as); John Gilmore (ts); Elmo Hope (p); Larry Ridley (b). Birdland, NYC, 5 January 1962.
(2) Bill Hardman (t); Roland Alexander (ts); Elmo Hope (p); Larry Ridley (b). Birdland, NYC, 24 February 1962.
(3) as (2) Birdland, NYC, 3 March 1962.
Fresh Sound Records FSR-CD 1139