Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Jimmy Rowles spent much of a busy career as a sideman in great demand. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to work with Jimmy. But he also recorded as a leader quite frequently. Trouble was that many of his sessions were on obscure, hard to find labels. Likely released in 2009 or 2010 on the Jazz Ball label, I stumbled upon it recently. It features Jimmy in two settings plus a couple of bonus tracks. Some of the material has never been issued on compact disc, making this a real treat. Jimmy was, of course, a master of subtlety and the best ever at making dissonant chords sound absolutely great and oh-so-right. With Rufus Reid, bass, and Mickey Roker, drums, he plays four tunes from Miles' "Birth Of The Cool": Namely, "Jeru", "Venus De Milo", "Godchild", and "Darn That Dream". On the other session he's joined by George Mraz and Leroy Williams on "Here's That Rainy Day", "I Can't Get Started", "In The Still Of The Night", and the surprise of the set, "Stars And Stripes Forever", of all things. These and more find Jimmy in primo piano posture. It'll be a tough one to find. But Jimmy Rowles always made it worth the search.
Jazz Ball; probably 2009 or 2010; 66:25.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
I wouldn't bet the condo on it, but I have a feeling that Jerry Weldon had a semi-soul/R&B notion in mind in the planning of this CD. You want my evidence? Well, first there's the inclusion of a Hammond B3 organ on this session. And secondly, Weldon has decided on some pop material of the last few decades; they are songs which practically call for a B3 approach, like "Strangers In The Night", "Walk On By", "The Sermon" (a Jimmy Smith tune), and "Those Were The Days". Rounding out the menu are a couple of distinctively non-soulful things including the ancient "Rosetta" and my personal fave, "This Is Always". My first awareness of Jerry Weldon was through his association with The New York Bop Quintet, a steaming, bristling emsemble where Weldon was featured in a setting quite different from this one. It should be said, however, that he's one of those guys deserving of more recognition. Perhaps this CD will bring it his way.
Cellar Live; 2018; appx. 56 min.