Tune in to the Jazz Show with Gavin Walker every Monday night,
November 6, 2017:
We begin November with a rather strange premise for the 4 Monday editions of The Jazz Show. Each of the albums on The Jazz Feature when first issued met with poor reviews from the Jazz critics and were each given a two or two and a half star rating out of five. They were basically dismissed as inconsequential. There were more, of course than these four but these four November Jazz Features have proven the critics wrong and are now considered classics and some of the most important albums in Modern Jazz history.
The first off the mark is by alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley and his Quintet with brother Nat on cornet, Bobby Timmons on piano, Sam Jones on bass and Louis Hayes on drums. It was a live date recorded at the legendary San Francisco club “The Jazz Workshop”. It was the first album by his newly formed quintet and it launched Cannonball’s career in October of 1959. The album remains one of Mr. Adderley’s best loved dates and it kicks off this month in style.
November 13, 2017:
Drummer Art Blakey made many albums with many editions of The Jazz Messengers. This edition was said to be his favourite and it featured a young Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Lee Morgan on trumpet, Bobby Timmons on piano who rejoined Blakey after leaving Cannonball Adderley’s band and Jymie Merritt on bass. This album is iconic Blakey and it’s called “The Big Beat”. Three great compositions by Wayne Shorter, one by Bobby Timmons and one by Blakey alumnus Bill Hardman. One great date!
November 20, 2017:
Tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks got the short end of the stick from critics and Blue Note Records. He recorded four beautiful albums for them and they only issued this one and sadly the critics missed the boat and low rated this date. Brooks was one of the most creative and soulful of tenor saxophonists and this album is a prize. Brooks also wrote 5 of the 6 tunes here. The band has a young Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, legendary pianist Duke Jordan, Sam Jones on bass, Arthur Taylor on drums and of course the magnificent Harold Floyd “Tina” Brooks. “True Blue” is a classic.
November 27, 2017:
We end this series with one of alto saxophone master Jackie McLean’s best dates called “Capuchin Swing”. McLean’s “no sugar added” alto is on fire here and Jackie appears with trumpeter Richard “Blue” Mitchell, hard driving pianist Walter Bishop Jr., bassist Paul Chambers and Arthur Taylor on drums. Of the many recordings by Mr. McLean, this one remains close to the top of my list as a favourite.