The reissue of keyboardist Claude Bolling's recordings of the 1960s may prompt a positive reevaluation of his contributions. Bolling has been known, at least outside France, mostly for the flute-and-piano works he composed for Jean-Pierre Rampal; his recordings with Rampal hit a certain popular groove and stuck with the formula. They were undeniably appealing in a simple way, but they became fatally overexposed. Bolling's earlier recordings reveal more imagination in his treatment of the relationship between jazz and classical music. Take for example this 1965 album, recorded in Paris. It's one of the few successful jazz treatments of Mozart, who is notoriously resistant to jazz treatment. The difficulty comes as a result of Mozart's reliance on harmonic rhythm, or the speed of the rate of change of the harmonies in the music. This feature seems impossible to capture in jazz, which heavily relies on regular chord changes, but Bolling's solutions here, making use of a classic jazz sextet, are brilliantly imaginative.
Orrin Keepnews' commentary (from his new liner notes): “Just a few weeks after Yusef [Lateef] was added, a booking at the Village Vanguard was used to bring about the recording that is reissued here. Considering how long the four original band members had been working together, it is quite amazing how quickly and how well the two newcomers fit in. The only real difference to be noted between this and previous Adderley band albums might be the absence of any newly written material by either of the Adderley brothers. But two of the half-dozen selections are by Lateef and one by Zawinul. The final number, one of Sam Jones’s rare writer credits, was for quite awhile the band’s standard way of closing each set in a club, but the decision here was to give it a rare full-length performance.”
Remastered in 24-bit from the original master tapes. Part of our Keepnews Collection, which spotlights classic albums originally produced by the legendary and arguably the most respected of all jazz producers, Orrin Keepnews. George Russell is listed in the Encyclopedia of Jazz as "composer, piano, educator" and all of these are accurate descriptions of this dynamic musical revolutionary.
Tracks from three recently discovered 1960’s concerts, by the celebrated arranger, pianist & experimental theorist, George Russell, released here for the very first time - and from the same period as his famous “Ezz-Thetics” album (1961) with Eric Dolphy. Included are new versions of the Russell classics: “Stratusphunk” and “The Outer View”.
Trumpeter Lee Morgan's second recording as a leader is as notable for the writing of Benny Golson (who composed and arranged four of the six selections) as for the solos of the leader. The set is highlighted by the debut version of "Whisper Not." Actually Morgan, tenor-saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Horace Silver, bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Charlie Persip and the obscure altoist Kenny Rodgers all play quite well. Morgan was just 18 and starting to come out of the shadow of his early influence Clifford Brown. An above-average hard bop set. The Rudy Van Gelder remastering on the CD reissue makes it especially sweet.
This is a true classic. Composer/pianist George Russell gathered together a very versatile group of talents (trumpeter Don Ellis, trombonist Dave Baker, Eric Dolphy on alto and bass clarinet, bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Joe Hunt) to explore three of his originals, "'Round Midnight" (which is given an extraordinary treatment by Dolphy), Miles Davis' "Nardis," and David Baker's "Honesty." The music is post-bop and although using ideas from avant-garde jazz, it does not fall into any simple category. The improvising is at a very high level and the frameworks (which include free and stop-time sections) really inspire the players. Highly recommended.