This final installment of a 1975 concert in Amsterdam finds tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan in fine form, joined by Cedar Walton, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins. The set includes an extended workout of Jones' "Seven Minds," Sonny Rollins' calypso favorite "St. Thomas" (which is marred somewhat by problems with the master tape), and two enjoyable works by Walton. Like the previous two volumes, this one is also recommended.
The third of four Sarah Vaughan Mercury box sets (this one has six CDs) traces her career during the last two and a half years of the 1950s. There are several very interesting sessions (expanded greatly by the inclusion of many previously unissued performances) on this box including 21 numbers from a gig at Mister Kelly's in Chicago with her trio (led by pianist Jimmy Jones), a meeting with the Count Basie Orchestra that resulted in the album No Count Sarah, and a live set with a septet (which includes cornetist Thad Jones and the tenor of Frank Wess) at the London House in Chicago. In addition, there are quite a few commercial sides with large orchestras (including some sessions arranged by Quincy Jones), so overall this box lets one hear the many sides of Sarah Vaughan; a special highlight is her first recorded version of "Misty." The reissue (and the other three volumes) is a must for Sarah Vaughan's greatest fans although more general listeners may want to acquire one of the less expensive single CDs instead.
The second of three volumes recorded in 1975 featuring tenorist Clifford Jordan with Cedar Walton, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins finds the quartet in top form. Walton's "Midnight Waltz" is the first of three extended performances, the upbeat midtempo waltz featuring a rollicking solo by its composer, while Jordan's suave playing is buoyed by Higgins' driving rhythm. Walton's "Bleecker Street Theme" sounds more like a set closer due to its barely one-minute length; then the focus turns to standards, including a spacious treatment of "I Should Care" that has Jordan taking quite a few liberties with the melody from the very beginning, followed by a glistening interpretation of "Stella by Starlight." The CD reissue adds Higgins' tribute "Alias Buster Williams," which opens with a drum solo and then transforms into an uptempo post-bop setting with a Latin undercurrent as the band is added.
The first of three CDs featuring tenorman Clifford Jordan and his "Magic Triangle" (pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Billy Higgins) has fairly lengthy versions of "Pinocchio," "That Old Devil Moon," Walton's "The Maestro," and Jordan's "The Highest Mountain." Recorded live in Amsterdam, the musicians sound inspired by each other's presence, and there are many strong solos from Jordan and Walton. Well worth investigating.