Oscar Pettiford: Not So Sleepy


Not So Sleepy


Oscar Pettiford Orchestra


Deep Passion (Impulse GRD-143)

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Oscar Pettiford (bass), Art Farmer (trumpet), Ernie Royal (trumpet), Jimmy Cleveland (trombone), David Amram (French horn), Julius Watkins (French horn), Gigi Gryce (alto sax), Jerome Richardson (tenor sax, flute), Lucky Thompson (tenor sax), Danny Bank (baritone sax), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Osie Johnson (drums),

Janet Putnam (harp)


Arranged by Gigi Gryce. Composed by Mat Mathews


Recorded: New York City, June 12, 1956


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Seldom in jazz has such an unusual and rich combination of sonorities been assembled into one performance. Bassist Oscar Pettiford’s short-lived 13-piece orchestra of the mid-1950s boasted not only an all-star lineup but also a unique instrumentation. In this track, arranger Gigi Gryce has fashioned a work of incredible beauty from Mat Mathews’s haunting melody, ingeniously utilizing Pettiford’s overdubbed cello, French horns and harp. Besides the leader’s solo effort, Lucky Thompson contributes 24 bars of sheer elegance. The sound on this CD reissue is good but ABC-Paramount was never the equal of contemporaneous labels like Blue Note, Prestige or Contemporary regarding audio quality. Nonetheless, this is desert island stuff!

Reviewer: Noal Cohen

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