Giants of Jazz: Lover Man
Giants of Jazz
Giants of Jazz In Berlin 1971 (Emarcy 834 567-2)
Al McKibbon (bass).
Composed by J. Davis, R. Ramirez, J. Sherman.
Recorded: Berlin, West Germany, November 5, 1971
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
I chose this cut to review from this all-star gathering because it features Kai Winding's trombone exclusively. It isn't very often one gets to write about a trombone fronting a performance. This is especially true when the band is made up of the jazz legends this touring band was.
In the liner notes, producer George Wein talks openly of the difficulties of getting this band of giants together and its uneven performances over the course of two years. In my opinion, this band does suffer from what I call "too many all-star cooks." Wein alludes to this in his comments about Thelonious Mink not taking any solos. When you have so many great players around, you tend to pass the ball rather than take the shot. All that said, even these guys' passes are beautiful to behold.
Trombonist Winding plays the ballad "Lover Man" with the skill and taste of someone who intimately knows music and the emotions connected with it. Sparse accompaniment is offered, but Winding doesn't need any more help to get his point across. The trombone in the hands of such past and present players as Winding, J.J. Johnson and Hal Crook can be as expressive an instrument as any other. To hear it beautifully played is just further proof positive.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky