Oscar Pettiford: Nica's Tempo
Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Deep Passion (GRP-Impulse GRD 143)
Ernie Royal (trumpet), Jimmy Cleveland (trombone), Julius Watkins, David Amram (French horns), Lucky Thompson, Jerome Richardson (tenor saxes), Danny Bank (baritone sax), Osie Johnson(drums).
Recorded: New York, June 11, 1956
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Though Oscar Pettiford is well remembered as one of the fathers of modern jazz bass playing, his unique, short-lived big band and the two fine LPs they made for ABC Paramount are virtually unknown to the jazz public today. This reissue combines both albums on one CD. The distinctive instrumentation provides a dose of welcome relief from the usual "wall of sound" approach of most big bands, without sacrificing power or rhythmic intensity. The charts – by Gigi Gryce, Lucky Thompson, and Benny Golson – are quintessential examples of a post-Tadd Dameron style of writing that lives on today in the work of Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, and Slide Hampton. On this track Flanagan, Farmer and Gryce contribute sparkling solos on one of Gryce's finest compositions.
Reviewer: Kenny Berger