Gigi Gryce: Minority
Gigi Gryce (alto sax)
Gigi Gryce and the Jazz Lab Quintet (Original Jazz Classics OJCCD-1774-2)
Composed by Gigi Gryce.
Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, February 27, 1957.
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
A considerable talent as a composer and altoist, Gigi Gryce produced a largely unnoticed discography that, although all recorded in a relatively short period throughout the 1950s, highlights some legit hard-bop gems. After touring with Lionel Hampton and freelancing with Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk, and Max Roach in the early to mid ‘50s, Gryce landed two long-standing, largely concurrent gigs from 1955-1958 as a member of Oscar Pettiford’s working band and as a leader of the Jazz Lab Quintet, which (usually) featured trumpeter Donald Byrd and drummer Art Taylor. Until a recent three-disc release of The Complete Jazz Lab sessions, this recording was the go-to Jazz Lab set, featuring sharp alto work from Gryce. Of special note on this version of the Gryce-penned standard, “Minority,” is Byrd’s compact, efficient, melodic solo (he would soon begin stretching out far more than he is here) and Art Taylor’s interesting propulsion on beat four throughout some of the soloing
Reviewer: Eric Novod