Jimmy Raney: Move It
Two Jims and Zoot (Mainstream LP 56013)
Recorded: New York, March 11-12, 1964
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
After the first of two stints with Stan Getz in 1951-52, clean, crisp swing/bop guitarist Jimmy Raney recorded his first handful of albums as a leader in the mid 1950s – including Five (1954) and Indian Summer (1956). By the mid 1960s, Raney’s bout with alcoholism forced him into a decade-long hiatus during which time he relocated back to his childhood home of Louisville, Kentucky. A real shame this was, since this piano-less quintet date featuring Jim Hall, recorded shortly before that hiatus, far exceeds the quality of his earlier leader dates and reveals a career highlight.
A gentle Steve Swallow and a stationary Osie Johnson leave Raney and Hall in the spotlight throughout “Move It,” an up-tempo swinger near the end of the record. Hall is surprisingly active – one might even say aggressive – during sections of Raney’s improvisation here. But because there’s a stable rhythm section and no piano, it’s the open interaction between the complete-line comping from Hall and the western-swing infused bop runs from Raney that makes this track more than a worthwhile listen.
Reviewer: Eric Novod