George Coleman: Have You Met Miss Jones


Have You Met Miss Jones


George Coleman (tenor sax)


I Could Write a Book: The Music of Richard Rodgers (Telarc 83439)

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George Coleman (tenor sax), Harold Mabern (piano), Jamil Sulieman Nasser (bass), Billy Higgins (drums).

Composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart


Recorded: New York City, Jan. 8-9, 1998


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Coleman has long had a liking and affinity for Richard Rodgers' compositions, going back to the saxophonist's enduring contribution to "My Funny Valentine" in 1964 while he was a member of the Miles Davis Quintet. Essentially a diligent "changes" player with a sophisticated harmonic sense, Coleman's muscular, expansive approach has always been best suited to standards, be it an up-tempo flag waver or a pensive ballad. Coleman's tribute CD to Rodgers grew out of his acclaimed participation in a 1997 Carnegie Hall Jazz Band concert that focused on the music of the team of Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Harold Mabern's gorgeously lyrical prelude, with its hints of "You Better Go Now" and the verse to "I Cover the Waterfront," precedes Coleman's sensitive yet meaty delivery of the theme of "Have You Met Miss Jones." During Coleman's solo, one notices his self-possessed ability to finish off his phrases and maintain a persistent and engaging continuity amidst surging, sometimes densely packed extended lines. Mabern's lavish connecting passages link the end of Coleman's improv to the tenor's graceful reprise and coda. The pianist's efforts, as well as the understated, attuned support of Jamil Nasser and Billy Higgins, help to elevate this interpretation to the level of a classic.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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