Benny Golson: My Romance

The ever-underrated tenor saxophonist Benny Golson has written some of modern jazz's best known standards ("I Remember Clifford," Whisper Not," "Stablemates"), and also performed with the likes of Tadd Dameron, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, and Art Farmer. A member of the Jazz Messengers in 1958 during the recording of the classic Moanin', Golson recommended both Lee Morgan and Bobby Timmons for the group, assisting in assembling one of Art Blakey's more essential hard-bop lineups. This track, recorded a few years after Golson's Messenger service, features his extended ballad improvisation enhanced by Flanagan's and Carter's exemplary support.

March 06, 2008 · 0 comments

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Keith Jarrett: My Funny Valentine

Keith Jarrett's membership on the Jazz Messengers alumni roll may surprise some, yet in January 1966, Art Blakey assembled what must be considered one of his most unusual groups, featuring himself, Jarrett, trumpeter Chuck Mangione, tenor saxophonist Frank Mitchell and bassist Reggie Workman. The results can be heard on the CD Buttercorn Lady. Following his short stint with Blakey, Jarrett moved on to become a regular member of Charles Lloyd's group, and shortly thereafter began his career as a bandleader. His legendary trio performances with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette (the latter of whom also performed in Lloyd's group) is presented here in all of its interactive glory while weaving in and out of the standard of all standards, "My Funny Valentine."

March 06, 2008 · 0 comments

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Gonzalo Rubalcaba: My Funny Valentine

This is a meditative reading by a 23-year-old pianist whose international career hadn't yet started. Rubalcaba is not totally fluent with the melody and seems not to take account of the meaning of the words. But he has such poetic sensitivity, and his triple background on the piano (classical, Cuban and jazz) gives him such a beautiful touch and phrasing, that one hears these qualities more than a few flaws. Rubalcaba has since become the grand pianist we know today, but it's moving to hear him in his budding period and to discover how much of his future self was already there.

February 12, 2008 · 0 comments

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