Sunday, October 11, 2009

Clifford Brown - "Sonny Rollins / Max Roach Quintet - "Complete Studio Recordings- The Master Takes" CD

This all-time great set of progressive jazz dates back to 1956, and collects all the tracks of this superlative quintet, as originally released on the "Clifford Brown And Max Roach At Basin Street" and "Sonny Rollins Plus Four" LPs. It all opens with the hopeful tones of "Gertrude's Bounce" -- an apt title as it does seem to have a "spring in it's step". Later tracks, like the more complex and contemplative "I'll Remember April", swings high at points, then wind down to a reflective post-bop tempo. "Time" is a late-night in a smoky club, nursing a hangover and wondering just what happened. "The Scene Is Clean" is a bold statement, and a sober track that stays close to home, never going out late or challenging too much. "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" is certainly another highlight -- showing the particular intensity and cohesiveness of this group, all the while maintaining their sense of improvisation and melody. Masterful. "Vaise Hot" is a cool slice of swinging waltz subtlety from Rollins. No doubt about it, this one's a classic recording by some of the genre's heavyweights, and a once-in-a-lifetime recording.

(Essential Jazz Classics)

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