Recent listening, current

Sunday, February 24, 2013

43. Thad Jones / The Fabulous Thad Jones (1958)

This LP is collated from two sessions recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in 1954 and 1955. Group 1 is Jones, Charles Mingus, John Dennis and Max Roach. Although Jones leads the session, it feels strongly like Mingus is at the helm. The group is rhythmcally direct, playing a mixture of standards and Thad Jones originals. The spotlight is on Jones for every track, although "I Can't Get Started" stretches out with some interesting interplay between Jones and Mingus, and has tempo changes that lean the way Miles Davis did with his "Basin Street Blues." Jones plays evocatively with and without a mute, and shows off a only a little bit. Group 2 is Jones, Mingus, Hank Jones, Kenny Clarke, and the tenor sax and flute of Frank Wess (a la Hank Jones with Frank Wess). It's a somewhat softer, lush and casual small-group swing that excels in the ballads. This band sounds gelled and confident due to the players' associations in the Basie band. Together, the two bands make a good album that doesn't sound disjointed or uneven, although their differences are plain.

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