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Reviewers: Don Mather, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

IMPULSE 560401-2  2CD Set
 Amazon UK 

Disc: 1
1. La Nevada - Evans, Gil Orchestra
2. Phat - Linder, Jason Big Band
3. BS - Mingus, Charles
4. Impressions - Perez, Danilo
5. Da Drums - Jarrett, Keith
6. Conquistadores - Hamilton, Chico
7. Mizrab - Szabo, Gabor
8. Caravan - Hubbard, Freddie
9. It's Time - Roach, Max
10. Hubbard, Freddie

Disc: 2

1. India - Brown, Marion JR.
2. Lord, Help Me To Be - Coltrane, Alice
3. Contemporary Focus - Tyner, McCoy
4. High hopes - Avery, Teodross Quartet
5. El nino - Brecker, Michael
6. Summertime - Hubbard, Freddie
7. Pars Fortuna (Part of Fortune) - Plummer, Bill
8. Rufus (Swung His Face at Last to the Wind, Then His Neck Snapped) - Shepp, Archie
9. Profit - Roach, Max
10. Serendipity - Tardy, Gregory

Creed Taylor was the founder of the Impulse Label, it was he who convinced ABC-Paramount to launch a label directed to 'the new wave of jazz'. In 1964 John Coltrane joined the label and his first album,'A Love Supreme', became a landmark in the field of contemporary music.

The musicians on this set of 2 CD's are the people who took jazz outside it's original form of improvising on fixed chord sequences, and into newer freer structures and sometimes into no structure at all!

Jazz is a broad church and musical quality is in the ear of the listener as well the mind of the musician, there have been many fierce debates in the musical press about many of the artists featured here. As I am most comfortable in the field of Mainstream to Be-Bop, the reviewing of this album was not something I looked forward to with wild anticipation. In the event however, I am very grateful for the opportunity and I strongly recommend this album to any others like myself who have always hidden away from more 'free form' music. Much of it is very rewarding and there are at least five albums that I now intend to buy after listening to tracks from them.

Disc one kicks off with the Gil Evans Orchestra and it seems hard to believe that this music is 40 years old, it was recorded in 1960. It sounds fresh and new and it is easy to see why Evans often called the Svengali of the larger ensemble, was always in such demand as an arranger and composer. It was he who provided the score for the Miles Davies 'Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain' albums. His skills as arranger, composer and pianist all show up well on this track

The Jason Lindner Band is new to me, but I enjoyed their playing of an original by the leader called 'Phat'. The saxes have a particularly good sound, as does the general ensemble

Charles Mingus was one of the great innovators of jazz; constantly searching out something new and usually in collaboration with some of the finest musicians around, IIBS is a good example of his work

Denilo Perez was new to me but 'Impressions' is a good contribution to the album with the leaders piano well to the fore.

De Drums is a feature for the band of pianist Keith Jarrett in the company of tenor player Dewey Redman. Five minutes of improvisation over a repeated phrase is too much for me and this track could have been improved by bringing the end nearer to the beginning!

In my view the Chico Hamilton track 'Conquistadores' is also disappointing, Chico is one of the finest drummers around, but this is not one of his best. Mizgrab is another guitar feature and whilst the playing on this one is very good why the editor put three such similar tracks together, I can't understand, particularly bearing in mind the wealth of material available.

'Caravan' features trumpet player Freddie Hubbard, one of the finest trumpet players to grace the jazz scene. Like many of my favourite musicians he spent some time with Art Blakey in the Jazz Messengers. His performance here is excellent.

Max Roach with a choir! If you just ignore the choir and enjoy the band 'It's Time' is great!

Oliver Nelson was a first class arranger, composer and saxophone player. This track called Cascades is one of his original compositions, Freddie Hubbard is featured again and the music is all the better for that. I have decided that 'The Blues and the Abstract Truth', that this album comes from, is a must for me in the future.


I particularly liked the McCoy Tyner track, 'Contemporary Focus, Thad Jones Trumpet playing is always inventive and interesting and the leader's quirky piano playing has always held my attention. Listen to how the rhythm section 'cooks' on this one!

Teodross Avery was not known to me before I heard this album, his Tenor playing and the Trumpet of Roy Hargrove are of the very best, I intend to seek out the album 'In Other Words', this track comes from that album.

Michael Brecker, is a contemporary artist I have always liked, he is instantly identified in any company and a master of saxophone improvisation. El Nino is a very good example of his work.

Freddie Hubbard crops up again as a leader on 'Summertime', I particularly liked the trombone playing of Curtis Fuller and the delightful piano work of Tommy Flanagan, who always sounds at home in any company.

'Rufus' from Archie Shepp has some fine vibraphone from Bobbie Hutcherson, but I'm sure Adolfe Sax never intended his invention to make the strange sounds the leader gets from it!

Gregory Tardy is another name I was unfamiliar with, but again I shall be searching for the album of Serendipity. Gregory Tardy is a Tenor player to be reckoned with.

This album is well worth listening to, you may not like all of it, but I am sure you, like me, will find much you would like to hear more of.

 Don Mather

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader based in Coventry

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