Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Give him a pass!
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 01/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first time I've reviewed a recording without listening to it (which I plan to do momentarily). I'm just elated to have scored this rare, never-reissued date under the name of my favorite trumpet player. This is the last recording Bill Hardman ever made--recorded in 1989, a year before his death--and it's my 4th album under Bill's name--which is virtually his entire discography. Bill was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 3 different decades (unfortunately, not during the Blue Note sessions, when Blakey's trumpet players were Dorham, Byrd, Morgan or Hubbard). A diminutive, soft-spoken person, he was one of the most "combative" musicians I've known, always itching for a showdown, a shoot-out, a cutting-contest against any "name" trumpet star who was reckless enough to take him on. (Most didn't know his playing well enough to know better.) Freddie Hubbard and Ted Curson are just two trumpet players who I saw Bill put away. No one could play the horn at faster speeds, with utterly crisp articulations and incorporating all of the harmonic changes (Blakey would occasionally let him take several choruses unaccompanied!), and beginning in the '60s he began to add some of Brownie's romantic flair and "openness" to his otherwise smallish, hard-edged sound. He proved to be the perfect exponent of the challenging, cutting-edge and completely original compositions that pianist Walter Davis Jr. supplied for Art's group during the 1970s (a period so poorly documented that I've had to send cash to England, Holland, Spain and Italy to purchase recordings made by the Jazz Messengers for European labels). After Bill last tour of duty with the Messengers, the Russian trumpeter Valery Ponomarev and then Wynton Marsalis and later Terrence Blanchard took over trumpet duties with Art, but the group was never nearly as exciting (partly because the Davis Jr. compositions were replaced by more ordinary fare)."
High Quality Bebop!
S. Pettis | Seattle, WA | 11/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this CD. If you want to get exposure to Bill Hardman these days this is pretty much it. he is not well known but played with a lot of the greats starting the 50's. There may stiil be a video on YouTube showing a Hardman solo while with Horace Silver that will make a believer out of you. This recording was released the year before he died. My understanding he was was a fiery player earlier in his career, but by this time he was a more balanced player and cranked out the ballads like Clifford Brown. The version of I Should Care is very expressive with great solos by Hardman and Junior Cook. "Straight Ahead" is exactly what it says, all out uptempo bop done by first tier players including a great solo by Robin Eubanks on trombone. On "Yo What's Up" it is clear these guys were all up on this session. I think Robin Eubanks was really inspired by his bandmates on this whole album. The whole record is great and there is strong playing throughout. Mickey Tucker leaves nothing wanting on piano. Paul Brown and Leroy Williams make a great rhythm section. I cannot say enough about Junior Cook also, another great player who was not as heralded as he should have been. His solos on 'I Should Care" and"Room Blues" have a plaintive, bluesy coolness about them that to me is classic Junior."