Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
The double meaning of the word "sound" in this title references both the phenomenon of sound and, particularly, Booker Ervin's durability. When Ervin convened this quintet in December 1966, he'd had a string of critically ... more »
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The double meaning of the word "sound" in this title references both the phenomenon of sound and, particularly, Booker Ervin's durability. When Ervin convened this quintet in December 1966, he'd had a string of critically acclaimed (and extraordinarily creative) albums on Prestige (case in point: The Space Book). But real success, even by jazz standards, didn't propel Ervin to the heights where he belonged. His tenor saxophone, deeply entwined with the Texas tradition, had breadth that hit with the force of Coltrane and a tonal control that allowed him to aerate his playing beautifully. Here he does just this on both quick-paced tunes, such as trumpeter Charles Tolliver's "Franess," and on the band's evocative take on Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments." A young John Hicks lays down the piano in colorfully bright hues, and Tolliver and Ervin are off. They play riveting hard bop that should be part of any jazz collection. After all, Ervin was one of Mingus's faves, and we know what discerning tastes Charles had. --Andrew Bartlett
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Another "Sound" Album From Booker Ervin
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 03/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After a string of great albums for the Prestige label in the first half of the 1960s, Booker Ervin spent the second half of the decade recording for Pacific, and later Blue Note. Of course, these two labels have been joined under the umbrella of Capitol since the advent of the compact disc, and thus "Structurally Sound" makes its CD debut as part of Blue Note's limited edition Connoisseur series. "Structurally Sound" finds Ervin playing with a new group of musicians -- Charles Tolliver on trumpet, John Hicks on piano, Red Mitchell on bass, and Lenny McBrowne on drums -- after cutting the majority of his previous Prestige dates with the classic rhythm trio of Jaki Byard, Richard Davis and Alan Dawson. The material on this disc is all over the map, from original compositions by Ervin, Tolliver, Randy Weston and Oliver Nelson to familiar standards like "Take The A Train" and "White Christmas." The album was recorded over three days in December 1966, and this CD issue features four previously unissued bonus tracks (two masters and two alternate takes). My reason for withholding a fifth star is that "Structurally Sound" is a notch below his best Prestige titles, like "The Blues Book" or "The Space Book," and this disc covers such a wide variety of material that it sometimes loses its coherence. However, Booker Ervin was an overlooked giant of the tenor saxophone, and hopefully this title will help to shed even more light on this remarkable jazz musician."
Want to hear the most underrated tenor in jazz?
jazz lover since 1960 | Tampa, Fl. and Franklin, NC | 12/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Booker plays on all his recordings with a searing intensity and power seldom heard in jazz. That includes this recording. He is most famous for his stint with Charles Mingus. He was the perfect Mingus sideman, giving Mingus the uncompromising creativity that Mingus demanded. He died at age 39, so any recording by him is to be valued. Here, he recorded with equally marvelous musicians, including trumpeter Charles Tolliver, pianist John Hicks, with Lenny McBrowne and Red Mitchell on drums and bass respectivly. What an all-star group! Tolliver is as deserving of wider recognition as Ervin. If anyone has not heard of the late John Hicks by now, do yourself a favor, and get any of his many trio recordings. On this album, hear him build his solos to exciting climaxes. Also, I was blown away by Lenny McBrowne's drumming.
The length of the numbers is relativly short on this album, but the musicians make good use of their time, swinging powerfully."