Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A little California earth shaking.
George H. Soule | Edwardsville, Illinois United States | 02/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The title track of this recording was written by Harold Land, and with Jack Sheldon he could be considered the featured artist in the Curtis Counce group. The quintet is one of the nearly forgotten West Coast groups of the late `50's--excellent musicians that were eclipsed by a coastal prejudice that excluded most jazz west of New Jersey. Land is an inventor of the first order. He marries Charlie Parker's improvisational verve and Lester Young's lyricism in a voice that is original as his recordings here and with the Clifford Brown-Max Roach quintet show. Why he never attained the prominence of Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane is still one of the mysteries of jazz. As "Landslide" demonstrates, Land's voice is lyrical and coherent--his solos develop rationally and resolve themselves musically. Which is not to say that Land lacks fire or intensity as evidenced by "Landslide" and his performance in Carl Perkins' "Mia" and his cooking solos in "A Fifth for Frank." But perhaps the mastery of this disc is in the treatments of ballads--cool jazz at its best in "Time After Time," "Sonar" and Sheldon's bluesy "Sarah." Sheldon's trumpet is original and commanding at mid range. In "Sarah" and "A Fifth for Frank" he demonstrates that he was a stronger rival to Miles Davis than Chet Baker at this stage in their careers. Sheldon was in top form on this disc and elsewhere during this period. Perkins' blues-inflected piano and Counce's steady bass and inventive solos demonstrate why they were celebrated stars at the times of their deaths. Excellent jazz from the forgotten west."
One for the Time Capsule
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 08/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If I had to narrow down my sprawling record collection to a single side, this might be it (I'm sure I could always borrow a copy of "Kind of Blue" from a friend). It's as close to a perfect representation of the art of modern jazz as anyone is likely to hear--from the cohesiveness of the ensemble, to the brilliance of the solos, to the simply matchless beauty of the recorded sound. To begin with, the quality of leader Counce's bass as captured on this recording puts him in the league of Paul Chambers--bouyant and robust but never obtrusive, a rock-solid foundation with enough integrity to permit you to forget it and concentrate on the energy of the soloists. Pianist Carl Perkins was one of the truly inimitable voices in the history of the instrument--a curious mixture of Errol Garner's orchestral style and Bud Powell's urgent bebop lines. Harold Land, whose recent passing led me to check out the availability of this album, is primarily remembered as the tenor player who preceded Sonny Rollins in the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet. But he moved to the West Coast and recorded on numerous movie soundtracks (on a number of occasions his unique sound has caused me to forget all about the film I was watching). Never a "power" player, Harold, I've discovered, is best appreciated on record. And no where is he better represented than on this album, especially his own tune "Landslide" and on an exquisite reading (straight melody in D flat) of "Time After Time." His tone has a tart edginess that soon warms over and serves as a perfect complement to his sense of melodic line, always flowing with the rhythm and harmony, moving from point A to point B with a logic that would seem boring were it not so hard to replicate. And the irrepressible Jack Sheldon, a manic clown when not employing his musical skills as a West Coast version of Miles Davis, provides the Puckish moments that counterbalance the business-like approach of the other players. Finally, the underrated Frank Butler (despite a stint with Miles) not only maintains a vibrant flow but extracts some of the most musical sounds from a drum kit this listener has ever heard on a recording session. I'm usually pretty adept at listening to a recording and jotting down melody, chords, rhythm, etc.--especially with the most standard instrumentation of them all. But this is not your usual tenor/trumpet plus rhythm section kind of recording session. The meaning is simply greater than the sum of the parts, defying analysis and inviting endless listenings."
Obscure Jazz Excellence
D. Roberts | Powder Springs, GA USA | 10/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The arrangements are phenomenal and the play parallels."