Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Great jazz from Gigi Gryce
J. A. Stewart | NH, USA | 10/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album comprises two sessions. The first is a nonet which has the same instrumentation as Miles' Birth of the Cool sessions and some of the same players. Gigi wrote all of the tunes with the exception of, "The Kerry Dance." I don't believe there are very many recordings of his arrangements for a big group, so it is interesting to hear what he can do here. Although it does have a cool sound, it doesn't sound like the Miles group. Gigi and trumpeter Art Farmer get most of the solo space, though trombonist Jimmy Cleveland has a nice, dreamy solo on, "In a Meditating Mood." Vocalist Ernestine Anderson appears on "Social Call" and, "You'll Always be the One I love," which adds some variety to an otherwise all instrumental session. While the first session has a cool sound, the second session (last four tracks), featuring Gigi in a quartet setting with Thelonious Monk, has a much harder sound. Other than "Nica's Tempo" (by Gigi), the tunes are by Monk.The pairing of these two sessions is a little odd, but the music is still great. If there is anything negative about this, it is with the sloppy packaging. For example, in the liner notes Jon Hendricks is credited as the lyricist on the songs, but on the backing his name is listed next to instrumentals. This is a minor issue, though. I've read that many of these Savoy reissues don't stay in print for very long, so if this interests you, don't delay in getting it."
Excellent Savoy session by Gigi Gryce with Monk
Christopher Henrici | Washington, DC United States | 11/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Gigi Gryce as a sideman,arranger or co-leader on other artist's records. Like Benny Golson, he is perhaps recognized more as a composer/arranger, but like Benny, that does'nt mean he can't blow. The performance of his classic original composition "Nica's tempo" is one of the great ones of the period- ingenious- The structure of the tune is represented better on The Gigi Gryce/Donald Byrd Jazz lab records, but Gigi does a better solo on this quartet version (I'd like to see Columbia/Sony release a box set in the US of The Donald Byrd/Gigi Gryce Jazz lab recordings- right now they are only import from Spain- why is it all the hard to find jazz recordings seem to come from spain and nowhere else I wonder?) This cd contains 3 different bands all with Gryce on alto recorded in 1955 by Rudy Van Gelder. 4 of them are with a quartet which features Thelonious Monk on piano, they complement each other perfectly. In fact this is some of my favorite Monk, check out "Gallop's Gallop", I have'nt heard anyone capture the quirky changes of Monk's tunes better than Gigi Gryce does here. Then there are some other compositions with a larger ensemble, and a couple tracks with vocalist Ernestine Andrews. This makes for a shift in continuity and once you hear the tracks with Monk, you'll wish there were more. The arrangements and playing on the nonet tracks is still to a high standard but I strongly recommend the disc for the session with Monk. Throughout, Gigi's alto playing is articulate. The Van Gelder mono recording quality is good and the digital transfer is clean. This disc is a winner.
Another Outstanding Release From Saxophonist/Composer Gigi G
J. Rich | 12/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those not familiar with Gryce have probably heard him on many recordings throughout the '50s. He is somewhat of an enigma. Upset with the music business, Gryce totally disappeared from the jazz scene in the '60s and never returned to performing again. His short time playing and composing jazz music produced many remarkable recordings in the process one being this great recording "Nica's Tempo." Six of the ten songs are with a big band and the other four are with a quartet with none other than one of my heroes Thelonious Monk. To Monk fans, this within itself is worth the price of admission, but that's not to say that the album as a whole isn't any less than swinging. Highly recommended for fans of Gryce and Monk.
Gigi Gryce (alto saxophone); Ernestine Anderson (vocals); Danny Bank, Cecil Payne (baritone saxophone); Art Farmer (trumpet); Gunther Schuller, Julius Watkins (French horn); Eddie Bert, Jimmy Cleveland (trombone); Bill Barber (tuba); Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk (piano); Oscar Pettiford, Percy Heath (bass); Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey (drums)