Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
McGhee Beyond Bebop
William Faust | Columbus, Ohio | 06/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before buying this disc I was guilty of pidgeon-holing Howard McGhee as strictly a bebop trumpeter based on his earlier associations with Fats Navarro and others. But this recording from 1961 shows his range and versatility. Sure, there's a bop-influence here but there's also plenty of driving swing (hard to miss with Manne & Vinnegar as the engine) and ballads to make us "mainstreamers" happy. The charts are tight, the playing excellent and the recording first rate. I was surprised and delighted by this CD and have yet to tire of it."
At least he was back for a little while anyway . . .
Elmo's Firetruck | Bush Country! | 05/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Don't pay ANY attention to the drivel written by "punkviper." He loses all credibility when he refers to Lou Donaldson as a hard-bop TRUMPET player. I laughed so hard at this pretentious drivel I almost fell out of my chair!This is a cookin' session with a killer rythym section by a true master of the bebop trumpet. A really terrific album."
The Maestro is back in town!!
Wayne Dawson | New Zealand | 09/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like so many of his generation, after flying to the highest point during the halcyon '40's, bopper Maggie took a nose dive during the fifties only to stabilise and get his phenomenal talent back on track towards the end of that decade. Drug abuse has a lot to answer for but if you want a real indication of just how magnificent this player was then go to the Coleman Hawkins 'Hollywood Stampede' session. No other date during that period showcased Maggie's idolised style like that recording does. Typically, it was Hawkins to the rescue of yet another young talent.
Maggie's Back In Town is just as special, glowing with a suave maturity and rhythmic sophistication, his playing is incredibly fluid, crammed full of glistening notes. Sometimes, as on Demon Chase, open trumpet soloing is followed by a muted section followed by open trumpet again which keeps up a contrasting interest. It's great just to have Maggie the only horn, especially with such a rhythm section where Phineas Newborn Jr. on piano becomes the other main soloist. The choice is sublime as these two are the most perfect foil. Newborn plays a lot of notes also but not just with the right hand, both hands ramble through the complex matrix of his counter point like, dare I say it, a cat on a hot tin roof but scampering across the keyboard. The title track is the albums lengthiest and best at around ten minutes of breath taking, musical adventure where bass and drums have space for their own interplay as well as a fubulous set of exchanges between trumpet and drums.
Maggie's Back In Town swings hard with a soft amber glow that does West Coast Jazz proud and gives the ironic humour of McGhee plenty to smile about.