Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Burns like a roadside flare
Matthew Watters | Vietnam | 07/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's a long and noble tradition dating back to Coleman Hawkins' European sojourn in the 1930s of American jazz musicians taking up residence on the other side of the pond, where work was sometimes more abundant and fans more enthusiastic. The jazz canon tends to overlook an entire body of recorded work made by these American expats alongside some of their European colleagues, with such classics as John Lewis' Afternoon in Paris and Chet Baker in Milan springing immediately to mind, among countless others. Johnny Griffin's Night Lady belongs in that company. It's also a sparkling example of another minor tradition in the music: the tenor-drums showdown. This album is very much the kid brother of records like Sonny Rollins' Newk's Time, where the presence of a pianist and bassist was almost incidental to the heated interplay between Rollins and drummer Philly Joe Jones. On this record, the drum chair is filled by the great Kenny Clarke, and he is in crackling form throughout this album, really driving Griffin to some creative work. Pianist Francy Boland, the co-leader with Clarke of Europe's fantastic Clarke-Boland Big Band, largely gets out of the way, comping minimally and turning in an occasional rolling, rhythmic solo. Despite being made in the mid-60s, the album refreshingly ignores Coltrane-isms in favour of a sort of Ornette Coleman-influenced hard bop of the type Jackie McLean was recording at the time. And while Johnny Griffin would never have the ability to organise a solo the way Rollins did, he's got this great, slightly sharp and reedy tone and the ability to turn on a dime."