Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Minor tones, major talent
Dan Barrett | Eureka, CA USA | 08/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Erskine "Rocky" Boyd, a young lion of a tenor player, under whose name this set was released in 1961 on Jazzland, disappeared that same year - a jazz mystery - while touring with Philly Joe Jones. I have read somewhere that Mr. Jones was a heroin addict.Mr. Boyd, of Boston (born 1936) and a Berklee graduate, composed "Avars" with an up and down the steps intro stated in unison with Kenny Dorham. KD shares the solo turns with Rocky, and is superb, as always. Kenny was never a show-off or flashy, but had chops to burn - dig his solo just prior to the 4-minute mark, right before he restates the vamp with Rocky. Walter Bishop, Jr. then steps in on piano, demonstrating why he was to record his first session as a leader the next day, March 14. Young Ron Carter takes a bowed bass solo just before the last return of the theme, and out we go. "Avars" was Rocky Boyd's only published composition.It is then fittingly followed by two heartbreakingly poignant renditions of the Washington-Young ballad, "Stella by Starlight," originally penned for a 1944 film, "The Uninvited." Rocky shows the poise and taste of a much more seasoned player, and the work of this fine ensemble is embellished by drummer Pete La Roca's perfect cymbal brushwork (three weeks before he turned 23).The original "Why Not?" credited to La Roca resembles both Miles' "So What" and Coltrane's "Impressions," but why not just enjoy it as a springboard for some great swinging? Both takes are great, but the second features a two-minute solo by Bishop. Listen as he sets up the sly "snakecharmer" quote ever so logically. Fine work by an artist known more among jazz aficionados and other players than the casual fan - kind of like Kenny Dorham.Two takes of Maria-Bonfa's "Samba de Orfeu" follow Paul Chambers' blues, "Ease It!," in which Carter (almost 24) solos quite well, then the quintet trades fours and takes it out. West 42nd Street" is heard twice, Dorham on the trumpet parts that his contemporary and the composer, Wilbur Harden (misspelled "Hardin" here) took on the 1958 session he'd done with John Coltrane on Savoy. This is classic bop played with freshness and fervor for one time only. That we can appreciate it today is the sweet paradox of the ephemeral quality of music. Kenny Dorham gets the last word: "I feel you play the way you live. The different things that happen come out in your playing. If you're sad, you play minor.""
This is essential jazz!
S. Baird | Baton Rouge, LA United States | 07/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It would be hard to top Dan Barrett's excellent review of this album, so I won't even try. An all-star cast - Kenny Dorham, Walter Bishop, Jr., Ron Carter, Pete LaRoca and the phenomenal but little known Rocky Boyd - makes this an enjoyable listen from start to finish.Sound quality is especially good for an album of this vintage. Dorham's trumpet has just that perfect amount of blat, and Rocky's sax has a sonority that most listeners wouldn't associate with a record made 41 years ago.Top-notch stuff in every way. Not to be missed."