Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A thoughtful and strong collection of early Pettiford sides
Reckless DC Music | Whitneyville, CT USA | 02/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The period between 1943 and 1946 was a hotbed in the development of jazz. Arguably it was a period of transition for the music as "modern music" or "bebop" slowly emerged on the scene, replacing swing to become the hip music for this generation. At the bottom or core of this was a young bassist from Oklahoma, Oscar Pettiford. Pettiford was one of several post-Blanton bassists whose facility on their instrument often rivaled that of the saxophone and trumpet superstars. Indeed, most jazz historians look at Pettiford as the next link in the developmental chain of this instrument. The bass playing on this CD is a clear demonstration of why this is so. As much as this album tells us about the emergence of a young star, it is also a good marker in the emergence of the music he was associated with, bebop. In spite of the deceptive title, however, this CD is only interested in capturing one moment in Pettiford's fascinating development, this four year period (1943-46). During this time, Pettiford's strong bass accompaniment and solo skills were mostly heard in his role as sideman (he is only listed as leader on two of the albums 23 tracks). One of the real joys and successes of historical reissues is when music recorded for competing labels and even rare sources can be brought together on one disc for immediate comparison. This is the case with this CD, where music recorded for Victor, Savoy, American Decca, and Commodore has been aligned with pieces recorded for American GI's on V-Disc and even a rare broadcast transcription (Dizzy Gillespie's "Mop Mop). The compilers of this CD, Tony Watts and Colin Brown, have chosen some hot sessions for this CD, including the fabled "Man I Love" Coleman Hawkins recording from December, 1943. This session stands out, not only for its inclusion in the Smithsonian Jazz Collection, but because the unusual microphone placement caused Pettiford's breathing to be caught between every phrase of his solo. The compiler's have included a second track from this session, "Crazy Rhythm," where, once again, Pettiford can be heard breathing in synch with his solo ideas. The Pettiford-Hawkins combo produced some classic material; also included on this CD is the burner, "Disorder at the Border." The CD includes sessions with Ben Webster and Billy Eckstine. The three tunes recorded with Dizzy Gillespie list Dizzy as the leader, but we cannot forget that Pettiford co-lead this band at what is considered the first official showcase gig of the bebop era at the Onyx club. On every one of these tracks Pettiford gets a good deal of airtime. The real gem on this CD is the inclusion of a rare V-Disc recording of Pettiford with the Duke Ellington band in 1945 performing a two-sided seven plus minute version of the folk-blues, "Frankie and Johnny." In Pettiford, Ellington had found a real replacement for Jimmy Blanton and this recording showcases Pettiford really opening up on his instrument. This track alone justifies the release of this CD."