Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Five stars,the minimum rate for a Tommy Flanagan album
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 11/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At the time of this recording (July 13,1977),Tommy Flanagan still was Ella Fitzgerald's pianist;he will leave her in 1978,after a serious heart attack,and form his own trio.Here,he plays with bassist Keter Betts and the great but underrated Bobby Durham on drums. Tommy Flanagan (March 16,1930-November 16,2001) has always been one of my favorite jazz piano players,and his untimely death,ten days ago,was a great shock to me.
This is another great performance by Tommy,taped at the Montreux Jazz Festival,Switzerland.And it's very interesting because the tunes were rarely,or never before and after,recorded by him."Barbados",named for a Carribean island,is Charlie Parker's tune;then comes a beautiful medley of two standards that Billie Holiday used to sing,"some other spring" and "easy living";then comes the masterpiece,another medley of two Ellington's tunes: the haunting beauty of the "star crossed lovers" (a part of the famous "Shakespearian suite",recorded for Columbia and issued under the title of "such sweet thunder";Duke wrote this tune for the magic alto saxophone of Johnny Hodges) and the easy swinging,and somewhere gospel-tinted "jump for joy",which was written by Duke and Ben Webster,and originally sung by Ivie Anderson."Woody'n you" is Dizzy's,"Blue bossa" is a great tune by Kenny Dorham,and "Heat wave" is an Irving Berlin's tune that was often played by Art Tatum.
It's not easy to select one,or a handful of albums by Tommy Flanagan - just as difficult as selecting some Ray Bryant,Bud Powell,Earl Hines,Teddy Wilson or Hank Jones' albums in their discographies,and I think that every recording session by these guys is a gem and a must to have; just as every MaryLou Williams' record (too bad,she didn't record as much as they did).
I won't say that this Montreux concert is the first album you have to buy,if you're new to Tommy Flanagan's music;you can either choose to start with "overseas","sunset and the mockingbird","seas changes","let's" or his terrific solo,"alone too long".But if you're a jazz piano lover, this is,like every record Tommy did during his 71 years of life, a must to have.The sound of the piano is amazing (Tommy plays a Bosendorfer concert grand), and Bobby Durham's drumming is majestuous.Remember that Bobby Durham,just like Eddie Locke,is an immense drummer who plays for some fifty years, and I hope they'll do it for a long time.And remember that Tommy Flanagan was an immense piano player,a great tickler,and more than this,a wonderful Man.If you ever had the honor of meeting him,even shortly, you'll sure agree with me."