Windy City's Finest
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 09/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Clifford Jordan & John Gilmore's "Blowing In From Chicago" is a classic hard bop session by two windy city greats. This album was one of the original twelve CDs issued in the first domestic release of the Connoisseur series, and it sold out very quickly. Luckily, it is still available as an import (although without the bonus track "Let It Stand"). This session from March 1957 features the one time rhythm section of the Jazz Messengers -- Horace Silver, Curly Russell and Art Blakey - joining the two tenor saxophonists, Jordan and Gilmore. Despite the fact that these two gentlemen play the same instrument, their sounds are quite different and distinct. While Gilmore's hard sound is almost alto-like, Jordan's tone is mellower and his pitch lower. "Blowing In From Chicago" begins with the hard swinging "Status Quo" followed by "Bo-Till," which is marked by Blakey's latin-flavored opening flourishes. Gigi Gryce's "Blue Lights" is highlighted by fantastic rhythm trio interplay during Silver's piano solo, while "Billie's Bounce" is plenty bouncy thanks to Art's drumming. The album's last two tracks, "Evil Eye" and "Everywhere," are smooth, easy-going numbers, and a perfect conclusion to this fine recording. If only everything that blew in from Chicago were as enjoyable."