Essential Tolliver and McBee - Mosaic does it again
Scott Williams | Oakland, CA United States | 11/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
This 3 disc Mosaic box set features the music from two Charles Tolliver concerts. The first concert was recorded live at Sluggs Saloon, in New York on 5/1/70. This concert fetures, Tolliver (trumpet), Cecil McBee (bass) Stanley Cowell (piano), and Jimmy Hopps (drums). The second concert was recorded live in Tokyo 12/7/73. This show features Tolliver, Cowell, Clifford Barbaro (drums), and Clint Houston (bass). The sound quality is just phenomonal. In particular the bass could not sound better. The two concerts feature some of Tolliver's most creative and exciting songs as well as some great song writing by McBee and Cowell. The first show features some of the best playing I've heard from bassist McBee. He's just bouncing all over the place and on his own Felicite he's just a monster. Prior to this recording I was not very familiar with pianist Cowell, but he provides both some excellent song writing and playing on these two shows. The style of the music is 60's post bop with a tinge of soul jazz, hard bop, and avante garde. It is fairly similar in style to the work Tolliver did on Jackie Mclean's blue note recordings that featured Tolliver. Anyone who is a Tolliver fan should not hestitate to pick this box set up. I think it is hands down the best recording with Tolliver listed as the leader.
Drought - A real catchy song that opens with a warm trumpet statement. A perfect example of a well balanced quartet that features everyone. Cecil McBee's bass line sounds beautiful on the first version.
Felicite - McBee's Felicite borders on the avante garge. It features some abstract piano, and a killer bass solo in the middle of the recording. This is essential listening for McBee fans.
On the Nile - A great live recording of my favorite Tolliver tune. The song reminds me of the late 60's and early 70's work that McCoy Tyner did with an Egyption/African slant. The song opens with a call from the oasis from Tolliver on the trumpet. After Tolliver finishes, the dense middle eastern sounding piano chords ensue. A classic recording of a classic song.
BTW - You can save a few bucks my going to Mosaic records web site. They sell the box set there for $44."
No sax ,who cares
4256 reasons why | southern ohio | 05/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"trumpet quartet,iwas skeptical not to many trumpet only quartets.[i think lee morgans candy is one]and hancocks empryean isles is one, but this is serious modern jazz ,modal, slighty free in spots but with structure reminds me of morgans live at the lighthouse.as said this is tolliver naked, exsposed and risking all for his art.no benny maupin to lean on no joe henderson to trade with.just him over 3 hours of great music.this guy still makes great music. his latest big band album on the moasic label proves it."