Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 12/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
Don Sleet is a name that probably won't ring too many bells with even the most devoted jazz fans. This is his only album as a leader, and to my knowledge he's appeared on only 4 other LPs: two with Lennie McBrowne, one accompanying vocalist Gloria Smythe, and one as part of a big band led by Shelly Manne. The Manne album was made in 1964, and that apparently was Sleet's last appearance in a jazz studio. (He died in 1986 at age 47.)
Trumpeter Sleet cites Miles Davis as a major influence, and you can definitely hear Miles in his playing (open Miles, not muted). The best track is the one Sleet original, the blues FAST COMPANY. It's taken up and Sleet takes an impressive solo. Wynton Kelly (p) loves the blues, of course, and plays well here and on the other blues tune, ALL MEMBERS. Jimmy Heath plays tenor on the date and is especially good on Cifford Jordan's BROOKLYN BRIDGE. It appears that Sleet had the talent to make it on the New York scene, so it's hard to figure out what happened. Anyway, this is a sold hard bop album, typical of the early 60's."
Sleet belongs in this "Fast Company"
Carolyn E. Spilly | Hebron, IN United States | 01/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The year was 1961. Bebob in full swing. Jimmy Heath was a major contributor to hard-bob & later had a great influence as a player & composer. Wynton Kelly did some of his finest work with Miles but he also left a large volume of work as a leader. Ron Carter & Jimmy Cobb left their marks in the jazz world as well. But what about Don Sleet? This offering proves Sleet to be a soloist of distinction, a player with a warm brassy tone but a softness of delivery. He's more lyrical than Dizzy and sound easier on the middle register. The two Clifford Jordan compositions, "Brooklyn Bridge" and "The Hearing" are outstanding but Sleet really shines on his own composition, "Fast Company". It is a blues infected theme that shows Sleet was truly "sleek" with tone & command of the group. They should have titled this entire CD "Fast Company" because that was the company Sleet was in & he proved he deserved to be there."
Don Sleet Was One Slick Bebopper!
J. Rich | 02/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not much is known about trumpeter Don Sleek except that he was part of Stan Kenton's big band and he received "Best Trumpeter" in Downbeat magazine three or four times in a row. Other than that knowledge, this is all I know about him. "All Members" is apparently the only album to make it to CD as well. It's a shame that Concord can't dig into the tapes of Jazzland (the original record company this recording was released on) and find some more albums. Anyway, this is a swinging album that is sure to delight fans of trumpet. Sleek is joined by Jimmy Heath on tenor saxophone, Wynton Kelly on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Unfortunately, this release is now out-of-print as it was an OJC Limited Edition to begin with. If you find one don't hesitate to buy it. Great jazz that should please fans of bebop and trumpet."