INCOMPLETE--Just Download Two Mp3s and Save $$$
Mike DiMartino | Rochester, NY | 06/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I hope the reviewer who got all that praise in the comments page enjoys the ego stroking, but he fails to mention a serious flaw in this issue. "Night in Tunisia" is actually an unedited, or re-edited take, different from what was issued all these years. It's great to have the alternate of "Just One of Those Things," but Michael Cuscuna should have likewise included both takes of Tunisia. Listen towards the end of Tunisia, after the piano solo, when Lee comes in again stating the head (melody). When he goes into the bridge (middle section of the melody), his solo, beginning with a quarter-note lick, is completely different than in previous domestic and Japanese reissues.
Here it is 2008, and we still don't have the COMPLETE Cooker.
Oh, the good ol' Cuscuna marketing shenanigans: save the alternate of "Just One of..." for the costly Mosaic set, then once Mosaic makes its money on that, wait till 2006 to issue the alternate--thus making your previous investment in The Cooker obsolete--and while he's at it, leave the originally issued "Tunisia" out all together, eventhough it would've easily fit on the CD. Maybe there's some lame excuse offered in the new liner notes.
Yes, I know such tactics might be neccessary to keep a jazz label surviving, but how many times must we purchase the same CD to get it right? Save your money. If you have a previously issued Cooker, just download these two Mp3s, then burn a new, COMPLETE Cooker for yourself.
By the way, Rudy Van Gelder runs a busy recording studio. Do you really believe he has the time to remaster the scads of so called RVGs currently in print, not only for Blue Note but for Prestige, Savoy and other labels?
P.S.: This was BARITONE saxophonist Pepper Adams' first Blue Note session. His soloing is not of the 2 star rating; he's always been nothing less than 5 stars--on ANY session he's played. The same can be said of Philly Joe Jones. These men really MADE the countless sessions they contributed to. The Cooker's takes never fall apart, but the occasional rhythm section unsteadiness can be attributed to bassist Paul Chambers, to my ears, who was known for sometimes showing up wasted. Even at that, he still sounds beautiful. So don't pay any mind to these almighty clowns who call these greats "flat." Disregard the ineptness of any of these earless phoneys who tell you "tenorman" Pepper and Philly Joe get 2 stars. You really should not place much faith in reviews written by wannabees who can't hear the difference between tenor and baritone saxes.
Cuscuna's the one who should get those 2 stars; no, make that 0."
The Mature Lee Morgan Hits the Jazz Scene
Herbert L Calhoun | Falls Church, VA USA | 06/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Still not 20, this is Lee's fifth album and it demonstrates a confidence and assurance in his playing not seen on earlier cuts. The very fact that he has selected the very challenging Dizzy Gillespie tune "A Night in Tunisia," and does a credible job with it, is itself evidence of his maturity.
I am still not happy with his tenor man or his rhythm section. Both are a bit too formal and academic for Lee's swinging style. Although Lee plays well on all cuts, the group still just does not seem to gel on most of the tunes. There is just too much empty space that's not being fills.
I blame most of this on the journeyman drummer Philly Joe Jones who at the time of the recording was one of the best in the business, but not on this cut. The rhythm section is just not "tight." Even the normal earthy Bobby Timmons seems unusually flat here. There is no pulsation; the beat just hangs. The whole thing seems to be bringing Lee down to their level. Although it picks up on side two, this still is not a good combination for the rising leader of an all-star quintet.
Five Stars for Lee, and two for his sidemen. Three for the album"