Incredible but unfortunately incredibly overlooked..
Dan | Ohio | 08/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this cd for the sole reason that I absolutely loved Paul Butterfield's rendition of 'Work Song' and wanted to hear the original version. I had no idea that I was purchasing probably one of the most listened-to albums in my cd collection.
The first thing I found really creative was the set-up. Nat's ensemble consists of the standard piano bass drums, but also cello, guitar, and cornet as the "horn" section.
The album is incredibly solid and seems to be a mix of primarily blues and slow numbers, mostly the first. This is a majorly blues-tinged album. Work Song has to one of my favorite songs of all time, and you will be humming the tune of Scrambled Eggs well past breakfast time. Nat's cornet is amazing, he is powerful and soulful when he wants to be and delicate and gentle at all the right moments. Wes Montgomery is amazing as always. Sam Jones does a great job of imitating Nat's sometimes lightning fast cornet work on cello. Wow.
If you are at all into jazz blues, or just jazz in general, I guarantee you will listen to this album a lot. These songs have incredible replay value and are all amazing. Definitely give this one a shot."
The Groove is Held
earl rlabaci | 09/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before Endorsing this album I will comment that no matter how many times someone says an album is over-rated it doesn't or shouldn't have to effect the quality of the album. I must note that I am not at all trying to be a hypocrite.
"Work song", besides often being one of the first few tunes in a beggining jazz musician's repetoire, is a bluesy piece meant to evoke the sort of call-and-response feel heard in many elements of black church music, blues, and jazz.
Nat, whose work is often overshadowed by the success of his brother altoist "Cannonball" who was Nats main employer, is one of the few Bop cornetists, an instrument which is usually replaced by a flugelhorn as a trumpeters second choice. His sidemen are also very sophisticated musicians who have all worked with Nat many times before in Canonball's groups. Wes montgomery is a very honest guitar player which is to say that he plays what he feels. Bobby Timmons, an Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers member, is composer of many fine soul-jazz pieces such as "Moanin'", "Dat Dere'", etc. Sam Jones who is usually a bassist plays cello in a sort of funky pizzacatto style and bass on one tune. Ketter Betts and Percy Heath are the two main bassists and both provide stable foundations for the soloists.
Louis Hayes, is another member of Adderleys Group and plays drums more in the Philly Joe Jones/Max roach style. "Fall out" is an intersting track; after Timmons and Adderley take solos, Jones takes a cello solo and then Hayes takes a chorus on drums, during the drums solo, Betts and Jones switch instruments and Betts takes the second Cello solo. All the material is in the Bop/Soul-jazz category and doesn't give the players any hard chord changes to deal with.
"Work Song" is a good-feel record so get it and start feelin' good!"
Nicely, well done!!!
earl rlabaci | 05/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was my first time to hear Nat. I was so impressed by his playing. His tone was nice and warm especially on the beautiful ballad "I've Got A Crush On You". Nat played this ballad with full lyricism on cornet. Some other musicians were Wes Montgomery on guitar, Bobby Timmons on piano, Louis Hayes on drums and Percy Heath on bass. Great opener "Work Song" was Nat's original a funky tune that swing nicely. All the Nat's jazz solos were nicely done. Well developed plus with his good solid tone. Great support from Wes. MUST LISTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!"