OSCAR PETTIFORD-IN A CELLO MOOD
Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 11/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One disc,59 minutes approximately. Does not say if this has been digitally remastered-the sound is good for recordings from the fifties. There is a bit of a spatial sound quality on an early track,but this does not interfere in the enjoyment of this music. This compilation consists of five different releases from 1952 through 1954. All the tracks feature Pettiford on cello or cello/bass.
The first four sides feature,besides Pettiford,Billy Taylor-piano,Charlie Smith-drums,and Charles Mingus-bass. These are gently swinging pieces that move along in tempo and get this set off to a fine start. The next three tracks consist of Pettiford and Harry Babasin-cellos,Arnold Ross-piano,Joe Comfort-bass,and Alvin Stoller-drums. These tracks follow along with the previous sides-good,unassuming jazz. The double cello arrangement is unique and has a good sound not often heard in jazz circles.
The next five tracks contain some of the best playing of the set. With Julius Watkins-French horn,Phil Urso-tenor sax,Walter Bishop-piano,Charles Mingus-bass,Percy Brice-drums,plus Pettiford on both bass and cello,this muisc hits the spot for gently swinging music. The final six tracks are a quintet consisting of Julius Watkins-French horn(beautiful,listen to THE EDGE OF LOVE),Charlie Rouse-tenor sax,Duke Jordan-piano,Ron Jefferson-drums,and Pettiford,again on bass and cello. Again,this is jazz played at a high caliber by all involved and demands the listener pay attention. As with all of Pettiford's music,both his own compositions and those he arranged,this is jazz at a high level of musicianship. Most of the tunes were written by Pettiford and the rest are by well known composer/musicians.
For anyone who likes the period in question(and these players)-pick this up-you won't be disappointed. The booklet gives a short overview of Pettiford and the tracks on this disc. If you're familiar with Fresh Sound Records you know what to expect-good sound(for the time) informative booklet,and most important of all,music that is hard to find. Don't let this one pass you by. While you're at it,pick up Pettiford's other album on Fresh Sounds-NONET AND OCTET 1954-1955-another disc in the same vein."