Don Joseph (1923-1994) merged jazz and poetry in his style. He was a cornet player of sweet sound and controlled passion, with the most delicate of timbres, a feeling for melody and an exquisite choice of notes, who was not at all compromised by any particular style. Too shy to ask for recognition, as if playing was the essential thing, it was a pity that such a gifted, sensitive player like his friend trumpeter Tony Fruscella was seemingly incapable of sustained work habits.
His imagination and cornet sound was a marriage that yielded sheer poetry. Throughout a well-structured, diverse set his solos are consistently excellent, but his chorus on What a Difference a Day Made is certainly one of the highpoints. It is poetry expressed in music, a combination of emotion and creative invention intuitively brought to life by his wonderfully expressive, personal sound, and an impeccable sense of time and pacing, all facets to be found in his work over this set.
His appearances on records were very few, and his solos rare. This CD contains the most complete collection of his work. Some of his phrases are timeless statements. He was a unique personification of jazz.