Richie Cole meets up with fellow altoist Hank Crawford on a spirited concert set. With guitarist Emily Remler, bassist Marshall Hawkins and drummer Victor Jones, Cole and Crawford romp on such numbers as "Confirmation," "Fantasy Blues," "Samba De Orpheus" and "Cherokee." This jam session date has its exciting moments and is easily recommended to bebop fans.
Johnny Griffin was born in Chicago April 24, 1928. He played clarinet and alto saxophone but changed to tenor when he got his first professional job with Lionel Hampton when he was 17 years old. He later played with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and replaced John Coltrane in 1958 in Thelonious Monk's Quartet. From 1960 - 1962 he co-lead the famous and much recorded "Tough Tenors" quintet with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. In 1963 he moved to Europe where he has been living ever since. He is now living in France - south of Paris.
Altoist Richie Cole again shows us that bop not only old-fashioned, but it could be quite fun. He performs nine Dizzy Gillespie compositions (plus "You Go to My Head" which was actually co-written by Haven Gillespie) while joined by groups ranging from a two-guitar trio to a 13-piece band, all arranged in colorful fashion by Bob Belden.
Liebman, Nussbaum and Swallow have played together, on and off for over 30 years. They decided to celebrate this by writing 10 originals for this project - the other cut is a Steve Swallow arrangement of Cole Porter’s “Get Out Of Town” - where they explored the boundaries of modern jazz composition. Writing for a chordless trio was challenging in its own right but as Dave Liebman puts it: “When you play with musicians of this calibre, there is little difference from playing set pieces to playing free improvisations.”
This well-recorded outing (which has been reissued on CD by Drive Archive) was trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's first worthwhile studio recording (with the exception of Super Blue) since the mid-'70s. Essentially a bebop date, Hubbard is teamed with a sextet comprised of altoist Richie Cole, trombonist Ashley Alexander, pianist George Cables, bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer John Dentz; altoist Med Flory sits in on "Byrdlike." Hubbard shows on such standards as "Shaw Nuff," "Star Eyes" and "Lover Man" that he could still play straightahead jazz with the best of them, Alexander is featured on "Stella by Starlight" and Cole is also in excellent form.