Quintet Sessions - Junior`S Cookin`+ Cup Bearers
Fresh Sound Records
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As befitting two who were to be key members of the early 1960s Horace Silver Quintet, Richard Allen (Blue) Mitchell (1930-1979) and Herman (Junior) Cook (1934-1992) were among the finer exponents of the hard bop school of the time.
Equally fittingly, when they made Cook’s Junior Cookin’ and Mitchell’s The Cup Bearers together, they used Silver’s rhythm section, minus the man himself, whose place was taken by Dolo Coker alternating with Ronnie Mathews on the former, and by Cedar Walton on the latter. And unsurprisingly, the results, honest, forthright and inventive, possessed a hard-swinging unity that satisfies to this day.
That unity was emphasized by contrasting characteristics of the two Florida-born leaders. While both were powerful soloists, strong and individual, Mitchell was perhaps the more lyrical of the two, his work expressed with a lovely singing tone, while Cook’s personal synthesis of several postbop tenor styles produced a more direct and heated player. Buttressed by the well-schooled, superior talents of Coker and Mathews, and the marvelous Walton in a thoroughly sympathetic rhythm section completed by Gene Taylor and Roy Brooks, the mixture gelled emphatically.
[1-7] “Junior’s Cookin’”:
Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Junior Cook, tenor sax; Dolo Coker (on #4-6) or Ronnie Mathews (on #1-3, 7), piano; Gene Taylor, bass; Roy Brooks, drums
Recorded at Gold Star Studios, Long Beach, California, April 10 (#4-6) & Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, December 4 (#1-3, 7), 1961
[8-13] “The Cup Bearers”:
Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Junior Cook, tenor sax; Cedar Walton, piano; Gene Taylor, bass; Roy Brooks, drums
Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, August 28 & 30, 1962
01. Mzar (Roland Alexander) 7:15
02. Turbo Village (Charles Davis) 5:45
03. Easy Living (Robin-Rainger) 6:12
04. Blue Farouq (Blue Mitchell) 3:54
05. Sweet Cakes (Blue Mitchell) 5:24
06. Field Day (Dolo Coker) 3:54
07. Pleasure Bent (Roland Alexander) 6:28
08. Turquoise (Cedar Walton) 5:00
09. Dingbat Blues (Charles Davis) 5:37
10. Capers (Tom McIntosh) 6:01
11. Cup Bearers (Tom McIntosh) 6:13
12. How Deep Is the Ocean? (Irving Berlin) 6:41
13. Tiger Lily (Thad Jones) 8:30