In His Own Sweet Time
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This is a very special recording, which slumbered in the archives for over 26 years and now sees the light of day for the first time. Tommy Flanagan is captured at the Birdland Jazz Club in Neuburg on the Danube, Germany. He had been hired by Manfred Rehm, an impresario for many years, who has been involved in „Birdland Jazz Club“ since it was founded in 1958 and, as a chairman, would bring the club to absolute heydays in the 1980s. He knew and loved Flanagan since the late Fifties, when the pianist appeared on one of the first records Rehm purchased: that of trombonist J.J. Johnson and his combo. Tommy Flanagan, who for 16 years worked the keys for the great Ella Fitzgerald, who recorded the jazz classic “Saxophone Colossus“ with Sonny Rollins, and the milestone album “Giant Steps“ with John Coltrane, worked most of his later years as the leader of his own trio, or as a solo performer (as he is showcased here). The repertoire consists of a mix of standards including two Duke Ellington-Billy Strayhorn compositions, two Tadd Dameron songs, and a revival of the celebrated Sonny Rollins waltz "Valse Hot", which is one of the album's highest points.
Birdland Jazz Club, Germany, October 9th, 1994