Down Home Reunion - Young Men from Memphis
Fresh Sound Records
FSR 1642 CD
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Featuring: Booker Little, Louis Smith (tp), Frank Strozier (as), George Coleman (ts), Phineas Newborn Jr. (p), Calvin Newborn (g), George Joyner (b), Charles Crosby (d)
Few cities of comparable size have produced the extraordinary flowering of talent represented by the eight jazzmen from Memphis heard here.
Preeminent among them, of course, are Booker Little, a precocious and singular trumpeter who died tragically young, tenor saxophonist George Coleman, who subsequently made his name with Miles Davis, the searingly blues-inflected alto of Frank Strozier and the gifted Phineas Newborn Jr, a remarkably virtuosic pianist, whose stunning, two-handed unison playing attracted astonishment and admiration in equal measure. Add to that the authoritative trumpet of Louis Smith, who carved out a career in the upper echelons of jazz, while the fleet and reliable Calvin Newborn on guitar and George Joyner on bass, with drummer Charles Crosby, formed a richly supportive rhythm section. It was a reunion of home-town boys from a city previously celebrated for its associations with blues composer W.C. Handy and, fittingly, it produced some memorable music.
01. Things Ain’t What They Used to Be (Ellington-Persons) (10:45)
Solos: Strozier, Little, Coleman, Smith, Newborn, Joyner, Newborn Jr.
02. Blue ‘N’ Boogie (Gillespie-Paparelli) (8:11)
Solos: Strozier, Little, Coleman, Smith, Newborn Jr.
03. After Hours (Bruce-Parrish) (8:26)
Solos: Newborn Jr., Joyner, Newborn
04. Star Eyes (De Paul-Raye) (10:24)
Solos: Strozier, Newborn Jr.
Originally issued in LP as United Artists UAS 5084
Booker Little, Louis Smith (trumpets), Frank Strozier (alto sax), George Coleman (tenor sax), Phineas Newborn Jr. (piano), Calvin Newborn (guitar), George Joyner (bass) and Charles Crosby (drums).
Recorded at Olmsted Studios, New York City, on April 15, 1959.