Cary Kilner's Picks: Volume 10
This week we will focus on three trumpet players, while also listening to some remarkable rhythm sections.
Dan Jacobs - Relaxin’
This is truly a relaxed tune, played very melodically by everyone. I especially like how Dan begins his solo with just bass – no piano or drum accompaniment. Such variety in performance is a mark of good jazz. I also like the clean, fresh way the tune concludes. Dan and I were in the Michigan State Jazz Band together, and he went on to be a published author on salesmanship, while continuing to practice his fine trumpet work.
Freddie Hubbard & Herbie Hancock - One Finger Snap
This is truly an astounding piece of music, and I can play it over and over and still relish in it. It has the quality of being very complex without being overwhelming because there is lots of space within. I consider Freddie to be the end result of a long line of lyrical trumpet players going back to Clifford Brown. If you like this cut, be sure to check out all his Blue Note albums as a leader and sideman because they are all exemplary. Note the interplay of Freddie with Tony Williams and Ron Carter on his solo when Herbie drops out. Note Tony’s remarkable playing; he is the end of the Max Roach line of drummers. During his solo, listen for a motif that he plays and that he repeats for a while as he alters it. He and Ron were the rock upon which Miles built what I consider to be his finest group in modern jazz in the later 1960s. Unfortunately Freddy was a prime example of how some great artists tried to go more pop-mainstream in the 1970s as record producers sought a wider audience, and he never produced anything near this quality in his later years, IMHO.
Blue Mitchell - I Wish I Knew and I’ll Close My Eyes
Once again we have my favorite jazz groove/tempo. Very relaxed swinging, with space to hear stuff. One can listen to music like this for hours without becoming fatigued. Wynton Kelly was playing with Miles at this time. He is just a gorgeous pianist with his lilting lines, and I can say the same thing about Blue. Beautiful brush work from Roy Brooks and lyrical lines from Sam Jones on bass that can be clearly heard. This moves me so much I have to include the second medium tempo swinging standard tune on the album.
Joyce Cooling - Mildred’s Attraction
This cut will show you why I love this musician. A beautifully crafted tune, elegantly orchestrated, with a nice piano solo by her husband, along with Joyce’s gorgeous playing. Remember that funk is all about the groove and how it is skillfully managed. This is happy music.
Vincent Herring - Have You Met Miss Jones
Here is a note from my good friend, visual artist James Decamp, who also plays saxophone and was in the MSU Jazz Band with Dan and me. He says: “Just to let you know, I read your most recent column and am enjoying the selections. Great variety of tunes. One correction: you called Vincent Herring a tenor player. He's an alto man.” Thus I must provide another cut from this great artist, a favorite standard tune typically played in jam sessions everywhere. It’s in that wonderful medium tempo groove where you can clearly hear and follow all the sidemen; in this case also a side-woman, Rene Rosnes. Vincent is clearly on the top of the Charlie Parker/Cannonball Adderly line of exuberant, lyrical alto players.
John Patattucci - King Kong
Speaking of great sax players, check out Chris Potter. Speaking of great lyrical bass players, check out this remarkable bass player, a stalewart of Chick Corea’s later bands and now found playing with almost everyone. And Danilo Perez who we heard last week – outstanding – hear how he develops his solo on a theme while this great percussion work just kills behind him. The body of the cut comes in at 0:50 after some percussion opens the album.