Essential CD (1995)

Artist: Jo Jones

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Product Overview


Label Vanguard
SKU 60046340
UPC 015707000123
UPC 14 00015707000123
Format CD
Release Date 2/21/1995
Author Jo Jones
Associated Artist/Work Brown, Pete
Associated Artist/Work Brown, Pete (Saxophone)
Technical Info
Producer John Hammond
CatalogID 101/2
Lable Name Vanguard
Released 04/19/1995
Original Release 1977
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 78m : 27s
Mono/Stereo Mono
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00015707000123
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel includes: Jo Jones (drums, percussion); Lucky Thompson (tenor saxophone); Emmett Berry (trumpet); Benny Green (trombone); Freddie Green (guitar); Walter Page (bass); Count Basie, Nat Pierce, Tommy Bryant, Ray Bryant.
With the shimmering hi-hat pulse that introduces the classic Basie chart "Shoe Shine Boy," all the magic that was Jonathan David Samuel Jones comes alive for contemporary listeners. As a member of the All-American Rhythm Section, drummer Jo Jones transformed the basic swing pulse, spanning the gap between dance music and art music, paving the way for bebop. By enunciating the basic jazz pulse on the hi-hats and ride cymbal, Jones freed the other limbs to accent and syncopate on or around the beat with the other drums, anticipating the free polyrhythmic approach of modern drummers. THE ESSENTIAL JO JONES reprises his command as a leader on his two Vanguard sessions.
"Shoe Shine Boy" reunites the original Count Basie rhythm section for the last time. Jones' mentholated ride cymbal beat sets the motion, as bassist Walter Page and guitarist Freddie Green nail down the most distinctive 4/4 pulse in all of jazz, while Basie and Jones play cat and mouse with the groove. And when they improvise a concluding coda, the rhythm is so buoyant, the section interplay so telepathic, that trumpeter Emmett Barry falls out laughing.
The second featured session, with the Bryant Brothers, Tommy and Ray, is one of the great piano trios in the annals of jazz, a superb acoustic recording that highlights Jones' percussive artistry. Jones showcases Ray Bryant (who sounds like a cross between Basie, Art Tatum and Ray Charles) as both an improviser and composer. The pianist moves easily from suave two-handed block voicings ("Satin Doll," "Sweet Lorraine") to swift boppish solo flights ("Splittin'," "Bicycle For Two"), with a particularly sanctified feel for the low-down blues ("Spider Kelly Blues," "Little Susie"). Jones himself really lets it hang out on "Old Man River," a virtuoso percussive carnival. The drummer not only sustains the tune's daunting tempo and formal tension, but escalates to a bracing cross-sticked climax with a succession of masterful variations, employing his hands, sticks, brushes and mallets to create layers of rhythmic tension and textural contrast.
Personnel: Jo Jones (drums); Rudy Powell (clarinet); Lucky Thompson (tenor saxophone); Emmett Berry (trumpet); Lawrence Brown (trombone); Count Basie, Nat Pierce, Ray Bryant (piano).
Liner Note Author: S.W. Bennett.
Recording information: 08/11/1955-04/30/1958.
Jo Jones, one of the most influential drummers of the swing era, did not lead that many recording sessions of his own during his career. Producer John Hammond gave him his first two dates when he was working for Vanguard and, with the exception of a second take of "Shoe Shine Boy," all of the music from the two LPs is on this single-CD reissue. The first session is very much in the spirit of Count Basie's band; in fact, Basie himself makes a guest appearance on "Shoe Shine Boy." The other swing-oriented players include trumpeter Emmett Berry, guitarist Freddie Green, tenor saxophonist Lucky Thompson, and (on one song apiece) trombonist Lawrence Brown and clarinetist Rudy Powell. The later date is quite a bit different: a trio session with pianist Ray Bryant and bassist Tommy Bryant. There is a liberal amount of drum soloing but the early versions of Ray Bryant's "Cubano Chant" and "Little Susie" are of greatest interest. ~ Scott Yanow
Professional Reviews
Jazziz (10/95, p.34) - "...Fans of spontaneous swing...are advised to acquire these sets..."
Disc 1
1 Shoe Shine Boy - (first take)
2 Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be?)
3 Georgia Mae
4 Caravan
5 Lincoln Heights
6 Embraceable You
7 Satin Doll
8 Little Susie
9 Spider Kelly's Blues
10 Cubano Chant
11 Splittin'
12 Sweet Lorraine
13 Bicycle For Two
14 Old Man River
15 Sometimes I'm Happy

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