Archive for the Curtis FULLER Category

Curtis FULLER – Blues-ette 1959

Posted in Curtis FULLER, JAZZ on December 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Curtis FULLER – Blues-ette 1959
1996 Issue.


By its very nature, the slide trombone is difficult instrument to play, and it takes great technical facility to master this horn. Curtis Fuller, one of the few great jazz trombonists, earned his reputation by being able to belt out fast bebop lines almost as readily as a saxophonist, in a clean, expressive tone. Conversely, Fuller can play in a melodic and understated way too, making him a well-rounded soloist.

A testament to these skills, Fuller’s 1959 release BLUES-ETTE is light on its feet. In fact, each exciting-yet-delicate song serves as a wonderful springboard for lively solos by Fuller, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, and pianist Tommy Flanagan. The jaunty “Five Spot After Dark” and the gently swinging “Love Your Spell Is Everywhere” are the highlights. In addition to offering up nimble horn and piano solos, the record is enhanced by the buoyant drumming of Al Harewood and the subtle work of bassist Jimmy Garrison. Indeed, BLUES-ETTE is fluid and graceful throughout.
Sessions in any genre of music are all too often described as “sublime,” but seldom has that description been better deserved than with this relaxed hard bop classic. One looks to other catchalls such as “effortless” and “loose,” but even those slight this amazing date by implying a lack of intensity — and intensity comes in all forms. For all intents and purposes, this is the first recorded meeting of what would become the famous Benny Golson/Art Farmer Jazztet (albeit without Farmer), a group most commonly associated with its 1960 Chess session, Meet the Jazztet. Curtis Fuller’s next date, The Curtis Fuller Jazztet, and his appearance on the Chess date, only compound this point. Like perhaps Jimmy Smith’s flagship, The Sermon, Blues-ette’s brilliance manifests itself not only within the individual solos but also in the way the group functions as a collective. One gets the impression that these tunes could have continued for hours in the studio without the slightest lack of interest on anyone’s part. This might be because many of the themes presented here are so basic and seemingly obvious that they don’t seem like anything to write home about upon first listen. A day or so later, when you’re walking down the street to the tempo of the title track, you may begin to think otherwise. These are some exceptionally catchy heads and many have since become standards. As far as individual performances are concerned, you’re not likely to find better solos by any of the members of this quintet than you will here, though they all have extensive and very high-quality catalogs themselves. Picking highlights is a moot point. Blues-ette is best experienced as an entire LP. It would have surely made a greater impact upon its initial release had it been on a more high-profile label, such as Columbia or Blue Note, but there’s no sense worrying about that now. Any serious jazz collection is incomplete without this record. Period.
By Brandon Burke, All Music Guide.
Curtis Fuller- Trombone
Benny Golson- Tenor Sax
Tommy Flanagan- Piano
Jimmy Garrison- Bass
Al Harewood- Drums
01. Five Spot After Dark 5:18
02. Undecided 7:09
03. Blues-Ette 5:31
04. Minor Vamp 5:12
05. Love Your Spell Is Everywhere 7:07
06. Twelve-Inch 6:28
07. Five Spot After Dark (tk.4) 5:24
08. Blues-Ette (tk.2) 7:52
09. Love Your Spell Is Everywhere (tk.2) 7:17
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The Curtis FULLER Jazztet with Benny GOLSON 1959

Posted in Benny GOLSON, Curtis FULLER, JAZZ on December 20, 2010 by whoisthemonk

The Curtis FULLER Jazztet with Benny GOLSON 1959
1996 Issue.


Curtis Fuller was a well-established hard bop trombone player in New York when he made these excellent sides for Savoy in 1959. Going into the studio with an all-star lineup (Lee Morgan [tp] Benny Golson [ts] Wynton Kelly [p] Paul Chamber [b] Charlie Persip [d]), the results reveal a propensity for coming up with superb original compositions and the talent to play them well.

The CD wastes no time heating up: the first track (IT’S ALL RIGHT WITH ME) is very much on fire already, especially Benny Golson. On another up-tempo tune, Fuller’s blues piece JUDY’S DILEMMA, Golson has his Coltrane hat on, as the sheets of sound come pouring out of his horn. Lee Morgan is muted on this tune and plays a handsome solo. The highlight track for me is WHEATLEIGH HALL, a Dizzy Gillespie composition that has a KILLER JOE riff behind it – a most infectious tune (the kind you can’t get out of your head hours after you’ve finished listening to it). Morgan plays muted trumpet again and is beautiful on the theme. This is a great CD with no false moves, just straight ahead, solid hard bop jazz. Definitely worth checking out.
By Bomojaz.
Like the other Savoy recordings of Curtis Fuller, The Curtis Fuller Jazztet is a relaxed hard bop set featuring many of the young stars of the day. The more famous Blues-ette, from earlier in 1959, featured Tommy Flanagan, Jimmy Garrison, and Al Harewood. This time, however, the Fuller/Golson combination included Lee Morgan, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and the percussive talents of drummer Charlie Persip. Listeners already acquainted with Blues-ette (or other comparable dates) should find this session to be familiar territory. Similarly, it is also very much in the same vein as another classic, Meet the Jazztet, upon which Fuller and Golson were again paired. Even though the compositions may not be as strong as those on Blues-ette (and how could they be?), there are a number of highly engaging solos by all and perhaps a bit more diversity with regard to both tempo and arrangement. Where Blues-ette’s sublime grace stems from the collective understanding displayed by the group, the greatness of The Curtis Fuller Jazztet is to be found in the individual talents of the soloists. Of particular note are Golson’s flights on up-tempo numbers such as the album’s opener, “It’s Alright With Me,” and absolutely every soloist’s take on the ballad “I’ll Walk Alone.” Let this highly recommended set also be a testament to the sparkling, Roy Haynes-like “snap-crackle” style of the underappreciated Charlie Persip.
By Brandon Burke, All Music Guide.
Bass- Paul Chambers
Drums- Charlie Persip
Piano- Wynton Kelly
Tenor Sax- Benny Golson
Trombone- Curtis Fuller
Trumpet- Lee Morgan
01. It’s Alright With Me  7:35
Written-By – Cole Porter
02. Wheatleith Hall  14:00
Written-By – Dizzy Gillespie
03. I’ll Walk Alone  6:45
Written-By – Jule Styne , Sammy Cahn
04. Arabia  6:30
Written-By – Curtis Fuller
05. Judy’s Dilemma  5:30
Written-By – Curtis Fuller
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