Archive for the Melba LISTON Category

Melba LISTON – And Her Bones 1956-1958

Posted in JAZZ, Melba LISTON on November 22, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Melba LISTON – And Her Bones 1956-1958
2006 Issue.


Finding an obscure recording, especially one of quality, can be exciting for jazz enthusiasts. This reissue of Melba Liston’s only recording as a leader, originally released by the short-lived Metro Jazz label half a century ago, is cause for celebration. The reissued Melba Liston and Her ‘Bones also includes four tracks from another session which was originally released under Frank Rehak’s name.
Melba Liston is best known as an arranger and composer, thanks to her associations with Dizzy Gillespie and subsequently Randy Weston. But she was a virtuoso trombone player as well. On this recording she joins a variety of other trombonists, including Bennie Green, Al Grey, and Benny Powell (three tracks); Jimmy Cleveland, Frank Rehak and Slide Hampton (five tracks); and Frank Rehak (the four bonus tracks). The leader’s interplay with the other trombone players adds to the musical richness of the recording.

Even in the company of high-quality, accomplished master musicians like these, her musical skills stand out. Her lyrical improvisations are melodic, clear and gay when she plays unmuted, and mysterious and warm when muted. This recording is one of the few places to hear Melba Liston solo, in addition to two tracks on Ernie Henry’s Last Chorus (Riverside, 1958) and a beautiful solo on “My Reverie with the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra.

This hard-swinging music is firmly planted in the bop tradition, enhanced by the playing of Marti Flax (baritone sax) and Kenny Burrell (guitar) on specific tracks. Melba Liston’s playing matches her compositional skills; she wrote four of the twelve pieces, and they shine with originality. Liston has long been ignored as a composer and horn player, in large part due to gender bias, and so this reissue is long overdue—not just because of its historical value, but also the quality of the music.
By Hrayr Attarian.
Sure, there were female trombone players before Melba Liston just look at the “all women” bands of the swing era but there were no Modern, harmonically savvy, players who became A-list player/composers like Melba did. Featured in the Quincy Jones Big Band in the late 50’s-early 60’s, Melba was a killer player whose tone was fantastic and her solo inventions were the envy of all her peers. This album puts her in the company she deserves some of the best bone players of the day in a rare 60’s session that really swings. Highly recommended.
By Henry S. Brent.
Melba Liston- (Trombone)
Frank Rehak- (Trombone 1, 2, 4, 5, 8-12), Jimmy Cleveland (Trombone 1, 2, 4, 5, 8)
Slide Hampton- (Bass Trombone 1, 5, 8; Tuba 2, 4)
Bennie Green, Al Grey, Benny Powell- (Trombone 3, 6, 7)
Marty Flax- (Baritone Sax 9-12)
Kenny Burrell- (Guitar 3, 6, 7)
Ray Bryant- (Piano 1, 2, 4, 5, 8), Walter Davis Jr. (Piano 9-12)
George Tucker- (Bass 1, 2, 4, 5, 8), George Joyner (Jamil Nasser) (Bass 3, 6, 7), Nelson Boyd (Bass 9-12)
Frankie Dunlop-(Drums 1, 2, 4, 5, 8), Charlie Persip (Drums 3, 6, 7, 9-12)
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 recorded in New York City, 24. 12. 1958.
Tracks 3, 6, 7 recorded in New York City, 22. 12. 1958.
Tracks 9-12 recorded in New York City, June 1956.
01. Christmas Eve   4:57
02. What’s My Line Theme   4:18
03. You Don’t Say   3:55
04. The Dark Before The Dawn   3:18
05. Pow!   4:01
06. Blues Melba   6:30
07. The Trolley Song   2:31
08. Wonder Why   3:58
09. Insomnia [Bonus track]   3:29
10. Very Syrian Business [Bonus track]   4:22
11. Never Do an Abadanian [Bonus track]   5:07
12. Zagred This [Bonus track]   4:41

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