Amazon.com Widgets

Pee Wee Russell: Ask Me Now (1965)

By Published: | 5,896 views
Pee Wee Russell: Ask Me Now No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Pee Wee Russell enjoyed a significant comeback with the original release of this session. Not content to live in the past, Russell doesn’t gaze in the rearview mirror as far back as we would expect. First off, he has chosen a program of (at the time) modern works by the likes of Coleman, Monk, and Coltrane, instead of the earlier jazz tunes that were his forte. Second, Russell dispenses with a piano and instead shares the front line Marshall Brown on valve trombone and bass trumpet, again showing a decidedly forward thinking line-up.

However, instead of coming across like the Coleman Quartet, Russell’s group achieves a sound that shares more in common with the Mulligan/Baker collaboration, using counterpoint and harmony to create unique and novel melodies. Every tune is taken at a relaxed pace, which only serves to emphasize the precise swing of George and Bedford. Most people felt that the clarinet had no place in the direction jazz was heading, yet Russell’s wooden, earthy soloing nudges the instrument into a fresh context.

As a result we have a jazz veteran who shows a remarkable facility for navigating new tunes without sounding uncomfortable, and who as a result created one of the finest records of his career. How many artists near sixty can say the same?


See Combing the Verve Catalog for related reviews.
Visit Verve on the web.

Track Listing: 1. Turnaround 2. How About Me? 3. Ask Me Now 4. Some Other Blues 5. I

Personnel: Pee Wee Russell-clarinet; Marshall Brown-valve trombone, bass trumpet; Russell George-bass; Ronnie Bedford-drums.

Record Label: Impulse!

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

A musician was found with a matching name

Name:

Birthday:

Instrument:

Is this you?