Jimmy Woods was a talented musician who made few recorded appearances before vanishing into obscurity. Conflict
is the second of two '60s solo records on Contemporary, the first already reissued in a previous batch of limited edition releases. It’s tempting to judge Woods solely on the company he keepscertainly the likes of Andrew Hill, Elvin Jones, and Harold Land don’t have to be bothered with middling talent. However, Woods proves he can more than handle the responsibilities on a program consisting entirely of forward-thinking, advanced hard bop originals, which also utilize inventive call-and-response riffs.
“Conflict” is a lopsided blues with an edgy vamp from Hill which allows the front line to indulge in some grand exploratory work. On the other hand, “Apart Together” features a complicated head and the type of restless chord progressions that serious musicians love to dig in to. Woods demonstrates his ability to handle the changes and aptly deserves the company he keeps. Elvin Jones fits in his usual thunderous moments, and the rest of the sidemen, Hill and Carmell Jones in particular, are models of creative expression.
Contemporary signed Woods after Ornette Coleman’s departure to Atlantic. While not quite an equal replacement, Woods proved that he was a talented musician whose time in the spotlight, for whatever reason, was brief.
Personnel: Jimmy Woods-alto sax; Carmell Jones-trumpet; Harold Land-tenor sax; Andrew Hill-piano;
George Tucker-bass; Elvin Jones-drums.