In launching this new record label, producer Yasohachi “88” Itoh comments, “The golden age of jazz was in the ‘60s, but when the ‘70s came, most of the major record labels weren’t interested in jazz anymore.”
Today, jazz is back with a wallop. History continues to be recorded expertly, and legendary jazz giants continue to share their feelings on the matter.
Clark Terry and Max Roach are in fine form for this March 10, 2002 studio session in New York. The program includes three individual solo features and six duets. The rest are trio and quartet arrangements with straightforward intentions. Terry’s sweet tone and fluid technique sparkle as brightly as ever. Roach’s drum set resonates with a variety of textures that includes his familiar, quasi-timpani pitch alterations. Expressiveness reigns over the ballads.
Sy Oliver’s “For Dancers Only” makes a timeless statement about hip, syncopated rhythmic textures alongside improvised melodic strains, with outside quotes from the neighborhood. “Makin’ Whoopee” swings gracefully for over eight minutes as the quartet takes a slow, nostalgic stroll through memory lane. Don Friedman’s crisp, asymmetric, piano attack and Marcus McLaurine’s smooth, lyrical bass melody recall the days when Count Basie and His Orchestra provided pleasant evenings in one town after another on the road.
Terry and Roach follow that with a duet, “To Basie With Love,” on which Terry alternates left hand and right hand with open flugelhorn and muted trumpet, while Roach stutter-steps a strong foundation right behind. The veterans make a great pair. Their friendship accounts for a promising opening of the new Eighty-Eight’s label.
Personnel: Clark Terry- trumpet, flugelhorn; Max Roach- drums; Don Friedman- piano; Marcus McLaurine-