Carmell Jones: Mosaic Select 2 (2003)
Although the misconception exists that the prevailing jazz climate on the West Coast was much cooler than its East Coast counterpart, a quick listen to “I’m Gonna Go Fishin’” from 1961’s The Remarkable Carmell Jones should put that myth to rest. Jones is fluid and fiery throughout, as is tenor saxophonist Harold Land, who contributes some of his most incendiary improvisations. A rare item that fetches high prices on vinyl, this set has been long overdue for reissue, yet even more remarkable is the availability here of two additional Pacific Jazz rarities, Business Meetin’ and Brass Bag. These sets sport large ensemble charts arranged by Gerald Wilson and not only add much to our knowledge of Jones’ work, but also speak to the arranging prowess of Wilson. Little need exists for singling out specific performances as every moment deserves to be savored and the anonymity of these performances simply defies explanation.
Completing this package are two sessions that were not recorded under Jones’ leadership, but prominently feature his contributions. The first of these is a previously unissued 1963 Pacific Jazz date led by Frank Strazzeri. Consisting largely of the pianist’s originals, nothing all that revolutionary occurs, but Jones and tenor man Hadley Caliman form a potent front line and the solo spots are uniformly fine. Harold Land’s Jazz Impressions of Folk Music is entirely something else, an extensive hard bop reworking of public domain ‘oldies’ such as “Hava Na Gila,” “Tom Dooley,” and “On Top of Old Smokey.” To say that Jones and Land whip things into a vibrant froth is an understatement and the album’s inclusion here is an unmitigated bonus.
As an introduction to Mosaic’s new line of reissues, this title succeeds brilliantly. As for the individual artist involved, the recorded work is of substantial merit, especially considering that it has long been unavailable.
Issued in limited editions of 5000, this recording is available solely through Mosaic Records; 35 Melrose Place; Stamford, CT. 06902; (203) 327-7111. Check their website at www.mosaicrecords.com for more information.
Track Listing: DISC ONE: 1. I'm Gonna Go Fishin', 2. Come Rain Or Come Shine, 3. Night Tide, 4. Sad March, 5. Stellisa, 6. Full Moon And Empty Arms, 7. That's Good, 8. Suearl, 9. Hip Trolley, 10. Beautiful Love DISC TWO: 1. Business Meetin', 2. Stella By Starlight, 3. Toddler, 4. Cherokee, 5. Brass Bag, 6. Angel Eyes, 7. Celery Stalks At Midnight, 8. Mood Indigo, 9. Moten Swing, 10. Canadian Sunset, 11. Ow!, 12. Bluer Than That DISC THREE: 1. New Orleans, 2. Lope In, 3. Yvette, 4. Huskey, 5. Injun Jo, 6. Effusion, 7. Antler Rock, 8. Take This Hammer, 9. Hava Na Gila, 10. Tom Dooley, 11. Scarlet Ribbons, 12. Foggy, Foggy Dew, 13. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine, 14. On Top Of Old Smokey, 15. Blue Tail Fly
Personnel: Carmell Jones with Harold Land, Gary Peacock, Tricky Lofton, Gerald Wilson, Frank Strazzeri, Red Mitchell, and many others.
Record Label: Mosaic Records