Mosaic Select 11: Dizzy Reece
“ While the four Blue Note efforts that Reece recorded have been previously available on compact disc either domestically or as imports, currently none of these titles are listed in the current catalog, making this three-disc set a valuable document. ”
Mosaic Select 11
During the '50s and '60s there were any number of minor jazz legends recording actively for such independent labels as Prestige, Riverside, Savoy, and Blue Note. As far as trumpeters go, the names Richard Williams, Blue Mitchell, Carmell Jones , Booker Little, and Dizzy Reece come to mind. In the case of Reece, he might have fared much better with a different moniker. Oddly enough his own individual style owed much less to the bop legacy of that other Dizzy, making any comparisons a moot point. In fact, Reece's muse is much more lyrically grounded making the comparison to Miles Davis and younger contemporaries Woody Shaw and Charles Tolliver more accurate.
While the four Blue Note efforts that Reece recorded over a two-year period beginning in 1958 have been previously available on compact disc either domestically or as imports, currently none of these titles are listed in the current catalog, making this three-disc set a valuable document that collects some of Reece's finest recorded moments. The trumpeter's tenure with the label actually began with a session that was recorded in the UK and leased by Alfred Lion. Blues In Trinity boasts a two-trumpet front line with Reece and Donald Byrd, along with British jazz heavyweights Tubby Hayes, Terry Shannon, and Lloyd Thompson. With his lyrical proclivities at a premium, Reece contributes several distinct numbers that find new routes to old destinations.
Back in the States, Reece would cut his first New York session in November of 1959 and the all-stars on board included Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and Art Taylor. This was heavy company to be sure, but Reece had no trouble making everything click and again much of the intrigue here is based on the trumpeter's fine writing. By contrast, Soundin' Off puts the spotlight squarely on Reece as a trumpet stylist in a quartet format. He takes his time on familiar standards like "Ghost Of a Chance" and "Yesterdays" and the mood is one of quiet intensity as opposed to a dazzling display of chops. Think of Kenny Dorham's Quiet Kenny and you'll get the idea.
This set concludes with nine numbers that were recorded with different personnel at two separate sessions. In the vaults for years, these tracks first came to light a few years back on a now discontinued disc entitled Comin' On. Stanley Turrentine shares the leading honors with Reece and while it might seem that the two have totally contrasting styles, this really works to the pair's advantage in the long run. Those familiar with "Achmet" and "The Story of Love" from Reece's 1962 masterpiece Asia Minor will enjoy hearing them here in early incarnations. Furthermore, Art Blakey and Bobby Timmons stoke the hard bop fires on five of the nine numbers making rare cameo appearances.
Still on the planet, Reece made only four more albums as a leader following his spurt of activity in the '50s and '60s. It's a shame that he's not better represented on record, but this set along with the previously mentioned Asia Minor represent the best he had to offer and are arguably some of the preeminent hard bop recordings of the era.
1. Blues In Trinity (A) 6:44 2. I Had The Craziest Dream (A) 3:02 3. Close-Up (A) 10:38) 4. Shepherd's Serenade (S) 6:35 5. Color Blind (A) 5:59 6. 'Round About Midnight (A) 4:44 7. Eboo (A) 4:01 8. Just A Penny (A) 5:27 9. The Rake (B) 6:04 10. I'll Close My Eyes (B) 5:55 11. Groovesville (B) 8:05
1. The Rebound (B) 6:46 2. I Wished On The Moon (B) 6:48 3. A Variation On Monk (B) 5:41 4. (I Don't Stand A) Ghost Of A Chance (C) 5:04 5. Once In A While (C) 7:54 6. Eb Pob (C) 7:27 7. Yesterdays (C) 7:44 8. Our Love Is Here To Stay (C) 7:08 9. Blue Streak (C) 6:21
1. Ye Olde Blues (D) 6:40 2. The Case Of The Frightened Lover (D) 5:42 3. Tenderly (D) 9:02 4. Achmet (D) 8:28 5. The Story Of Love (D) 10:09 6. Sands (E) 6:00 7. Comin' On (E) 6:44 8. Goose Dance (E) 6:49 9. The Things We Did Last Summer (E) 6:17
Personnel: Dizzy Reece (trumpet) with Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd, Art Taylor, Stanley Turrentine, Paul Chambers, Walter Bishop, Art Blakey, Sam Jones, Al Harewood, and many others.