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From the Inside Out

Blue Note and Recording Master Re-Present RVGs Heritage

By Published: June 14, 2005

"I wish I could record some of these musicians again with the equipment I have now, he continues. "But just being able to hear these great artists again in their prime makes me feel that recording jazz in New Jersey sure beat anything else that was going on in the world during that time.

What's not to like in this set of pristine jazz classics? This Perfect collection includes:

The wonderfully oddball in melody and rhythm "Four in One, where it sounds like Thelonious Monk not only plays the "wrong notes but plays them in the "wrong places, and the sound of Milt Jackson's vibes playing tag with Monk's piano, both pursued by Art Blakey's drums, is pure joy.

"Budo from Miles Davis' seminal Birth of the Cool session, the historic nonet date featuring Kai Winding, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz and Max Roach, where Davis jabs and wallops fleet and powerful like Sugar Ray Robinson.

Donald Byrd's treatment of "Christo Redentor, a rare display of voices on a Blue Note session, moaning soft and low counterpoint to dark blues piano from Hancock and blues trumpet from the leader.

Van Gelder ends Perfect with Jimmy Smith's funky Hammond B-3 update of Ma Rainey's "See See Rider, smooth and mellow, chilled with icy-hot runs from guitarist Kenny Burrell, two Percy France saxophone breaks floating like cocktail cherries in the thick groove, and with Smith peeling off long fat greasy runs like pulling out one French fry from a stack smothered in a mess of cheese and gravy.

"Jimmy Smith's 'See See Rider' comes from one of the last Blue Note sessions done at the studio in my parents' living room in Hackensack, Van Gelder notes in closing this set.

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