Clifford Jordan: Glass Bead Games (2006)
Jordan spread the compositional chores around and everyone except Jones contributed. The first three tracks (which comprised side one of the original album) are the leader's and they are pitched somewhere between the Trane-derived spiritual mood that was prevalent at the time and the hard-driving bop with which Jordan is most commonly associated. Walton contributes two characteristic tricky melodic themes ("Shoulders" and "Bridgework") that give Jordan plenty to sink his chops into while Lee's funky "Biskit" and "Eddie Harris" (which has a kinship to Harris' "Listen Here") keep things invigorated. This disc also shines as one of the finest examples of the art of Higgins' drumming, the variety of moods and tempi inspiring some of his best playing.
Glass Bead Games is a record that seems to have gotten better with age. In his liner notes, Stanley Crouch (a writer with whom I rarely agree) cites the fact that this album is a classic revered by many. Mention of this record to most any tenor player is guaranteed a favorable reaction. About the only complaint about this album would be the ordinary cover art for such extraordinary music.
Track Listing: Poweful Paul Robeson; Glass Bead Games; Prayer To The People; Cal Massey; John Coltrane; Eddie Harris; Biskit; Shoulders; Bridgework; Maimoun; Alias Buster Henry; One For Amos.
Personnel: Clifford Jordan: tenor saxophone; Stanley Cowell: piano; Cedar Walton: piano; Bill Lee: bass; Sam Jones: bass; Billy Higgins: drums.
Record Label: Harvest Song Records
Style: Modern Jazz