121

Various Artists: A Great Night In Harlem

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Various Artists: A Great Night In Harlem

Mixed Blessings—Mixed Feelings

Recordings like A Great Night In Harlem tend to have the parts greater than the sum. Performed and recorded to benefit The Jazz Musician’s Emergency Fund, A Great Night contains some very great moments. Central to the collection is Cassandra Wilson’s 10-minute take on the Son House opus, "Death Letter." Beautifully rendered with her voice filled with dust and peat, Wilson delivers a definitive jazz reading of this Delta classic, backed by the exceptional talent of Marvin Sewell on slide guitar. Ray Bryant offers a touching and spare solo "Con Alma" and Ahmad Jamal, in a quartet setting, tears into his own "Devil’s In My Den" with a daring ear. Tommy Flanagan, in one of his last performances, salutes Ellington (as only he can) with a trio-fueled "Sunset and The Mockingbird." The night is closed with Be Bop, appropriately, Denzil Best’s "Wee" ("Alvin’s Alley"), lead by Clark Terry and Phil Woods in the principle roles.

One cannot effectively criticize a good cause. The Jazz Musician’s Emergency Fund, a part of the Jazz Foundation of America , is a most worthy cause on behalf of American Artists. Whether the recording suits this critic’s taste or not is beside the point. For those interested, it is the mentioned few performances that make this recording desirable if not essential. The lack of thematic cohesion in collections like this always troubles me, but then again how could anything be more cohesive than helping people?


Track Listing: Disc 1: No Greater Love; If I Had You; Devil's In My Den; Don't Explain; Roy Haynes Solo; Fan Fare For Four Trumpets. Disc 2: Sunset And The Mockingbird; Death Letter; Con Alma; We Have A Friend In Jesus; Everyday I Have The Blues; Wee (Total Time: 55:48).

Personnel: A Cast of Thousands.

Title: A Great Night In Harlem | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Concord Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks" CD/LP/Track Review Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "LifeCycle" CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Moanin'" CD/LP/Track Review Moanin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "My Tongue Crumbles After" CD/LP/Track Review My Tongue Crumbles After
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 1, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.