Timeless All Stars: At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall: Hamburg 1982

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Timeless All Stars: At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall: Hamburg 1982
They were timeless and they were all stars. Bobby Hutcherson, Harold Land, Curtis Fuller, Cedar Walton, Buster Williams and Billy Higgins got together in the early 1980s to play post-hard-bop jazz in the studio and on the US and European performance circuits. The band recorded three fine albums between 1982 and 1986. At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall makes that four. Recorded live at the famously louche Hamburg club, it was taped for broadcast by German radio station NDR. The release kicks off a series of previously unissued albums celebrating Onkel Po's glory years.

At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall has four tracks and a total playing time of 75 minutes. An average playing time of nearly 19 minutes per track might suggest a blowing session in which all six musicians get to solo in predictable succession on every track. But the tunes are presented more imaginatively than that, with extended theme expositions and mostly just three soloists on each track.

The album opens with a furiously paced reading of Buster Williams' bop bouncer "Tokudo." It is followed by Victor Young and Ned Washington's ballad "My Foolish Heart," a showcase for Bobby Hutcherson, who maintains the momentum of the set's opener by taking the middle section into double-time. Cedar Walton's mid-tempo ballad "Clockwise" cools things down temporarily, before the speed picks up once more with Harold Land's classic slice of hard bop, "Mapenzi," the title track of an album he had co-headlined with Blue Mitchell in 1977.

All six musicians crossed paths over the best part of three decades, with Land and Hutcherson particularly frequent collaborators. Among the pair's early projects was A New Shade Of Blue, an outstanding spiritual-jazz album made under Land's name for Bob Shad's Mainstream label in 1971. Buster Williams was the bassist on the session, along with Bill Henderson on piano and keys, Billy Hart on drums and James Mtume on congas. Reissued on vinyl and CD by We Want Sounds in 2018, A New Shade Of Blue, like At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall, is timeless.

Track Listing

Tokudo; My Foolish Heart; Clockwise; Mapenzi.


Bobby Hutcherson: vibraphone; Harold Land: tenor saxophone; Curtis Fuller: trombone; Cedar Walton: piano; Buster Williams: bass; Billy Higgins: drums.

Album information

Title: At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall: Hamburg 1982 | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Jazzline Records

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Read Human
Shai Maestro
Read Hurricane Mouse
Hurricane Mouse
The Justin Rothberg Group
Read Latínball í Búðardal
Latínball í Búðardal
Tómas R. Einarsson
Read Bernstein Reimagined
Bernstein Reimagined
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Read Faune
Raphaël Pannier Quartet
Read En Casa Limon
En Casa Limon
David Broza
Read Freedom Fables
Freedom Fables
Nubiyan Twist

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.