213

Jimmy Forrest: Black Forrest

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest, best known and perhaps best remembered as composer of the huge R&B smash, “Night Train,” was also an underrated swing–based player out of the Gene Ammons/Lockjaw Davis/Sonny Stitt school whose ample talents are showcased on the quintet date Black Forrest, recorded in 1959 with the same cast (and a couple of the same songs) that appeared on an earlier Delmark release, All the Gin Is Gone (Delmark 404). As it turns out, the tunes that comprise Black Forrest were recorded at the same session in December ’59. What’s most important to the listener is that the sentiments are the same, which means good old–fashioned swinging from the get–go. If I’m not mistaken (and I frequently am), this may have been one of the first recording dates for the then–young guitarist Grant Green (it wasn’t until two years later that he was in New York and recording under his own name for Blue Note). Green was already an accomplished player, as were Mabern, Ramey and Jones, and they brighten this Forrest with luxuriant and colorful foliage. As for Jimmy, he plays like someone who has just learned he’s won the lottery, ripping off a series of fast–moving solos that fairly crackle with unharnessed energy and exuberance while caressing the ballads with unremitting warmth and tenderness. Recording quality is about average, I’d guess, for ’59. Drums and bass are somewhat camouflaged, Mabern’s piano clanky, but Green (who is showcased on “But Beautiful”) and Forrest come through loud and clear. Even with such memorable standards as “These Foolish Things” (two takes), “You Go to My Head,” “What’s New?” and “But Beautiful” on the menu, Forrest’s almost impromptu head arrangements (“Black Forrest,” “Dog It,” “Sunkenfoal” and — resurfacing from the other session — “All the Gin Is Gone”) stand out like searchlights in a fog. In spite of its rather abbreviated playing time (44:49), Black Forrest is easily recommended, as almost every moment is rewarding.


Track Listing:

Black Forrest; Dog It; These Foolish Things; Sunkenfoal; You Go to My Head; Black Forrest; What

Personnel:

Jimmy Forrest, tenor saxophone; Harold Mabern, piano; Grant Green, guitar; Gene Ramey, bass; Elvin Jones, drums.

| Record Label: Delmark Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "All L.A. Band" CD/LP/Track Review All L.A. Band
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queens" CD/LP/Track Review Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queens
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Brooklyn Blowhards" CD/LP/Track Review Brooklyn Blowhards
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 31, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!