221

J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding Quintet: Complete Fifties Studio Recordings

Francis Lo Kee By

Sign in to view read count
J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding Quintet: Complete Fifties Studio Recordings The first thing that piqued my interest about Complete Fifties Studio Recordings (compiled from the Savoy, Prestige, Columbia, and Bethlehem labels) was the inclusion of a rare Mingus piece called "Reflections. When you get to track number six after traveling through the preceding tunes (including the delightful "Bernie's Tune ) you might utter "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

The piece starts off with the lowest "F on arco bass, and then the first trombone plays a slightly disjunct and slightly dissonant line against it. The second trombone enters in the style of a canon but quickly the chase becomes a mutual search for harmony over the bass pedal. Mingus slides down to Eb (below the normal range) and the drums and then piano enter, adding a different, faster tension. The mutual search for harmony is the bridge into the next sections of this little suite-like piece that then becomes a ballad evoking "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love (to be written years in the future). A remarkable piece; a little symphony in just over four minutes.

J.J. Johnson might be called the father of bebop trombone, with legendary mobility on his instrument. Trombonist Kai Winding was also a great player, and their playing in tandem is so in tune and so rhythmically together that they are like musical twins.

Both Johnson and Winding were composers as well as virtuoso players. Johnson's "Lament, "Stolen Bass, "Hip Bones, and "Riviera are highlights, while Kai Winding's "Gong Rock asks the musical question, to paraphrase Frank Zappa, "is that a real gong or is that a Sears gong? Beautiful jazz playing is contributed by all the musicians on this compilation: Billy Bauer, Kenny Clarke, Wally Cirillo, Dick Katz, Paul Chambers, Milt Hinton, Wendell Marshall, Al Harewood and Osie Johnson.

Maybe this isn't revolutionary, earth-shattering music (and it even detours into cocktail jazz at moments), but it's a good balance of instrumental virtuosity, incredible ensemble playing, interesting compositions and arrangements, and swinging, singing playing by all, especially the front line.

Track Listing: CD1: Blues for Trombones; What is this Thing Called Love?; Lament 4-The Mayor; Bernie's Tune; Reflections;; Op; Blues in Two's; The Whiffenpoof Song; Give Me the Simple Life; Close As Pages in a Book; Turnabout; Trombone for Two; It's Sand Man; We Two; Let's Get Away From It All; Goodbye; This Can't Be Love. CD2: Out of This World; Thou Swell; Lover; Lope City; Stolen Bass; It's Alright With Me; Mad About the Boy; Yes Sir, That's My Baby; That's How I Feel About You; Gong Rock; It's Alright With Me (Alt. take); Don't Argue; How Long has this been going on?; Riviera; Dinner For One; Hip Bones; Wind Bag; We'll Be Together Again; Bag's Groove.

Personnel: J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding: trombones; Billy Bauer: guitar; Wally Cirillo, Dick Katz: piano; Charles Mingus, Paul Chambers, Milt Hinton, Wendell Marshall, Peck Morrison: bass; Kenny Clarke, Osie Johnson, Al Harewood: drums.

Year Released: 1955 | Record Label: Lonehill Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Reflections CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Back In Your Own Backyard CD/LP/Track Review Back In Your Own Backyard
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin' CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Through The Glass CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Convergence" CD/LP/Track Review Convergence
by Mark F. Turner
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Process And Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Road to Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Right to Love" CD/LP/Track Review Right to Love
by Jim Olin
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "Expansions  Live" CD/LP/Track Review Expansions Live
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

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!