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Jam Gems is Label M’s latest offering from their ongoing series of previously unearthed recordings taped at Baltimore’s Famous Ballroom by The Left Bank Jazz Society. Formed in 1964, this group often booked Sunday afternoon jam sessions at various venues. However, the tapes were never released until producer Joel Dorn struck a deal to issue the performances on his new label. This session from June 13, 1965, captures trumpeter Freddie Hubbard shortly before he altered his hard-bop style and steered his career in a more commercial direction. Hubbard and tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath were good friends who had played together on a number of occasions. No surprise then that sparks flew. Urged on by an enthusiastic audience, Hubbard and Heath trade rapid-fire licks throughout, displaying an inviting blend of youthful exuberance and wild abandon. The two hornmen are backed by Wibur Little (bass), Bertell Knox (drums) and Gus Simms (piano), who for a time functioned as the de facto rhythm section for many of the Society’s visiting stars. Hot! ###
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.