379

Melba Liston: Melba Liston and Her 'Bones

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Melba Liston: Melba Liston and Her 'Bones Finding an obscure recording, especially one of quality, can be exciting for jazz enthusiasts. This reissue of Melba Liston's only recording as a leader, originally released by the short-lived Metro Jazz label half a century ago, is cause for celebration. The reissued Melba Liston and Her 'Bones also includes four tracks from another session which was originally released under Frank Rehak's name.

Melba Liston is best known as an arranger and composer, thanks to her associations with Dizzy Gillespie and subsequently Randy Weston. But she was a virtuoso trombone player as well. On this recording she joins a variety of other trombonists, including Bennie Green, Al Grey, and Benny Powell (three tracks); Jimmy Cleveland, Frank Rehak and Slide Hampton (five tracks); and Frank Rehak (the four bonus tracks). The leader's interplay with the other trombone players adds to the musical richness of the recording.

Even in the company of high-quality, accomplished master musicians like these, her musical skills stand out. Her lyrical improvisations are melodic, clear and gay when she plays unmuted, and mysterious and warm when muted. This recording is one of the few places to hear Melba Liston solo, in addition to two tracks on Ernie Henry's Last Chorus (Riverside, 1958) and a beautiful solo on "My Reverie with the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra.

This hard-swinging music is firmly planted in the bop tradition, enhanced by the playing of Marti Flax (baritone sax) and Kenny Burrell (guitar) on specific tracks. Melba Liston's playing matches her compositional skills; she wrote four of the twelve pieces, and they shine with originality. Liston has long been ignored as a composer and horn player, in large part due to gender bias, and so this reissue is long overdue—not just because of its historical value, but also the quality of the music.


Track Listing: Christmas Eve; What's My Line Theme; You Don't Say; Dark Before Dawn; Pow; Blues Melba; Trolley Song; Wonder Why; Insomnia; Very Syrian Business; Never Do An Abadanian; Zagred This.

Personnel: Melba Liston, Bennie Green, Al Grey, Benny Powell: trombone; Kenny Burrell: guitar; George Joyner: bass; Charlie Persip: drums (3,6,7). Melba Liston, Jimmy Cleveland, Frank Rehak: trombone; Slide Hampton: trombone, tuba; Ray Bryant: piano; Frank Dunlop: drums (1,2,4,5,8). Melba Liston, Frank Rehak: trombone; Marty Flax: baritone saxophone; Walter Davis Jr.: piano; Nelson Boyd: bass; Charlie Persip: drums (9-12).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Fresh Sound Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 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 "Life Compass On!" CD/LP/Track Review Life Compass On!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Ljubljana" CD/LP/Track Review Ljubljana
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Projeto Brasil!" CD/LP/Track Review Projeto Brasil!
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 27, 2016
Read "Friday Night in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review Friday Night in San Francisco
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Sus" CD/LP/Track Review Sus
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Something Real" CD/LP/Track Review Something Real
by Doug Collette
Published: March 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET 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!

Buy it!