252

Taft Jordan: Mood Indigo

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Metaphorically equating the Ellington Orchestra with the Amazon River is an easy prospect. The hundreds of players who passed through its ranks are as numerous as the tributaries that pour into the mighty South American waterway. Ellington’s skill at shaping and sculpting his sidemen into his monumental sound and vision is legendary and with good reason. None of the musicians who spent time under Duke’s tutelage left without retaining a lasting imprint of his influence. Taft Jordan, Ellington’s trumpeter from 1943-47, demonstrates how indelible the influence could be on the two sessions gathered for this disc.

The first session in particular minces no words in its debt to the Duke and serves as an ideal tribute. Jordan chose seven of the maestro’s most cozy melodies for the date and he and his sidemen set to work paying them the homage they deserve. His choice of instrumentation for the group is another feather in the cap and his judicious use of mutes adds to a pervading mood of dreamy languidity. Burrell’s guitar crochets a delicate architecture of chords on each of the pieces and Persip’s sparse drum patterns contribute to the relaxed atmosphere. It’s difficult to choose favorites among the seven treasures polished by the group but their renditions of “Warm Valley” and “Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me” win out in the category of elegant, easygoing swing. On the former Persip’s mallets build an exotic undertone beneath Jordan’s melancholic brass giving him the chance to show off his growling chops with a plunger.

the Ellington influence is equally pervasive on the second session though Jordan features a completely different line-up. With the addition of Sears and Jefferson, fellow members of the Ellington fraternity, the horn section not only triples in size, it also adopts a harder swinging edge. The opening “Carnegie Hall Blues” is filled with lusty solos from both of the saxophonists and “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be” hits a rocking groove thanks to Johnson’s tight traps work. Marshall stays mainly in the background, but his rounded pulse is always audible pushing his partners along. Jordan really opens things up on this session and routinely blows sonorous, but stentorian lines across the solid, but unobtrusive rhythm section. Sears is sometimes just off mike and his positioning adds a resonating echo to the sound of his reed. As a whole this disc presents two excellent slices of small group Ellington-influenced swing under the able leadership of Jordan and should be sought out by enthusiasts of the Duke’s music.

Collective


Track Listing: Lost in Meditation/ In a Sentimental Mood/ Mood Indigo/ Warm Valley/ Sophisticated Lady/ I Didn

Personnel:

Collective Taft Jordan- trumpet; Kenny Burrell- guitar; Richard Wyands- piano; Joe Benjamin- bass; Charlie Persip- drums. Al Sears- tenor saxophone; Hilton Jefferson- alto saxophone; Don Abney- piano; Wendell Marshall- bass; Gus Johnson- drums.

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


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong
trumpet
Sonny Stitt Sonny Stitt
saxophone
Chick Webb Chick Webb
drums
Gerry Mulligan Gerry Mulligan
sax, baritone
Hank Mobley Hank Mobley
sax, tenor
Jackie McLean Jackie McLean
sax, alto
Stanley Turrentine Stanley Turrentine
sax, tenor
Milt Jackson Milt Jackson
vibraphone
Gene Ammons Gene Ammons
sax, tenor
Chu Berry Chu Berry
sax, tenor

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
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 Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Crystal Moth" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Moth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Otterville" CD/LP/Track Review Otterville
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "Second Impression" CD/LP/Track Review Second Impression
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Nomade Orquestra" CD/LP/Track Review Nomade Orquestra
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 5, 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!