All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

275

Curtis Amy: Mosaic Select 7

By

Sign in to view read count
Relatively unknown as far as storming tenor players go, Texas-born Curtis Amy perhaps wasn't so storming after all, as this set suggests.

Familiar to rock fans for his solo on the Doors' "Touch Me, Amy was more restrained, more a player of shadings and touch, than his reputation and birthright might lead one to believe. These sessions for the Pacific Jazz label, all cut in the early '60s, open with two albums of the then exceedingly popular combo of organ and tenor, jazz's most strenuous, and arguably contrived, attempt to blend hard bop with the soul and R&B music then dominating the radio waves— grease, as Herbie Nichols called it. But Amy must have been relentlessly driven within his own particular style, a niche of the blues for which John William Hardy, in his liner notes, comes off as a full-blown apologist generating excuses and reasons where none are needed; the blues are just fine.

By the time of his third Pacific session, Amy had done away with the organ, and overhauled his band to feature Carmell Jones on trumpet and Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, to go along with Frank Butler at the drums, who would later spend time with Miles Davis—as would pianist Victor Feldman, who made his contributions to the Amy band fourteen months following. And with each outing and changing lineup, the results are a marked improvement on those that came before, culminating in the unabashedly brilliant Katanga! session, with Dupree Bolton on trumpet. Songs that leaned more on others for their identities— Goin' Down, Catch Me a Woman is a dressed up "Work Song, "Meetin' Here a riff on "My Babe —are superseded by performances of so fresh a nature that the art of engagement becomes a composition in and of itself. Tippin' on Through, the penultimate session, from the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, is one of those bewitching one-off live albums, ranking alongside Ornette Coleman's Hillcrest date with Paul Bley. And still it doesn't compare to Katanga!—this set's bona fide masterpiece—so unlike everything else that Amy recorded, qualitatively, that one is scarcely prepared for it, and more than a little, at first, incredulous that this could be the same leader who two years prior was noodling away with Paul Bryant.

The album is one of only two marked by the presence of Bolton, and he has become, somewhat romantically, one of those jazz performers that for whom one laments there wasn't more—a Dick Twardzick or Hassan. Amy, who died in 2002, and whose work hardly even gets a mention in any jazz reference book—an oversight this box will hopefully put right—was by all accounts an affable, generous man and eminently practical in recognizing that boundaries need not be limitations. But for those who like to ponder whither the intersection of art and commerce, that's Amy's wife, Merry Clayton, hollering warnings of bad things to come, on the Stones' "Gimmie Shelter. Perspective, as always.

Copyright 2005 Goldmine / Krause Publications. Reprinted with permission.


Track Listing: Disc One: 1. Searchin' 2. Goin' Down, Catch Me A Woman 3. The Blues Message 4. Come Rain Or Come Shine 5. This Is The Blues 6. Meetin' Here 7. Early In The Morning 8. If I Were A Bell 9. One More Hamhock Please 10. Angel Eyes 11. Just Friends
Disc Two: 1. Gone Into It 2. Annsome 3. Bobbin' 4. Groovin' Blue 5. Beautiful You 6. Very Frank 7. Way Down 8. Liberia 9. 24 Hours Blues 10. Lisa 11. A Soulful Bee, A Soulful Rose 12. All My Life 13. Bells And Horns
Disc Three: 1. Tippin' On Through 2. Funk In The Evening 3. For Ayers Only 4. In Your Own Sweet Way 5. Summertime 6. Set Call 7. Katanga 8. Lonely Woman 9. Native Land 10. Amyable 11. You Don't Know What Love Is 12. A Shade Of Brown

Personnel: Curtis Amy (ts, ss), Roy Brewster, (vtrmb), Paul Bryant (org), Clarence Jones (b), Jimmy Miller (d), Carmell Jones (t), Boddy Hutcherson (vib), Frank Strazzeri (p), Jimmy Bond (b), Frank Butler (d), Marcus Belgrave (t), Roy Ayers (vib), John Houston (p), George Morrow (b), Tony Bazley (d), Victor Feldman (p), Bob Whitlock (b), Larance Marable (d), Dupree Bolton (t), Ray Crawford (g), Jack Wilson (p), Victor Gaskin (b), Doug Sides (d)

Title: Mosaic Select 7 | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Mosaic Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Plus One CD/LP/Track Review
Plus One
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "Life Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Life Stories
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Brass Mask Live" CD/LP/Track Review Brass Mask Live
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 9, 2018
Read "The Lead Belly Project" CD/LP/Track Review The Lead Belly Project
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 19, 2017