Chronicling the first half of the last reunion of two "bad boys" of jazz, Quintessence demonstrates how, even in the autumns of their lives, Baker and Getz could still play on their feet and swing with the big boys. Like an old, weather-worn door, Baker creaks a bit but always comes swinging back. From his valiant scat in "Just Friends" and a cooking "But Not For Me" to his flaring Gillespie-esque trumpet licks in "Dizzy Atmosphere," Chet keeps the pace and sets the tone. Getz’s slippery intro to "I’m Old Fashioned" is satisfying on its own and only that much more enhanced by Baker’s instrumental and vocal contributions. The highlights of this album are many, but while pianist Jim McNeely’s twinkling brightens many a line, most of them come from tandem performances by the two elder statesmen. "Star Eyes" finds the horn section richly playing off each other, while Golson’s "Stablemates" has the two old horses charging along neck and neck, each bursting ahead momentarily and then returning to the percussive pack before cruising down the rhythmic home stretch to a jubilant intermission.
Track Listing: 1. Intro Announcement
2. I'm Old Fashioned
3. Just Friends
4. Star Eyes
5. My Ideal
6. But Not for Me
7. Dizzy Atmosphere
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.