316

The Earl May Quartet: Swinging The Blues

By

Sign in to view read count
The Earl May Quartet: Swinging The Blues Over the course of the last half-century, Earl May has been one of the busiest bass players in the New York Area. He spent just about the entire decade of the 1950s with the long-running Billy Taylor Trio. Dr. Taylor arranged for a reunion recording of the original trio (with Percy Brice on drums), which was recorded for Prestige in 2003 as Billy Taylor Trio with Earl May/Percy Brice.

On this latest effort, May shows his ability to provide the pulse of this quartet as well as manage some nimble solos. Recording for Arbors, one of the key labels specializing in post-war swing music, the Earl May Quartet fits right in and then some. Altoist David Glasser takes most of the melody statements, providing the right touch. On the jump tunes, like the Count Basie piece "Swinging The Blues," Glasser sounds very much like Paul Desmond in his prime. On the first ballad, "Blame It On My Youth," Glasser's notes curl inward on the beautiful Oscar Levant/Edward Heyman melody. Dave Glasser also contributes a fine ballad, "Blue Iridescense," and his solo on that composition explores the blues content of the piece.

Earl May's reputation is that of a workhorse who has to be coaxed to take a solo. I am pleased to see that he does get the opportunity on this album, taking a walking bass solo on the title tune, beginning the melody line of "My Foolish Heart" before turning it over to Glasser, and putting in another good one on the Comden & Green/Jule Styne piece "Make Someone Happy." Larry Ham proves a most serviceable pianist, whether providing a romantic cushion for the ballads or fine comping on the up-tempo "Make Someone Happy." After having seen drummer Eddie Locke a number of times, I'd forgotten just how good he can be with brushes. You can hear that throughout the album and especially on Dave Glasser's "It's So Divine." Locke even contributes an original tune, "Wishes Are Starting To Don't Come True."

In addition to the standards and originals, the quartet tackles some bebop staples like "Lester Leaps In" and "Confirmation" rather smartly.


Track Listing: Swinging The Blues; Blame It On My Youth; My Foolish Heart; Tea For Two; Blue Iridescense; Make Someone Happy; Under African Skies; Sioux Suite; My Old Flame; Confirmaton; Wishes Are Starting To Don't Come True; It's So Divine; Lester Leaps In.

Personnel: Earl May: bass; David Glasser: alto sax; Kenny Ham: piano; Barry Harris: piano (4,9); Eddie Locke: drums.

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


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Lowdown Hoedown" CD/LP/Track Review Lowdown Hoedown
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Play Date" CD/LP/Track Review Play Date
by James Nadal
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Blow" CD/LP/Track Review Blow
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "Hank Mobley" CD/LP/Track Review Hank Mobley
by Greg Simmons
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Time Never Pauses" CD/LP/Track Review Time Never Pauses
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 10, 2016
Read "Röjer På Vinden" CD/LP/Track Review Röjer På Vinden
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 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!