446

Lou Blackburn: The Complete Imperial Sessions

Mike Neely By

Sign in to view read count
Lou Blackburn: The Complete Imperial Sessions The Complete Imperial Sessions presents a tight West Coast band with a bluesy East Coast sound. There is the best of both worlds in this fine quintet with its well-balanced soloists and outstanding rhythm section. Blackburn is a sharp band leader whose sophistication is evident throughout these sessions; he brings to the table eleven original compositions and a band that can turn on a dime. Blackburn adds to the mix a soulful, full bodied trombone that is at home with the blues.



Of course it helps a bandleader if your pianist is Horace Tapscott and your trumpeter is Freddie Hill. Texas and Florida were their home states, and Blackburn was born in the Pittsburgh area. These details help to explain the blues orientation and gritty drive of many of the tracks. The lesser-known bassist and drummer, John Duke and Leroy Henderson, both played with a variety of established R&B and jazz groups. Duke later found his way into the Count Basie Band, and Henderson disappeared from the jazz world not long after these 1963 sessions.



It should be noted that Henderson's performance on these recordings is exceptional; he is a classy drummer with the authority and the drive to direct this band from below. The Henderson/Duke/Tapscott rapport is of continual interest to anyone curious about why these Imperial Sessions are so successful. Tapscott's accompaniment to any solo is worth a careful listen. He shifts from accompaniment to his own solos with the same level of intensity and precision. In short, this is early Tapscott in a traditional Blue Note mode and he is impressive.



Freddie Hill is the lead soloist of the group, consistently demonstrating full command of the trumpet with a rich, full-bodied sound, no matter what the range or tempo. His solos are concise and intelligently developed throughout. Blackburn's arrangements are also notable: the combination of Hill and Blackburn playing together above a first rate rhythm section adds an exciting dimension to this versatile band and to this highly recommended recording.


Track Listing: New Frontier; Perception; I Cover The Waterfront; 17 Richmond Park; Harlem Bossa Nova; Luze Blues; The Clan; Scorpio; Jazz-A-Nova; Stella By Starlight; Manha De Carnaval; Jean-Bleu; Blues For Eurydice; Secret Love; Two-Note Samba; Grand Prix; Song Of Deliah; Dear Old Stockholm; Ode To Taras.

Personnel: Freddie Hill: trumpet; Lou Blackburn: trombone; Horace Tapscott: piano; John Duke: bass; Leroy Henderson: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Collective Effervescence" CD/LP/Track Review Collective Effervescence
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "Routes" CD/LP/Track Review Routes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "Better Than Anything" CD/LP/Track Review Better Than Anything
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "Pass It On" CD/LP/Track Review Pass It On
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "You and I" CD/LP/Track Review You and I
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 19, 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!