209

Ray Draper: The Ray Draper Quintet Featuring John Coltrane

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
What makes this fairly typical bop outing unique is that the leader plays tuba. Ray Draper (1940-82) was only 17 when he recorded this quintet date in 1957, his third of three for Prestige, and, as much as possible, he makes the clunky instrument swing. As Ira Gitler's interesting notes point out, the tuba was a pretty common rhythm instrument in the early days of jazz. Then the string bass came along and took its place. Draper, who was featured with Jackie McLean, Max Roach and later, Jack McDuff and Archie Shepp, was determined to see the tuba become a featured jazz instrument. Somewhat predictably, it never happened.

Even though Draper's career fizzled after only a few more records, this one is probably the best thing he did on his own. He's aided in no small measure by John Coltrane, whose keen, sensitive partnership on five of these six tunes make for worthwhile, perhaps essential, listening. Coltrane is simply magnificent – in a much more restrained role here than in his explorations elsewhere at this time.

Unfortunately, the two soloists are considerably hindered by what has to be the most unswinging jazz trio ever assembled. Pianist Gil Coggins, bassist Spanky De Brest and drummer Larry Ritchie are in lounge gig mode, seemingly unaware of the fireworks the two horn players are capable of. It's a shame. Draper's originals and cover choices are interesting, and Coltrane is certainly worth hearing – even here.

Tracks:Clifford's Kappa; Filidia; Two Sons; Paul's Pal; Under Paris Skies; I Hadn't Anyone Till You.

Personnel: Ray Draper: tuba; John Coltrane: tenor sax; Gil Coggins: piano; Spanky De Brest: bass; Larry Ritchie: drums.

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


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Ray Draper...
Abracadabra Music
1975
buy
A Tuba Jazz
Abracadabra Music
1959
buy
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Lee Morgan Lee Morgan
trumpet
Hank Mobley Hank Mobley
sax, tenor
Jackie McLean Jackie McLean
sax, alto
Tadd Dameron Tadd Dameron
arranger
Gene Ammons Gene Ammons
sax, tenor
Mal Waldron Mal Waldron
piano
Louis Smith Louis Smith
trumpet
Jimmy Heath Jimmy Heath
sax, tenor

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Triple Exposure" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Exposure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Known-Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Warsaw Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Warsaw Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Billionaire Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Billionaire Blues
by Mark Werlin
Published: January 19, 2017

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!