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...
It is heartening to see an artist as obscure as tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks given the Rudy Van Gelder Edition treatment by Blue Note in this winning reissue. I have to admit surprise that Blue Note didn't marginalize Brooks, like Sam Rivers, in the label's limited-edition Connoisseur series. Frankly, Rivers is the more sophisticated artist with a potentially broader audience in my judgement, but Brooks has his lasting value also.
There is a terrifically pensive blues cry in every Brooks solo on this release that is mesmerizing. While he's often shadowed by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, the two gracefully bring out some profoundly thoughtful improvising from each other. None of the five tunes (and two alternative takes) are exactly inspiring tunes. But Brooks packs a lot of raw emotionality and innovative musical craft into his solos. Although the liner notes makes much of the Sonny Rollins influence, I actually hear a lot more of a tone I'd connect to Booker Erwin, Ornette Coleman, or Brooks' companion in the Blue Note recording studio, Jackie McLean. Anyone who enjoyed the dramatic support Brooks gave McLean on Jackie's Bag should treasure this, the only album Brooks released under his name as leader during his lifetime. Brooks sounds like a desperately driven musician wanting something beyond the bop of 1960 and never quite making the breakthrough to freedom that McLean found through his association with Ornette Coleman. The rhythm section of drummer Art Taylor, bassist Sam Jones, and pianist Duke Jordan simply never push him that hard to explore new musical territory. I wonder who Brooks would have become had he worked with a drummer like Eddie Blackwell or Elvin Jones.
What True Blue gives generously is a full blooded musical portrait of a hard-working and distinctive sounding tenor man with a blue cry stuck in his throat and heart. It is an achievement to treasure.
Track Listing: Good Old Soul, Up Tight's Creek, Theme for Doris, True Blue, Miss Hazel, Nothing Ever Changes My Love For You
Personnel: Tina Brooks: tenor saxophone, Freddie Huvbbard: trumpet, Duke Jordan: piano, Sam Jones: bass, Art
I love jazz because there are so many styles and ways to interpret the music--so much room for creativity.
I was first exposed to jazz at a very young age, listening to great artists such as Nat King Cole and Lena Horne.