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John Lewis: Grand Encounter: 2 Degrees East-3 Degrees West

Album Notes

Also known as Grand Encounter, this is considered one of the classic West Coast jazz recordings; it was last reissued as a Pausa LP. Tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins, whose tone never sounded cooler, teams up with pianist John Lewis, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Chico Hamilton. The title cut is a famous Lewis blues that epitomizes the era and is quite haunting. Otherwise, the quintet plays five standards given chamber jazz treatment. One could consider the set to be the Modern Jazz Quartet (Lewis and Heath) meets the Chico Hamilton Quintet (Hamilton and Hall) and cool jazz (Perkins). In any case, the combination works very well and is quite memorable. ~ Scott Yanow



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