/Jimmy Heath/Barry Harris.
Personnel: Carmell Jones (trumpet); Jimmy Heath (tenor saxophone); Barry Harris (piano); George Tucker (bass); Roger Humphries (drums).
Recorded in New York City on May 8, 1965.
Hard bopper Carmell Jones is in fine form on this 1965 outing, Jay Hawk Talk. Together with tenor Jimmy Heath, pianist Barry Harris, bassist George Tucker, and drummer Roger Humphries, Jones confidently tackles a half-dozen tunes. From the piano/bass riff at the beginning of "Jay Hawk Talk" to the Parker-esque kickoff of "Beepdurple," the band holds a steady, driving groove. Both of those instrumentals, plus "Dance of the Night Child," were written by Jones and stand comfortably beside the other selections on this album. Tucker kicks off a particularly affecting version of "Willow Weep for Me," with a simple descending bass run. Jones enters with a full and rich tone for a beautiful, extended solo, and is followed by Harris, who emphasizes the bluesy, late-night feel of the piece. The band turns in a nine-minute version of Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?" that pulls out all the stops, and gives Heath plenty of room to show that he can fly as high and play as fast as Charlie Parker himself. Throughout the album, Tucker's bass work adds greatly to the overall texture; Tucker and Humphries together provide a steady pulse with lots of charged rhythm to keep the whole project stimulating. Jay Hawk Talk will remind everyone of Jones' distinctive voice. Like Johnny Griffin, Jones moved to Europe in the '60s, greatly lowering his profile in the United States. This re-release of an old classic should help to familiarize everyone once again with a great trumpeter. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
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