23 ene. 2007

A player almost anonymous... I won't make you guess about this list. These are (some of) my favorite players who aren't household names or super "canonical" figures:

Illinois Jacquet. He was a straight-ahead tenor who did a lot of work in the JATP.

Harold Land. Another straight-forward tenor mostly known for his role in the Clifford Brown/Max Roach groups. He could hold his own with Clifford Brown so that's saying quite a bit.

Paul Chambers. Maybe he's a bit too famous for this group, because of his work with Miles Davis and Coltrane. Still I am obsessed with Paul Chambers. I can't figure out what makes his playing so perfect.

Sonny Clark. He had some excellent recordings with a trio with Philly Joe and Chambers. He wouldn't necessarily be in anyone's group of top 10 piano players of all time, but his groove is so deep.

Billy Higgins. He is countless records but never achieved the degree of recognition of a Tony Williams.

I guess what I like about these players is that they all follow established modes of playing with a great personal style, but without necessarily being innovators or virtuosi of genius. I wouldn't make exaggerated claims for any of them (except Paul Chambers), but simply say they are the ones who make the music feel good, give it substance and richness at a level just *below* that of the canonical forgers of a new style. They are all very "tasty" players in the mode of Teddy Wilson or Jo Jones. They aren't the Art Tatums or Elvin Joneses of the world.

4 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

Your reference to Billy Higgins led me to post an old story of mine about him:


David Leftwich dijo...

There are quite a few musicians that could fall into this category. Of course the caveat is your favorites. But a few others that I like are:

George Coleman, who played beautifully on Hancock’s Maiden Voyage and with Miles Davis in 63-64.

John Gilmore, Sun Ra’s long time tenor

Vibraphonist, Bobby Hutcherson, one of my favorites, but he may be more like Paul Chambers, fairly well known and also probably more innovative that some on your list.

Charlie Rouse, Monk’s long time tenor man

Jonathan dijo...

That's funny, I almost put Bobby H. down in this list, but then thought he was too "canonical." George Coleman is another good choice. There are so many tenors nearly anonymous. Flip Phillips, anyone?

There are also many piano players that fall into this category. Players of the Red Garland type.

Herb Levy dijo...

FWIW, for a while in, I think the early 1970s, Harold Land & Bobby Hutcherson co-led a group that made several LPs for Blue Note and toured at least a little bit.