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Bebop Spoken There

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Soul Brothers - Ray Charles/Milt Jackson

Ray Charles (pno, alt); Milt Jackson (vbs, pno, gtr); Billy Mitchell (ten); Skeeter Best (gtr); Oscar Pettiford (bs); Connie Kay (dms) - 1957.
I stumbled onto this little gem via Spotify and it served to emphasise my view that the 1950s were Jazz's Golden Era. I say this because, although I remember it being issued on Atlantic, at the time there was so much good stuff around I somehow never got around to checking it out and the reviewers in Jazz Journal and Jazz Monthly both dammed it with faint praise...
My loss - until now!
No vocals from Charles but he plays some blistering alto sax on How Long Blues as well as blues tinged modern piano on the other tracks. Milt also plays piano - as well as guitar on How Long Blues and Milt's Guitar Blues.
However, as expected, it's his vibes playing that scores - away from the MJQ his roots were as down home as Ray Charles'.
Billy Mitchell blows powerful tenor which, coupled with Best and Pettiford's contributions, go to make this an album well worth picking up on.
Lance.

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