CLIFFORD JORDAN — Blowing in From Chicago (review)

CLIFFORD JORDAN — Blowing in From Chicago album cover Album · 1957 · Hard Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Matt
What!, another saxophone album where so and so meets so and so and usually they are very well known with the likes of "Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster" or what about "Boss Tenors" where Sonny Stitt takes on Gene Ammons but there is another that was recorded by Blue Note records back in March 1957 with two fairly young tenors coming out of Chicago with both even actually attending the same school as teenagers back then and at this time of recording "Blowing In From Chicago" have had 10 and 11 years experience each. This is Clifford Jordan's debut with not only Blue Note but his career as well with the the likes of John Gilmore accompanying him, who already was in Sun Ra's band blowing his tenor. I think many would agree that John Gilmore has that slight edge on Cliff with his playing and musicianship and perhaps could have been known as one of the greatest tenor saxophonists period but due to his own choice he remained with SunRa for 40 years with the odd session or time playing with the likes of The Jazz Messengers, Andrew Hill and McCoy Tyner. Clifford Jordan went on to record another two fine albums with Blue Note but it is this one that still is the bright light, debut and all due to perhaps the intensity that is present from both saxophonists at the time of this recording with both playing with that something to prove desire that any young new muscian has and you would need to play in that manner with the rythmn section that was in place at this session with these gentlemen who were red hot at this time in their careers being Horace Silver on piano, Curly Russell on his driving bass and last but not least the inimitable Art Blakey on skins. A magical driving session in the Blue Note catalogue was created with a feel within the album that you could be sitting right in front at a club listening to a red hot set from the band with not only the saxophonists under the spot light there is Horace Silver on piano and Art Blakey giving quite a large amount of input with Art Blakey being heard on drums with his rolls and solos throughout ferequently and as usual Horace Silver has that magical touch within his piano solos on this primarily up tempo album.

"Status Quo" is first with both tenors and the band coming straight in with the theme with Clifford Jordan taking the first spirited solo with John Gilmore, Horace Silver and Art Blakey on drums following with all putting in superb efforts on this opening up-tempo toe-tapper that just keeps coming with the next "Bo-Till" with Clifford going first for this one on tenor with a great rythmic approach which Horace on piano keeps up superbly with his turn but one has to mention the underpin that Curly Russell on bass and Art Blakey provides with the rythmn for this tune as they do for the entire album. John Gilmore seems to take a more relaxed approach with the next "Blue Lights"and John who solos first provides one of the most interesting moments from the album with the changes and that stretch at times with his approach that Horace who follows on piano maintains. "Billies Bounce" the Charlie Parker tune is done at fast time with great results and being the longest composition both tenors stretch out with wonderful results over this driving Jazz number and the rythmn section just keep that constant time throughout coming, as well as taking there own solos with this tune with this and the first "Status Quo" being the album highlights with both containing a quick tempo which just adds excitement to the music. There is not a ballad in sight in the album with "Evil Eye" being a superb blues composition followed by "Everywhere" which is a Horace Silver composition being the album closer and once again there is a more up-tempo approach and things glide where everthing interlinks and you still have that feeling of both saxophonists still trying to out play the other with their respective turns with Horace in between them.

Next time someone mentions an album where the greats run into each other, there is another that is around which is just as good that was recorded by two young reeds men when they were full of beans and with something to prove. The ghost of Charlie Parker is heard with his influence within the musicians style and approach to their solos at various points within the tunes and with each saxophonist trying to out do the other they created a wonderful "Blowin Session" with my money being on John Gilmore as the winner.
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js wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Sounds good Matt, always interesting to hear Gilmore in a different setting.

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