Mar 22, 1957 (recording) inprint
Although generally reissued under John Coltrane's name, the most significant musician on this CD is pianist Mal Waldron who contributed four of the five complex compositions including the original version of "Soul Eyes"; Jimmy Heath's "C.T.A." is also performed. Coltrane teams up with fellow tenor Bobby Jaspar, trumpeters Idrees Sulieman and Webster Young, guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Art Taylor and either Waldron or Red Garland on piano. With so many soloists present on this advanced hard bop date, Coltrane is only one star among many although he does emerge as the standout.
All Music Guide
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"Blowing sessions", a colloguialism for gatherings wherein the musicians do not stop their improvisations alter 16 bars or a chorus, fall into three general categories in regard to character. There is the "cutting" session where each musician, especially those of the same instrument, tries to out -do the others with a resultant atmosphere of tense competition, secondly, the session in which everyone goes their own way in their solo spots; third, the one that engenders a warm, empathetic team - piay affair. All three are capable of producing valid jazz, each of its own particular stripe, but the best feeling is usually achieved by the lastnamed.
Interplay, the album, is just what the name represents, an exchange of ideas, and a warmth in doing so, among eight musicians Although the contrast of styles is present in each instrumental division, this does not hamper the feeling of empathy.
What occurs in the solos and numerous exchanges the latter ranging from one chorus to four bars,is a studyin "hot" and "cool" with Idrees Sulieman and John Coltrane representing the former and Webster Young and Bobby Jaspar the latter.
The other soloists, Kenny Burrell, Mal Waldron and Paul Chambers (in the inflection of both his arco and pizzicato bass solos) are essentially"hot" too.
Sulieman is plunging, biting and soaring; his style resides in the Dizzy Gillespie wing of the modem trumpet house.
Young is directly in the Miles Davis line both soundwise and in regard to phrasing.
Coltrane is a cruising, long-lined, digging -in swinger out of Dexter Gordon and Sonny Stitt and like Sulieman has developed something-extremelypersonal out of his influences.
Jaspar, first influenced by Stan Getz, has been more recently touched by Zoot Sims. That he is somewhat swayed by Coltrane in this session is evident in some of the uncharacteristic double - time runs the executes.
This is where the horns stand stylistically. The continuity they achieve as they contrastis all the more admirable. I might add that the ' cool' applied to Young and Jaspar never, in any of its aspects,signifies cold.
Interplay, the title number opens the session. A "rhythm" swinger by Mal Waldron (he contributed all the lines), it features the four horn soloists in three rounds of one chorus apiece with Kenny Burrell playing rhythm guitar. The order in each round is Sulieman, Coltrane, Young and Jaspar. Then Burrell, Waldron and Chambers (bowed) have one chorus apiece before the outchorus.
Anatomy finds Ihe soloists from the rhythm section leading off Burrell Chambers (bowed) and Waldron have a chorus apiece and are followed by Young Jaspar, Sulieman and Coltrane in solos of the same length. Then Young and Sulieman have two choruses of four bars apiece followed by Jaspar and Jaspar and Coltrane who have one chorus of eightbar exchanges and another of foul bar conversations.
Light Blue is a blues which opens with two choruses of straight rhythm Burrell plays rhythm guitar throughout the piece as he did in Interplay. In the third and fourth choruses Waldron does some stage - setting noodling and then Burrell has two solo choruses. After the theme is played, Jaspar. Sulieman (picking up the ball beautifully from Bobby),Coltrane,Young,Burrell, Chambers (picked) and Waldron each have two of the twelve bar choruses to themselves before the bawling, brawling line is re - slated.
Soul Eyes, an original ballad byMal,has an unusual ensemble texture that suggests the kind of thing that Miles Davis" 1949-50 band did with the aid of tuba and trombone on Moondreams. The beautiful open horn is by Sulieman and Coltrane's soulful tenor sounds like an alto on the bridge. Solos in this collective ballad are by Burrell, Young (muted), Coltrane, Waldron (employing some of his telegrcph style), Sulieman and Jaspar.
Once again the "blowing session" has proven to be one of the main sources of nourishment to the jazz idiom. I'm tired of the over - intellectual critics who sigh tiredly. "Oh, another blowing session." They fail to remember that jazz has many sides and by their narrow - mindebness have forgotten about the essential spiritthatall jazz requires.
- Ira Gitler
John Coltrane: born in Hamlet.N. C. in 1926. Studied Alto horn, clarinet, then saxophone in high school Attended music schools in Philadelphia. During Forties played with Navyband. With Dizzy Gillespie orchestra on alto sax in 1949 -50, Gillespie combo on tenor in 1950-51. Has also played with Earl Boslic, Johnny Hodges Joined Miles Davis in 1955 and remained with him until 1957. Summer and tall of '57 with Thelonious Monk at Five Spot Cafe Favorites are Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz. Can be heard in Coltrane. (Prestige LP 7105)
Bobby Jaspar: born in Liege, Belgium in 1926 Studied piano and clarinet in teens. Active in Paris in early Fifties with Henri Renaud. Own group from 1954 - 56 and recorded with many American musicians in France. Came to New York in 1956. Worked with Jay Jay Johnson touring Sweden with him in summer of 1957. Married to singer -pianist Blossom Dearie. Main tenor influences are Stan Getz and Zoot Sims Also plays excellent flute. Can be heard on both in Flute Souffle. (Prestige LP 7101)
Idrees Sulieman: born in St. Petersbur, Fla in 1923.Comes from a musical family. Studied at Boston Conservatory. Played with Thelonious Monk in mid -Forties and was also with the big bands of Cab Calloway. Earl Hines, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie. Favorite jazz trumpeters are Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown. Can be heard in Three Trumpets. (Prestige LP 7092)
Webster Young: born in Columbia. S. C. in 1932 Moved to Washington, D.C. at early age and was raised there Played in an Army band with Hamp Hawes. later in Washington in civilian life with Rick Henderson, Lloyd Price and Buck Hill. Arrived in New York in 1956 Digs Miles Davis Has been playing in Jazz Disciples with Jackie McLean and Ray Draper. Can be heard in For Lady. (Prestige LP 7106)
Kenny Burrell: born in Detroit in 1931. His three brothers all aremusicians. Holds a Bachelor of Musi c degree from Wayne University. Played with Dizzy Gillespie in 1951 Led own groups in Detroit until 1955 when he did a brief stint with Oskar Peterson. Prominentin free -lance work around New York in the mid-Fifties. Also with Benny Goodman. Favorites are Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt.Oscar Moore. Can be heard in Kenny Burrell.(Prestige LP 7088)
Mal Waldron: born in New York in 1926. Played alto sax first; piano during studies at Queens College where he also studied composition and received a B.A. Appeared importantly with Charlie Mingus in mid -Fifties. In 1957 became accompanist to Billie Holiday. Favorites are Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. Can be heard in Mal-2. (Prestige LP 7111)
Paul Chambers: born in Pittsburgh. Pa in 1935. Began by playing baritone horn and tuba around Detroit Switched to bass Worked with Detroit combos including Kenny Burreli's. Wenton the road with Paul Ouinichette in 1954. Came to New York and played with Bennie Green, Jay & Kai, George Wallington and Miles Davis. Mostof 1956 - 57 was spent with Miles' group. Favorites are Jimmy Blanton and Oscar Pettiford. Can be heard in Red Garland's Piano(Prestige LP 7086)
Art Taylor: born in New York in 1929. Studied privately with Chick Morrison. Has played with Coleman Hawkins, Buddy De Franco, George Wallington, Bud Powell, Miles Davis and the Jazz Lab group. Favorites are Max Roach and Art Blakey. Can be heard in numerous Prestige LPs including Mal-2.(Prestige LP7111)