Описание CD

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  Исполнитель(и) :
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  Наименование CD :
   The Congregation

Год издания : 1957/2006

Компания звукозаписи : Blue Note, RVG

Музыкальный стиль : Hard Bop

Время звучания : 37:22

Код CD : EMI 0946 3 62640 2 8

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Jazz (Saxophone - Bop)      

Recorded on October 23, 1957 at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey.

The great tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin is heard in top form on this near-classic quartet set. Assisted by pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Kenny Dennis, Griffin is exuberant on "The Congregation" (which is reminiscent of Horace Silver's "The Preacher"), thoughtful on the ballads, and swinging throughout. It's recommended for bop collectors.

All Music Guide

========= from the cover ==========

Johnny Griffin - The Congregation

Johnny Griffin is a symbol of jazz energy. The most immediately obvious components of this energy are his extraordinary technical dexterity and hard, muscular sound. But what seems to generate this significant method of projection is a power plant which has roots in the traditional - primitive forms of jazz. Like his contemporary Sonny Rollins (who has had a strong influence on him), Griffin draws on basic jazz elements as the essence of his playing. His strident voice has a raw, virile quality and it shouts, at times, with a strength of expression in the Bessie Smith or even Mahalia Jackson manner.

It is this analogy in Griffin's music that lifts him above the classification of just "hard-bopper." While there is a great deal of Bird in Griffin, his tenor sax conception relates more emphatically to an earlier era than bop. Coleman Hawkins, Don Byas, and Lester Young have made no small impression on him and he seems also to have listened closely to Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, and Rollins.

Thelonious Monk also draws "especial bows" (as Joe Segal cited in his notes for Johnny's first Blue Note album, BLP 1533) and the reasons behind Griffin's predilection for Monk are understandable. Monk's awareness of his musical ancestry is evident in everything he plays and Griffin seems to be motivated by what are essentially the same factors. Johnny is going in the same general direction as Monk - carrying on the jazz tradition without losing sight of its basics.

Now an intermittent member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Griffin, who was born and brought up in Chicago, has worked with, among others, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, and Monk. This is his third Blue Note LP. BLP 1559 featured expressive "battles" with John Coltrane and Hank Mobley.

Sonny Clark, the blues-informed pianist from Pittsburgh, who, until recently, spent the bulk of his career in California with the Light House All-Stars and Buddy DeFranco, provides sympathetic and firm comping and solos in a consistently interesting fashion. He says his two most important influences have been Monk and Bud Powell - stylistically the latter's impression, filtered through Horace Silver, is the more apparent.

Paul Chambers, whose recent Bass on Top album (BLP 1569) elevated him to the realized high-potential class, is represented on almost a dozen Blue Note LPs. He is equally creative as both an arco and pizzicato soloist and is, on this record as always, a strikingly intuitive accompanist.

Kenny Dennis is a Philadelphia-born drummer who makes his recording debut here. For some time an associate of Sonny Stitt's, Kenny shows himself to be a steady, working drummer of impressive skills.

The title tune, "The Congregation" by Griffin, has him bouncing along in a blues-happy, foot tapping, hand-clapping groove. Clark, in a Silverish vein, and Chambers solo with similar effect. This tune proves that it is possible to be funky without being angry.

John Jenkins, the Chicago altoist and another of the gifted reedmen (Griffin, Cliff Jordan, and John Gilmore are only a few of the others) who have emerged from that area within the past several years, contributed "Latin Quarter," which has a melody line based on that of "Tangerine." After the Latin-esque opening, Griffin takes off on the changes with a strong-toned, moving solo. Clark and Chambers deliver a pair of typical statements before Johnny returns to wail some more before finishing up with an extended ending.

The very pretty "I'm Glad There Is You" is taken at an unusual medium tempo but retains the aforementioned quality. Johnny's pair of solos, which precede and follow a Clark statement, are stimulating and show a mature, cohesive flow of thought.

"Main Spring" by Griffin is a down-home-type blues with Johnny blowing new life into what might have been just another down-home-type blues. Clark, a well-oriented exponent of this sort of thing, excels in the fashion of his school and Chambers succeeds him with one of his patented and absorbing bowed solos.

"It's You or No One" is rendered in a medium-up treatment and, as the closing number of the set, gives everyone a chance to stretch out a bit; Johnny, Clark, Chambers (bowed), then Johnny again to trade some fours with Dennis before taking it out.

That Johnny Griffin's roots are immersed in the funky earth of spirituals and the blues (and have grown from there) is what provokes and enables him to make basic statements in what can be described as an "up-to-date" way. Perhaps the primary fault with too many of today's musicians is that they are only concerned with contemporary concepts. But jazz did not begin with Bird, and Griffin, along with a handful of others, suggests that it will not end with him either.

- Robert Levin (original finer notes)


A-New Look At - The Congregation (RVG Edition)

While pop culture mavens may celebrate The Congregation as the second of three Blue Note LPs to bear an Andy Warhol cover drawing (the then-unknown illustrator also provided the art on Kenny Burrell's Volume Two and Blue Lights), music fans know the album as the last of three that Johnny Griffin made for the label. It also marks the end of producer Alfred Lion's fascination with emerging saxophonists from Chicago, a period that commenced when Introducing Johnny Griffin was taped in the spring of 1956, and ended when Clifford Jordan made his third and final Blue Note effort, Cliff Craft, 18 days after the present session. Hard-bop, particularly the brand laced with heavy strains of blues and gospel, was a natural jazz dialect for the young players who emerged from Chicago in the 1950s, while the training that many had received at the hands of DuSable High School's legendary band director, Capt. Walter Dyett, also ensured a comprehensive musicianship that served them well in the competitive atmosphere of New York. Griffin, Jordan, John Gilmore, and John Jenkins had all been given their shot by Lion, but none had enjoyed sufficient audience support to remain with the label when it transi-tioned from the 1500 to the 4000 series at the end of 1958.

Griffin made an effort to attain commercial success here on The Congregation, where the title makes it clear in no uncertain terms that a response to Horace Silver's popular The Preacher was intended. This was a natural area of expression for the saxophonist, who had spent the first decade of his career in support of bandleaders Lionel Hampton, Joe Morris, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, leaders who worked a musical borderland where divisions between jazz and rhythm and blues became hazy. The results are soulful to be sure, with that edge Griffin brings to every musical situation, but the attempt to duplicate an earlier Blue Note hit did not catch on with the public, which may have been more focused on the speed and overall technical brilliance that Griffin achieved on his instrument.

Amidst the stylistic connections that Robert Levin draws in his original liner notes, one name that goes unmentioned (or, more accurately, only appears in a summary of Griffin's recording mates) is John Coltrane. In 1957, however, Griffin and Coltrane were linked as technical demons schooled in the R&B trenches whose combination of digital speed and tonal angst were as hard as hard-bop got. In this regard, The Congregation might have been received as a relatively mellow surprise, with only "It's You or No One" close to the up-tempo environment where Griffin could truly show off. On the other hand, the meaty chord changes of the standards here left plenty of room for the leader to display his harmonic virtuosity, while the more relaxed environment also confirmed that Griffin was a player of exceptional passion at any speed.

Credit for the quality of this music should be shared with Griffin's accompanists, of whom only Paul Chambers would create any substantial work history with the saxophonist. Chambers, who Levin accurately sites as at the top of his game with his plucked and bowed work here, appeared on Griffin's previous A Blowing Session, and the pair would later unite in recorded support of Chet Baker, Bennie Green, and Wes Montgomery. Sonny Clark, another player at his peak around the time this music was recorded, was the right pianist for this program, and plays with affirmative soul and lucidity. Kenny Dennis, who actually made his recording debut with Sonny Stitt the year prior to this session, had several impressive recording credits in New York (Rollins, Mingus, Michel Legrand with Miles Davis, Mal Waldron, Billy Taylor, Slide Hampton) before moving to Los Angeles, working with (and marrying) Nancy Wilson, and then turning his attention to the management side of the music business.

"Latin Quarter" might be described as three-quarters of a citrus fruit (it omits the third eight-bar strain of the standard "Tangerine"). It had been recorded by composer John Jenkins and Griffin a week earlier for bassist Wilbur Ware's Riverside album, The Chicago Sound. That session marked the second time Riverside had borrowed Griffin at the request of one of its contract artists (Clark Terry used Griffin on Serenade to a Bus Seat), but of no doubt greater importance in the mind of label honcho Orrin Keepnews was the endorsement Thelonious Monk gave Griffin after the pianist and saxophonist played together in Chicago during 1956. Within four months of the present session, Monk had begun to employ Griffin in New York and the saxophonist had signed with Riverside, an affiliation that found Griffin recording 10 albums as a leader, six as co-leader with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, and numerous sideman appearances over the next six years.

- Bob Blumenthal, 2006

  Соисполнители :

Kenny Dennis (Drums)
Paul Chambers (Bass)
Sonny Clark (Piano)

№ п/п

Наименование трека



   1 The Congregation         0:06:48 Griffin
   2 Latin Quarter         0:06:28 Jenkins
   3 I'm Glad There Is You     T       0:05:11 Dorsey, Madeira
   4 Main Spring         0:06:34 Griffin
   5 It's You Or No One         0:04:52 Cahn, Styne
   6 I Remember You         0:07:29 Mercer, Schwertzinger


 T   'щелкнуть' - переход к тексту композиции.

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