Recorded At - Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey
Recorded on May 19, 1957.
Recorded at a single session on May 19, 1957, the simply titled Quintet features one of bassist Paul Chambers' rare outings as a bandleader, and it teams him with Detroiters Donald Byrd (trumpet), Tommy Flanagan (piano), and Elvin Jones (drums), and Chicagoan Clifford Jordan (tenor sax). It's a low-key affair, with the quintet running through a couple of standards ("Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise," "What's New"), a pair of compositions from Chambers ("The Hand of Love," "Beauteous"), and two pieces by the prolific Benny Golson ("Minor Run-Down," "Four Strings"). The Golson tunes are the most striking, really, with "Minor Run-Down" starting things off with an easy, gliding swing, and "Four Strings" (an alternate take is also included here) gives Chambers a chance to show off his abilities bowing the bass. Jordan is impressive here as well, sounding a bit like Dexter Gordon as he rounds out these tracks nicely on the tenor. Nothing is particularly innovative with this set, but these tracks don't push or pull against themselves, either, and there's a clear joy coming off of the floor as these musicians, all in the early phases of their careers, do what they do with comforting assurance.
All Music Guide
Great stuff - most likely the most hardbop oriented of all Paul Chambers' sessions for Blue Note, and a great little album that has the famous bassist fronting a group that includes Donald Byrd on trumpet, Clifford Jordan on tenor, Tommy Flanagan on piano, and Elvin Jones on drums! Chambers' basslines ring out nice and clear, adding a warm frontline sound to the album that works well with Byrd's young and soulful sound - and creating a unique bass-led sound that's neither gimmicky nor sluggish, but as brash and burning as the best Blue Note sides of the time! Titles include "Four Strings", "Beauteous", "Minor Run Down", and "The Hand Of Love". CD also features a bonus alternate of "Four Strings".