Monday, November 1, 2010

Paul Chambers & Tommy Flanagan - Motor City Scene

Collected recordings of two excellent hard bop units consisting of musicians solely from Detroit, the first led by Thad Jones and Billy Mitchell and the second by Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams that not only stand out as two of the rarest of the Bethlehem jazz recordings, but which are also two of the best records made by the teams of these venerable Detroiters. Lone Hill Jazz chose to market this CD under the names of Flanagan and Chambers which were present on both sessions. Both combos groove very nicely here and who dares not to in the presence of hard bop royalty such as Kenny Burrell, Thad Jones, Al Grey, Pepper Adams, Donald Byrd, Tommy Flanagan, Paul Chambers, "Hey" Lewis (a Louis Hayes alias) and Elvin Jones. The bands are very tight and the tracks are long enough that everybody gets in some good licks on the solos. 9 numbers in all: "Let's Play One", "Minor on Top", "Like Old Times", "No Refill", "Stardust", "Trio", "Philson", "Libeccio", and "Bitty Ditty". Originally released as Motor City Scene (#1-4) and Stradust (#5-9) on the Bethlehem label this CD puts the 2 sessions together for the first time. Way harder than most of the west coast sessions on Bethlehem, and two essential hard bop classics that's nigh on impossible to find on wax.

1. Let's Play One
2. Minor on Top
3. Like Old Times
4. No Refill
5. Stardust
6. Trio
7. Philson
8. Libeccio
9. Bitty Ditty

1-4 (Motor City Scene): Thad Jones (cnt, flhrn), Al Gery (tb), Billy Mitchell (ts), Tommy flanagan (p), Paul Chambers (b), Elvin Jones (d)
New York October 24 & 32, 1959

5-9 (Stardust): Donald Byrd (tp), Pepper Adams (bar), Tommy Flanagan (p), Kenny Burrell (g), Paul Chambers (b), Louis Hayes (d)
New York, 1960