J.J JOHNSON & MILT JACKSON
A DATE IN NEW YORK
Inner City Jazz (IC7007)
Jay Jay's Blues, Jerry Old Man, There's No You, Indiana, Lullaby Of The Leaves, I'll Remember April, Out Of Nowhere, If I Had You, The More I See You.
A handful of jazz CDs fell into my lap the other day from a distributor that had recently been looking into the back catalogue of the Inner City label. Each and every one of these was, in my opinion, excellent but this for me was the pick of the bunch.
The session was actually recorded under the auspices of the Henri Renaud All Stars, variously featuring Renaud on piano, J.J. Johnson on trombone, Milt Jackson on vibes or piano, Al Cohn on tenor sax, Percy Heath on bass and Charlie Smith on drums. Each and every one of these shine throughout but the star of the show was clearly Johnson.
The collective spirit and musical empathy that existed at this session is immediately evident on the opening track, Jay Jay's Blues, almost eight minutes of swinging jazz that is kick started by Johnson but at some point gives each player the spotlight as they solo around the faultless and energetic patterns provided by the rhythm section of Heath and Smith. The rest of the session follows suit, allowing everyone an opportunity to shine across nine tracks that vary from the lively opener to the reflectively slow paced There's No You, providing some lovely interplay between Milt Jackson's vibes and Johnson's trombone. There's also a splendid showcase for Jackson's piano on Lullaby Of The Leaves and Al Cohn's sax is magnificent on Out Of Nowhere.
This is currently my most-played jazz CD and I show no sign of tiring of it. Check this out, along with the other Inner City titles added to our catalogue, each of which is be worth casting an eye over. This looks like a label to treasure.
Review Date: January 2013