20 January 2007
DIZZY REECE - STAR BRIGHT
Dizzy Reece with a superb hard bop session for Blue Note from 1959.
Born and raised in Jamaica, trumpeter Dizzy Reece first made a name for himself on the London jazz scene where he, Victor Feldman and Tubby Hayes played on each other’s albums for Tempo in the mid fifties. His big, brilliant tone, personal way of phrasing and highly original modern compositions immediately attracted the attention of American artists like Miles Davis who became an early champion.
When Alfred Lion heard his work, he commissioned British producer Tony Hall to record a Reece album for Blue Note. Blues In Trinity featured two American guests (Donald Byrd and Art Taylor) to Reece’s London band with Tubby Hayes. The results were so positive that Lion invited Reece to New York where he recorded Star Bright with the first-rate Blue Note cast of Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Taylor.
The standout track on this strong album is ‘Groovesville’ a fast paced ad-libbed blues that brings the best solos of the album from Reece, Mobley and Kelly. The take on ‘I Wished Upon The Moon’ a number made popular by Billie Holiday 25 years before this recording, sees a slower pace and the chance for Reece to stretch out. He does this with aplomb and is followed by a lovely solo from Mobley both players then being eclipsed by Kelly’s rolling, melodic improvisations around the theme. The set closes with ‘Variations on Monk’, which demonstrates a subtle hint of Monk’s work with to quote the sleeve notes ‘a grace-notes a sixth lower effect at the end of each eight measures’. This number also features, at its very end, the only solo of the album from Art Taylor, a fittingly dynamic close to a fine, relaxed and highly enjoyable set of hard bop.
Just reissued on an expensive 200g bit of vinyl or buy the Mosaic Select Box Set in which its included.This rip is at 320 from the Toshiba EMI CD reissue which is now deleted-I believe its now come out on a mini lp sleeve cd issue.