Reference: FSRCD 697_2
Bar code: 8427328606974
Includes 24-page booklet with session details, photos, original art & liner notes.
Like so many talented musicians, Gigi Gryce (1925-1983) got less out of his jazz career than he deserved. A fine, astringent altoist inspired by, among others, Charlie Parker, but without Birds all-consuming flame or facility, he was also an inventive composer and arranger, which coloured both the groups he led and his work as a soloist. Its all abundantly evident on the four well-crafted, highly accessible albums collected here, the last he made as leader.
His feeling for the blues and imaginative approach to the form invigorates the albums Saying Somethin! and The Rat Race Blues. But he could also take a fresh slant on well known material, as he does with the standards on The Hapnins (which also features his most famous compositions, Nicas Tempo and Minority) and with the Ellington bands staples, Caravan and Take The A Train, and Dizzy Gillespies A Night In Tunisia on Reminiscin. And he got a sparkling response from the capable group he led, which included Richard Williams, Richard Wyands, Mickey Roker and Eddie Costa.
01. Leilas Blues (Gigi Gryce) 6:47
02. Blues in the Jungle (Gigi Gryce) 6:18
03. Down Home (Curtis Fuller) 8:19
04. Back Breaker (Gigi Gryce) 6:07
05. Let Me Know (Jones) 4:43
06. Jones Bones (Jones) 7:10
08. Lover Man (Davis-Ramirez-Sherman) 5:36
09. Minority (Gigi Gryce) 6:32
10. Dont Worry Bout Me (Bloom-Koehler) 7:42
11. Frankie and Johnny (trad.) 7:33
12. Nicas Tempo (Gigi Gryce) 4:04
01. Blues in Bloom (Mapp) 7:42
02. Boxers Blues (Gigi Gryce) 6:54
03. Strange Feeling (Finch) 7:44
04. The Rat Race Blues (Gigi Gryce) 6:32
05. Monday Through Sunday (Mapp) 11:07
06. Blue Lights (Gigi Gryce) 3:23
07. Gee Blues Gee (Randy Weston) 3:21
08. Dearly Beloved (Kern-Mercer) 4:19
09. Caravan (Tizol-Ellington-Mills) 4:23
10. Reminiscing (Gigi Gryce) 3:58
11. Yesterdays (J.Kern-O.Harbach) 4:43
12. Take the A Train (Billy Strayhorn) 3:35
13. A Night in Tunisia (Gillespie-Paparelli) 5:10
CD-1, tracks #1-6 from the 12" album
Saying Somethin! (New Jazz LP 8230)
CD-1, tracks #7-12 from the 12" album
The Hapnins (New Jazz LP 8246)
CD-2, tracks #1-5 from the 12" album
The Rat Race Blues (New Jazz LP 8262)
CD-2, tracks #6-13 from the 12" album
Reminiscin (Mercury SR 60628)
Personnel on "Saying Somethin'!":
Richard Williams (trumpet); Gigi Gryce (alto sax); Richard Wyands (piano); Reggie Workman (bass); Mickey Roker (drums).
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, on March 11, 1960
Personnel on "The Hapnins:
Same personnel except Julian Euell, bass, replaces Reggie Workman.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, on May 3, 1960
Personnel on "The Rat Race Blues":
Same personnel as previous session.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, on June 7, 1960
Personnel on "Reminiscin'":
Gigi Gryce Quintet (CD-2, #6,7,8)
Richard Williams (trumpet); Gigi Gryce (alto sax); Richard Wyands (piano); Julian Euell (bass); Walter Perkins (drums).
Recorded in New York City, January, 1961
Gigi Gryce Orch-Tette (CD-2, #9,10,11,12)
Richard Williams (trumpet); Gigi Gryce (alto sax); Richard Wyands (piano); Eddie Costa (vibraphone); George Duvivier (bass); Bobby Thomas (drums).
Same location & date as #6-8.
Track #13: Richard Williams (trumpet); Gigi Gryce (alto sax); Richard Wyands (piano); Eddie Costa (vibraphone); Reggie Workman (bass); Walter Perkins (drums).
Same location & date #6-12.
New Jazz sessions supervised by Esmond Edwards.
Engineered by Rudy Van Gelder.
Original art by Esmond Edwards & Don Schlitten
Mercury recording session directed by Hal Mooney.
Sound engineer: Bob Arnold.
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Altoist Gigi Gryce's last regular group before moving to Africa and largely retiring from music was the quintet featured on this CD [...] Gryce's alto matched well with Richard Williams's impressive trumpet and, with fine support from pianist Richard Wyands, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Mickey Roker, the two horns explore mostly blues-based originals by Gryce, Curtis Fuller and Hank Jones. There is more variety than expected and the contrast between Gryce's lyricism and the extroverted nature of Williams's solos make this set fairly memorable.
Altoist Gigi Gryce leads his promising 1960 quintet on this CD reissue. Trumpeter Richard Williams and pianist Richard Wyands take fine solos on the six jazz standards (two of which, "Minority" and "Nica's Tempo," were Gryce's best-known tunes) while bassist Julian Euell and drummer Mickey Roker are fine in support. The hard bop set has its strong moments even this group was largely forgotten after Gryce's retirement. Worth investigating.
-The Rat Race Blues
Altoist Gigi Gryce's next to last album before permanently dropping out of jazz has been reissued on this CD. With trumpeter Richard Williams, pianist Richard Wyands, bassist Julian Euell, and drummer Mickey Roker also part of what was a working quintet, Gryce (underrated as a soloist and a particularly strong composer) had one of his finest bands. The group swings its way through two of Gryce's lesser-known originals and three then-recent obscurities. Interesting and generally fresh straight-ahead jazz.
All three by Scott Yanow -All Music Guide