Folk Jazz U.S.A. & Alabama Concerto (2 LP on 1 CD)
  • VIK LX 1083 VIK LX 1083
  • Riverside RLP-1123 Riverside RLP-1123

John Benson Brooks

Folk Jazz U.S.A. & Alabama Concerto (2 LP on 1 CD)

Fresh Sound Records

John Benson Brooks (p, dir), Nick Travis, Art Farmer (tp), Cannonball Adderley (as), Al Cohn, Zoot Sims (ts), Barry Galbraith (g), Buddy Jones, Milt Hinton (b), Osie Johnson (d)

Reference: FSRCD 937

Bar code: 8427328609371

John Benson Brooks (1917-1999) had been on the scene for a long time before his 1956 album Folk Jazz, U.S.A. came out on the Vik label. From the early to mid-40’s he composed and wrote arrangements for the swing bands of Eddie De Lange, Les Brown, Tommy Dorsey and for the fine, but little-appreciated group of Randy Brooks.

With Folk Jazz U.S.A. he created a surprise success, proving that a mainly Anglo-American body of folk material could be revitalized in a modern jazz idiom with Afro-American roots. The way Brooks integrated soloists —Zoot Sims on alto, Al Cohn on baritone, and Nick Travis on trumpet— and backgrounds is consistently impressive. Also noticeable are the pianistic contributions of Brooks, and the invaluable assistance of guitarist Barry Galbraith, especially in the slow tempos.

Brooks’ second jazz recording, Alabama Concerto, is an extended work recorded in 1958, based on folk themes collected in Alabama by Harold Courlander and blended with jazz virtuosity and classical composition. Brooks used them as a concerto, in which written themes, written solos, and improvised solos alternate, executed by the warm approach of two story-telling soloists such as Cannonball Adderley on alto and Art Farmer on trumpet, and by the excellent rhythm section.

These two memorable albums of remarkable musicianship —in both the collective and individual sense— are part of Brooks’ legacy and contribution to the evolution of jazz.

01. The New Saints 2:12
02. Venezuela 4:28
03. Black Is the Color 3:08
04. Betsy 4:38
05. Randall My Son 2:50
06. Turtle Dove 3:09
07. Shenandoah 3:06
08. Joe’s Old Folks 0:58
09. Saro Jane 2:41
10. Scarlet Town 2:16
11. Wayfarin’ Stranger 4:36
12. Darling Corey 2:20
-First Movement
13. The Henry Jones Story 4:49
14. Some Lady’s Green, Green Rocky Breasts (Nature!) 3:17
15. Job’s Red Wagon 3:07
-Second Movement
16. Trampin’ 2:32
17. The Loop 5:18
18. Trampin’ / The Loop 2:23
-Third Movement
19. Little John Shoes 3:09
20. Milord’s Calling 5:06
-Fourth Movement
21. Blues for Christmas 3:56
22. Rufus Playboy 3:33
23. Grandma’s Coffin 5:05

All tracks written and/or arranged by John Benson Brooks

Tracks #1-12, from the album “Folk Jazz, U.S.A.” (VIK LX 1083)
Tracks #13-16, from the album “Alabama Concerto” (Riverside RLP-1123)

Personnel on "Folk Jazz, U.S.A.":
Nick Travis, trumpet; Zoot Sims, tenor sax; Al Cohn, baritone sax; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Buddy Jones, bass; Osie Johnson, drums; John Benson Brooks, piano (on #2,8,9).
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York, November 1 (#2,3,6,9), 5 (#5,8,11,12) and 6 (# 1,4,7,10), 1956

Personnel on "Alabama Concerto":
Art Farmer, trumpet; Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, alto sax; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Milt Hinton, bass; John Benson Brooks, piano (on 3rd movement only).
Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York City, July 28 & 31, and August 25, 1958

Original recordings produced by Jack Lewis and Orrin Keepnews
Recording Engineers: Ray Hall and Jack Higgins
Photography by David B. Hecht (Vik)
Painting: Walter Williams (Riverside), design by Paul Bacon

Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol

Hi Fi / Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered


$11.87  (tax incl.)

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