Reference: FSRCD 813
Bar code: 8427328608138
Tenor man Arnett Cobb, became known in the 40s for his honking, stomping and general full-bodied, expansive style displayed with Lionel Hamptons band and his own group on the kind of business that Louis Jordan had covered for so long. The 1960 recordings gathered here brought to the fore the hushed, boastful tone and good taste, along with the swinging debt to Coleman Hawkins, obvious throughoutthough it must be admitted that Cobb is very much his own man, with a fully assimilated, personal style.
In these two albums Sizzlin and Ballads hes in assertively rhythmic company, riding easily on the up and mid tempo tunes with his warm and vibrant approach and his rough, tweedy tone. In his quiet moments, playing blues or balladsmost of the tunes on this setCobb manages to expose his music by talking with his horn in a highly suggestive manner. Cobbs quartet plays with force, directness, honesty and conviction, and Garlands piano is effective in his accompanying role, and particularly touching and sensitive in his solo work. Red and drummer J.C. Heard, with George Tucker and George Duvivier sharing the bass duties complete the made-to-measure rhythm sections. The music is well-made, swinging, sensitive, unpretentious, accessible and, above all, rooted in the common experience of the musicians involved.
"Arnett Cobb rates no mention in John S. Daviss Historical Dictionary Of Jazz, the latest attempt to order important facts and players alphabetically. Perhaps the musics sometimes endearing disorderliness makes the task impossible; but drummer Jimmy Cobb is included, surely a case of merit by association.
Arnett belongs in reaches which skeletal histories are obliged to ignore. That squawking tenor, evident from the start on this two-album reissue, belongs to regions lorded over by Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton and others in gladiatorial, up-and-at-em mode. Cobb was a Hampton sideman and led his own group, always embracing his former bosss flamboyance.
For contrast, Fresh Sound mixes the tracks of two 54-year-old albums - Sizzlin and Ballads By Cobb - allowing the re-evaluation of a rugged stylist whose musical braggadocio was probably not just skin deep. Its impossible to say if fewer years spent on the honking circuit might have made Cobb more sophisticated. Ballads such as Your Wonderful Love and Darn That Dream oddly suit his whittled playing if failing to disguise the impression of a desire to leap sideways into more boisterous company.
At least the leathery phrases breathe. Paradoxically, Cobb never over-exerts himself, thereby allowing the indulgence in idiomatic voicings that echo Hawkins, Hodges, Dexter, Illinois Jacquet and other roughish diamonds. The repose underscored by the comping is deceptive but in Willow Weep For Me makes for thoughtful playing. There are moments when the sizzling is as much the prerogative of Garland and co. as it is of the sizzler-in-chief himself. They accurately depict a mood from which the heat has just been withdrawn. Not so much cool as cooled down."
Nigel Jarrett -April, 2014
"Sur Sizzlin et Ballads by Cobb ici réunis, le ténor texan est accompagné par Red Garland (p), J.C. Heard (dm) et George Tucker ou George Duvivier (b). Ici toute léconomie du jeu est au service du swing maximum, quelque soit le tempo, et, si Arnett est un fauve toujours prêt à feuler ou rugir, il se contente le plus souvent de grogner paresseusement, de ronronner, voire de bailler, mais sa seule haleine vous décapiterait presque."
Alfred Sordoillet (April, 2014)
"I am one of the judges for the Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll, and the most disheartening part of the job is to pick the Best of the year in each category. I used to revel in deciding, Hmmwas Rollins better than Turrentine or Getz this year? But, nowadays, the pickings are discouragingly slim. Sure, Rollins is still on the list, but he has been out of commission lately, and the fact is that almost none of the guys that I have to vote for come even close to guys like the one on this disc before you
Arnett Cobb. THIS IS A TENOR SAX! Big! Earthy! Manly! Breathy! This single disc collects two 1960 sessions with the Texas Tenor along with Red Garland/p, JC Heard/dr and either George Tucker or George Duvivier/b. Yes, there are a couple cookers, such as a wonderfully robust Sweet Georgia Brown and The Way You Look Tonight but these are so deeply dipped in blue that they fit right into the mood. His tone drips like honey off a stick right onto the toasted bread with peanut butter on PS I Love You and Willow Weep For Me while he moans like he hasnt had a meal in days on Blue and Sentimental. The rhythm sections have the mood embedded into their psyches, as they create perfect drapery for Cobbs sobs on Georgia on My Mind and Willow Weep For Me.
I have a friend who produces rap records. I play this stuff for him and he refuses to leave my place till the last note is finished. Timeless? Whatdya think?!?"
George W. Harris (May 26, 2014)
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