When Charlie Persip formed The Jazz Statesmen in 1959 he was already one of the best drummers around, a status anointed by his time with Dizzy Gillespies big band and quintet from 1953-1958 and subsequently by his numerous sideman appearances on recordings with such diverse talents as Gil Evans, Don Ellis, Eric Dolphy and Dinah Washington.
So he was able to call on some of the finest young players on the scene for the new group; trumpeters Freddie Hubbard or Marcus Belgrave and, in the rhythm section, the great bassist Ron Carter and piano stalwart Ronnie Mathews. They brought exuberance, skill and dynamism to the music, much of which was composed by a young writer, Roland Alexander, who also contributes his robustly individual tenor to the band. And, in contrast to Persips frequent avant garde associations, the music was essentially post-bop mainstream.
But, with both the writing and the playing reflecting the leaders determination to make it fresh and exciting, the results, including the very rare follow-up quintet recording with Alexander as leader and Belgrave in for Hubbard, have stood the test of time surprisingly well.
01. Sevens (Roland Alexander) 6:38
02. Right Down Front (Cassey) 5:20
03. The Song Is You (Kern-Hammerstein II) 6:40
04. Soul March (Roland Alexander) 7:48
05. The Champ (A Suite in six movements)(Gillespie) 9:35
06. Pleasure Bent (Roland Alexander) 11:11
07. I'll Be Around (Wilder) 5:29
08. Dorman Road (Roland Alexander) 4:43
09. Lil's Blues (Roland Alexander) 7:21
10. Orders to Take Out (Roland Alexander) 7:00
11. My Melancholy Baby (Burnett-Norton) 4:58
Tracks #1-5, from "Charles Persip And The Jazz Statements" (Bethlehem BCP 6046)
Tracks #6-11, from "Roland Alexander -Pleasure Bent" (New Jazz NJLP 8267)
Personnel on #1-5:
Freddie Hubbard (tp), Marcus Belgrave (tp only on #2), Roland Alexander (ts), Ronnie Mathews (p), Ron Carter (b), Charles Persip (d).
Recorded in New York City, on April 2, 1960
Personnel on #6-11:
Roland Alexander Quintet
Marcus Belgrave (tp), Roland Alexander (ts), Ronnie Mathews (p), Gene Taylor (b), Clarence Stroman (d).
Recorded in New York City, on June 17, 1961
Producers: Teddy Charles (#1-5), Ozzie Cadena (#6-11)
Engineers: Peter Ind (#1-5), Rudy Van Gelder (#6-11)
Bethlehem cover photo by Stephen Haas
New Jazz cover photo & design by Don Schlitten
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered