Gil Mellé (bs), Art Farmer, Kenny Dorham (tp), Seldon Powell (ts), Hal McKusick (as), Julius Watkins (frh), Joe Cinderella (g), Teddy Charles (vib), George Duvivier, Billy Phillips (b), Ed Thigpen, Shadow Wilson (d)
Reference: FSRCD 479
Bar code: 8427328604796
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Writer-baritone saxophonist Gil Mellé led a quartet that played some of the most creative, ohesive and provocative jazz sounds of the Fifties. His unorthodox approach echoed his attitudes toward the whole field of jazz and his thoughtful frameworks were, in his own words, the perfect admixture of classical techniques with jazz emotion and beat². Mellé¹s cliche-free writing was always fresh and bright, his lines attractive and flowing.
On baritone he was a relaxed soloist, with a warm deep tone, rolling phrasing and fluid beat. But though his was the prime voice, his colleagues also displayed a consistent quality of musicianship. And although all were fine musicians in their own right, it's worth noting the lucid and imaginative guitarist Joe Cinderella, and the musical breadth and intelligence of drummer Ed Thigpen.
That said, the music you will hear on this CD unquestionably bears the emotional and intellectual stamp of Gil Mellé (1931-2004), a thinking musician, daring and unafraid to push the boundaries.