Carmell Jones (tp), Lawrence 'Tricky' Lofton, Bob Edmondson, Wayne Henderson, Frank Strong, Lou Blackburn (tb), Wilbur Brown (ts), Bobby Hutcherson (vib), Frank Strazzeri (p), Leroy Vinnegar (b), Ron Jefferson (d), Gerald Wilson (arr)
Reference: FSRCD 772
Bar code: 8427328607728
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Ron Jefferson, the sensitive jazz drummer, was something of a paradox: a jazzman who, for several years, labored just below the level of general public recognition in the East, only to find, as a founding member of pianist Les McCanns successful trio, an enthusiastic audience and wholehearted recognition of his talents on the West Coast jazz scene. And with his album Love Lifted Me he also shone as the fine leader of a persuasively swinging and remarkably consistent quintet in which Bobby Hutcherson plays with a joie de vivre that harks back to a young Milt Jackson.
Aside from the driving lines of Wilbur Browns tenor, the most provocative soloist is Tricky Lofton, whose blithe, lusty trombone is a refreshing updating of the earthy style of an earlier jazz day. Tricky is also co-leader, with trumpeter Carmell Jones, of the second album here, Brass Bag, on half of which he features with some fullbodied, four-trombone ensemble support, and in the other half shares solos with Lou Blackburn. Jones adds his consistent and lyrical solo voice, and Frank Strazzeris piano contributions are bright and lively, while Gerald Wilsons deft arrangements make effective use of the trombone choirs rich, dark ensemble sound.
"Two little-known albums are combined on drummer Ron Jefferson and trombonist Tricky Lofton's Love Lifted Me & Brass Bag (Fresh Sound 772). Drummer Jefferson's Love Lifted Me is a sextet outing with Lofton, tenor-saxophonist Wilbur Brown, pianist Frank Strazzeri, Leroy Vinnegar, and most notably the young vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. The spirited Lofton and Hutcherson take solo honors on the hard bop set.
Brass Bag, a date that Lofton co-led with trumpeter Carmell Jones, is unusual in that five of the eight numbers feature Jones with five trombones and a rhythm section; Gerald Wilson provided the arrangements. The remaining three numbers have the same group with just Lofton and Lou Blackburn as the trombonists. Throughout the two dates, Tricky Lofton plays so well that one wonders why he did not become much better known."
—Scott Yanow · Jazz Around Town (May 2013)
Los Angeles Jazz Scene