Digging Bill English. Exceedingly classy stuff and yet bad news, brace yourselves: proving hard to get hold of a physical copy.
English, who was born in 1925, made jazz history on Midnight Blue [recorded and released in 1963]. He is also on the later Kenny Burrell album, Soul Call.
Here he is also caught in 1963 the drummer in the moment with Seldon Powell [in 1963 saxophonist Powell was on Open House! with the organist Johnny Hammond Smith] on tenor and who also plays flute, Dave Burns on trumpet, Lloyd G Mayers [the year before Mayers played with the Oliver Nelson orchestra on A Taste of Honey] on piano, and Martin Revere on bass.
Tracks are: The John Acea tune ‘222’ [hear Acea on Groovin' with Jacquet]; Bart Howard’s super familiar ‘Fly Me to the Moon’; ‘Rollin’’ by the tenorist Powell who is as you can glean above on Bill English; ‘Heavy Soul’ by trumpeter Burns; ‘7th Ave Bill’ by English; ‘A Blues Serenade’ by Parrish and Signorelli and first covered in the 1920s by Johnny Sylvester & His Playmates; ‘Sel’s Tune’ a number again written by Seldon Powell; and finally the Kahn-Donaldson standard that on the decades-later 1989 album Trio Jeepy Branford Marsalis made his own – the mega fun ‘Makin’ Whoopie’.’
If rummaging for great and pretty rare vintage jazz from the 1960s you chance upon this, surely – happy days. Before you begin your hunt wrap your ears around a YouTube highly compressed but perfectly OK listening wise version. The vinyl will bring out the warmth of the tenor sax that bit more especially and add the width we all miss when listening to Internet sound. But you know essentially audiophile considerations are not what matter at all. It was the human feeling the players put into the tunes that does instead and still applies all these years on. No technology can ever reproduce that sense so as listeners dancing in the dark we have to use our imaginations to bypass the tech and tap direct into the essence of the music as if we are standing there in real time listening with no barriers as if mics are not even needed. That is an effort towards enlightenment worth taking.