Track Selection: Jarm (McGhee)
Howard McGhee (tp) Gigi Gryce (as, fl) Horace Silver (p) Tal Farlow (g) Percy Heath (b) Walter Bolden (d) recorded WOR Studios, NYC, May 20, 1953
Described by one Amazon customer reviewer as “very possibly the best music on record that Howard McGhee has left us. Absolutely gorgeous full tone working mostly mid-register, McGhee’s trumpet lines are always clear, clean and creative. No grandstanding. No cliches”. Tal Farlow’s presence is also significant.
Vinyl: Toshiba-EMI Japan pressing of 10″ BLP 5025
Scott Yannow notes: “Among the rarest Blue Note recordings are the ones issued in the early ’50s on 10″ LPs, a format that did not catch on, being quickly overshadowed by 12″ LPs” . This Toshiba pressing transfers the 10″ onto 12″, leaving a huge expanse of blank vinyl surrounding the label. No extra tracks or alternate takes to bulk it out like a CD.
The cover is one of those retro joys, with the photo’s curved cutout shape for which there is no geometrical word I know of, closely resembling the shape of an artist’s palette, or plywood furniture cut with a jigsaw. Just looks right for the period.
No liner notes to speak of, which may be characteristic of 10″ originals.
I know little of Farlows work, and these early Fifties recordings of McGhee seemed a good way in. Not expensive, apart from the small matter of 10″ playing time.