(Apologies: WordPress has been playing up again, the email alert for this post has a corrupted earlier version. Technology! LJC)
Track Selection: Dear John C
Charlie Mariano (as) Hank Jones or Roland Hanna (p) Richard Davis (b) Elvin Jones (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, February 23, 1965
The Allmusic review awarded the album 4 stars:
“The second album by Elvin Jones as leader has the drummer sounding more like a backup musician, as he claims no compositional duties or noticeable solo space. In fact, this is one of the very best albums in the career of alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano, who occupies the bulk of lead lines and improvising responsibilities. He’s so up-front, and on an instrument that is not John Coltrane’s main instrument, the tenor sax, that the title is also a bit of a misnomer.
The value of Jones as a bandleader lies in his concept of using fellow Detroiter Sir Roland Hanna or brother Hank Jones on selected tracks, or in the case of three tracks, no pianist. Bassist Richard Davis rounds out this truly brilliant ensemble of burgeoning mid-’60s jazz stars, who play an enticing collection of standards, bop, compositions of Bob Hammer, and originals from several modern sources. A stone cold bebopper and Charlie Parker devotee at the time of this recording, Mariano is the standout performer
The variety from cut to cut is engaging, and there’s nothing over the top, even the drumming of Elvin Jones… It seems this recording is underrated when over time it should never be. Dear John C. is deserving of an excellent rating”
Vinyl: HMV CSD 3508 UK release of Impulse A88
Nicer to have a US original Impulse stereo with RVG mastering stamp, but the HMV UK release it is. Remastered and pressed by EMI Hayes Middlesex, (who as we know from earlier posts, did not add mould release during pressing. Don’t get me started)
EMI Hayes Middlesex pressing, “letters follow the curve”
Source: London Record shop with just a small jazz section, main staple product 60’s rock and pop for tourists, and outrageously expensive reggae singles for “locals”. I’ll leave you to guess which part of London. What is it with Reggae singles? For more than ten minutes the shop owner and a dealer in a fonky hat speaking thick Jamaican patois argued hammer and tongs over hundreds of pounds for a few singles. Out of curiosity and knowing nothing, I took a peek from a safe distance, on Popsike.
Jeez. Over 2,000 USD for a single with writing on the label and a rather large spindle hole, and looks like with no cover. These must be the collectors elite, but can there be that much pleasure in a few minutes with Al and The Vibrators? I left the shop just a few pounds lighter, grateful for a modest acquisition, and rather glad not to have any interest in Reggae: chasing jazz is expensive enough.