The late 1950s and early 1960s brought us plenty of keepsake jazz, much of it unforgettable. Donald Byrd's interpretation of "Cristo Redentor" and Bobby Timmons' reading of "Moanin'," with Benny Golson and Lee Morgan, stand apart as special moments. Both songs have been honored by others, but these two classic arrangements have it all wrapped up. Nobody could duplicate such masterpieces, because both have already made indelible impressions.
The other selections on Sanctified are also familiar, although not as poignant. Horace Silver works with Hank Mobley, Kenny Dorham, Doug Watkins and Art Blakey to deliver "The Preacher" with plenty of soul. Donald Byrd returns with a soulful "Amen," in a quintet that pairs him with Jackie McLean. Hank Mobley interprets "A Baptist Beat" with Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Art Blakey in an emotional celebration of faith and a thank-you for great jazz inspiration. Mobley and Hubbard were both at the peak of their careers when the tune was recorded in 1960.
Grant Green's "Go Down Moses" features Herbie Hancock, Butch Warren and Billy Higgins in a traditional and notably eloquent interpretation, a feverish listening experience steeped in gospel and coated with blues. Lou Donaldson's "Rev. Moses" comes from a later year: 1967. From his Alligator Boogaloo album, the alto saxophonist fronts a quintet including guitarist George Benson, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, drummer Idris Muhammad, and cornetist Mel Lastie. Their uptempo romp follows the album's theme, but from an organ combo perspective rocking with a glad-happy experience. Isn't that what it's all about? Sanctified opens a window to the soul that lets in joy and understanding.