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A Let Down
on 13 December 2015
This was first produced for CD on original jazz classics OJC 088, with Scot LaFaro [b] and Paul Motion [d] and recorded mainly in 1961. This trio was 'one of the finest piano trios ever documented' [Richard Cook of Penguin Guide to Jazz Recording's words, not mine]
The problem I have with this Hallmark version is not with the music, which is excellent as you might expect from Bill in his prime, but that the album has the look, feel and sound of a street-market rip-off. It is thin-sounding and does the original recording, which from memory was reasonably good, a sad disservice. The Riverside LP recording from it was taken would have been packed with information, all of it now missing, e.g. recording dates and venue[s] and personnel in particular. Once into the great man's music, these facts become important; the sound of BET evolved over time with changing personnel who were, and in some cases still are, legends of American jazz. Check bassists Scot LaFaro, Ray Brown and Marc Johnson, or Philly Joe Jones, Paul Motion, and Jack DeJohnette drums. Avoid labels like Pickwick and Hallmark [of greeting card fame?], and seek out OJC and Mosaic titles for greater authenticity.