A five star review to offset the 3 star one. The comment "the arrangements left me more than a little cold" left me more than a little gob-smacked. Are you kidding? The arrangement of April in Paris is just wonderful, one of the best in all jazz. The ultimate antidote to all the brash, soulless sounds that bombard our ears every day. One to relax deep into and enjoy the glory of the art of the arranger, the musicians and the superb sound engineering of the peerless Rudy Van Gelder. The opening interplay of Max Roach's cymbals with Percy Heath's and Barry Harris' simple contrapuntal riff immediately stops time and grabs the attention, then Thad's and Billie Mitchell's achingly beautiful harmonized theme floats in, giving way to Thad's soaring solo trumpet, handing over immediately to a brief and possibly even more soulful few bars from Billy Mitchell. Not to mention the ingenious way a familiar tune is transformed into something entirely new by a subtle change in note timing and emphasis. Is there a better 1 minute demonstration of the art of the arranger (and the sheer joy of sound of acoustic instruments) in all of music? Definitely in the "top 100 sounds to hear before you die" category.
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