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November 16, 2007

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Ian Carey

Wow, I'd never heard of this, but I just downloaded it and it's great. The chance to hear my hero Art Farmer blowing with no drums would make it worth the trip alone, but Cannonball and the rest of the band are really in fine form, and the charts are interesting (with their hint of third-streaminess), too. Thanks a million for the tip!

Ian Carey

OK, two things occurred to me after listening to this 4 or 5 times. The first is that I spoke too soon to call "third-streamy"--it reminds me much more of the Giuffre stuff I love so much from around the same time--makes me wonder whom was influencing whom, or if the sound was just "in the air." Second, Art is much better at playing relaxed while reading chord changes, while Cannonball resorts to a lot more cliches. They both nail the changes, of course, but Art just sounds more easy-going about it. I wonder how much rehearsal they had.

Anyway, this has gone from "never heard of it" status to one of my current favorites almost overnight. Makes me wonder how many more undiscovered gems lay buried somewhere waiting for somebody to call people's attention to them. Thanks again.

Richard Leigh

Delighted to see this music getting some recognition. I've owned the LP for decades, can't bring myself to get rid of it because the cover painting is so great. There is a reissue of the LP on a Lonehill CD, which also includes Brooks' other LP "Folk Jazz USA" . I don't think this is as good as "Alabama Concerto" - but nothing could be. In any case, anyone who reacts as I do to the Concerto is bound to be curious about the other LP. There is, as has been observed, nothing at all "3rd Stream" about Brooks' approach. I like some 3rd stream music very much; it's just that this is nothing like it - Brooks had a very personal approach to his source material.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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