Head to Head
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- Released: May 20, 2002
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: Arbors Records
- 1.It's All Right With Me
- 2.The Preacher
- 3.West End Blues
- 4.Cotton Tail
- 5.If I Had You
- 7.Afternoon in Paris
- 8.Medley: Sophisticated Lady / I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good: Sophisticated Lady / I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good
- 9.Walkin' My Baby Back Home
- 10.Creole Love Call
- 12.The Curse of an Aching Heart
- 13.America the Beautiful
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel includes: John Alred, Wycliffe Gordon (trombone); John Sheridan (piano); Charlie Silva (bass); Eddie Metz, Jr. (drums).
Recorded at Lone Pine Studios, Orlando, Florida on December 6, 2001. Includes liner notes by Matt Schudel.
Personnel: John Allred (trombone); Wycliffe Gordon (trombone); John Sheridan (piano); Eddie Metz (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Gary Baldassari.
Recording information: Lone Pine Studios, Orlando, FL (12/2001).
Photographers: Peter Brunner; Mat Domber.
Arrangers: John A. Katalenic; John Allred; John Sheridan; Tim Ouimette; Wycliffe Gordon.
It all started, of course, with J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding back in the 1950s, but the trombone duo with rhythm has since been tried from time to time with varying success by several others. This one is sure to please fans of the genre, for not only are John Allred and Wycliffe Gordon two of the top jazz trombonists around, but the choice of tunes, the attention to detail, and the fine arrangements add up to a whopping good time, not to mention a splendid example of modern technical artistry. The bold, if not audacious, opener, "It's All Right With Me," lays down the challenge, as Allred's arrangement brings back memories of Johnson and Winding, for the tune was one of their most popularly recorded numbers. Highlights abound as Allred and Gordon engage in a startlingly fast and vigorous version of Ellington's "Cottontail"; a swinging take of Horace Silver's "The Preacher"; an overdubbed trombone quartet of "The Curse of an Aching Heart," which features some characteristically energetic scatting from Gordon; and a tastefully emotional rendition of "America the Beautiful." The fairly tepid rhythm section is curiously reminiscent of the classic The Great Kai and J.J. album, so that in both cases the focus is totally on the horns. For some of the best modern jazz trombone blowing on disk, try out Head to Head: You won't be disappointed. ~ Steven Loewy
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