Personnel includes: Tiny Grimes, Coleman Hawkins, Musa Kaleem, Ray Bryant, Earl Womack, Teagle Fleming, Jr.
Recorded in February, 1958.
Personnel: Tiny Grimes (guitar); Musa Kaleem (flute); Coleman Hawkins (tenor saxophone); Ray Bryant (piano); Teagle Fleming (drums).
Liner Note Author: Ira Gitler.
Recording information: Hackensack, NJ (02/28/1958); Nj (02/28/1958).
Unknown Contributor Roles: Earl Wormack; Teagle Fleming; Musa Kaleem; Ray Bryant.
True to its title, the focus here is the blues, as played by a group with an encyclopedic mastery of the genre and an equally impressive depth in swing styles. Leader Tiny Grimes may be playing a four-string guitar, but his Charlie Christian-influenced sound is big, fluid, and expressive. Teamed with Coleman Hawkins' timeless tenor, Grimes performs with passion, skill, and down-home joy.
The impressive lineup also includes pianist Ray Bryant, whose supple technique and easygoing virtuosity fuel the music with relentless drive and eloquent, bluesy solos. Four of the five tracks include Musa Kaleem on flute. Kaleem, known as Gonga Musa when he worked as a tenor player with Art Blakey in the late '40s, contributes an effective counter to Hawkins' smoky tone. Bassist Earl Wormack and drummer Teagle Fleming Jr. are the well-recorded heartbeat in these blues grooves.
The set opens with the leader's 17-minute-plus "Marchin' Along," a mid-tempo blues that affords Grimes, Hawkins, and Bryant each a lengthy stretch of choruses on the tune's basic riff structure. The performances are rounded out by two more good blues from Grimes, Benny Goodman's "A Smooth One" and a memorable version of "April in Paris" that is executed with a light, swinging touch.
This music will appeal to fans of Grimes' vintage electric guitar and to those interested in an opportunity to hear Hawkins take an extended foray into the blues. ~ Jim Todd