As well as being an excellent Trombone player with a big range and a huge
sound, Slide Hampton is a brilliant arranger, whether it is for Big band
or Small Group. Anyone in any doubt about his Trombone credentials should
have a listen to Confirmation. Never the easy choice of instrument
for the player of Be-Bop, Slide sails through and there is some excellent
Tenor playing from George Coleman. George was not well known at that time
but has since become one of the most talented tenor players on the jazz scene.
Jay Cameron only has one solo on Baritone, but here again we hear a talented
improviser who I would like to hear more of. Slide's arrangements were obviously
written with these sidemen in mind, everything seems to fit. The arrangements
are very challenging and often the band sounds like a larger combination
than an Octet. Around this time piano less bands were fashionable, but I
feel this session would have benefited from having some 'comping', the musicians
didn't need it, but it can help the listener! The programme is interesting
with tunes from Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk and Benny Golson
as well as some excellent standards. It must have sounded very modern in
1962 and it remains very enjoyable today. GITANES have done a service to
jazz followers by making it available again. There is no indication of which
of the Trumpet players is featured on I Remember Clifford, which has
a quirky 'Whistle While You Work' intro. but it is very well played.
Straight, No Chaser is a blues of the kind only Thelonius Monk could
think of, although Monk died in 1982 his compositions will probably be around
for as long as jazz as we know it is played.
Don Mather is a saxophone player and Bandleader in Coventry