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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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Our Delight

IPO Recordings IPOC 1013




1. Our Delight
2. Birk's Works
3. Con Alma
4. Lady Bird
5. Eternal Triangle
6. Body and Soul
7. Good Bait
8. Darben the Red Foxx
9. Soul Trane
10. Woody'n You
11. Old Folks
12. Moody's Groove
James Moody - Tenor sax, flute
Hank Jones - Piano
Todd Coolman - Bass
Adam Nussbaum - Drums
Roberta Gambarini - Vocals (track 12)



Here is proof that there is life after the age of 80. When this album was recorded in June 2006, James Moody and Hank Jones were both octogenarians, yet there is no sign that the ageing process has had any effect on these two marvellous veterans.

James Moody, of course, is best known for his long association with Dizzy Gillespie, while Hank Jones has recorded with almost everyone you can think of - although seldom, before this session, with James Moody. The two work sympathetically with one another, reliably supported by the bass and drums of Todd Coolman and Adam Nussbaum. The bassist plays several well-constructed solos which are actually audible (unlike many bass solos). And Adam Nussbaum adds substantially to the dynamism of several tracks - for instance, in the opening title-track with a punchy drum solo.

James Moody also still has plenty of punch in his tenor-sax playing. More than half the tracks are compositions by his former employers:  Dizzy Gillespie and Tadd Dameron, and James obviously feels at home in such numbers as Gillespie's Birk's Works and Dameron's Good Bait. In Gillespie's Con Alma, Moody's tone is almost Getzian, although we are reminded of his irreverence by a cheeky quotation midway through his solo. He also displays his fluency on flute in the jazz standard Old Folks and his own composition Darben the Red Foxx (no, I have no idea what it means).

I have sometimes found Hank Jones's laid-back style insufficiently stimulating but his relaxed approach suits the slower numbers here. On the faster tunes, he seems to have caught some of James Moody's vivacity, although his approach is still tasteful rather than tearaway. However, while James Moody struggles a bit with the speed of Eternal Triangle, Jones seems more at home and goes at it confidently. Both men are happy with the ballad Body and Soul, where James uses vibrato and breathiness to conjure up emotion. Hank adds a solo which is swinging as well as lyrical.

The album ends with a gratifying vocal from Roberta Gambarini (see my review of her recording with Hank Jones on: Roberta sings Jimmy Heath's Moody's Groove, a well-deserved paean of praise for James Moody.

Tony Augarde





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