Sugar – Josh Berman and his Gang
That’s A Plenty – Dewey Jackson
Curly Top – Nicole Mitchell
Lover (alternative take) – Eddie Lockjaw Davis
Mr PC – Ernest Dawkins
Along Came Betty – Ira Sullivan presents the Jim Holman Trio
Spiral Mercury – Rob Mazurek Pulsar Quartet
Love Walked In – Red Holloway
Crumb-Puck-U-Lent – Kahil El’zabar’s Ritual Trio
Bees – Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms
Four – Sonny Stitt
The Stampede - The Fat Babies
Delmark, based in Chicago, is the child of Bob Koester, its founder, and has released a splendid sequence of discs over 60 years. Its CD catalogue is
printed at the book of the booklet of this celebratory taster disc. The discs range from Jim Robinson to Roscoe Mitchell via Wally Rose and Cecil Payne –
and plenty more besides. Koester likes what he likes and this is reflected in such a wide-ranging collection of discs – more power to him for bringing into
his net Joseph Jarman and Art Hodes, Anthony Braxton and Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls. Blues abounds in Delmark’s world alongside cutting edge and Roots.
This disc is really only a taster, with most of the twelve tracks coming from the more recent parts of the catalogue. The most discographically interesting
cut is the alternative take of Lockjaw Davis’s Lover, made in 1947, to be released during 2014 in an album called Honkers and Bar Walkers
. So this is a taster of what’s to come. Sonny Stitt’s Four was recorded in 1969 and Dewey Jackson’s That’s A Plenty comes from 1952.
This last – a touch messy but live – is a righteous old-time number.
Elsewhere we find Josh Berman and his Gang deconstructing Sugar with an admixture of Bop and Condon hues, flautist Nicole Mitchell’s slick,
virtuosic Curly Top and Coltrane’s Latino swinger Mr PC played by tenor player Ernest Dawkins. All these are recent Delmark releases. Ira
Sullivan, another tenor player, plays a slow and fluent Along Came Betty and the more contemporary Delmark vibe comes via Rob Mazurek’s Pulsar
Quartet whose Spiral Mercury is graced by some cornet flurries. One of the superior cuts is Red Holloway’s Love Walked In, a classic
swinger with Chris Foreman’s meatily supportive organ. Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms is a vibes trio stronger on sonic allure than pure improvising, whilst
The Fat Babies dust down Fletcher Henderson’s The Stampede with stylistic nicety.
Nothing here is startling, either in terms of archivally digging out important never-before-released tracks (the Lockjaw Davis being an alternative to an
already issued track) or in terms of far-out programming. One can understand Delmark wanting to push its more recent catalogue but it does at least nod
toward its origins with those early sides. It’s certainly a label to support and to cherish.