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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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JIMMY FORREST

Four Classic Albums

Avid AMSC 1096

 

 

CD1

Out of the Forrest

1. Bolo Blues

2. I Cried For You (Now It’s Your Turn To Cry Over Me)

3. I’ve Got a Right to Cry

4. This Can’t Be Love

5. By the River Saint Marie

6. Yesterdays

7. Crash Program

8. That’s All

 

Jimmy Forrest – tenor sax

Joe Zawinul – Piano

Tommy Potter – Bass

Clarence Johnston - Drums

 

Sit Down and Relax with Jimmy Forrest

9. Tuxedo Junction

10. Organ Grinder’s Swing

11. Moonglow

12. Tin Tin Deo

13. Rocks in My Bed

14. The Moon Was Yellow

 

Jimmy Forrest – Tenor sax

Calvin Newborn – Guitar

Tommy Potter – Bass

Hugh Lawson- Piano

Clarendon Johnston - Drums

 

CD2

Most Much

1. Matilda

2. Annie Laurie

3. Autumn Leaves

4. My Buddy

5. Soft Winds

6. Robbin’s Nest

7. Most Much

 

Jimmy Forrest – Tenor sax

Hugh Lawson – Piano

Tommy Potter – Bass

Clarendon Johnston – Drums

Ray Barretto – Congas

 

Soul Street

8. Soul Street

9. I Love You

10. Sonny Boy

11. Soft Summer Breeze

12. Experiments in Terror

13. Just A-Sittin’ and A-Rockin’

14. That’s All

 

Jimmy Forrest, George Barrow, King Curtis, Seldon Powell - Tenor sax

Oliver Nelson - Conductor, tenor sax

Jerome Richardson - Alto sax, flute

Pepper Adams - Baritone sax

Art Farmer, Idrees Sulieman, Ernie Royal – Trumpet

George "Buster" Cooper, Jimmy Cleveland – Trombone

Gene Casey, Hugh Lawson, Ray Bryant, Chris Woods – Piano

Calvin Newborn, Tiny Grimes, Mundell Lowe – Guitar

George Duvivier, Tommy Potter,?Wendell Marshall, Richard Davis – Bass

Roy Haynes, Clarence Johnston, Osie Johnson, Ed Shaughnessy – Drums

Ray Barretto – Congas

 

As reissue labels scour the archives for more albums to re-release, they seem to throw up more and more artists who have almost been forgotten. Jimmy Forrest is not exactly a household name, even though he had a big hit in 1951 with Night Train, a tune whose main theme he “borrowed” from Happy-Go-Lucky Local – a composition by Duke Ellington which Forrest played when he was briefly in the Duke’s orchestra. Earlier he had made his name in the bands of Jay McShann (next to Charlie Parker) and Andy Kirk.

He was one of the hard-blowing tenor-saxists whose music bridged the gap between jazz and rhythm-and-blues. This double album illustrates his work with three LPs from 1961, plus Soul Street recorded between 1958 and 1962.

Out of the Forrest features Jimmy with a quartet that included pianist Joe Zawinul two years after he had emigrated from Austria to the USA. The LP was recorded in the same year that Joe joined Cannonball Adderley’s group, where he truly became famous. Zawinul supplies suitably bluesy backing for Jimmy Forrest: understated so as to leave the spotlight on the tenor sax. The saxist bends notes, growls, and often plays with a buzzing tone. Zawinul gets the chance to solo on a few numbers and shows that he was already a considerable pianist.

The second LP, Sit Down and Relax with Jimmy Forrest, has Hugh Lawson on piano instead of Zawinul, and it adds Calvin Newborn on electric guitar. Newborn plays some effective solos, as does Lawson, although the spotlight is still primarily on Jimmy Forrest’s down-home saxophone.

The third LP, Most Much, has the same line-up except for swapping the guitarist for conga drummer Ray Barretto, who opens the album with some vigorous percussion and keeps the pot boiling for the rest of the LP. Annie Laurie may be an unexpected tune to find in such a session but Forrest makes it soulful. Hugh Lawson’s delicate piano is featured on Autumn Leaves, where Jimmy Forrest proves that he can play with a mixture of lyricism and soul, and My Buddy offers another chance for him to show that he could improvise with subtlety.

The final LP, Soul Street, is a strange mixture, recorded over several years and featuring a quintet, sextet and big band, all directed by Oliver Nelson. The personnel contains many famous names but the listing does not make it clear who is playing on which tracks, and the sessions give Jimmy Forrest fewer opportunities to solo. However, he produces a gutsy solo on I Love You and his playing on Just A-Sittin’ and A-Rockin’ is almost ferocious. The big band doesn’t add a lot to the overall effect, and Oliver Nelson’s arrangements are less striking than on some of his other albums.

I have complained before about the small print on some of Avid’s sleeve-notes and I can hardly read them on this album, even with my trusted magnifying glass. However, the remastering offers good sound quality, and the price is the usual bargain.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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