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Sea Jam Blues

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Album Review

There are two reasons why this excellent live album is titled Sea Jam Blues. First, it was recorded aboard a "jazz cruise" in different parts of the Caribbean Sea in 1995. Second, one of the songs that Urbie Green performs on this CD is Duke Ellington's "C Jam Blues." The veteran trombonist was 68 at the time, and he is in fine form on inspired, energetic performances of that standard as well as John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," the Gershwin brothers' "But Not for Me," and Jerome Kern's "The Song Is You." Green swings passionately on the up-tempo selections, but he shows how lyrical a ballad player he can be on "You're Changed" and "Old Folks." The trombonist also shows that he has no problem working with both younger and older musicians; on Sea Jam Blues, he leads a cohesive quintet that includes two veteran improvisers (bassist Paul Rostock and drummer Glenn Davis) and two "Young Lions" (his piano-playing son Jesse Green and saxman Chris Potter, both of whom were in their twenties in 1995). Those who own most or all of Potter's Concord Jazz releases know that he is a flexible wind player who can handle everything from alto sax to bass clarinet to flute, but he sticks to tenor and soprano sax on this disc. Although Green is quite capable of playing swing and Potter is quite capable of playing modal post-bop, Sea Jam Blues is essentially a hard bop album — so you can say that Green and Potter find some common ground and have a lot of fun doing it. Not all of the albums that Green has provided over the years are great, but bop fans can't go wrong with Sea Jam Blues.


Born: 08 August 1926 in Mobile, AL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

A fine jazz player with a beautiful tone who has spent most of his career in the studios, Urbie Green is highly respected by his fellow trombonists. He started playing when he was 12; was with the big bands of Tommy Reynolds, Bob Strong, and Frankie Carle as a teenager; and worked with Gene Krupa during 1947-1950. Green had a stint with Woody Herman's Third Herd, appeared on some of the famous Buck Clayton jam sessions (1953-1954), and was with Benny Goodman off and on during 1955-1957. He played...
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Sea Jam Blues, Urbie Green
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