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The Curtis Fuller Jazztet

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Album Review

Like the other Savoy recordings of Curtis Fuller, The Curtis Fuller Jazztet is a relaxed hard bop set featuring many of the young stars of the day. The more famous Blues-ette, from earlier in 1959, featured Tommy Flanagan, Jimmy Garrison, and Al Harewood. This time, however, the Fuller/Golson combination included Lee Morgan, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and the percussive talents of drummer Charlie Persip. Listeners already acquainted with Blues-ette (or other comparable dates) should find this session to be familiar territory. Similarly, it is also very much in the same vein as another classic, Meet the Jazztet, upon which Fuller and Golson were again paired. Even though the compositions may not be as strong as those on Blues-ette (and how could they be?), there are a number of highly engaging solos by all and perhaps a bit more diversity with regard to both tempo and arrangement. Where Blues-ette's sublime grace stems from the collective understanding displayed by the group, the greatness of The Curtis Fuller Jazztet is to be found in the individual talents of the soloists. Of particular note are Golson's flights on up-tempo numbers such as the album's opener, "It's Alright With Me," and absolutely every soloist's take on the ballad "I'll Walk Alone." Let this highly recommended set also be a testament to the sparkling, Roy Haynes-like "snap-crackle" style of the underappreciated Charlie Persip.

Biography

Born: January 25, 1929 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Benny Golson is a talented composer/arranger whose tenor playing has continued to evolve with time. After attending Howard University (1947-1950) he worked in Philadelphia with Bull Moose Jackson's R&B band (1951) at a time when it included one of his writing influences, Tadd Dameron on piano. Golson played with Dameron for a period in 1953, followed by stints with Lionel Hampton (1953-1954), and Johnny Hodges and Earl Bostic (1954-1956). He came to prominence while with Dizzy Gillespie's globetrotting...
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