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Elmo Hope Trio (Remastered)

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In taking a quick glance at the program of the Elmo Hope Trio, a 1959 recording originally issued on David Axelrod’s HiFi Jazz label, one might not be prepared for the extraordinary individuality at play. With the exception of the standard “Like Someone In Love,” all of the tunes here are originals by the pianist, presenting slightly less frantic bop in explorations by a cooperative unit with Los Angeles stalwarts Jimmy Bond (bass) and Frank Butler (drums). Certainly owing some to Bud Powell, Hope teeters between Monk’s architecture and Herbie Nichols’ painterliness, especially on the opening “B’s a Plenty.” “Something for Kenny” (a.k.a. “I Would if I Could”) is most notable for its spotlight on Butler’s drums, where he gets solo space to explore timbral patterns using a broad range of the kit as well as his fingers and palms — though Hope and Bond certainly get stretching room, too. 


Born: 27 June 1923 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s

Overshadowed throughout his life by his friends Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, Elmo Hope was a talented pianist and composer whose life was cut short by drugs. His first important gig was with Joe Morris' R&B band (1948-1951). He recorded in New York as a leader (starting in 1953) and with Sonny Rollins, Lou Donaldson, Clifford Brown, and Jackie McLean, but the loss of his cabaret card (due to his drug use) made it very difficult for him to make a living in New York. After touring with Chet Baker...
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Elmo Hope Trio (Remastered), Elmo Hope
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