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Sounds of the Inner City

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Album Review

Two masters of hard bop, trumpeter Booker Little and tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin, square off on this 1960 session reissued by Collectables as Sounds of the Inner City. This date has been released under various titles over the years since its original inception as Teddy Charles' New Directions Quartet Featuring Booker Little and Booker Ervin. Most of the material is straight-ahead bop under the leadership of vibraphonist Teddy Charles with Mal Waldron on piano, Addison Farmer on bass, and Ed Shaunesssy on drums. This is a noteworthy reissue considering that there are so few instances of Little's lyrical trumpet style and Ervin's passionate tenor recorded together. Original compositions include Ervin's "Scoochie," Little's "The Confined Few" and "Witch Fire," Shaunessy's "Blues de Tambour," pianist Ahmad Jamal's "Cycles," plus the standard "Stardust" (receiving an especially melancholy treatment.) The only complaint is the lack of liner notes, which excludes information on personnel and session history.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

The first trumpeter emerging after Clifford Brown's death to gain his own sound, Booker Little had a tremendous amount of potential before his premature death. He began on trumpet when he was 12 and played with Johnny Griffin and the MJT + 3 while attending the Chicago Conservatory. Little was with Max Roach (1958-1959) and then freelanced in New York. He recorded with Roach and Abbey Lincoln, was on John Coltrane's Africa/Brass album, and was well-documented during a July 1961 gig at the Five Spot...
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Sounds of the Inner City, Booker Little & Booker Ervin
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