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The New Thing & the Blue Thing

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Recorded in 1965, his fifth album as a leader brings together Ted Curson's working unit at the time, featuring tenorman Bill Barron, bassist Herb Bushler, drummer Dick Berk, as well as French pianist Georges Arvanitas on five originals and a rendition of the Raye-DePaul standard “Star Eyes” (for trumpet and rhythm, a preferred Curson format). A native Philadelphian, Curson’s tone is fat and incisive, but unlike some of his young lion peers (Lee Morgan, for example), his phrases take odd turns, ricocheting off of Barron’s husky tenor and buoyed by a tumbling but economical rhythm section. Pieces like “Ted’s Tempo” are somewhat reminiscent of the contemporaneous Miles Davis Quintet in their lean activity, while “Nublu” is thematically odd, knotty and clambering funk that gives way to broad, searching improvisations. Though a few years older than his compatriots on this recording, Arvanitas is an excellent, frequently spiky collaborator with this brilliantly honed yet eager band. The New Thing & the Blue Thing provides an excellent studio snapshot of a band at work.


Born: June 3, 1935 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An excellent and flexible trumpeter, Ted Curson will always be best known for his work with Charles Mingus' 1960 quartet (which also included Eric Dolphy and Dannie Richmond). He studied at Granoff Musical Conservatory; moved to New York in 1956; played in New York with Mal Waldron, Red Garland, and Philly Joe Jones; and recorded with Cecil Taylor (1961). After the 1959-1960 Mingus association (which resulted in some classic recordings), Curson co-led a quintet with Bill Barron (1960-1965), played...
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The New Thing & the Blue Thing, Ted Curson
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