Jubilant Power - Ted Curson & Company

A major trumpeter who first gained recognition for his work with Charles Mingus in 1960, Ted Curson sounded equally at home playing hard bop or free improvisations. Born in Philadelphia, he moved to New York in 1956 and worked with such notables as Mal Waldron, Red Garland, Philly Joe Jones, Cecil Taylor, Bill Barron and Eric Dolphy. The good-humored Curson spent periods playing in Europe, uplifting every band that he was with up until his recent passing. He always had a distinctive sound on trumpet and was a welcome addition to any session.

Recorded in 1976 during two nights in a Philadelphia jazz club, Jubilant Power features Curson in an all-star group that includes baritonist Nick Brignola, altoist Chris Woods, and either Jim McNeely or Andy Laverne on piano. The music is powerful, passionate, and swings hard, particularly the uptempo “Reava’s Waltz,” the explosive “Ted’s Tempo” and a scorching “Airi’s Tune.” The performances still sound modern and are full of the joyful spirit that one came to expect from Ted Curson.

SKU: IC1017

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Reava's Waltz Ted's Tempo Song of the Lonely Airi's Tune Searchin' for the Blues Marjo

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist Ted Curson
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor Bass, David Friesen, Congas, Sam Jacobs, Drums, Bob Merigliano, Steve McCall, Aimée Chiarello* Flute, Saxophone [Alto] Nat Hentoff, Piano, Andy LaVerne, Jim McNeely, Saxophone [Baritone] Nick Brignola Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Trumpet [Piccolo], Cowbell
SKU IC1017


Customer Reviews (2)

A Joy!Review by Big Toots
IC 1017 Jubilant Power Ted Curson & Company

“Jubilant Power” is about as accurate a description of the late Ted Curson’s playing - and approach to same - as can be. For while he never received the accolades as did contemporaries, Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard, jazzers and trumpeters in the know will tell you that Curson was a cooker who could straddle the Hard Bop and freer improv styles with power, grace and a phenom’s technique. All three of those admirable traits are present on this home-run of a recording.

Curson, pedigreed in the Philadelphia trumpet mold, as were Lee Morgan, Randy Brecker, Nick Marchione, Wilmer Wise, and many other non-trumpet jazz greats, is on high-octane throughout the session. He leads two sessions here – one live and a second studio date on consecutive days – each with a different rhythm section. “Reava’s Waltz” (dedicated to Ted’s Mother) kicks things off with a 12/8 Gospel-blues burner that unabashedly shades “Better Get It in Your Soul” of Charles Mingus, with whom Curson starred. Curson flies into his horn’s stratosphere throwing flame as do bari sax heavyweight, Nick Brignola and altoist, Chris Woods. Curson, who never met a prestissimo tempo he didn’t like – or nail – shows he’s just as quick and inventive as Woody and Freddie on “Ted’s Tempo.” Again, Brignola’s baritone lights up, as do the superlative rhythm section.

The in-studio takes here are superb, as well. Curson’s luscious horn butters up his original ballad, “Song of the Lonely” with his light-speed riffs alternating with more mellow, seductive tonal fare. It’s a gorgeous display. Curson was a household jazz name in Finland and performed there annually at the Pori Jazz Festival. Thus, “Airi’sTune,” a Latin speedball with a Finnish name. Here, Ted is at his best, fingers flying and generating brilliant ribbons of creativity. Brignola’s ballsy bari strikes here again, thundering on the deep-throated axe like a Viking madman. The rhythm section could be charged with arson on this one. “Searchin’ for the Blues” has Monk’s “Let’s Cool One” to thank – because it is very. Alto man, Chris Woods finds blue and gives it to us there brilliantly. The slower-grooved “Marjo” ends the date on a soulful and thoughtful note where Curson shines saluting his wife.

“Jubiliant Power” presents not only a great trumpeter, but also, a superior group of musicians wherein each artist leaves it all creatively on the bandstand. That takes awesome creative power and energy. The jubilance is what a listen to this superior recording will evoke from you.

(Posted on 5/6/2015)
Jubilant PowerReview by Simon Susskind
I will always think of Ted Curson playing next to Eric Dolphy with Charles Mingus’ band in the 1960s but he could have played with anyone. Whether it was bebop or free, Curson always fit in and had his own sound along with a cheerful style. He spent a lot of time in Europe which is probably why he wasn’t more famous.

Jubilant Power has Curson in 1976 playing in a club with such jazz stars as Nick Brignola, Jim McNeely, Andy LaVerne and Dave Friesen. Curson is swinging throughout, is featured on the ballad “Song Of The Lonely,” and some of the music, especially “Ted’s Tempo” and “Airi’s Tune,” is really fiery. This is an obscure album that deserves to be heard.

Simon Sez: Ted Curson’s Jubilant Power (IC1017) has the trumpeter sounding great in 1976 with a strong band and inspiring originals. (Posted on 5/6/2014)

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