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Prince Albert Baby Tomorrow Maximum Ham and Haig Just Moody Star Dust Curley Top Blues Moody and Soul Monday Blues Hot House Lover Man
|Instruments||Music and Musicians|
|Accompanist/ Conductor||Max Roach, Kenny Dorham on trumpet, Tommy Potter on bass, Al Haig on piano|
Customer Reviews (2)
- "King James"Review by Big Toots
I’d guess it is somewhat appropriate that the title of this historic peek-in quotes the first lines of the Good Book. That’s because in this superb recording we encounter the great saxophonist, James Moody, - then a very young man in his twenties - recording with various rhythm section configurations, including five cuts with Charlie Parker’s already well-established rhythm section. And, Moody shows that he was a most capable replacement in this Bird’s nest, albeit on tenor saxophone. That legendary group itself lost nothing since the Bird had flown and Moody arrived and soared with them and with the other rhythm teams, as well.
Recorded in Paris in 1949, this is truly classic Bop memorabilia from a number of historical and musical perspectives. Performance-wise, we are at an apex in the Bop Era before things cooled down. Thus, the entire cast here is infinitely on their respective Bebop games. The technicality and advanced improvisational ideas are non-stop. Moody, perhaps a hair reserved and possibly cautious of his esteemed cohorts, shows signs of maturity and reflection throughout (“Star Dust” – spelled correctly, I might add). He’s not ashamed to occasionally toss out a well-known Bird lick (“Moody and Soul”). Kenny Dorham here is an obvious Gillespie-Navarro acolyte, respectfully copping Dizzy tunes and licks with grace and good humor (“Tomorrow”). Compositionally, as was custom then to avoid copyright and royalty issues, the melodies were composed over pre-existing tune chord changes (“Prince Albert” over “All the Things You Are,” “Moody and Soul” for “Body and Soul,” and “Tomorrow” over “Yesterdays”). Additionally, some Bop work-horses are also covered (“Hot House” and “Lover Man”).
The various rhythm section permutations here are well up to the task of Bop prestissimo and improvisational fury. As far as the “A” Team - would you expect anything different from Al, Tommy and Max? They support the frontline with finesse, drive and taste. Roach, particularly is a madman.
“In the Beginning” portrays a brilliant individual musician early on and also the acknowledgement of the entire Bop Era. It is a history lesson provided by professors of supreme intelligence, talent, insight and artistry. These Cats matter because they are the Cats. For those who believe jazz began with “Giant Steps,” this will certainly be an eye-opening experience. It is definitely Moody’s mood for Bop. And, it is a kingly pleasure.
(Posted on 5/20/2015)
- James MoodyReview by Simon Sez
On In The Beginning, James Moody is heard near the beginning of his career, playing in Europe in the late 1940s after he had been with Gillespie’s big band. He is featured leading the Charlie Parker Quintet with Kenny Dorham and Max Roach, taking Parker’s place on a few numbers. He is also heard in Switzerland with other visiting American musicians including future Sun Ra member Marshall Allen. The music is boppish and, no surprise here, quite fun, but James Moody always was.
Simon Sez: If you want to smile, put on a James Moody record. In The Beginning (IC7020) has happy vibes and is a great place to start.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)
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