And Finally (For Now)…

Ending our survey of a few of the CDs that piled up while Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond was occupying the author, here are brief observations on three more.
Mulgrew Miller, Live At Yoshi’s, volumes one and two. One of the most consistently interesting pianists in jazz, Miller has in his trio Derrick Hodge, a new bassist to keep your ears on, and the rapidly developing drummer Karriem Riggins. Horace Silver’s “Peace,” Victor Feldman’s “Joshua” and Donald Brown’s “Waltz for Monk” are highlights.
Dexter Gordon, The Complete Prestige Recordings. This is everything the great tenor man recorded for Prestige from 1950 to 1973, eleven CDs’ worth, with a who’s-who of sidemen, peers and guests, from Wardell Gray to Freddie Hubbard. It’s Gordon in all of his complexity, subtlety and power. No retrospective this comprehensive can be A-plus throughout, but triumphs of the quality of “Fried Bananas,” “Stanley the Steamer,” “Body and Soul” and Dexter’s two-tenor collaborations with James Moody, uneven as they are in spots, carry the day.
Zoot Sims Recorded Live at e.j.’s Aug. 9, 1981 Atlanta, Georgia is the comprehensive title of a surprise released nearly twenty years after Sims’s death. With a fine local rhythm section, Zoot played the club in high spirits, sparring hilariously on three pieces with the Atlanta tenor man Rick Bell. As if to remind us that categorizing him as a descendant of Lester Young is too facile, he opens his “Take the ‘A’ Train” solo with a phrase that is pure Coleman Hawkins.

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