…just because it has been too long since you’ve heard it, even if you heard it a few minutes ago. It is a B-flat blues called “Honesty,” composed by trombonist Dave Baker and played by a sextet led by George Russell (pictured). We hear seven musicians thoroughly experienced in the post-bop mainstream who were also immersed in the freedom that in 1961 was introducing new colors into jazz. Indeed, Russell had been an encourager and trailblazer of that freedom since he wrote for Dizzy Gillespie in the late 1940s. His 1950s and ‘60s work featuring pianist Bill Evans, trumpeter Art Farmer and tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, among others, is some of the best of the music of those decades, written with the soloists’ characteristics and personalities in mind.
What, you say you’ve never heard “Honesty?” This is your lucky day.
Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; George Russell, piano; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums. It’s from the album Ezz-thetics, recorded in New York in May, 1961.