Cecil Payne & Duke Jordan, Brooklyn Brothers (Elemental Music)
This classic pairing is an essential repertoire item in Elemental Music’s series reissuing Xanadu albums from the 1970s. Payne (1922-2007) was among the great baritone saxophonists of his generation, perpetually in demand as a big band sideman and as a soloist. From his early days with Charlie Parker, Jordan (1922-2006) attracted admiration for the softness and fluidity of his keyboard touch and his harmonic ingenuity. Together with Sam Jones on bass and the young drummer Al Foster, they explore “Jordu” and “No Problem,” Jordan compositions even then established as jazz standards, plus Jordan’s “Jazz Vendor,” three of Payne’s pieces and the standards “I Should Care” and “I Want To Talk About You.” Payne’s “Cu-Ba” is a highlight, not only for the leaders’ work but also for Foster’s solo. It’s good to have this available again.