Thursday, May 25, 2017

Music Inc. - 1971 - Music Inc.

Music Inc.
Music Inc.

01. Ruthie's Heart 6:12
02. Brilliant Circles 4:48
03. Abscretions 6:58
04. Household Of Saud 6:38
05. On The Nile 9:48
06. Departure 5:00

Bass – Cecil McBee
Drums – Jimmy Hopps
Flute – Bobby Brown , Clifford Jordan, Jimmy Heath, Wilbur Brown
Piano – Stanley Cowell
Reeds – Bobby Brown, Clifford Jordan, Jimmy Heath, Wilbur Brown
Trombone – Curtis Fuller, Dick Griffin, Garnett Brown, John Gordon
Trumpet – Charles Tolliver, Danny Moore, Larry Greenwich, Richard Williams, Virgil Jones
Tuba, Saxophone [Baritone] – Howard Johnson

Recorded November 11, 1970.

First formed in the late 1960s, Music Inc. makes their debut in Dizzy's for the Coca-Cola Generations In Jazz Festival. It will be just one of the many iterations the group has seen over the years. 
The story behind this group stretches back to 1969. Tolliver—having established himself as an in-demand sideman on sessions for legends including Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, and Max Roach—formed a new group called Music Inc. with pianist Stanley Cowell, bassist Steve Novosel, and drummer Jimmy Hopps. The group played a series of overseas concerts before bassist Jimmy McBee took over from Novosel.

For the group's first recording, Tolliver fleshed out the core quartet with a full big band that featured trumpeters Richard Williams and Virgil Jones; reedists Jimmy Heath, Clifford Jordan, and Howard Jordan; and trombonists Garnett Brown and Curtis Fuller. The album—released in 1971 by Strata East, a label Tolliver had recently founded with Cowell—boasted hard-hitting, harmonically advanced arrangements from Tolliver.

The quartet went on to record a number of other albums, including live sessions at the infamous (and now-defunct) East Village venue Slugs'. The group continued to tour in various iterations through the 1970s and into the 80s and 90s and featured an ever-changing lineup; members include pianist John Hicks, bassists Reggie Workman and Clint Houston, and drummers Alvin Queen and Clifford Barbaro.

For me this is the pick of all the Charles Tolliver Music Inc LP's.Recorded in the same year as the Slugs' live album it is a very different album.It features a big band composed entirerly of brass backing the usual quartet and a look at some of the names present makes for impressive reading,Clifford Jordan,Curtis Fuller,Richard Williams and Jimmy Heath to name a few.The dynamics of having a big band behind you alters the music massively and it makes for a joyous record that leaps from the speakers as the band highlight and add to the phrases that the quartet play while letting the solos proceed unhindered.All tracks are either Cowell or Tolliver originals with the opener Ruthie's Heart being a real standout and one of y best loved jazz tunes ever.

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