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Thursday, February 23, 2023

Message From Hambro - Lenny Hambro


Slave Girl

Message From Hambro
The Lenny Hambro Quintet
Columbia Records CL 757

From the back cover: The message in this collection is firmly embedded, as it should be, in the music, a forceful and expressive example of the best aspects of contemporary jazz. The electric quality of first-rate jazz is present in a high-voltage meeting of musical minds operating on five standards and six originals, and the message comes through clearly and excitingly.

The genesis of the collection has been set forth by Lenny Hambro: "It is my belief that for any group of jazz musicians to swing, regardless of the size of the group, each individual musician must believe in,  and enjoy what he is playing.

"In the past, I have recorded with several jazz groups and swing bands, and frequently there was a feeling of a lack of interest (or nervousness) among the musicians on the date. If this feeling exists in even one man, it usually extends itself throughout the group. However, during the whole time spent in putting this collection together, I felt a complete feeling of willingness to play, and of relaxation. The relaxation part of it, I believe, should be credited to the control room direction of George Avakian: considering the many obstacles encountered during a record session, all of them tending to make the performers nervous, George managed to maintain an easy atmosphere throughout. "At various times I have tried different instrumentations in group, and also both American and Latin jazz, each time hoping that this would be what I had been looking for. And they were good groups, made up of good musicians who knew how to swing, but that feeling of complete satisfaction wasn't there. Then, several months ago, I was introduced to Wade Legge, a very talented young pianist and arranger. He played a couple of his originals for me, and I was fascinated by what I heard. It was a different style of jazz. We collaborated on instrumentation, and came up with four rhythm and myself on alto and flute. I decided to give it a try. We both started writing, and I began rehearsing a week later. The rhythm section, after a few changes, consisted of Wade Legge, piano; Dick Garcia, guitar; Clyde Lombardi, bass and Mel Zelnick, drums.

"After a few rehearsals we began settling into a grove which I felt for the first time was what I had been striving for. This group was flexible in the respect that we could play light, subtle swing, or "wail" if we chose to.

"On one occasion we played a jazz concert, which, unknown to me, also turned out to be a dance. Confronted with this problem, which was something I hadn't counted on, I knew that I had to go through with it. The result was a howling success. This proved the flexibility of the group to me.

"On behalf of the boys in the group, George Avakian and myself, I hope that you receive the message intended for you, and that you enjoy its contents as much as we enjoyed making it." – Lenny Hambro

I Get A Kick Out Of You
The Lonely One
Moon Slippers
Easy To Love
Hoof Beats
Slave Girl
Moonlight Becomes You
Heat Wave
Message In Minor

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