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Monday, November 19, 2012

Cool Hands - Buck Clarke Quintet

X-A-Dose (Clarke, McKenzie, Hampton, Williams and Hunter)
Ed's Blues (Hampton)
Cool Hands
Buck Clarke Quintet
Offbeat Records OJ-3003

I bought this one for the cool cover art. But very much enjoyed the amazing and cool space age jazz tracks laid down by young men in the late 50s who were all 29 years or younger in age. The quintet members: Buck Clarke - bongos, conga drum, Fred Williams - bass, Charles Hampton - alto sax, clarinet, wooden flute, Don McKenzie - vibraphone and Roscoe Hunter - drums.

From the back cover: The Quintet had been playing regularly about 10 months when this record was made. They recorded shortly after appearing for a week at the Howard Theater in Washington and gained the finishing touches of confidence and polish. The five rehearse faithfully every Sunday morning in the basement of McKenzie's home (where the piano always is in tune because McKenzie is an expert piano tuner), no mean feat for musicians who work late on Saturday nights.

The Quintet started as a trio (bass, vibes, conga and bongos). Their first date was at a Washington art gallery, where Clarke was showing paintings of jazz musicians.

The excellent engineering on this album also deserves a mention.

Side one

Cool Hands
What Is This Thing Called Love
Second Wind
Ed's Blues

Side two

Lover Man
I'll Remember April

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