Tom Cat (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition)

February 21, 2006 | Format: MP3

$6.45
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
9:50
30
2
9:33
30
3
7:35
30
4
6:56
30
5
7:27

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: February 21, 2006
  • Release Date: February 21, 2006
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • Copyright: (C) 2005 Blue Note Records
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 41:21
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000TETCBU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,570 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
He literally IS the Tom Cat personified in music.
Samuel Chell
Lee's compositions are straight out of the Blue Note handbook of awesome jazz compositions..
Robert Lewis
Even if you own it this quality is worth another look.
presentmoment

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Lee Morgan and Jackie McLean star on this 6-piece ensemble session. Blue Note assembled a band for this session which looked like a reunion of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Lee Morgan, Jackie McLean, Curtis Fuller, and of course Art Blakey all star on this CD. Only McCoy Tyner on piano somehow missed playing with Art's group. I like the writing on this session. The group's unity suggests rehearsal and mutual interest in achieving great results. Lee hit a groove in the mid-60's, recording several great sessions. Hearing him play with McCoy is a special treat.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Don't make the mistake Blue Note apparently did when it counted this Tom Cat dead before it had even realized one of its lives. As the previous reviewer has suggested, the small recording company apparently held the recording back because the absence of a trendy 8th-note-feel rock beat à la "Sidewinder" made it a financially risky proposition in the 1964 marketplace. Seventeen years later, corporate giant EMI obviously saw differently and released "Tom Cat" from the vaults, its most recent incarnation being this 2006 RVG edition.

Perhaps the difference is Art Blakey, but this is a tight and flowing ensemble with outstanding but unforced solos by all hands--and Van Gelder's remaster represents one of his more judicious mixes, keeping the rhythm section as well as the arrangements in agreeable balance with the solo work. Overall, it's a notch above "The Gigolo" and, at the very least, comparable with "The Sidewinder."

The title tune is a hip version of "Alley Cat Song" or Mancini's Theme from the "Pink Panther," with 2-beat, lower-octave prowling in the piano alternating with straightahead swing on a Bb blues during each of the solos. It's a perfect vehicle for Morgan to indulge himself (but not at our expense) in all of his tricks, mannerisms, and cute devices. He literally IS the Tom Cat personified in music. Wisely, the ensuing soloists don't try to follow his act but provide equally expressive and appropriate solos. "Exotique" is a triple-meter, simpler version of "The Gigolo," with more flowing, less strained solo and ensemble work.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jack Baker on February 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I've enjoyed Lee Morgan's work on other recordings, such as Hank Mobley's No Room for Squares, Wayne Shorter's Night Dreamer, and the Jazz Messengers' The Big Beat, but haven't bought any of his own sessions until now. I purchased this based on the reviews and sound samples here on Amazon and wasn't disappointed. Recorded in 1964, but not released by the label until 1981, this is a strong set from an excellent group of musicians. Curtis Fuller on trombone, Jackie McLean on alto sax, McCoy Tyner on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Art Blakey on drums join Lee Morgan here and all perform superbly. According to the liner notes, Blakey wasn't doing sideman gigs any more, but he made a special exception for his friend Lee for this session. Morgan had just returned from his self imposed exile and recorded The Sidewinder and Search for the New Land. While waiting for those albums to be released, he recorded Indestructible with The Jazz Messengers, then this album.

The release and success of The Sidewinder caused this album to be set aside in favor of attempting to follow up on the hit making formula. And that's really a shame, because this session is such a gas. Morgan wrote all but "Twilight Mist", a pretty Tyner ballad, played beautifully here. All the songs are extremely catchy and well constructed. "Tom Cat" is a slinky stirring piece with groove for days. Morgan's solos are evocative of the title animal and Jackie McLean's work here gave me goose bumps.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Richman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The most recent batch of six RVG reissues (2/21/06) has left me scratching my head, as the original CD incarnations of four of these titles have never even gone out-of-print, and are still readily available, even new on Amazon. Certainly, there are more deserving titles to re-release that have actually been missing from the catalog for years, but I guess EMI must have plans to make most every golden-era Blue Note album an RVG edition at this point. To be fair, Lee Morgan's "Tom Cat" is another enjoyable recording, and it is great to have it available in this remastered version, with a new cover to boot (the same photo used for the Morgan Mosaic Set). Recorded on August 11, 1964, this session was never released until 1980 and the reason was the surprise smash success of "The Sidewinder." This date featuring the incredible lineup of Jackie McLean, Curtis Fuller, McCoy Tyner, Bob Cranshaw and Art Blakey (making a rare sideman appearance at this stage of his career) was shelved by Alfred Lion in favor of a potential follow-up hit, "The Rumproller" (see my review). Even in hindsight, this was a good decision as "Tom Cat" doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts. The material here is very good but I personally liked the expansive, exploratory path Lee's music was taking on "Search for the New Land" (see my review), and maybe unfairly have always looked at this disc as a step backward. Of course, none of that matters because the only direction Lee's music would go from now on was to the top of the charts. If for nothing more, "Tom Cat" is an interesting look back at a musician just before he became the top dog.
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