- Audio Cassette (February 11, 1994)
- Label: Bainbridge
- ASIN: B000001P5Q
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Audio, Cassette, February 11, 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
Booker Little's eponymous album introduced a powerful new voice in the jazz trumpet: a musician who actually preferred composition and arranging to playing, yet was equipped with arguably the best technique and ability of any jazz trumpeter. It is also extremely valuable when considering Little's ridiculously under-recorded career, as it is one of his only four albums. The music is powerfully swift ("Opening Statement"), introspectively spiritual ("Minor Sweet"), unapologetically groovy ("Bee's Minor Plea"), heart-rending ("Life's A Little Blue"), anguished and bittersweet ("Grand Valse"), and sorrowful ("Who Can I Turn To").
Little's trumpet playing elevates him (and the listener) as if he were among the elms of a hill's summit. His tone, while leaning towards the flat side, has a beautifully executed vibrato, his harmonic knowledge allows him to hit striking notes (tritone subs, flatted fifths), his improvisations are stunningly melodic and linear, and, most importantly, he dedicates every single note to the significance of his music and the life that it portrays. LaFaro sounds as one who is dreaming alone, playing spiraling, rhythmically complex bass-lines without compromising tonal centers.Read more ›
This recording sounds different than most other jazz albums in that all (or nearly all) the trumpet and piano comes out of one speaker/side and all the bass comes out of the other side. (The drum sound is split, but mostly with the bass.) This can be almost shocking initially, but sounds fine once your ears adjust. I believe the intent was to provide better separation of the instruments and a more natural effect, and it mostly succeeds. The clarity of the audio is also very good.
Little's tragic fate left us with only a handful of recordings. Three of the finest, OUT FRONT, BOOKER LITTLE AND FRIEND, and this one are all equally great. I'd rather you heard them yourself than try to describe them musically. However, words like harmonically advanced, lyrical, melancholic, and beautiful have all been used to describe this music. Of course this one (BOOKER LITTLE) features trumpet and bass, while the others feature trumpet with reeds and trombone. When I listen to these albums (and each is unique), I get a sense that I'm hearing something substantial, and am often deeply moved.
My strong hunch is that this release is not compliant with copyright law—it seems clear that no royalties have been paid. As a matter of principle, I feel I should destroy the copy I purchased. Buyer, beware!
On the other hand: The music is pure and beautiful, the album is a classic. The six tracks are (1) "Opening Statement," (2) "Minor Sweet," (3) "Bee Tee's Minor Plea," (4) "Life's A Little Blue," (5) "The Grand Valse," and (6) "Who Can I Turn To." Little records here with a quartet. Tommy Flanagan plays piano on tracks 1-2 and 5-6, Wynton Kelly plays on 3-4; Scott LaFaro on bass; Roy Haynes on drums. You couldn't field a more musical rhythm section in 1960. (The recording dates are April 13th and 15th, 1960.)
For those who don't know, Booker Little died at age 23. In his brief life he released four albums under his own name. Here you have one of them. Like Clifford Brown, who similarly died early and tragically, Little's playing set a new standard for the post-Gillespie, post-Davis trumpet. Little's tone is gorgeous, fat, orchestral. His solos follow three paths: lyrical sections, sections that focus on motivic development, and bravura-like virtuoso moments filled with chromaticism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Who knew that great jazz came out of Memphis as well as the best blues? I am from Memphis and had never heard of this artist until I listened to a playlist of Memphis musicians and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joshua Anderson
Music is great, but the CD I received (from Amazon!) is clearly a CD-R and not original. The artwork, while "clean" contains no liner notes and is from an outfit called... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Paul Egan
My husband is a professional trumpet player. He was very happy to receive this album for his birthday, and says Booker is one of the best ever.Published on December 2, 2013 by Med
I've always liked Booker Little's playing with Eric Dolphy on the "Five Spot" recordings, so I bought this album to hear him in a studio recording. Read morePublished on October 31, 2012 by Just a voice
... it does sound appreciably better than the original CD, and it was mastered by the great Bernie Grundman, but be aware that it is not taken from the original master tapes, which... Read morePublished on March 1, 2010 by Sal D'Agostino
This album is an important turning point in the tragically short carrer of Booker Little. Little had all the technique of a Freddie Hubbard and all the fire of a Lee Morgan but on... Read morePublished on February 7, 2005 by Ahamefule J. Oluo