Easy Does It: BOBBY TIMMONS Trio
Bobby Timmons (p) Sam Jones (b) Jimmy Cobb (drs)
New York City; March 13, 1961
Easy Does It (4:48) (Bobby Timmons)
Old Devil Moon (4:34) (Harburg-Lane)
A Little Busy (5:50) (Bobby Timmons)
Ghost of a Chance (4:50) (Crosby-Washington-Young)
Pretty Memory (4:29) (Bobby Timmons)
If You Could See Me Now (6:27) (Tadd Dameron)
I Though About You (4:56) (Mercer-Van Heusen)
Groovin’ High (3:31) (Dizzy Gillespie)
This is an album of varied, consistently swinging, frequently lyrical, and constantly interesting jazz by one of the most appealing young pianists and most honestly soulful composers to come along in a very long time …
There is nothing in the above sentence that should be either new or surprising to the substantial number of people already familiar with the considerable merits of BOBBY TIMMONS through his work with the quintets of Cannonball Adderley and Art Blakey, his compositions (including the celebrated Moanin’ and This Here) and his own previous LPs. Why, then, did we open these notes in this way? Well, besides being the truth, that opening paragraph has the virtue of presenting Bobby in a ‘normal’ way. Note that the first adjective you come across is “varied,” and although the word “soulful” has certainly not been left out, it has been positioned well along in the sentence.
The point, then, is a sort of plea against the kind of oversimplification that so many of us – jazz listeners, critics, and record companies as well – tend to fall into. It shouldn’t be surprising to have Timmons presented as varied, swinging, lyrical, etc., but somehow it is difficult to get people to get past the word “soul” when Bobby is being considered. Soul, when it is honestly presented (and there is no doubt that it is a fundamental and legitimate part of Timmons’ jazz message) is of course a most valuable and enjoyable quality. But soul is not all, and in the specific case at hand, simply to label Bobby, with a large indelible-ink sign marked “soul music” and let it go at that means that you are bypassing and ignoring a substantial chunk of what he has to offer.
Actually, the title tune of this LP is fully, in the earthy groove. With its easy-flowing ‘blowing’ super-imposed over an intricate and compelling rhythmic figure, it seems a likely candidate for the same sort of success as has been achieved by Bobby’s major soul-hits. Pretty Memory (previously recorded by a six-piece group on Nat Adderley’s Work Song” album), is also a notable example of that type of amalgamation of church music, blues and beat. These are, properly enough, the opening tracks of the LP’s two sides. But just past each of these originals lies a convincing presentation of some of the further aspects of Timmons’ playing. On Side 1 it is Old Devil Moon, a striding yet melodic, minor-flavored version of this standard. On the second side it is a tender and thoughtful treatment of Tadd Dameron’s superb nd haunting If You Could See Me Now. There’s another ballad-tempo standard, Ghost of a Chance, which opens and closes with some impressive unaccompanied piano work. A third original, A Little Busy, romps happily between Devil and Ghost, while a lightly swinging version of I Thought About You and then Dizzy Gillespie’s hard-driving bop-era classic, Groovin’ High , wind things up.
Twenty-five year old Robert Henry Timmons (he was born in Philadelphia in mid-December, 1935) worked with Kenny Dorham, Sonny Stitt, Chet Baker, Maynard Ferguson and Pepper Adams during th first few years of his jazz career, but really began to happen after he joined Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the Summer of 1958. In the brief span of time between then ad this recording, he gained overnight recognition as a jazz composer with Moanin’ , then provided the Adderley band with the sensational This Here when he joined that group at its inception in September ’59. (the band recorded the number on RLP 12-311; bobby’s trio version is on RLP 120317.) He rejoined Blakey late in the Spring of 1960.
On this LP, bobby is employing the same trio format (and the same unbeatable bass and drums support) as on his highly successful first album: “This Here Is Bobby Timmons.” SAM JONES, a mainstay of the Adderley group, is quite understandably one of the most sought-after recording bassists in jazz today. His firm support and rock-bottom solo strength is heard on Riverside as frequently as can be arranged – generally, as in this case, at the insistence of the leader. JIMMY COBB has been more-than-satisfying that most demanding band-leader, Miles Davis, for over two years now, which should be taken as clear indication of his merit.
Bobby’s previous Riverside albums are –
This Here Is Bobby Timmons (RLP 12-317; Stereo RLP 1164)
Soul Time: Bobby Timmons with Blue Mitchell, Art Blakey, Sam Jones (RLP 334; Stereo RLP 9334)
He can also be heard on such albums as –
Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco (RLP 12-311; Stereo RLP 1157)
Work Song: Nat Adderley (RLP 12-318; Stereo RLP 1167)
The Soul Society: Sam Jones (RLP 12-324; Stereo 1172)
(The present recoding is also available in Stereophonic RLP-9363)
Produced by ORRIN KEEPNEWS
Cover designed by KEN DEARDOFF
Back-liner photographs by STEVE SCHAPIRO
Recording Engineer: BILL STODDARD (Bell Sound Studios)
RIVERSIDE RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc.
235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York City