MEL RHYNE Sextet with BLUE MITCHELL, JOHNNY GRIFFIN
Blue Mitchell (tp) Johnny Griffin (ts) Mel Rhyne (org) Gene Harris (p) Andy Simpkins (b) Albert Heath (drs) Recorded in New York; March 31,1960
Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (10:55) (Mercer Ellington)
Blue Farouq (10:37) (Blue Mitchell)
Barefoot Sunday Blues (13:00) (Cannonball Adderley)
Shoo, Shoo Baby (8:42) (Phil Moore)
About This NEW Jazzland Recording –
This one is a real blues-drenched cooker, firmly based on the considerable ‘blowing’ talents of a half-dozen formidable jazz musicians. It is organized (as the album-title pun indicates) around a newcomer: organist MEL RHYNE, whose surging and swinging action is notable free from the overpoweringly heavy pounding-surf effect of so much current jazz-organ work.
Perhaps the key to Rhyne’s particular light-handed and light-heated approach to the organ is that he was initially a pianist, who before 1959 had not really concentrated on organ. But even more importantly, this young (still in his early twenties) Indianapolis musician is clearly a jazz artist of taste, deftness and imagination. He first came to our attention while making his record debut as a member of the Wes Montgomery trio, on Riverside Jazzland’s parent label), at which time he left the very definite impression that this was a man to be heard again.
It was on the same occasion that the idea that gives this album its unique sound was born. GENE HARRIS (pianist of “The Three Sounds”) came by to visit at that recording session and, between takes, began jamming with Rhyne. Theoretically, organ and piano is a combination about as unlikely as oil and water. But in practice, this organist and this pianist struck a spark together. Consequently, at the earliest time that working schedules permitted, the two were brought together for this relaxed, stretching-out date which features all sorts of alternate ‘comping’, trading (most notably in the back-and-forth organ-and-piano choruses on Cannonball Adderley’s soulful Barefoot Sunday) and other largely-instinctive rapport between Rhyne and Harris.
The two horns on hand are both masters of the art of blues-based improvisation. BLUE MITCHELL and JOHNNY GRIFFIN are both in high gear as they sail into such items as the old Johnny Hodges specialty, Things Ain’t What They Used to Be, and a new Mitchell number, Blue Farouq. Rounding out the rhythm section is Harris’ full-toned regular teammate, ANDY SIMPKINS, on bass; and a most solidly swinging young drummer, ALBERT HEATH, brother of tenor star Jimmy Heath and the great Modern Jazz Quartet bassist, Percy Heath.
Recent JAZZLAND released include:
The Fourth Herd – Woody Herman Orchestra, with Nat Adderley, Zoot Sims – JLP 17 & Stereo 917S
Chet Baker in Milan – JLP 18 & Stereo 918S
The Chicago Cookers – Wilbur Ware, Johnny Griffin, Junior Mance – JLP 12
Zulu – Randy Weston, with Art Blakey – JLP 4
Top Trumpets – Kenny Dorham / Clark Terry – JLP 10
This album produced and notes written by ORRIN KEEPNEWS
Cover designed by PAUL BACON – KEN BRAREN – HARRIS LEWINE
Back-liner photos by LAWRENCE N. SHUSTAK
Recording Engineer: JACK HIGGINS (Reeves Sound Studios)
JAZZLND RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc.
235 West 46th Street, New York 36, New York