Takin’ Care of Business
CHARLIE ROUSE Quintet, with Blue Mitchell
Blue Mitchell (tp) Charlie Rouse (ts) Walter Bishop Jr. (p) Earl May (b) Art Taylor (dsr)
Recorded in New York; May 11, 1960
Blue Farouq (7:20) (Blue Mitchell)
“204” (7:34) (Randy Weston) – B. Mitchell out
Upptankt (4:42) (Charlie Rouse)
Weirdo (5:59) (Kenny Drew)
Pretty Strange (5:10) (Randy Weston)
They Didn’t Believe Me (6:45) (Kern-Reynolds)
About this NEW Jazzland Recording –
“Takin’ Care of Business,” is an expression currently very widely in use in jazz circles, but to use it properly you should reserve it for those no-nonsense occasions on which everything comes out just right and the job at hand is done unusually and excitingly well.
That makes it quite correct to apply the term to this hard-cooking album. It could also be properly applied to the overall jazz efforts of tenorman CHARLIE ROUSE. The trouble, up to now, has been that Rouse takes care of business so professionally and unflamboyantly that it has been all too way for people to overlook him. Not fellow-musicians: they’ve been aware for a long time. Ever since Charlie, who was born in Washington, D. C., in 1924, came onto the jazz scene in the ‘40s to play with Dizzy Gillespie, with Billy Eckstine’s legendary bop-star-studded band, and with Duke Ellington. But jazz fans, and record companies, are usually less alert than musicians, and it has only been rather recently that there has been any sort of growing recognition of the fact that Rouse is a full-fledged big-leaguer.
One important factor both in gaining more attention and in bringing his playing talents into sharper focus has been that for the past couple of years Charlie has been working regularly in the quartet of Thelonious Monk. (He can be heard on several of Monk’s recent albums for Riverside – Jazzland’s parent label.) And now rouse has his first opportunity to step out on a record and take care of business on his own. For this overdue debut, he has selected one of the fastest-rising young trumpet star, the big-toned and inventive BLUE MITHCELL, and a firm rhythm section that includes pianist WALTE BISHOP and bassist EARL MAY, and is anchored by one of the best: ART TAYLOR, who has also spent much time with Thelonious.
Together they romp through a half-dozen tunes designed for ‘blowing’ freedom. There is Mitchell’s striding blues line, Blue Farouq; Rouse’s own top-speed Upptankt; a finger-snapping version of the Jerome Kern standard, They Didn’t Believe Me, and pianist Kenny Drew’s intricate Weirdo. Composer-pianist Randy Weston has contributed two new and well-above-average items; “204” (which is in the vein of his celebrated Hi-Fly), and Pretty Strange, an unusual ballad which features Rouse throughout, playing with a deep tone and depth of feeling that startled even the other musicians on the date.
Recent JAZZLAND released include:
Organ-izing – Mel Rhyne, organ; with Blue Mitchell, Johnny Griffin, Gene Harris – JLP 16 & Stereo 916S
West Coast Blues – Harold Land; with Wes Montgomery, Joe Gordon, Barry Harris – JLP 20 & Stereo 920S
The Fourth Herd – Woody Herman Orchestra, with Nat Adderley, Zoot Sims – JLP 17 & Stereo 917S
This album produced and notes written by ORRIN KEEPNEWS
Cover designed by KEN DEARDOFF
Back-liner photos by LAWRENCE N. SHUSTAK
Recording Engineer: JACK HIGGINS (Reeves Sound Studios)
JAZZLAND RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc.
235 West 46th Street, New York 36, New York