JLP 25
Spiritsville: JULIAN PRIESTER Sextet

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Julian Priester (tb) Walter Benton (ts) Charlie Davis (brs) McCoy Tyner (p) Sam Jones (b)

Art Taylor (drs)     Recorded in New York; July 12, 1960


SIDE 1

  1. Chi-Chi (4:43) (Charlie Parker)

  2. Blue Stride (6:15) (Julian Priester)

  3. It Might As Well Be Spring (5:47) (Rodger & Hammerstein)

  4. Excursion (5:42) (Walter Benton)

SIDE 2

  1. Spiritsville (7:21) (Walter Benton)

  2. My Romance (5:50) (Rodger & Hart)

  3. Donna’s Waltz (5:32) (Walter Benton)


About this NEW Jazzland Recording –


   Although “new stars” appear on the jazz horizon with astonishing regularity these days, the emergence of a vigorous and exciting young trombonist still remains a surprisingly rare event. Exactly why this is the case isn’t easy to figure out. Perhaps the pre-eminence of the great J. J. Johnson frightens some away: quite possibly the day-to-say economics of jazz frightens others (standard small-band lineups usually stick to only trumpet, saxophone and rhythm). But whatever the cause, it becomes doubly pleasing to single out a trombonist who seems firmly on his way up to solid spot on the scene.

   The best reason for welcoming JULIANPRIESTER, though, is simply and directly that he can play. His driving, deep, always swinging and firmly blues-filled sound clearly marks him as a man to pay attention to. Born in Chicago in 1935, Julian began his career there in 1953 with Sun Ra’s unusual group. 1956 – with Lionel Hampton; ’57 and ’58 – Dinah Washington; and early in 1959, having come on to New York, he joined Max Roach. Also in ’59 came his record debut as a leader, on Riverside (Jazzland’s parent label).

   This album marks another big forward stride for the young trombonist. Having assembled a rather unique trombone-tenor-baritone lineup, he makes full use of the earthy, “bottom” sound this provides in three blues – Charlie Parker’s Chi-Chi, Priester’s own Blue Stride; and the LP’s title tune Spiritsville. This last is one of three written for this date by tenorman Walter Benton (the unusual Excursion and Donna’ Waltz being the other two). Of the two Richard Rodgers standards, My Romance is a swinger, while on It Might As Well Be Spring Priester (playing with just the rhythm section) demonstrates a fervent ballad style.

   His supporting cast effectively mixes youth and experience. WALTER BENTON, a newcomer who has played with Priester in the Max roach group, shows here an uncommon zest and imagination. McCOY TYNER, a Philadelphian barely into his twenties, has been with the Farmer-Golson ‘Jazztet’ and John Coltrane; unmistakeably, he has an impressive jazz future ahead. CHARLIE DAVIS, another Chicagoan, is also just getting impressively under way. The other two, still young, are nevertheless veterans: ART TAYLOR, one of the firmest of drummers, has played with just about all the best, including a stint in the Thelonious Monk Quarter alongside SAM JONES, 1960 Down Beat Critics Poll “New Star” bassist, who is currently with Cannonball Adderley and is, understandably, now the most in-demand recording bassist New York jazz circles.


Recent JAZZLAND releases include:

  West Coast Blues – Harold land with Wes Montgomery – JLP 20 & Stereo 920S

  Takin’ Care of Business – Charlie Rouse, with Blue Mitchell – JLP 19 & Stereo 919S

  Blue Jubilee – Joe Alexander, with Bobby Timmons – JLP 23 & Stereo 923S

  Blue Vibes – Johnny Lytle Trio – JLP 22 & Stereo 922S

  Girl Here Plays Mean Piano – Joyce Collins Trio – JLP 24 & Stereo 924S

This album produced and notes written by ORRIN KEEPNEWS

Cover designed by KEN DEARDOFF

Photos by LAWRENCE N. SHUSTAK

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios

Recording Engineer: RAY FOWLER


JAZZLAND RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc.

235 West 46th Street, New York 36, New York