WALTER BENTON Quintet: Out of This World
Freddy Hubbard (tp) Walter Benton (ts) Wynton Kelly (p) Paul Chambers (b) Jimmy Cobb (drs) (#) or Albert Heath (drs) Recorded in New York; September 19 & 21, 1960
(Wynton Kelly and Paul Chambers appear through the courtesy of Vee-Jay Records; Freddie Hubbard courtesy of Blue Note Records)
Out of This World (5:43) (Mercer – Arlen)
Walter’s Altar (8:19) (#) (Walter Benton)
Iris (5:28) (#) (Walter Benton)
Night Movement (2:37) (Walter Benton)
A Blues Mood (7:26) (Walter Benton)
Azil (4:31) (#) (Walter Benton)
Lover Man (8:45) (Davis – Sherman – Raminez)
About This NEW Jazzland Recording –
This is WALTER BENTON’s first album as a leader. Since first albums and newcomers are extremely frequent occurrences these days, it would seem best to immediately take a look below the surface, to get at the underlying reasons why the debut performance of this deep-toned and adventurous young tenor sax stylist is well worth your attention:
For one thing, Benton (like a good many seemingly “brand-new” jazz artists) has spent several years learning his craft and gaining experience. Born in Los Angeles in September, 1930, he studied with (among others) tenorstar Lucky Thompson. During military service, he spent three years with army bands and also toured Japan with pianist Toshiko. He cut his first record back in 1953 – it was a Kenny Clarke date; and the following year he recorded with Max Roach and Clifford Brown. Then came two years of travel in the Far East with Perez Prado’s band, followed by four years heading his own quartet in L/A. In 1960, at the comparatively mature age of 30, he came to New York to join Max Roach and to demonstrate to listeners and musicians that he was now ready.
As a second point, let’s examine a Benton’s supporting cast, for in jazz it is often most helpful to judge a man b the musical company he keeps. Recognizing that it’s next to impossible to swing without effective rhythm support, he has sensibly turned to pianist WYNTON KELLY and bassist PAUL CHAMBERS. On three selections they are joined by the other member of the Miles Davis rhythm section, JIMMY COBB. When Jimmy was unavailable for the completion of the LP, his spot was ably filled by young ALBERT HEATH, currently with the Farmer-Golson Jazztet. Benton’s front-line companion is trumpeter FREDDIE HUBBARD, a young man from Indianapolis who is beginning to stir up much attention. Freddy, who joined the Quincy Jones band late in ’60, solos to considerable effect on Out of This World, Azil, and the album’s two blues (Walter’s Altar and Blues Mood).
Finally, and basically, there is what Benton himself accomplishes here. His playing, which is swinging, articulate and intricate, uses to advantage not only the inevitable Charlie Parker influence, but also suggestions of Walter’s teacher, Lucky Thompson, and of the robust Coleman Hawkins. In addition, there are no less than five of his compositions, four of them newly created (Blue Mood dates back to the 1953 Kenny Clarke album), and the tricky opening and unusual rhythmic figure on Out of This World is also Benton’s doing. Considering that on too many albums today you can best identify the leader only by the fact that he plays the longest solos, this ability to construct effective material for his own use must be counted as another of the many decided plus items on Benton’s ledger.
Recent JAZZLAND releases includes:
Guitar Groove – Rene Thomas, with J. R. Monterose – JLP 27 & Stereo 927S
Spiritsville – Julian Priester, with Walter Benton – JLP 25 & Stereo 925S
West Coast Blues – Harold Land, with Wes Montgomery – JLP 20 & Stereo 920S
Takin’ Care of Business – JLP 19 & Stereo 919S
Blue Vibes – Johnny Lytle Trio – JLP 22 & Stereo 922S
This album produced and notes written by ORRIN KEEPNEWS
Cover designed by KEN DEARDOFF
Back-liner 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