|James Moody was one of the first modernists to seriously take up the flute and he proved to be as facile on that instrument as he was on tenor and alto. Bob Parent photo|
I picked this record up many years ago in a basement used record shop in Hyde Park when I was living in Chicago. I got it along with a pile of Andrew White's self-produced LPs. Needless to say, I've listened more often to this James Moody effort than to any of those sides by the DC saxophonist.
Mr. Moody's output was prodigious, and this album is just one of scores he produced in the 1960s. But I'm including it here because it's so darn good. Recorded in 1964, it was one of two Moody did for for the independent Sceptor label, the one that featured the immortal Thad Jones. The album unfortunately fell through the critical cracks and disappeared from the label's soul-and-pop catalog after only a few years. But "Running the Gamut" is in the Gems archive and I think it's definitely worth an upload.
|Trumpet master Thad Jones during a Blue Note recording|
date, about a decade earlier. Francis Wolff photo
This date comes after James' long stint with the Chess/Argo label, and it places him in a post-hard bop, New York-style setting. Thad Jones had just left Basie and was about to launch his monster big band with Mel Lewis, and he's in top form here. Patti Bown is the pianist, and she's another of those journeyman jazz players who recorded frequently and exhibited real ability but never got much notice. I met her once in later years when she was living in the Westbeth Houses on Bethune St. in Manhattan and she was a big woman with an impressive, quiet presence. On "Gamut" she struggles with a sour-sounding piano and eventually comes up the winner. Youngsters Reggie Workman and Tootie Heath round out the section, providing the date with its progressive edge.
|Ms. Bown, in a studio shot that was featured on the|
cover of the only recording under her own name,
"Patti Bown Plays Big Piano," on Columbia.
The opening selection, "Buster's Last Stand," breaks down at the end, with the band bursting into laughter and Tootie tossing his sticks on the floor (clearly audible). What's so funny? Your guess is as good as mine, but the legendary Chicago DJ Dick Buckley use to claim it was because the band could no longer stand the out-of-tune piano that Bown was comping on. Give a listen and see what you think.
As always, this gem comes straight from the original vinyl and required no cleaning at all.
Running the Gamut
Scepter S 525
James Moody, ts, fl, as; Thad Jones, tp; Patti Bown, p;
Reggie Workman, b; Albert Heath, d; Marie Volpe, v*.
August 1, 4, 1964, New York, NY
1. Buster’s Last Stand (Thad Jones)
2. Paint the Town Red
3. Em Prean Shore (Dennis Sandole)
4. Capers (Tom MacIntosh)
5. If You Grin (You’re In)
6. The Wayward Plaint (Dennis Sandole)
7. Figurine (Dennis Sandole)
Find it here: https://www.mediafire.com/?01f5jgsp733liao