Monday, February 20, 2017

Paul Chambers - A Jazz Delegation From the East

The great jazz bassist recorded his first album as leader in 1956 for the Jazz West label, a division of Aladdin which only issued ten LPs. This is the second issue, on Imperial, the label which bought out Aladdin in 1961. They reissued Chambers' album the same year, using a cover similar to the Jazz West issue (although with different colors).

Chambers and two of his colleagues here were visiting Los Angeles as members of the Miles Davis Quintet when they recorded Jazz Delegation; only pianist Kenny Drew (an LA resident at the time) was not a Davis sideman. The other Davis employees, John Coltrane, and Philly Joe Jones, contribute a lot to the success of the album; Coltrane in particular is in outstanding mid-50s form. Chambers makes the most of his position as leader, soloing on almost every tune, playing the melody on a couple of tracks, and featuring himself as the only soloist on "Visitation." A Jazz Delegation From the East is a really wonderful straight-ahead jazz album. Check out "Visitation" and "Eastbound."

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