CONSUMATE SIDE MAN…Jerome Richardson: Complete 1958-1962 Recordings

Largely forgotten these days, but Jerome Richardson was one of the first-call artists for decades in the LA jazz scene. He is on the classic Mingus albums on Impulse! and is found on many sessions by Hampton, Basie and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. He was adept at flute, tenor and baritone, and uses them all here on four consistently swinging albums on this 2 disc set.

A 1958 session with Jimmy Cleveland/tb, Hank Jones/p, Kenny Berrell/g, Joe Benjamin/b and Charlie Persip/dr has Richardson using his flute in exotic fashion on a richly textured “Caravan” while his tenor is warm and rich on the bopping “Minorally.” Richardson’s 1959 quartet with Richard Wyands/p, George Tucker/b and Charlie Persip/dr delivers a delicious “Poinciana” with Persip delicately tapping support to Richardson’s flute, while “Warm Valley” oozes with delight. A septet date with Julius Watkins on the French Horn has Bosko Petrovic’s vibes chiming out “Night In Tunisia” while “Minor Flute” creates impressionistic atmospheres. From 1962, Richardson records with Richard Wyands/p, Les Spann/g-fl, Henry Grimes/b and Grady Tate” on a series of movie themes. The read on “Delilah” is mysterious while “Moon River” is palpable nostalgia. Richardson’s tone on the baritone is a delight, warmer than Mulligan, gentler than Carney’s and swinging with subtle delight. This guy’s going to win you over!

Fresh Sound Records

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