TRUE BOPPERS…Idrees Sulieman Quartet: The 4 American Men in Tangier

Here’s a fascinating 2 cd set delivered by two forgotten pro-beboppers. Idrees Sulieman was the trumpet player for some real early Thelonious Monk sessions as well as serving time with Mary Lou Williams and John Coltrane. Pianist Oscar Dennard worked with Lionel Hampton , and his style was a big influence on subsequent artists like Randy Weston and Ahmad Jamal. Together, they formed a hip little quartet with Jamil Nasser/b and Buster Smith/dr. You get an idea of their sound and vision on these two concert recordings. Both are from 1959; one is from New York and supposedly recorded in Quincy Jones’ apartment, while the other, better recorded, has the band at a gig in Tangier.

Both sessions reveal a horn player with a sleek sound on muted horn, warm and sweet on”All of You,” and gloriously lyrical with Dennard of the ballad “Pinky.” On more upbeat tunes, Nasser and Smith create a deep rivulet on “Confirmation” in which Dennard swings with delight and shows big chords on the mid tempo “Stella By Starlight” while bounces like he’s jumping through an obstacle course on “Visa’ and is relaxed on the suave “Tangier Blues.”

Dennard reveals stark chords on “Round Midnight,” romantic overtures with Sulieman’s mute on “Invitation” while getting deep and thoughtful on a “Piano Improvisation” after the horn player squeezes out notes like a grapefruit on the exciting “Circular Breathing Blues.” If you’re a bop fan, this is a rare find, and you’ll want it next to your Blue Note sessions.

Groovin’ High Records

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