ERVIN Booker 1960

A very distinctive tenor with a hard, passionate tone and an emotional style that was still tied to chordal improvisation, Booker Ervin was a true original. He was originally a trombonist, but taught himself tenor while in the Air Force (1950-1953). After studying music in Boston for two years, he made his recording debut with Ernie Fields' R&B band (1956). Ervin gained fame while playing with Charles Mingus (off and on during 1956-1962), holding his own with the volatile bassist and Eric Dolphy. He also led his own quartet, worked with Randy Weston on a few occasions in the '60s, and spent much of 1964-1966 in Europe before dying much too young from kidney disease. Ervin, who is on several notable Charles Mingus records, made dates of his own for Bethlehem, Savoy, and Candid during 1960-1961, along with later sets for Pacific Jazz and Blue Note. His nine Prestige sessions of 1963-1966 (including The Freedom Book, The Song Book, The Blues Book, and The Space Book) are among the high points of his career.

Booker ERVIN 1960

Booker ERVIN & Zoot SIMS ts, Tommy TURRENTINE tp, Tommy FLANAGAN p, George TUCKER b, Dannie RICHMOND dr,

Booker Ervin's debut as a leader teamed the intense tenor saxophonist with fellow tenor Zoot Sims (one will have little difficulty telling the cool-toned Zoot apart from Booker), trumpeter Tommy Turrentine, pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist George Tucker and drummer Dannie Richmond. Ervin (who has his ballad "Largo" as a feature) performs five originals and "Poor Butterfly"; best are the slow blues "The Blue Book" and the rapid blues "The Book Cooks."

To be continued...


Patricia said...

This was the first Booker Ervin LP I bought years ago . This was also the record where I discovered George Tucker and his great sound . Hadn't listened to it in a long time so this post gave me the opportunity to revisit it . The sound is better than I remember on my vinyl ; may have to get the CD . I liked Booker's hot , piercing , blues sound from the first time I heard it--he owns that sound .
Turrentine occupies the middle-register of his horn , but unlike Famer/Dorham/Coles , does so without a personal , distinctive sound . Booker's individuality even makes Zoot sound bland . Best track for me is Little Jane . I think I would have liked this record just as much if it had been the Ervin-Tucker-Richmond trio . I rank this one below my favorite Booker Ervin records , which remain the Candid and Blue Note recordings .

josh said...

I really like the driving sound of this album. Havent listened to much of either tenor player before. Their dueling on "The Book Cooks" gets my pulse going. Flanagan's piano playing is nice too.