Monthly Archives: January 2020


Last week’s tune reminded me of this one by trombonist Tom MacIntosh; the bass walks down from Bb minor on the A sections, and moves up to Eb minor for the bridge.  It comes from one of my favorite jazz records from the early 60’s, Blue Mitchell’s The Cup Bearers.


Once in a while a friend or acquaintance will show me a new album they’ve recorded, proudly stating: “I paid [well-respected musicians x, y and z] to play my music.”  Too often, the band sounds like less than the sum of its parts because the musicians don’t have the rapport and verve of a group that has the luxury of working together often.

The names Junior Cook, Gene Taylor and Roy Brooks aren’t household names even among jazz aficionados, but these three and Blue Mitchell were the sleek chassis of Horace Silver’s quintet during his prime, and they consistently appear together on some of the best jazz albums of the 1960s.  The countless hours they spent working together add up to a product that still conveys a sense of fun and adventure sixty years later.