Arnett Cobb

Movin' Right Along

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From the opening notes of "Nitty Gritty," Movin' Right Along is a warm, stimulating set. Recorded in two days in February 1960, the album finds Arnett Cobb and a few friends playing an energetic, straight-ahead set. The only oddity is the presence of Buck Clarke's congas, which manage to add an extra layer of rhythm, even though there isn't a Latin tune in sight. There's a good mix between ballads like "(I Don't Stand) A Ghost of a Chance (With You)" and up-tempo pieces like "Exactly Like You." Cobb's expressive playing stands out most clearly on slower pieces like "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," allowing plenty of room for him to breathe life into each note. The odd piece out is "Fast Ride," the lone tune to include pianist Tommy Flanagan and conga player Danny Barrajanos. This upbeat piece leans toward hard bop and, as Joe Goldberg points out in the liner notes, recalls "Lester Leaps In." Today, many would call Movin' Right Along "mainstream jazz," though the term doesn't quite do justice to Cobb's soulful tenor work. For those who remember Cobb's work from the 1940s through the 1980s, the value of this reissue will be obvious. For everyone else, Movin' Right Along will serve as a fine introduction.

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