Elmo Hope

The Beacon and Celebrity Trio Recordings

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Elmo Hope's discography as a leader is rather small, due in part to his drug problems, but the fact that his two rather brief LP sessions from 1961 and 1962 (one for Beacon and the other for Celebrity, both long-defunct labels) are finally available in full on this compilation CD reissue is exciting news. Hope performs a dozen originals in a trio setting, with either Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones or the rather obscure Edward Warren and Granville Hogan on bass and drums, respectively; seven of the tracks are remakes of compositions recorded previously for Blue Note. While none of the newer versions overshadow the original recordings, due in part to the far inferior sound attained by the smaller labels versus what Rudy Van Gelder documented for producer Alfred Lion in the early '50s, the exotic "Stars Over Marakesh" and the driving hard bop of "Hot Sauce" are highlights. Hope's fans will want to hurry in acquiring this CD, due to the premature demise of the Prevue label.

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