Bobby Timmons / Bobby Timmons Trio

In Person

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This enjoyable LP presents a relaxed, agreeable live date, but not one that generates sparks. Pianist Bobby Timmons, who made his name as a writer and invaluable part of the rhythm section in the Art Blakey and Cannonball Adderley bands of the late '50s and early '60s, is a different proposition in his role here as a leader. Although able and energetic, Timmons demonstrates little taste for adventure and, consequently, can sustain himself in the spotlight only intermittently. Still, with Timmons in the company of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Albert Heath, both in their early twenties at the time of this 1961 recording, there would seem to have been potential for great things -- something beyond the sum of the parts. As it is, Carter and Heath provide little more than reliable support relative to their superior skills. Things may have sounded differently to the Village Vanguard audience, but on the LP Carter is uncharacteristically two-dimensional. His volume is about right, but the tone is rendered as an anonymous, mid-range pulsing. There is no sense of flesh, wood, and strings interacting with one another. Heath, predominantly using brushes, is also at about the right volume in the mix, but there are nuances missing and his snare is overemphasized. The players sound most together on the parts they've worked out, but the telepathy that distinguishes an excellent trio from an average one is missing in the group's improvisations. The result is a release that stops short of satisfying expectations.

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