Jimmy Woode

The Colorful Strings of Jimmy Woode

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Jimmy Woode is best known for his extensive work as a sideman, so this rare opportunity to record as a leader, which first appeared as an Argo LP in 1958, is a welcome look into his abilities as a composer and arranger as well. Recruiting several fellow sidemen from Duke Ellington's band, including Clark Terry, Paul Gonsalves, and Sam Woodyard, along with pianist Ramsey Lewis and the lesser known Porter Kilbert (alto sax) and flutist Mike Simpson, Woode composed five originals for the date. The breezy blues "Foofy for President" has a spirited exchange between Terry and Simpson. "The Man from Potter's Cottage" is a sauntering blues that is dedicated to Woodyard, the leader's roommate while touring with Ellington. "The Dance of the Reluctant Drag" is a challenging piece, with odd twists both harmonically and rhythmically. Finally, Woode adds a warm vocal to the one standard, "The Way You Look Tonight." Long out of print, this enjoyable album was finally reissued in Japan by Universal, though with no bonus tracks, resulting in a brief session of under 28 minutes.

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