Elmo Hope

The Final Sessions

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Originally released posthumously on two Inner City LP's and later reissued by Fantasy on a pair of CD's, pianist Elmo Hope's last sessions are best acquired on this double-CD for it includes three alternate takes plus five selections that have been released for the first time unedited (making them slightly longer than previous versions). Hope, who is joined by bassist John Ore and either Clifford Jarvis or Philly Joe Jones on drums, was still in top playing form in 1966 although he would pass away the following year before he turned 44. Somewhat neglected, Hope was a contemporary and friend of Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk who, in addition to his playing, was a talented composer. In fact, out of the 14 selections that he performs, all but three were his originals and several are well worth reviving. Elmo Hope is in surprisingly joyous form throughout the set, sounding both original and accessible to bebop fans. Highly recommended.

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