Eddie Jefferson

Things Are Getting Better

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Singer Eddie Jefferson's first album in five years finds him doing his best to keep up with the times. Somehow he manages to sing Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" (a nearly impossible melody to make much out of) and he also performs "Freedom Jazz Dance" and "Trane's Blues" in addition to more boppish material (including an exuberant "Things Are Getting Better," "Night In Tunisia" and "Billie's Bounce"). The Sly Stone tune "Thank You" is the only trivial selection among the eight reissued on this CD while "I Just Got Back In Town" is based on James Moody's improvisation to the ballad "I Cover The Waterfront." The master of vocalese (who was at the peak of his powers during this period) is assisted by trumpeter Joe Newman, Billy Mitchell (on tenor, flute and bass clarinet), keyboardist Mickey Tucker, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Eddie Gladden. A worthy effort.

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