Condado Beach

Tommy Flanagan's Super Jazz Trio

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Condado Beach Review

by Ken Dryden

Tommy Flanagan formed the Super Jazz Trio in 1978 with bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Joe Chambers after years of focusing primarily on work as a sideman. This was the group's initial release, made for the Japanese label Baystate, but its limited distribution in the U.S. left many fans unaware of it. Jazz Row reissued it in 2009, adding material from 1977 recordings that appeared on two Columbia LP compilations and a Jim Hall-led date from 1978. Chambers' explosive drumming pushes Flanagan to his very best playing in the driving opener of "Pent-Up House." Chambers also penned the elegant bossa nova "Condado Beach," in which Flanagan's piano glistens. Flanagan also offers a humorous take of Bud Powell's "So Sorry Please," an intricate take of Thelonious Monk's infrequently recorded "Let's Call This," a subtle rendition of Miles Davis' early work "Milestones" and the pianist's own lyrical composition "Ballad." All of the bonus tracks are duets. Guitarist Jim Hall added Flanagan as a guest for "My One and Only Love" on his A&M album Commitment, their superb interplay makes it clear that they should have worked together more often. Four of the five selections with bassist Keter Betts appeared on the two-record set I Remember Bebop, with the latter on They All Played Bebop. All of the material was written by Bud Powell, with the highlights being the engaging "So Sorry Please" and the jubilant "Dance of the Infidels" (while the source tape sounds a bit distorted) though none of the tracks clocks in at over three minutes.

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