Early Bones

Various Artists

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Early Bones Review

by Scott Yanow

This double LP (some of the material has been reissued on CD) features five different sessions led by trombonists J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding and/or Bennie Green. Johnson heads a historic 1949 sextet set that also has strong solos from trumpeter Kenny Dorham and a young Sonny Rollins on tenor (during one of his very first recordings). Kai Winding leads a sextet with Brew Moore on tenor and baritonist Gerry Mulligan; although trumpeter Jerry Lloyd is listed in the personnel, he is not on this date. The extroverted Bennie Green is heard in two sessions that are at times R&Bish; one with the competitive tenors of Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Big Nick Nicholas and the other with pianist Cliff Smalls and Charlie Rouse on tenor. However it is the eight selections co-led by J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding that are most significant for this was really the birth of their popular quintet. The two trombonists work together very well on such material as "Dinner for One Please, James," "We'll Be Together Again" and "Bags' Groove." All in all this is a valuable two-fer.