Dannie Richmond

In Jazz for the Culture Set

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Drummer Dannie Richmond's debut recording as a leader looks promising on the surface. With the presence of pianist Jaki Byard (a fellow alum of Charles Mingus' various groups), bassist Cecil McBee, and either Jimmy Raney or Toots Thielemans on guitar, things look good. But the album is dragged down by a poor choice of material, including two forgettable number written by Gary McFarland, Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen." Even the originals (likely written especially for this session) by Jimmy Raney ("Freedom Ride") and Jaki Byard ("The Spider" and "The Berkeley Underground") have little to offer to jazz fans, as they don't stray very far from their predictable themes. Maybe this long unavailable Impulse LP was intended to attract the hip college crowd of the mid-1960s to veteran jazz artists like Dannie Richmond; though it is likely that everyone who gave this disc a brief hearing quickly moved on to matters of more urgency.

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