Urbie Green

Just Friends

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Urbie Green has for several decades been among the most respected of trombonists. He has always possessed a beautiful tone, very impressive technique and the ability to read anything, so he has been utilized for a countless number of studio sessions. Freewheeling jazz recordings are fairly rare for Green, so the release of Just Friends is quite welcome. This two-CD set has Green jamming a dozen standards in a quartet/quintet that has tenor saxophonist Rick Bell on nine of the selections, some superior piano playing from Johnny O'Neal (Mary Sue Taylor takes his place on two songs) and solid support provided by bassist Dewey Sampson and drummer James Martin. Recorded live in Atlanta at E.J.'s in 1981, these performances are mostly fairly lengthy, with only one number ("Mood Indigo") being under seven minutes long and three exceeding ten. Throughout, Green's playing is outstanding, showing why he has been highly rated for so many years.

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