Julian Priester

Out of This World

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Released in 2001, this 79-minute CD contains two hard bop sessions that Orrin Keepnews produced for Jazzland in 1960: trombonist Julian Priester's Spiritsville and tenor saxman Benton's Out of This World, which was his first album as a leader. Benton is heard on all of the material; he is featured prominently on Spiritsville, although Priester doesn't appear on Benton's session (which employs Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers, on bass and Al "Tootie" Heath or Jimmy Cobb on drums). In addition to Benton, Priester's sidemen on Spiritsville include baritone saxman Charlie Davis, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Art Taylor. Reissuing LPs by Priester and Benton on the same CD was a logical move on Fantasy's part, for the two were musical allies in the early '60s and worked well together in Max Roach's band. Priester is no stranger to avant-garde jazz and outside playing, but on Spiritsville, his focus is straight-ahead bop. And Benton's session is equally bop-oriented. It should be noted that this CD gives listeners a chance to hear Tyner and Hubbard early in their careers -- both were in their early twenties in 1960, but they had already developed very distinctive sounds on their instruments. The solos that Tyner and Hubbard provide on this CD aren't as adventurous or cutting-edge as other things they did in the early '60s -- and for that matter, Spiritsville isn't nearly as challenging as some of Priester's subsequent albums. But from a hard bop standpoint, this is a nice CD to have in your collection.

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