Albert Dailey

The Day After the Dawn

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Albert Dailey had few opportunities to record as a leader, and since his death in 1984, most of them had long been out of print. But he was a brilliant pianist and talented composer/arranger, as heard on his debut LP. Walter Carlos' "Theme from Clockwork Orange" starts rather clunky with a rhythm section plus a chamber group, but once the latter fades, he turns it into a rather smoking hard bop vehicle. There's no doubt about the merits of his originals. "A.D." is a strutting brisk blues, while "Bittersweet Waltz" is an upbeat, playful tune with some fine guitar by Jack Wilkins. Even though "Free Me!" is a bit of a novelty, with the leader overdubbing piano, electric piano, synthesizer, bass, and drums, it even proves to be appealing. The role of the chamber group seems more fully integrated into Dailey's moody ballad "The Day After the Dawn," with the reeds suggesting the chirping of birds after some major catastrophe only its composer envisioned for sure. Drummer David Lee is initially the focus of the high-energy "Dailey Double," though Dailey doubles the tempo when he returns with his furious solo. "Encounter" is a post-bop firestorm that builds to a feverish pitch. The pianist goes it alone on the infrequently played gem "September of My Years," to wrap the album with a soft, lyrical touch. This LP was likely overlooked in the early '70s by jazz record buyers, who will be hard-pressed today to track down a copy of this Columbia release.

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