Nov 19, 2009
How’s this for a swinging session? Fifty years ago today, Dizzy Reece (trumpet) Hank Mobley (tenor sax) Wynton Kelly (piano) Paul Chambers (bass) and Art Taylor (drums) cut six tracks at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in New Jersey that would make up the album Star Bright. All of the players were band leaders in their own right, and Chambers and Kelly had played instrumental roles (pardon the pun) on Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue earlier in the year. Click here to listen to the 22nd take of the day, the aptly titled Reece composition called “Groovesville”.
Born in Jamaica in 1931, Reece spent much of the Fifties in Europe, recording with English musicians and never really getting much buzz in the States. He moved to New York in 1959, fresh from playing with Donald Byrd and cut the first of four well-received albums for Blue Note. A true hard bop trumpeter, he never became as well-known as peers like Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan, and recorded few sessions as a bandleader after 1962. Check out the terrific Mosaic Select collection of Reece’s Blue Note recordings to get a feel for how talented he really was.