If jazz could be taken into a laboratory and put through a distilling
things would remain after everything else had evaporated: the blues and the beat.
The blues would remain because jazz began as the voice of an oppressed people
who used music to ease the burden of living. The beat would still be there
because the physical motion of rhythm helps release the whole body from tension,
making everything more bearable.
For this album we borrowed this "essence" of
jazz. We attempted to take the
mood, feeling and occasionally the structure of the blues and use them as a basis
for building a distinctive musical approach and sound. Thus After Hours, Smoke
Rings, Mood Indigo and the others on the first side have a blue feel without being
restricted to the blues form. Likewise, we preserved the stirring jazz beat while
trying new sounds on Sing, Sing, Sing, Big Noise from Winnetka and the others
on Side Two.
Above all, we were striving for fresh, new and appealing
musical sounds. To
achieve a mellow flavor we added four French horns to the trumpets and
trombones. In addition to the usual saxophones, the reed men "double" on alto
flute, bass flute and piccolo. This provides an unusual sound which still
manages to preserve the emotional quality of jazz.
A glance at the list of musicians who perform on this
album should give ample
assurance that the music is well played. Most of them will be readily recognized
as being among the very top musicians of our times. They make a fine
contribution to what we hope is the overall effect of this album: modern,
listenable music which preserves the essence of jazz... the blues and the beat!
© by Radio Corporation of America, 1960.