This 1999 live set features the great drummer Elvin Jones leading an all-star group. The repertoire, comprised of three jazz standards (including John Coltrane's lesser-known "Wise One"), three originals and an adaptation of a folk song, generally featuring one or two soloists on each cut. The straight-ahead and basic "E.J.'s Blues" has spots for trumpeter Darren Barrett (who sounds a bit like Freddie Hubbard) and Jones, while "Straight No Chaser" puts the spotlight on trombonist Robin Eubanks (in a J.J. Johnson mood), pianist Carlos McKinney and the drummer.
On this interesting but unfortunately out of print LP, the immortal drummer Elvin Jones teams up with four advanced but very different improvisers: Dave Liebman (doubling on soprano and flute), cornetist Terumasa Hino, pianist Kenny Kirkland and bassist George Mraz. Other than a lyrical version of "Never Let Me Go," the songs were contributed by either Jones ("Three Card Molly") or Liebman, whose "Day and Night" is not surprisingly based on the chord changes of "Night and Day." The solos are unpredictable but logical, and the blend between the lyrical Hino and Liebman is appealing.
This summit recording by pianist John Hicks, drummer Elvin Jones, and bassist Cecil McBee might not always hit the heights, but it still impresses with a fine repertoire and quality playing. John Coltrane's "Cousin Mary" kicks things off with Hicks and Jones matching the vigorous interplay the drummer and pianist McCoy Tyner plied so well in Coltrane's classic quartet, while a faithful reading of the tenor giant's airy ballad "After the Rain" is also included.