June 2000

Tina Brooks
Minor Move
Blue Note Records

Tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks was an against-the-grain individualist who reconciled a relaxed, Prez-derived lyricism with the drive of hard bop. As Brooks made few recordings before slipping off the scene, Minor Move is a welcomed addition to the series. The CD is comprised of a '58 quintet date with Morgan, Clark, Doug Watkins and Art Blakey that was salvaged from the vaults in the late '70s. Though two of Brooks' distinctive tunes are included-the title tune, aptly named for its synergy of harmony and rhythm, and the bluesy "Nutville," attributed in the past to Morgan-the gem of the date is an inspired reading of "The Way You Look Tonight." This briskly paced, 10-minute track reveals Brooks at his inventive best, reeling off long melodic lines, tossing off quotes and turning on a dime when a new idea comes to the fore. It's the case in point for a legacy that needs to be kept alive.

Originally published in June 2000
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