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Carmell Jones: Mosaic Select

In the pantheon of jazz trumpeters, Carmell Jones (1936-1996) stands in a secondary tier of substantive yet largely occluded talents deserving greater appreciation. Although not an innovator, Jones was a compelling stylist whose warm sound gave fluid expression to lithe lines spun from a largely bop-based argot. In this revealing and enjoyable three-disc set culled from the vaults of Jones’ 1961 to 1963 Pacific Jazz career, we hear a young man with a Clifford Brown-inflected horn solidifying an approach that would “sing” most famously in Horace Silver’s landmark Song for My Father (Blue Note).

The first of the three Mosaic discs gives us Jones’ 1961 leader debut, The Remarkable Carmell Jones, as well as tracks from his 1962 sophomore session, Business Meetin’. Recorded when Jones was in his mid-20s and fresh from two years at the University of Kansas and two more years with Uncle Sam, the trumpeter does justice by the first album’s titular italicizing of “remarkable.” While in 1961 Jones was still in the process of amalgamating influences ranging from Brownie to Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Clark Terry, one is nonetheless struck by his singing sound, fleet technique, adroit use of space and the promise of things to come.

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