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Elvin Jones: Earth Jones

“Freedom” is, of course, one of the words most often used to describe the miraculous polyrhythmic pulse of Elvin Jones. It’s showcased to full effect on Earth Jones (Quicksilver), a straightahead LP released in 1982 and just reissued on CD. Those familiar with Jones’ oeuvre as a leader will recognize the medium-uptempo of “Three Card Molly,” the loping ballad time of “Is Seeing Believing?” and the stone-solid swing of the title track. What sets this album apart from the others in Jones’ discography is the personnel: a tight frontline consisting of cornetist Terumasa Hino and soprano saxophonist David Liebman, and a can’t-miss rhythm section of pianist Kenny Kirkland and bassist George Mraz. The ensemble works well as a unit and the tunes-two by Jones, three by Liebman and the standard “Never Let Me Go”-still sound relatively fresh. The disc’s substandard sound quality is unfortunately a shortcoming, but it’s easily forgivable in light of these vintage performances.

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