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Jo Jones: Jo Jones: The Everest Years

The Everest Years reissues two LPs by a drummer whose innovations shaped modern jazz percussion. The first, Jo Jones Trio, from 1958, has Ray Bryant on piano and his brother Tom Bryant on bass. The second, Vamp ‘Til Ready, from 1960, is an in-studio jam session by an all-star sextet.

Everest was an “audiophile label” before the phrase existed, boasting “certified stereo.” But Jo Jones Trio sounds absolutely awful. Jones’ drums are so far forward in the mix-even for a drummer-led ensemble-that the sound stage is ludicrously distorted. It is not too much of a loss. The trio plays corny, obvious versions of songs like “My Blue Heaven,” with cutesy shave-and-a-haircut tag endings.

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