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Paul Chambers: Paul Chambers Quintet

By the time he led this 1957 date at the age of 22, Chambers was a seasoned recording musician, a sideman with Miles Davis and a bassist respected for his time, harmonic savvy and technique. His understanding of the profundities and subtleties in Davis’ music made him a pivotal figure in the new approaches to jazz that were stirring in Miles’ band in the late 1950s.

This album, however, is notable for the quality of its ’50s mainstream music played by five relatively young masters. Drummer Elvin Jones, at 30, was the old man of the group. Chambers was the youngster. In between were trumpeter Donald Byrd, pianist Tommy Flanagan and tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan. Benny Golson wrote two of the pieces and, from the sound of things, had an arranging hand in the other four.

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