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Paul Chambers/Wynton Kelly: The Complete Vee Jay Paul Chambers-Wynton Kelly Sessions 1959-61

Bassist Paul Chambers and pianist Wynton Kelly play together on all but three titles here. They formed two-thirds of Miles Davis’ rhythm section, and after they left him in 1963 they formed the Wynton Kelly Trio with the addition of the other third, drummer Jimmy Cobb. Cobb appears on most of the tracks on this six-CD set, recorded between 1959 and 1961, and when he doesn’t his replacement is Davis’ previous drummer, Philly Joe Jones. Not surprisingly there’s some great rhythm-section work here. Outstanding hornmen appear as well: trumpeters Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Tommy Turrentine and Booker Little, alto saxophonists Cannonball Adderley and Frank Strozier, trombonist Curtis Fuller and tenormen Yusef Lateef and Wayne Shorter.

The earliest material here is by Chambers’ quintet with Hubbard and Adderley and sextet with Turrentine, Lateef and Fuller. Hubbard makes one of his earliest recorded appearances, but his style already is quite original, although it would continue to evolve. His long lines and harmonic daring indicate that John Coltrane had a strong impact on him, as well as Clifford Brown. Technically he’s brilliant, and plays with a big, brassy tone and command in all registers. Like Hubbard, Adderley is impressive, contributing hard swinging, imaginative spots.

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