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  Chesky -
  West of 5th - Hank Jones, Christian McBride, Jimmy Cobb
  "West of 5th"

Hank Jones (piano)
Christian McBride (bass)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)
Track listing:
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Related titles: 5

Reviews: 5 show all

Review by Oakland December 31, 2006 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I purchased “West of 5th” and “New York Time” (for which I will provide comments immediately following) at the same time. I reached first for “West of 5th” with Hank Jones, Christian McBride and Jimmy Cobb. I have immensely enjoyed recordings of all three musicians (and McBride live on several occasions), but the draw for me without hesitation reaching for this disc first was the preeminent Hank Jones. We are talking about legacy, the dean of jazz pianists today, the eldest of the Jones Boys (Elvin and Thad), and I’ve heard said the “master of trio”. And of course, the credentials of Cobb (aka the “legendary” Jimmy Cobb) and more recently McBride are a mile long. It is not at all surprising that McBride is the bassist for so many of the recent jazz discs in my collection. Forget altogether that Jones and Cobb are likely a decade or two, minimum, older than any of us participating in this forum. All provide stellar performances.

Like many jazz releases “West of 5th” standards are the major body of compositions performed. The *big* difference here (for me) is that “West of 5th” utilizes “jazz” standards and not a lot of “pop” or Broadway standards. “West of 5th” draws primarily on compositions from Charlie Parker, Billy Strayhorn, Jimmy Cobb, Thad Jones, and Wes Montgomery. And those compositions performed that were not originally composed for jazz, such as “On Green Dolphin Street” and “If I were a Bell” have over the years become incorporated as staples in the jazz repertoire.

I’m not sure how the Chesky engineers pulled it off for recordings made in a spacious church, but “West of 5th” sounds most like when I’m in the audience of the renowned Yoshi’s jazz club in Oakland, or at an impromptu jazz set in Union Square or at Sather Gate U.C. Berkeley.

For me the most authentic recordings, whether they be two channel or multi-channel are how well they hide that fact. The “best” or most authentic jazz (and classical) recordings to me are virtually seamless and actually sound like “no channels”. “West of 5th” with the somewhat more than subtle use of the rear channels, are masterfully done. To me recordings with properly employed minimalist techniques sound more like being there, albeit at the risk of sounding less like “audiophile recordings”. I am most happy that the Chesky engineers chose the path of “less is more” with the multi-channel (and two-channel) New York Sessions recordings.

Robert C. Lang

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Review by JW November 4, 2006 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Hank Jones was/is part of The Great Jazz Trio. If you can you should order the JSACD's of this ensemble (see my review elsewhere on Jones has a different style than Hazeltine (on the 'Manhattan' title). Less smooth, more adventurous perhaps. A classic. And a privilige to hear him here in this intimate setting, doing his thing at the gentle age of 88. This is a trio in the tradition of jazz trio's from the 50's. Swing. Melody. Improvisation. Great stuff.

Soundwise, this New ork Sessions seriesis excellent. Not necessarily in an 'audiophile' sense - whatever that means but you know who you are :-) (I am as well) - but in an analog sense. Very flowing, musical, easy on the ear. No sharply defined soundstages, but a live sound in a nicely proportioned acoustic space. It sounds very natural to me. Another very fine recording effort with this quartet performing an excellent gig.


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Review by krisjan February 12, 2007 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
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