This is one of the very best Blue Notes if you ask me, and one of the rarest. It's a superb flowing effort by Cliff Jordan, playing together here with the brilliant Art Farmer (trumpet), Sonny Clark (piano), George Tucker (bass) and Louis Hayes (drums). This is one of those truly sweet jazz pralines that the Blue Note 1500 series has to offer. The 1500 series is special. For me, it's the definite jazz go-to series. So many superb albums. The sound is very nice on the ones I have, so tasteful, organic, vibrant and full of soul.
"Cliff Craft" starts off with one of Cliff Jordan's own compositions "Laconia", and once the first few notes have made their way from the speakers to your ears you know this album is going to be something special. This music is smooth, relaxing and it makes you forget your troubles in a jiffy. This is my kind of jazz. I'm highly impressed by the craftmanship of Jordan on this one. After that superb first tune it's time for another Jordan original. A bluesy, very enjoyable tune called "Soul-Lo Blues". I really appreciate this kind of jazz tune that contains a good portion of bluesy aspects. This Jordan guy can sure write some good stuff. I dig him a lot. Have really just started to explore his albums. This album is an extremely good example of his work for anyone looking to get into his music. I'm listening to my original 1st pressing as I write this. Very nice copy. The tune is coming to an end now. Soon, the title track, also a Jordan original will start. Ok, now it's on it's way... Fast tempo stuff here. Classic harb-bop. The tenor sound of Cliff Jordan is full and rich. He plays really well. Already up there with my favorites. The rhythm section is superb. Side 1 = very, very good stuff.
Now for Side 2, which holds three standards. Ah, Bird... you hear it straight away. "Confirmation" is the tune and it's wonderful. A medium-tempo effort which really speaks to me. Jordan plays superbly. Art Farmer then comes in with a relaxed solo. He has a sweet tone. Very laid back. The Blue Notes he plays on are all worth trying to get. Sonny Clark is a favorite and his solo on this is smooth and flowing. Of course, his stuff on Blue Note is highly regarded among collectors for a good reason and I'm aiming to try and get it all. I'm quite keen on the Trio album with Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones on Blue Note 1579. The theme rounds off the song and I love it. Next up is the ballad "Sophisticated Lady" composed by Duke Ellington in the early 1930's. A beautiful tune which is already among my favorite slow ones. This extremely nice album concludes with Parker and Gillespie's classic composition "Anthropology". Doesn't get much better than this folks. A very nice theme. A driving tune which leaves you wanting more. Such a great sign off to this album. If you haven't got it, you should buy it right now. Today. For me, one of the best Blue Note records ever made.
It's a grey and dull day here in Stockholm, but listening to this masterpiece sure lightened things up a bit. Have a great rest of the weekend and stay tuned for more jazz history.