Booker Ervin – The Freedom Book (1964/2014) [HDTracks 24-44.1]

Booker Ervin – The Freedom Book (1964/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 42:45 minutes | 478 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Prestige Records
Recorded: December 3, 1963 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Remastered: 2007, Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Booker Ervin’s recordings with Charles Mingus and Randy Weston brought him good reviews and a bit of notoriety. But it was his series of Song Books for Prestige Records that broadcast the stentorian announcement that a jazz orator of gigantic stature had arrived. Ervin’s tenor saxophone sound was haunted by the loneliness and spaciousness of the Texas plains where he was raised. The Southwest moan was an integral part of his playing. But his style went beyond the classic Texas tenor tradition to incorporate the intricacies of bebop and suggestions of the free jazz that was initiating one of the periods of self-renewal that keeps jazz fresh and interesting. The Freedom Book, recorded at the end of 1963, was one of Ervin’s masterpieces. He is abetted by the power and drive of Jaki Byard, Richard Davis, and Alan Dawson.

In some ways tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin was the archetypal jazz player for the post-bop 1960s, combining the tradition of Texas sax with just the hint of edgy modernism, a sort of the Delta-meets-Morocco sound so accessible that it is easy to miss the chances Ervin took with his music. Although his career was short (cancer claimed him in the summer of 1970 when he was just shy of his 40th birthday), Ervin still managed to record some 20 albums as a frontman, most notably his “book” series, The Song Book, The Blues Book, The Space Book, and this fine session, The Freedom Book, which finds him working with a rhythm section of Jaki Byard on piano, Richard Davis on bass, and Alan Dawson on drums. Recorded on December 3, 1963, The Freedom Book is a near perfect set of modern hard bop, ranging just far enough out there to feel fresh but retaining a strong lifeline to bop tradition. Highlights of the session include an impressive Ervin original, “A Lunar Tune,” a fine version of Randy Weston’s “Cry Me Not,” the deliberately strident “Al’s In,” and another Ervin composition, the moving “A Day to Mourn,” an emotionally charged ballad written after the assassination of JFK.ballad written after the assassination of JFK. ~~ AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett

Tracklist:
1. A Lunar Tune 7:33
2. Cry Me Not 4:42
3. Grant’s Stand 8:45
4. A Day To Mourn 9:14
5. Al’s In 9:38

Personnel:
Booker Ervin, tenor saxophone
Jaki Byard, piano
Richard Davis, bass
Alan Dawson, drums

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