I LOVE JUMP JAZZ
15 years ago in the “West End“, a now defunct jazz club in New York, we had a discussion about the possibility of releasing an LP-recording. Trumpeter Ed “Tiger” Lewis, tenor saxophonist Percy France, and our man Bross Townsend were present. It was to be a record featuring orchestrated, swinging “jump” music.
Sidemen such as trombonist Ted Kelly, baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne and bassist/arranger Georges Duvivier headed the list of musicians with whom we wanted to work. And we were also looking for a producer, one who would be willing to walk through tire for the project...
Since then the brilliant tones of Ed Lewis’ trumpet and the mellow sounds of Percy France’s sax have faded away; they are no longer with And Bross Townsend unexpectedly lost his sight three years ago. The prospects of realizing our project seemed more than dismal. Bross Townsend, however, did not lose any of his enthusiasm for the idea, and convinced Claves Jazz that this project could be realized under other conditions.
WHAT IS “JUMP”?
"Jump" is actually not a kind of jazz style, but a predominantly orchestral jazz language that arose during the transition from popular swing to rhythm and blues and then to rock and roll. It reached its peak between the 1940’s and the 1960’s. Due to economics, many big bands reduced their size to 6-10 man formations, but they tried to make up for that with intensity and volume in “jump” bands!
The massive, full sound of tenor saxophonists such as Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb and Gene Ammons came to be the model for “jump”. One of their peers, David “Bubba” Brooks (because of his extreme shyness he was called “Bashful Bubber"), never strayed far from the roots of “jump”, which is Why he appears as one of the main soloists on this recording.
Bross Townsend also took part in the birth of jump as a “freshman” warhorse on the piano in Gene Ammons’ band. And trumpeter Irving Stokes “jumped” for years in horn sections of bands such as Buddy Johnson’s.
“Jump”, after many years, is hardly to be classified as “oldies” music; it still offers a vibrant platform for timeless, hard core jazz. Musicians of different ages, styles and temperaments continue to find a fertile ground for development in “jump”.
Judge for yourself the wonderful musical entertainment that “jump” veterans (Brooks, Stokes, Townsend), youngsters (Woods, Mossman, Harper) and upstarts (Carrie Smith, Adams, Cunningham, Olen, Lucas) provide on this CD.