Don Elliott: Double Trumpet Doings
Originally issued under the slightly more esoteric title “New Counterpoint for Six Valves” this is a disc dominated mainly by the frequent dialogues between its two principle soloists. Elliott and Dedrick make a disparate pair and their contrasting sounds are prime reason for the program’s more interesting outcomes. Elliott was a follower of bebop and renowned more for his talents as a vibraphonist than as a brassman. A collaborator at various times with the likes of George Shearing, Benny Goodman and Buddy Rich his artistic enterprises also moved beyond the realms of jazz into Broadway musicals and novelty tunes. Dedrick was more the product of a swing upbringing and his tone is shaped by a mellower, less overtly complicated approach.
In spite of Elliott’s positioning as leader of the session it is Hyman who crafts all arrangements for the tunes and pens the creatively titled original compositions that dominate the disc. In fact it’s these originals that often prove more intriguing harmonically and melodically than the three time-worn standards that round out the group’s songbook. The pianist makes excellent use of the two-trumpet front line and also writes a variety of interesting passages for Lowe’s guitar strings. To aid listeners in distinguishing between the two trumpeters Dedrick affixes a mute to the bell of his horn on the majority of his solos. With mute in place his already sonorous sound takes on an even more euphonious dimensions. Expectedly the rhythm team of Safranski and Lamond usually play the wallflowers in the sextet only stepping up to take a crack at solos on rare occasions such as Safranski’s brief break on “Dominick Seventh.” Hyman however doesn’t relegate himself to the backdrop and submits comely statements on several of the numbers including an attractive solo on “Easy to Remember.” In the final analysis this disc is far from essential and sometimes strays into the schmaltzy side as on the Herb Alpert-tinged “The Bull Speaks.” But it does offer an intriguing diversion and listeners looking for a session where the focus is planted firmly on trumpet will probably be pleased by what they find here.
Track Listing: Mine/ Vampire Till Ready/ Your Own Iron/ Easy to Remember/ The Bull Speaks/ Dominick Seventh/ Gargantuan Chant/ When Your Lover Has Gone/ Henry
Personnel: Don Elliott- trumpet; Rusty Dedrick- trumpet; Mundell Lowe- electric guitar; Dick Hyman- piano; Eddie Safranski- double bass; Don Lamond- drums.