Roy Brooks – Understanding - 1970 RSD Live Bop & Modal Jazz - Audiophile Kevin Gray - Sealed 180 Grm 3LP

In stock

Roy Brooks – Understanding

Reel To Real Recordings Ltd – RTRLP007
Black Vinyl
Limited to 1500 copies
180-gram vinyl w/ extensive booklet
mastered by Kevin Gray and pressed on 180-gram platters at Standard Vinyl in Toronto. 
3 x Vinyl, LP
A1 Prelude To Understandin 22:08
B1 Understanding 20:12
C1 Billie's Bounce 21:04
D1 Zoltan 23:20
E1 Taurus Woman 17:09
F1 Taurus Woman 15:15
F2 The Theme 4:28
"Explosive Quintet Set Recorded at Baltimore’s Famous Ballroom Features Woody Shaw, Carlos Garnett, Harold Mabern, and Cecil McBee in Their Prime Three-LP  Include Comprehensive Liner Notes by Jazz Authority Mark Stryker, a New Interview with McBee, and Recollections by Brooks’ School Classmates Charles McPherson, Herb Boyd and Drummer Louis Hayes
All Proceeds from the Release Benefit the Non-Profit Detroit Sound Conservancy
Understanding, a blazing 1970 concert recording featuring the Detroit born master percussionist Roy Brooks leading a gifted quintet through its spirited paces at Baltimore’s Famous Ballroom, will be released by Reel to Real Recordings in July. Comprising more than two hours of expansive performances averaging 20 minutes in length, the potent date was recorded by Left Bank Jazz Society and stars trumpeter Woody Shaw, tenor saxophonist Carlos Garnett, pianist Harold Mabern, and bassist Cecil McBee.
All proceeds from the release -- produced with the cooperation of McBee and Garnett and the estates of Brooks, Mabern, and Shaw – will go directly to the Detroit Sound Conservancy, a non-profit organization founded in 2012 and devoted to the preservation, education, conservation, and placekeeping of the Motor City’s musical heritage.
In a statement included in the release, label co-founders Zev Feldman and Cory Weeds and partner Raymon Torchinsky say, “Inspired by Roy Brooks’ music and the message of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have produced Understanding as our celebration of the talent, courage, spirit and resilience of the Black musicians and musicians of color who created a timeless and universal art. We recognize and acknowledge that the injustices of fifty years ago are still with us; it is time for change.” The collection is the third archival treasure from Left Bank – which mounted live jazz shows in Baltimore from 1964 through the ‘90s – to be unearthed by Resonance Records co-president and noted “Jazz Detective” Feldman, who is partnered in Reel to Real with Vancouver based jazz impresario and saxophonist Weeds"
"Born in 1938, Roy Brooks is perhaps best known as a sideman. He spent five years with pianist Horace Silver's storied hard bop combo, appearing on the popular Song for My Father, and also worked behind Chet Baker, Yusef Lateef, and Charles Mingus, and alongside Max Roach in the percussion ensemble M'Boom.
Beyond his formidable, gale-force attack on the traps, Brooks - who died in his hometown in 2005 - delighted audiences with flights on the musical saw (heard on the present recording) and even invented a device, the "breath-a-tone," with which he could change the pitch of his drums as he played. Sadly, the musician's career was thrown off track in later years by severe mental illness. But the Famous Ballroom date displays him at the height of his considerable powers.
In his comprehensive liner notes for the collection, historian Mark Stryker, author of Jazz from Detroit (University of Michigan Press, 2019), writes that Understanding "shines a long-overdue spotlight on Brooks. A product of Detroit's mid-century jazz explosion, Brooks was a deeply swinging drummer of uncommon creativity, flexibility, fire and conceptual imagination."
Led off by a 42-minute performance encompassing the Brooks-composed prelude and title track, Understanding roars through compositions by Shaw ("Zoltan," first heard on organist Larry Young's 1965 classic Unity) and Garnett ("Taurus Woman") and a furious take on Charlie Parker's "Billie's Bounce" before an involved, vocal audience. Projected at a fever pitch, the music operates on the cusp between the '60s quintet innovations of Miles Davis (whose "The Theme" closes the gig) and the free-form explorations of John Coltrane and his acolytes.
Understanding is filled out by intimate written remembrances by a pair of Brooks' classmates at Detroit's Northwestern High School, journalist Herb Boyd and alto saxophonist Charles McPherson.
Boyd writes, "There was no limit to Roy's imagination, which extended to making music while dribbling a basketball, breathing air through tubes attached to his drums to modulate the tones, and applying his mallet to a bending carpenter's saw and turning it into a vibrating thing of beauty."
"He definitely had a concept of percussion and how to be musical," McPherson adds. "So he's not just some guy playing the drums; he actually knows when to be soft, when to be loud, when to be busy, when not to be busy. He naturally had that. So he was an interesting player, and he had his own style."
What a concert. These guys left everything on the floor. The stamina alone to play a show like this is really a thing to behold - they were digging deep. Garnett's tenor sax solo at the beginning of Taurus Woman... that one really perked my ears up.
Pretty sure the track “Zoltan” seared off some of my flesh.
More Information
Condition New
Format 3LP, 180 Gram
Color Black