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A great creative album that was recorded in 1968 and when the Avant-Garde era was at full throttle. But this album was considered to be a Hard Bop one. Booker Ervin never did change his Hard Bop style but “The In Between” expressed the power of Hard Bop, how it could be modified and without being considered Avant-Garde. Maybe the title itself was a hint and specified this point. Booker Ervin was on the right track to modernizing Hard Bop but never had the opportunity to expand on it. Unfortunately, he died of kidney disease two years later in New York City. Each of the 6 songs are very different and unique, a real Hard Bop classic!! Check the Schedule link for play times.

About the Album:

This is part of Blue Note’s Limited Edition Connoisseur series. Booker Ervin headed to Blue Note in 1968 for The In Between, a record that found him continuing in the vein of his later Prestige sessions. Supported by trumpeter Richard Williams, pianist Bobby Few, bassist Cevera Jeffries and drummer Lennie McBrowne, Ervin created an album that pushed the boundaries of hard bop. Every song on The In Between is an Ervin original designed to challenge the musicians. The music rarely reaches avant-garde territory — instead, it’s edgy, volatile hard bop that comes from the mind as much as the soul…….Read More

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Biography of Booker Ervin:

Born: October 31, 1930 | Died: 1970    Instrument: Sax, tenor

Booker Ervin had a large hard tone like an r&b tenor saxophonist, but he was actually an adventurous player whose music fell between hard bop and the avant-garde.

Ervin originally played trombone but taught himself the tenor when he was in the Air Force in the early 1950s. After his discharge, he studied music for two years before he made his recording debut with Ernie Fields in 1956. During that year he first performed with Charles Mingus and he was a key part of Mingus’s groups during 1956-1962, offering a contrast to the wild flights of Eric Dolphy.

During 1963-1965, Ervin

led ten albums for Prestige and each has its rewarding moments. “Exultation!” matches Ervin with altoist Frank Strozier in an explosive quintet. “The Freedom Book” has Ervin interacting with the unbeatable rhythm section of pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Alan Dawson. “The Song Book,” with Tommy Flanagan in Byard’s place, features the intense tenor interpreting a set of veteran standards……Learn More

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