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A warm sound is right, not a low trumpet sound but with commanding control. With the help of a great cast of jazz musicians around him and his perfect pitch, this 1961 album, “The Warm Sound” was recorded. It was the first album of only 4 albums (others made in 1963, 1971 and 1982) he recorded as a leader. Because of his versatility, Coles managed to work with very well known innovators (Charles Mingus, Gil Evans and Herbie Hancock) and was part of great breakthrough jazz albums like “The Waiting Game,” “The Prisoner,” The Great Concert of Charles Mingus,” “New Bottle Old Wine” and many more. A very enjoyable album, you know, that laid back type of jazz that one could multitask with and without ever losing your train of thought. A great classic to own, enjoy!

About the album:

Trumpeter Johnny Coles, best-known for his association with Charles Mingus in 1964, made his recording debut as a leader on this Epic session which was reissued on CD in 1995 by Koch. A bop-based trumpeter with a lyrical sound of his own, Coles is showcased here with an excellent quartet (Kenny Drew or Randy Weston on piano, bassist Peck Morrison and drummer Charlie Persip). He is in top…..Read More

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Johnny Coles biography:

Johnny Coles never became a star name, but his associations with a half-dozen of the leading jazz figures of the post-war era are significant enough testament to his musical ability.

Whether through circumstances or lack of inclination, Coles seemed content to work with others at the helm throughout his career, but he earned a significant reputation within those parameters. He was never a band-leader of any note, and recorded very few records under his own name. His debut album The Warm Sound, appeared in 1961, while his most significant record as a leader, Little Johnny C, was issued on Blue Note label in 1963.

He taught himself to play trumpet from the age of 10, later adding the customary flugelhorn as well. He studied music at the Mastbaum Vocational School in Philadelphia, and played in army bands during the war years. His initial post-war experience came in commercial bands, notably a rhythm and blues outfit led by saxophonist Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, which also included John Coltrane and Red Garland in its ranks.

He continued that rhythm and blues association with bands led by the likes of Earl Bostic and Bull Moose Jackson in the early 1950s, but was also playing in more mainstream jazz settings by that time. They included wroking with drummer Philly Joe Jones in 1951, and a more extended association with saxophonist James Moody in 1956-8. On leaving Moody’s band, Coles began working with Gil Evans, whose own standing in the public eye had been greatly elevated by the success of his collaborations with Miles Davis.

Coles was a very different trumpeter in stylistic terms, but Evans admired his dry, economical sound and his ability to exploit musical space with just the right placement of notes, a virtue he did share with Davis.
Those qualites are evident in Coles’s contributions to several of Evans’s important recordings, including the imaginative re-workings of classic jazz material in the New Bottle Old Wine (1958) and Great Jazz Standards (1959) albums, and the seminal Out of the Cool, recorded in 1960 and regarded as Evans’s masterpiece.

Coles’s rounded tone and controlled, almost austere lyricism, combined with his ability to find his own means of individual expression within the context his leader was trying to create, make that record a highlight of his six year tenure with the Gil Evans Orchestra, which ended when he was recruited by Charles Mingus for a tour of Europe in 1964, in a sextet which also featured saxophonists Eric Dolphy and Clifford Jordan, and pianist Jaki Byard…….Read More

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