Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

Elmo Hope and company in “The All-Star Sessions” was added

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ElomoHopeAllStarSessions

I love the straight forward, “In your face” attitude of this album cover. Great lineup and surely an all-star cast but there are others in this album cover which are not mentioned. You also have Hank Mobley, Frank Foster, Paul Chambers, Percy Heath and Blue Mitchell present in this album. As the description below explains in detail, this album “The All-Star Sessions” is taken from three different recordings and accounts for 11 songs in tatoal. Plenty of music, great stuff! This album has been added to Jazz Con Class Radio library, enjoy!

About the album:

Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). This single-CD reissues all of the music (except for a second take of “Moe, Jr.”) formerly on a two-LP set having the same name and catalog number. Before that, the music originally came out on the Prestige album Informal Jazz and the Riverside release Homecoming. The often-overlooked pianist/composer Elmo Hope is heard in three different settings. He first heads a four-song jam session (two swinging originals and a couple of standards) that has lengthy solos from trumpeter Donald Byrd and the contrasting tenors John Coltrane and Hank Mobley, along with fine support from bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Jones…….Read More

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Elmo Hope Biography:

This profile was inspired by an exceptional article here on All About Jazz by Derek Taylor called “St. Elmo’s Fire” where he focuses and expands on Elmo Hope’s music and recordings.

St. Elmo Sylvester Hope was born in New York on June 27, 1923, began piano studies by age seven and went on to win prizes for his piano recitals. He was a childhood friend of Bud Powell, and Thelonious Monk and they would play piano for each other. He continued to play and improve and upon his return from the army in 1943, he dedicated his life to jazz piano, paying his dues in small clubs

in the Bronx, Greenwich Village, and Coney Island.

There were recording sessions while he was working with ex-Lionel Hampton trumpeter Joe Morris between 1948 and 1951, but that didn’t really garner much exposure. It was not until June of ’53 where dates with Lou Donaldson and Clifford Brown for Blue Note started to give Elmo Hope a name in jazz circles. He followed quickly with some sessions as leader, and another with Frank Foster, both for Prestige. There were further Prestige sides cut with top players as John Coltrane, Donald Byrd, with Paul Chambers bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums. These were originally called “Informal Jazz”, but as Coltrane became a bigger name the title was changed and Hope became regulated to the role of sideman. His piano style was overshadowed by the growing popularity of both Powell and Monk, and though he was in there since the beginning of the bebop movement, he was compared to and judged against the other two. His cabaret license was pulled for a previous drug conviction and this severely limited where he could work if at all. This would start a cycle of disillusionment and frustration that would hound him all his life……….Read More

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