Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

The “Paul Chambers Quintet” album and its simplicity of greatness



Another classic hard bop album that can be easily placed on the top 50 jazz albums of all time but all that depends on the listeners here on Jazz Con Class Radio. Its so hard to choose when there are so many great albums in the hard bop era and why I always elect to stay away from making any sort of “The Best of” lists, everyone single jazz album has its own uniqueness. This particular one is simply named after the quintet, “Paul Chambers Quintet” that’s it! Basically, its a jam session of jazz legends and lead by the bass player, Paul Chambers. The album cover again, makes it simple by adding the name of the rest of the participants and that’s all one really needs to know when listening to it. This particular combination of musicians, for me, works beautifully, it seems that it was recorded quickly and with practically no second takes. All the songs are played in a kind of hurried but easy going fashion and in a tone that rarely changes. Here is where I find its uniqueness, a simple, straight-forward professionally recorded masterpiece with no hitches and most importantly, with a lot of soul. Great stuff, enjoy!

About the album:

Though he was primarily known as the young bass star with Miles Davis’s famed ’50s quintet, Paul Chambers was a well-rounded leader in his own right, as demonstrated on PAUL CHAMBERS QUINTET, his second release for Blue Note. Coming at the height of the bassist’s tenure with Davis, this 1957 date is a solid statement of Chambers’s magnificently sturdy approach to the bass and the unwavering, pristine tone that was the backbone of so many all-star sessions. One listen provides ample proof why he was one of the most sought-after bassists in jazz. Accompanying Chambers are Blue Note regulars Donald Byrd, Clifford Jordan, Tommy Flanagan and Elvin Jones, all of who helped to define the post/hard bop aesthetic. Shining performances abound from all. Chambers lays down his determined lines with a few tasty solo spots, as on the swinging “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise.” His famed arco sound is also present…..Read More


Biography of Paul Chambers:

Paul Laurence Dunbar Chambers, Jr. was born on April 11, 1935 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Paul Lawrence Chambers and Ann Dunbar. Chambers began studying music as a child when a teacher asked him to play the baritone horn in school. In 1948, Chambers’ mother passed away, and he went to live his father in Detroit.

Upon his arrival in Detroit, Chambers switched to the tuba, ultimately settling on studying the upright bass. By 1952, Chambers began taking lessons from a bassist that performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Chambers gained his first performing experience while attending Cass Technical High School where he played with the symphony orchestra. Chambers also participated in student ensembles where he would sometimes perform on the baritone saxophone.

Throughout this time, Chambers’ interest in jazz began to grow. At the age of fifteen, Chambers became interested in bebop through listening to recordings of saxophonist Charlie Parker and pianist Bud Powel.l Chambers later spoke of bassists Oscar Pettiford and Ray Brown as his first influences as a player. Chambers later discovered Charles Mingus and was impressed by his rhythmic prowess and harmonic complexity. Duke Ellington bassist Jimmy Blanton was the bassist he considered his favorite…..Learn More

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