Anderson, Rick, Notes
Curtis Fuller. I Will Tell Her. Capri 74100-2, 2010.
Few trombonists have seen or experienced--let alone had a hand in making--anywhere near as much jazz history as Curtis Fuller. Most famously, he played alongside John Coltrane on the hugely influential Blue Train album, but he has also played and recorded with Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Dizzy Gillespie, organist Jimmy Smith, Joe Henderson, and the tragic genius Bud Powell, among many others over the course of his fifty-year career. But arguably the most formative experience of his professional life was his four-year stint with Art Blakcy's Jazz Messengers. Blakey's hard bop sound continues deeply to inform Fuller's work both as a player and as a composer, and this sextet album finds him working solidly in a straight-ahead hard bop vein. I Will Tell Her is actually two albums in one. The first disc consists of studio recordings of Fuller originals (plus a very fine account of the Kenny Dorham composition "Minor's Holiday"); alongside tenor saxophonist Keith Oxman, trumpeter Al Hood, pianist Chip Stephens, bassist Ken Walker, and drummer Todd Reid, Fuller fairly blazes his way through skillful arrangements of sharply composed tunes. …