Sunday, June 26, 2022

Bass, Jumping: Reggie Workman 85

Let's conclude the June swoonings with the promised rejoinder to yesterday's Chambers music.

Today we have a guy born exactly five years (minus one day) earlier, whose imprint upon the Jazz world is as indelible as so many of the recordings of which he was an integral part.
He has done and seen it all plus some, having started in the early 1960s and since first gaining notice in the band of John Coltrane.

One of those rarest-of-the-rare players who is identifiable by a single note or phrase on his instrument, the list of sessions he has participated in is as extensive as almost any musician of our lifetimes.

Like Joe Chambers, and so many Maestros of this music, he is also from Philadelphia.

I just took another look at his session discography just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating, and he's been on probably thousands of priceless records, from Search for the New Land (Lee Morgan) to Alice Coltrane's World Galaxy.

If there's an upright bass player of the last 60 years more prolific and essential than Reggie Workman -- born this day in 1937 -- I certainly can't name them.

Let's celebrate with two of his first three records as a leader, recorded in 1977 and 1978 and only ever released, and at that only on vinyl, in Japan back 45 years ago.

Reggie Workman First
Denon LP, 1977

01 Mark II
02 Deja Vu
03 Conversation

Total time: 40:36

Reggie Workman - bass
Michael Carvin - drums
Lawrence Killiam - percussion
Albert Dailey - piano
George Adams - tenor saxophone
Slide Hampton - trombone
Cecil Bridgewater - trumpet

16/44 transfer of the original Denon LP
recorded at Sound Ideas Studios, New York City NY 12.17.1977
produced by Yoshio Ozawa
slightly denoised and more optimally retracked by EN, June 2022

Reggie Workman
The Works of Workman
Denon LP, 1978

01 Visitation
02 I Can't Get Started
03 Take the "A" Train
04 Samba de Orfeu
05 Effie

Total time: 33:10

Reggie Workman - bass

16/44 transfer of the original Denon LP
recorded at Nippon Columbia's 1st studio, Tokyo JP 6.3,10+12.1978
produced by Yoshio Ozawa
slightly retracked by EN, June 2022
349 MB FLAC total/June 2022 archive link

These have never been reissued in the digital age, but here are some pretty astonishing, extra clean vinyl rips of distinction, which I have slightly denoised and optimized to be as tasty as they can be.

I will return for a steamy July, but I thought it would be the right thing to do to close out the month commemorating these two back-to-back badass birthday boys, both thankfully still hitting hard into their eighties.--J.