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Jutta Hipp With Zoot Sims (1956)

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Ahmed Abdul-Malik

Jutta Hipp, a talented German pianist, came to the United States in the mid-'50s and quickly gained some attention. However, she was soon criticized for sounding too close to Horace Silver and, after recording this final Blue Note album, she gradually dropped out of music. Reissued in 1996 on CD with two extra selections, Hipp's boppish music on the set is very enjoyable and swinging. Oddly enough, she does not sound at all like Silver on the date, making one wonder why she soon left the jazz world. Teamed up with great tenor Zoot Sims (who dominates the music), somewhat hesitant trumpeter Jerry Lloyd (who briefly came out of retirement), bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and drummer Ed Thigpen, Hipp sounds excellent on a couple of basic originals and such standards as "Violets for Your Furs," "Almost Like Being in Love," and J.J. Johnson's "Wee Dot." This formerly rare set is well worth picking up by straight-ahead jazz collectors. ~ Scott Yanow