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Coalition (1970)

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Elvin Jones

Drummer Elvin Jones' Blue Note sessions have long been underrated, partly because the label itself was declining during the era and also partly due to the rise of the avant-garde and fusion, which overshadowed Jones' passionate and advanced hard bop. In 1970, Elvin's band consisted of George Coleman and Frank Foster on tenors (Foster also plays bass clarinet on one number), bassist Wilbur Little, Candido on conga, and the drummer/leader. This was a particularly creative and often intense ensemble, attached to the hard bop tradition but always looking forward. On four group originals (including Coleman's "5/4 Thing") and "Yesterdays," the quintet generates a lot of heat, with the contrast between the tones of Coleman and Foster making this album (not yet reissued on CD) of particular interest. ~ Scott Yanow