cds: Slipped Discs 

CDS that slipped through the cracks

I first heard this in 1992. I carried the melody from "Tanya" around in my head until just a couple of years ago when I found myself in a music store faux-scatting it to the manager. I felt ashamed, it's true. But fortunately he knew the album and I'm glad to have it. Dexter seems to inhabit the second-tier guru level in Jazzdom, only slightly less revered than Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Monk and the like. This album is tight from top to bottom — some of the best drumming I've ever heard anywhere. Donald Byrd's trumpet is majestic. None of the four tracks gets bogged down in the middle. They know where they're going but no one is in any type of hurry. Hands down, my favorite album in my admittedly meager jazz collection,Los Hombres Calientes "Los Hombres Calientes" (Basin Street Records).

Sadly, the original lineup made just this one album before Jason Marsalis struck out on his own, but what a debut. New-Orleans-pedigreed youngsters Marsalis and Irvin Mayfield are joined by longtime jazz journeyman Bill Summers and piano man Victor "Red" Atkins. Sweaty, tight Latin jazz. This is what makes the jumping beans jump. "El Barrio" features vocals by Cyril Neville. The name-dropping alone should keep jazzies at bay. Mayfield and Summers forged ahead with this project after Jason's departure and were up for a Grammy this year. This is where it all began and it's a slick, cool ride.Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster "encounters" (Verve)

Two true heavies on tenor sax kicking things around. This is full of romance. One of Verve's Master Edition releases, it offers superb music, beautiful packaging, great liner notes and previously unreleased studio takes of false starts and alternate versions. Jazzies love this type of stuff, and I have to admit I do too. Oscar Peterson's piano playing almost steals the show, but you never forget who is in charge. Pure swagger by two men who knew they were the bosses.Next time: Sunday Morning Coming Down. Send your hangover- helper album suggestions to slippeddiscs@styleweekly.com.


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