CD Mister Lucky (CD 215272),
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Al Green (Drums)
1. Annette's Blues
2. All the Things You Are
3. Mr. Lucky
4. Are You Real
5. Medley: My Funny Valentine/Peace/What's New: My Funny Valentine / Peace / What's New
6. High Fly
7. Once I Loved
10. Stella by Starlight
11. Way You Look Tonight, The
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 539
Melvin Williams; Paul Serrano; Robert G. Koester
Full performer name: Al Green/Othello Anderson.
Personnel includes: Al Green (drums); Othello Anderson (alto saxophone); Dr. Odies Williams III (trumpet, flugelhorn); Leandro Lopez Varady, Jodi Christian (piano); John Whitfield (bass).
Recorded at Riverside Studio, Chicago, Illinois on March 9-11, 2002. Includes liner notes by Lloyd Sachs.
Personnel: Al Green (drums); Othello Anderson (alto saxophone); Jodie Christian (piano).
Liner Note Author: Lloyd Sachs.
Recording information: Riverside Studio, Chicago, IL (03/09/2002-03/11/2002).
No, the Al Green who plays on Mister Lucky isn't the famous soul icon turned gospel-singing Protestant minister who gave listeners '70s classics like "Take Me to the River," "Let's Stay Together," "Love and Happiness," and "I'm Still in Love With You." This Al Green isn't from Memphis, and he doesn't sing soul or gospel; he's a Chicago-based drummer who started out playing blues before making instrumental hard bop his main focus. And bop is exactly what he plays on Mister Lucky, a 2002 session that he co-leads with alto saxophonist and fellow Chicago resident Othello Anderson (who has an attractive tone in the Charlie Parker/Jackie McLean/Sonny Stitt/Phil Woods vein). Neither Green nor Anderson are well known, but they've both been around the Windy City jazz scene for decades -- which means that they're exactly the sort of players who would typically record for Delmark (a Chicago-based indie that has been great about giving lesser-known local talent a chance to record). On Mister Lucky, Green and Anderson co-lead an acoustic quintet that employs Dr. Odies Williams III on trumpet and flugelhorn, Leandro Lopez Varady or Jodie Christian on piano, and John Whitfield on bass. The performances are pleasant, although very few surprises occur. For the most part, Green and Anderson are content to pick overdone warhorses and play them the same old way. Green and Anderson make a few interesting choices, including Henry Mancini's "Mr. Lucky" and Benny Golson's "Are You Real." But all too often, they offer conventional readings of beaten-to-death songs like "The Way You Look Tonight," "All the Things You Are," and "Stella by Starlight." No one is asking Green and Anderson to reinvent the jazz wheel, but it would have been nice to hear more surprises and fewer warhorses on this decent, if conventional, outing. ~ Alex Henderson
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Delmark DE 539
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