Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Recently Listening - Perry Robinson: Funk Dumpling

Savoy Fresh Sound Records

Reissued by Fresh Sound, Funk Dumpling (recorded in 1962 for Savoy) was Perry Robinson's debut recording as a leader.
From the little I've heard of Perry Robinson in the past, this album is more conventional yet still personal. Alongside Robinson's bold and distinctive clarinet playing are a young Kenny Barron and the formidable bass and drum pairing of Henry Grimes and Paul Motian. Although Robinson is the dominant soloist the album still has a very unified band sound and individually everyone contributes. Composition duties are split between Robinson and Grimes. It's a very well rounded album with an upbeat and joyful swinging feel plus some lovely ballad work too. The playing sounded surprisingly fresh to my ears and I couldn't help but feel that Robinson has been short changed in the canon of jazz clarinetists. If I had one, I wouldn't hesitate adding this to a "must hear" list of clarinet recordings. A gem and highly recommended - check it out!

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