This has some of my favorite musicians from one of my favorite eras in jazz. When friends ask why I am such a jazz geek I play this for them. It's responsible for more than a few converts.
With the exception of track 2, "A Few Words", which is just some studio chatter, the music on the album is some of the best I have heard. Don't take my word for it. Listen to the sound samples on the MP3 version's page at Things Are Getting Better [Original Jazz Classics Remasters]. Every single music track is cooking. Of course with the line-up that is nearly axiomatic.
What is remarkable is this was Adderley's eleventh album and he was only thirty when it was recorded. He is accompanied by Milt Jackson on vibes, and backed by a rock solid rhythm section comprised of Wynton Kelly on piano, Percy Heath on bass and Art Blakey on drums. Blakey is uncharacteristically subdued on this album. Normally he lived up to his nickname, 'The Volcano', but here he laid down swinging and tasteful grooves that were perfectly matched to the songs.
Usually when there are sound samples I avoid attempting to describe the music, but this album is so diverse from a compositional perspective, and played with so much energy that I will make a bold statement: if you only own one jazz album put this one on your short list when you are considering which one.
This was recorded for Riverside at Reeves Sound Studio in NYC on October 28, 1958 and released early the next year.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
What's your opinion on Things Are Getting Better (Original Jazz...?