Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Remembering The Curtis Counce Quintet

Bassist Curtis Counce and his Quintet performing "Mean to Me:" Jack Sheldon [tp], Harold Land [ts], Carl Perkins [p], and Frank Butler [d]. "It is hard to understand why the Curtis Counce Group failed to achieve the recognition either popular or critical it deserved. Perhaps it's because the group was so difficult to pigeonhole. As a Los Angeles based group it couldn't remotely be identified with the West Coast school. Stylistically, the Curtis Counce Group fit quite naturally with such groups as the Jazz Messengers or the Horace Silver Quintet, but such a comparison tended to upset the East Coast West Coast dichotomy that then figured so prominently in jazz criticism. So, stuck as they were thousands of miles from the centre of editorial power, the musicians in the group turned out their own brand of hard-swinging jazz in relative obscurity. It wouldn't be fair to say they were totally ignored by the influential critics, but they were seldom evaluated at their true worth." - Robert Gordon in "Jazz West Coast" p. 147