Dizzy Reece was born in Jamaica in 1931 and spent the 1950’s in Europe playing with the jazz greats who had moved there or were on tour. He moved to New York in 1959 and recorded several extremely well received LPs for Blue Note, which were reissued by Mosaic Records in 2004. Reece was a hard bop trumpet player playing somewhat in the shadows of the likes of Miles Davis. But his playing on his Blue Note releases encapsulates the best of hard bop trumpet playing. Teamed here with Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor in 1959, Reece opens with The Rake, a show stealing number and one of the four tunes written by Reece.
A sly piece that keeps you off balance by imaginative rhythmic changes and pitch bending set against the assured rhythm section of Chambers and Taylor. If the rest of the set seems more straightforward, that’s not a bad thing, as this is bop at its best. The set closes with ‘A Variation On Monk’, so the set opens and closes on a bit of an offbeat. In addition to the Mosaic box, this title was also released several years ago as a mono release by Classic Records. This new mastering, by Kevin Gray and Ron Rambach exceeds those reissues in every way.