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Cedar!
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Cedar Walton (piano); Junior Cook (tenor saxophone); Kenny Dorham (trumpet); Leroy Vinnegar (bass); Billy Higgins (drums).
  • Recorded in New York, New York on July 10, 1967. Originally released on Prestige (7519).
  • Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley).
  • Personnel: Cedar Walton (piano); Junior Cook (tenor saxophone); Kenny Dorham (trumpet); Billy Higgins (drums).
  • Audio Remasterer: Phil DeLancie.
  • Liner Note Authors: Mark Gardner ; Takao Ogawa.
  • Recording information: New York, NY (07/10/1967).
  • Photographer: Don Schlitten.
  • His first recording as a leader finds Cedar Walton an optimistic and self-assured pianist/composer in the post-bop style. This 1967, cleanly-produced recording contains seven swinging numbers featuring Cedar in trio, quartet and quintet configurations. The album opens with "Turquoise Twice," a hard-driving, modally-inclined tune. Cedar's solo is crisp, logical and rigorous, his left hand dipping into some McCoy Tyner-like fifths. His no-nonsense approach, and rootsy pianistic touch carries the album.
  • This is intelligent but not intellectual jazz. One of the strongest tracks is the charming but edgy "Twilight Waltz." Billy Higgins' drums out some swinging counter-rhythms underneath Cedar's bluesy ornamentation. And trumpeter Kenny Dorham performs a clearly melodic solo, straight and singing. "My Ship" (Gershwin-Weill) is intimate as a trio. Cedar's balance between horn-like single notes and meaty, two-hand chord voicings is masterful. And the ethereal ending adds an appropriately literary touch. Junior Cook's lazy, airy tenor sax solo lends a Sunday morning vibe to Ellington's "Come Sunday." This slightly odd arrangement is in 6/8, but the band breaks into a solid, driving 4/4 for the solos. An impressive debut, CEDAR! can be enjoyed by the erudite jazz buff and the casual listener alike.
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