Ted Curson & Company ‎– Jubilant Power (1976)

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Jubilant Power is an album by American trumpeter Ted Curson which has one side recorded live in Philadelphia and the other recorded in a New York studio the following day which was first released on the Inner City label in 1976.

“Ted Curson’s Jubilant Power shows the modern jazz trumpeter in prime condition, very influenced by a stint with Charles Mingus, and exhorting his large ensemble to play music indicative of the title. This recording combines two live concert sessions from autumn of 1976 done on consecutive nights, the first in his native Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square, and the second at Downtown Sound in New York City. Curson assembled a dynamic and exuberant band with the baritone saxophonist Nick Brignola and saxophonist/flutist Chris Woods, bassist David Friesen, conga player Sam Jacobs, an exchange of pianists and drummers for each night, and different compositions. An LP now out on CD, “Side A” has two tunes from the Philly sessions with AACM drumkit juggernaut Steve McCall and pianist Andy LaVerne in tow, making for a presence that gives the band a forceful persona. The hot free bop “Reava’s Waltz” showcases Curson’s post Lee Morgan/Freddie Hubbard sound with an edge perfectly, especially during his solid solo as the horns chime in on occasion. “Ted’s Tempo” is a modal to hard bop scorcher, fluent, risky, but built like a brick wall. The four tracks from “Side B” in N.Y.C. have Jim McNeely on the 88s and Bob Merigliano playing drums, offering a generally softer focus. The straight ballad “Marjo” borrows from “Sophisticated Lady,” while the midtempo “Song of the Lonely” has Friesen’s emotionally drenched bass saturating the quote-riddled trumpeter, who most specifically channels the changes of “What’s New?.” The upbeat numbers include a popping Latin chart “Airi’s Tune” with a rich horn accord, while the definitive “Searchin’ the Blues” is straight out of the Mingus bag with its delightfully entertaining, spontaneous, quirky speed-ups and settled slow-downs in the melody. For the time of these recordings, the sound is a little muddy, but certainly enhanced by the digital transfer, and quite acceptable. Because Ted Curson produced far too few recordings, and because the band is excellent, this has to rank as one of his best efforts, his modern jazz still sounding vital and fresh.” – Michael G. Nastos/AllMusic.

Track listing:
All compositions by Ted Curson

“Reava’s Waltz” – 12:00
“Ted’s Tempo” – 9:00
“Song of the Lonely” – 7:40
“Airi’s Tune” – 6:23
“Searchin’ for the Blues” – 6:42
“Marjo” – 5:45

Ted Curson – trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, cowbells
Chris Woods – flute, alto saxophone
Nick Brignola – baritone saxophone, saxello
Andy LaVerne (tracks 1 & 2), Jim McNeely (tracks 3-6) – piano
David Friesen – bass
Steve McCall (tracks 1 & 2), Bob Merigliano (tracks 3-6) – drums
Sam Jacobs – congas


Released: 1976
Recorded: October 16 & 17, 1976
Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA and Downtown Sound Studio, NYC
Length: 48:02
Label: Inner City IC 1017
Producer: Irv Kratka