Ted Curson ‘The New Thing and the Blue Thing’ 4/5

Atlantic Japanese edition re-issue series.

Although not quite as revolutionary in attitude as the title might suggest, this all original set of compositions from 1965 features Mingus trumpeter Ted Curson in a hard bop vein with odd nod to the avant-garde, but in the subtlest of manners. The uptempo call and response piece ‘Ted’s tempo’ is a highlight with some terrific work between trumpet and tenor saxophonist Bill Baron while blues infuse the mid-tempo ‘Straight ice’ on which Curson stretches out. The nearest the group gets to anything resembling Ornette Coleman territory is on the fast-paced ‘Neava’s Waltz’ and on the nine minute ‘Nublu’ which oscillates between hard bop and freer form, pianist George Arvanitas here excelling with some Tyneresque modal vamps. Extensive liner notes from Nat Hentoff. Tim Stenhouse