Backed by some of the top bop players of the day, Al Cohn stretches out here for a program heavy with up-tempo swingers. Cut in two sessions during 1950 and 1953, Cohn's Tones finds the usually more mellow tenor great feeding off the driving drum work of both Tiny Kahn and Max Roach. Besides the ballad evergreen "How Long Has This Been Going On" and a bluesy "Ah-Moore," the eight-track set is all Cohn originals done in a Lester Young-on-the-West Coast style. Also featuring the talents of pianist Horace Silver, this early Cohn release is at once hot and cool, vigorous and lithe.
The very complementary tenors Al Cohn and Zoot Sims (whose similar styles often made them sound almost identical) teamed up many times through the years; this reissue brings back their first joint recording. Joined by either Dave McKenna or Hank Jones on piano, bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Osie Johnson, and (on some selections) the forgotten trumpeter Dick Sherman, Al and Zoot avoid obvious material ("Somebody Loves Me" and "East of the Sun" are the only standards) in favor of swinging "modern" originals by Cohn, Sherman, Osie Johnson, Ralph Burns, Manny Albam, Ernie Wilkins, and Milty Gold. Zoot contributed "Tenor for Two Please, Jack," his answer to the song "Dinner for One Please, James." [Some releases add four alternate takes to the original 12-song program, giving one a good example of the occasional Cohn-Sims musical partnership.]
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. Although this recording of standards was made late in his career, tenor saxophonist Al Cohn was in peak form and clearly inspired by an excellent Dutch rhythm section. Cohn's very broad tone is much in evidence, as he runs through changes on tunes that he played innumerable times in his career. A distinct stylist, Cohn was never an innovator, but his lush, relaxed, carefully honed sound was perfect for the late nightclub atmosphere. Every solo was deliberately constructed, mixing just the right amounts of emotion and technique. You can hear Coleman Hawkins in his playing, but Cohn incorporated broad influences from the early history of bop. Pianist Rein de Graff is stunning throughout, and drummer Eric Ineke and bassist Koos Serierse add solid support.