Booker Ervin: The Freedom Book

Album review
Booker Ervin: The Freedom Book

Booker Ervin

The Freedom Book

Label: Analogue Productions
Media: LP
Genre: Jazz
Ratings:



The third of ten titles recorded for Prestige between 1963 and 1966, Booker Ervin’s The Freedom Book finds the Texas-born tenor player supported by the in-sync rhythm section of Jaki Byard (piano), Richard Davis (bass), and Alan Dawson (drums). “A Lunar Tune” immediately kicks the LP into a racetrack groove, with Ervin blowing hard as his fellows breathlessly tear into this furiously paced, time-shifting track. Randy Weston’s “Cry Me Not” winds the pace down to show what this group can do with an introspective ballad; “Grant’s Stand” picks it up again. Ervin’s tone was big and full-throated, if a tad ragged around the edges, but “A Day to Mourn,” said to be inspired by the Kennedy assassination, indicates the influence of early 60s Coltrane, as Ervin delivers a richer, rounder sound to his dirge-like composition. Rudy Van Gelder captured this Prestige title in stereo, and it reflects his consistently fine work. Tonally it’s a touch on the light side, but otherwise the band’s energy is clearly and dynamically captured, with a decent sense of air and focus. Kevin Gray did the mastering of this excellent QRP platter, so the quality of this welcome reissue is as good as it gets.

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Contributors:
  • primary artist, Booker Ervin

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