True Blue

Tina Brooks

True Blue
(Blue Note)

True Blue

Tina Brooks, tenor sax; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Duke Jordan, piano;
Sam Jones, bass; Art Taylor, drums.

1. Good Old Soul (Tina Brooks) 8:05
2. Up Tight's Creek (Tina Brooks) 5:16
3. Theme For Doris (Tina Brooks) 5:49
4. True Blue [mp3] (Tina Brooks) 4:56
5. Miss Hazel (Tina Brooks) 5:30
6. Nothing Ever Changes (Fischer--Segal) 8:05
Produced by ALFRED LION
Cover Photo by FRANCIS WOLFF
Cover Design by REID MILES
Recording by RUDY VAN GELDER
Recorded on June 25, 1960

Where are the young players coming from? For many young musicians the answer to that question has been the rhythm and blues band. Some of the players who have come from the R&B bands in recent years are Blue Mitchell, David Newman, Dannie Richmond and Booker Ervin. Another is Harold Floyd Brooks, better known as Tina. Tina is a corruption of Tiny or Teeny, a knickname from Brooks' youth in keeping with his size at the time. At 28, Tina is full-grown and no shrimp but the sobriquet seems here to stay.

Tina met Freddie Hubbard at a session at Count Basie's. They found they liked each other's playing and used each other on their respective Blue Note dates. Tina feels that Freddie "really caught the mood of my compositions."

Duke Jordan, who served importantly with Charlie Parker in the '40s and Stan Getz in 1950, thoughtfully solos and, as always, is a sensitive accompanist. Sam Jones, the bassist with Cannonball Adderley's quintet, is a bulwark in any rhythm section where he plants his bass. Art Taylor is the ubiquitous one. You can find his name on many record albums. Its presence usually insures that the swing department has been well taken care of.

Besides assuming the leader's duties on this date, Tina Brooks also wrote five of the six songs used here for bases of improvisation. That they are more than just this is exemplified by the way they achieve the gamut of moods from the down and dirty "Good Old Soul" to the warm and embracing "Nothing Ever Changes."

"Up Tight's Creek" and "Miss Hazel" are boppish swingers. The former has an excellent Jordan solo; the latter demonstrates how a fast number can be extremely lyrical. "Theme For Doris" again shows Brooks' liking for a minor key. It also reiterates the kind of strength-with-tenderness that is evident in his playing.

"True Blue" [mp3] is down home but neither Tina or Freddie are self-conscious or put their audience on. There are some nice little commas and apostrophes in the line.

In the last year, Brooks has gigged around New York and as Jackie McLean's understudy in The Connection, has appeared on stage in a playing-acting role at the Living Theatre. He has also been a member of a rehearsal combo in the Bronx with pianist Al Walker and trumpeter Oliver Beener.

Tina states his philosophy this way: "I want to express myself rather than be a killer technically but in order to do this, I have to grow technically."

I don't think Tina Brooks has to worry about growing; he's taking all the right musical vitamins.

--IRA GITLER, from the liner notes

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