Carmell Jones – trumpet; Barry Harris – piano; George Tucker – bass; Roger Humphries – drums / Riverside Records, 1965
Carmell Jones was a supremely underrated West Coast trumpeter, whose sideman work with Harold Land, Booker Ervin, and Horace Silver went largely unnoticed in his era. The Mosaic Records Select three-disc box set did a lot to remedy this. Not included was Jay Hawk Talk, a Riverside Date that I believe is Jones’s only gig as a leader. It is magnificent — funky where it needs to be, tender as well. His reading of “Willow Weep For Me” above is hauntingly beautiful, one of my favorite renditions.
Today would’ve been Carmell Jones’s 74th birthday. He died in 1996, a near total unknown. Many dazzling trumpeters from his era somehow never managed to break through, which is a shame really. I’d take Carmell Jones and Tommy Turrentine and Dupree Bolton and Louis Smith over many of their more famous peers and colleagues.