Cedar Walton Big Band Project - Day 8 I'm Not So Sure

I'm Not So Sure

Jazz music in the late 60s and into 70s began to use electric instruments. Many pianists started to play rhodes and other keyboards. In 1969 Cedar released a recording on Prestige titled Soul Cycle.



in the liner notes Walton writes "During the course of a career in music, sooner or later the artist will come face to face with the task of reaching and appealing to a larger listening audience than before. In view of the obvious benefits of such an accomplishment (more record sales, better paying gigs) it would seem that the artist would happily immerse himself in the pleasant activity of seeking out new material, experimenting with various methods of presenting new and old works, taking care that the essence of nature of his original style is not sacrificed. However, it should be point out that this effort to preserve a high lever of quality is not with out certain pit falls - "built-in contradictions", so to speak. For instance, the listening public "tuned in" or accustomed to previous performances may become disenchanted, or, as in some cases, completely alienated by, in their judgement, this "sudden switch to out-and-out commercialism". Therefore, the attempt to attract the larger commercial audience results in the loss of a more compact but loyal following

With this recording and others with Milt Jackson (Bag's Bag) Walton showed lot of jazz musicians entrenched in the tradition that it was ok to evolve while still keeping the integrity of the music. On the recording Soul Cycle, the title track Sundown Express shows up on a Messengers record featuring Woody Shaw (this time titled I'm Not So Sure) titled Anthenagin (in 1973) and later with Cedar's acoustic quartet titled First Set (which is part of 3 recordings on Steeplechase recorded on the same night in 1977).  First Set features Sam Jones, Billy Higgins, and a young Bog Berg. There is a lot of variance between each of the 3 recordings of I'm Not So Sure . The First Set recording is very funky and embodies many of the great playing characteristics of rhythm section. The playing styles of Billy Higgins and Sam Jones are very unique. Studying Higgins' cymbal beat and Jones' placement of the beat, reveals a depth and nuance of playing style that is truly only grasped through countless hour of listening and practice. That's why so my arrangers or composers write "Billy Higgins" groove! 

I'm Not So Sure from First Set was one of those tunes that I had on repeat for a long time. Enjoy!

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