Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than Never

by Gil Coggins
     
 
During his brief career as a jazz pianist, Gil Coggins made his mark as a sideman on recordings with a number of greats, including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane. But he left music during the late 1950s to sell real estate and never looked back, until being

Overview

During his brief career as a jazz pianist, Gil Coggins made his mark as a sideman on recordings with a number of greats, including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane. But he left music during the late 1950s to sell real estate and never looked back, until being enticed to record his first CD as a leader for Interplay. These sessions, recorded in 2001 and 2002 (issued by Smalls) may very well represent Coggins' final recordings as a leader, as he died in an auto accident in 2004. With Mike Fitzbenjamin on bass and either Louis Hayes or Jimmy Wormworth on drums, Coggins still has chops in spite of the long layoff from music. The loping, choppy treatment of "I'm Old Fashioned" also showcases Fitzbenjamin, while Charles Mingus' ballad "Smooch" combines tenderness with a bittersweet air in his hands. He transforms Neal Hefti's "Repetition" into an understated Latin vehicle, while Coggins' jaunty approach to Tadd Dameron's "The Scene Is Clean" is lighthearted. The final track, Burt Bacharach's "A House Is Not a Home," is a surprising choice, as Coggins opts for a slow, spacious solo arrangement that seems like it may have spontaneously come together in the studio. It is a shame that Gil Coggins did not record more on his own, but these final sessions indicate that he still had a lot to say.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/09/2007
Label:
Smalls Records
UPC:
0823511002826
catalogNumber:
28

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