With Malice Toward None: The Music Of Tom McIntosh
While there’s no shortage of first-rate soloists here, this long-in-coming album belongs to composer and arranger Tom McIntosh. A name only to hard-core jazz fans, McIntosh contributed his share of superb tunes and orchestrations throughout the 1960s before disappearing into the Hollywood studios. He waited until he was 76 years old before making this, his recording debut as a leader. Gathering up some of his most famous and durable tunes, including “The Cup Bearers,” “Balanced Scales Equal Justice,” and “With Malice Toward None,” McIntosh was joined by, among others, tenor saxophonists James Moody and Benny Golson, trumpeter Jimmy Owens, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, bassist Richard Davis, and pianists Roger Kellaway and Kenny Barron. Although McIntosh can be heard on trombone, he takes no solos; his real gifts are with a pen. And fleshed out by such outstanding players, his tunes and charts really shine. Two bonus tracks add additional sparkle: a spirited jam on Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce” and a lovely duet reading of Jerome Kern’s “Long Ago and Far Away” by Davis and pianist Helen Sung.