Blueprints of Jazz Vol. 3

Donald Bailey

Now in his 70s, Donald Bailey still swings hard. Joined by the dynamic saxophonist Odean Pope (long a member of Max Roach’s band), Bailey presents a varied program. Pianist George Burton shows dexterity throughout, while bassist Tyrone Brown is given plenty of solo space. “Gone Now” shows just how funky 5/4 timing can be, while “Variations” is an up-tempo waltz. “Fifth House,” “Family Portrait” and “USQ/Trilogy” all demonstrate Bailey’s adept modern grooves, but two tracks deserve special mention: “For All We Know,” Bailey does not play, allowing Pope and Brown to weave a beautiful tapestry. Jazz standard “Blue Gardenia” finds Bailey on harmonica. Bailey’s album further fulfills the premise of the Blueprints series: spotlighting lesser-known yet excellent musicians who deserve wider exposure. —Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.