Donald Duck Bailey has helped define the pulse of jazz for more than five decades. Oddly, you're unlikely to find his name listed among fellow trap set innovators; but there is no doubt about Bailey's far-reaching and enduring influence, which dates back to his nine-year tenure with Hammond B3 legend Jimmy Smith from 1956-64. Bailey didn't just help cement the B3, guitar and drums as the definitive instrumentation of the organ combo; he created a lithe trap set vocabulary that gave Smith plenty of room to lay down fat, pedal-generated bass lines while expertly driving the thrilling crescendos that made Smith such a dynamic performer. The generations of musicians who came up in Bailey's wake have all received potent and enduring musical wisdom from the drummer via his work with Jimmy Smith, and he's still got plenty to teach. Bailey's handpicked band for this set includes pianist George Burton, bassist Tyrone Brown, tenor saxophonist Odean Pope, and special guest trumpeter Charles Tolliver.
Jazz fans know Bailey's sound, even if they don't always remember his name; he is one of the many important players who, for no good reason, haven't become all that famous. But that's Bailey floating beneath Smith on the organist's classic Blue Note albums: ...Back at the Chicken Shack, ...The Sermon! and ...Prayer Meetin'. That's Bailey setting time behind pianists Hampton Hawes and Jimmy Rowles, and as a member of the Three Sounds, on other classic dates.
He is without question one of the most unique drummers I've ever played with... Tyrone Brown, bassist