Pianist Bross Townsend was born Bross Elvie Townsend Jr. in October 18, 1933, in Princeton Kentucky. He later moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked with musicians such as Little Jimmy Scott, Wynonie Harris, Gene Ammons, John Coltrane, Memphis Slim, and Jimmy Reed. After relocating to New York City in 1959, he was best known as the pianist with Dakota Staton's band, as well as freelancing around the area with various swinging Jazz artists, such as Carrie Smith, Bubba Brooks, Arvell Shaw, Panama Francis, and countless other legends. He also toured extensively throughout the world, especially Europe and Japan.
These recordings mark Bross' sessions as a leader, independently, how he conceptualized his music in the straight ahead Jazz idiom. Immediately soulful and funky, his interpretations are bold and fresh, as well as solidly rhythmic. His partner in crime, bassist Bob Cunningham is present on five of the tracks, with the swinging John Dooley rounding out the rest. Drummers Greg Bandy and Rudy Petschauer keep that grooving beat going, and we get some fiery horns from trumpeter Greg Bobulinski and Swing Masa on saxophones. We get a sample of the Townsend repertoire, everything from Ellington to standards, to Bross' own originals here, rounded out by his usual feature that would always bring down the house, Avery Parrish's After Hours.
We are re-releasing this great recording because it was never distributed for retail, just sold at gigs by Townsend himself, and now that Bross is gone (he passed away in 2003), it appears he only had 2 recordings under his own name, this one being essentially self-produced. As a result this remains a truly important piece of work for all true fans of great jazz music to enjoy.