Album of the Day
Gary McFarland earned many fans among the jazz community in the 1960s, among them John Lewis; The Modern Jazz Quartet leader thought so much of the vibraphonist's talents that he devoted an entire solo album to his songs. Produced by Atlantic Records' Nesuhi Ertegun and Tom Dowd, ESSENCE features half a dozen compositions by McFarland (who also provides the arrangements). They're perfect vehicles for Lewis' typically immaculate piano work, supported here by a legion of top instrumentalists including trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and saxophonists Eric Dolphy and Jimmy Giuffre. ESSENCE celebrates its 55th anniversary this year, and its loose but elegant sound continues to charm jazz listeners.