The George Bohanon Quartet – Boss: Bossa Nova


SKU: Fresh Sound 1669 Categories: ,


The early 60s gave us the pleasant—and very successful—association between modern jazz and bossa nova. The intriguing rhythm of the Brazilian beat laid a pulsating foundation for some great solo improvisations over the years.

From Detroit, a city ripe with good jazz talent, came a group led by George Bohanon, one of the most refreshing jazz trombonists of the era, and an instrumentalist of the first order. His melodic approach and assured tone, the easy flow of ideas and technical excellence was what first garnered him some attention with an instrumental-vocal group known as the Premiers. After that he enjoyed a lengthy stay with Yusef Lateef’s band and other groups before finally joining the Chico Hamilton quintet.

Aside from George Bohanon’s trombone solo work, other solo honors are shared by pianist Kirk Lightsey, guitarist Joe Messina and bassist Cecil McBee, while adding spice to the bossa nova sound are Bob Cousar on gourd and Henry Cosby on cymbal.

Track Listing:
1. Bobbie - 4:21   2. Speak Low - 4:34   3. El Rio - 4:22   4. Conmigo - 3:08   5. Simpatica - 6:06   6. El Rig - 4:12   7. Mioki - 5:03

George Bohanon (trombone), Kirk Lightsey (piano), Joe Messina (guitar), Cecil McBee (bass). Plus George Goldsmith (drums, cowbell), Bob Cousar (gourd), Henry Cosby (cymbal).
Recorded in Detroit, Michigan, 1962

Originally issued both in Mono & Stereo as a Workshop Jazz album “The George Bohanon Quartet - Boss: Bossa Nova” (WSJS 207)


1. - George W. Harris – 2019.07.22
"You could make a credible argument that Latin Music from Cuba and Brazil essentially saved jazz in the 50s and 60s from becoming a sterile collection of musical naval gazing by injecting a new and fresh sense of pulsations and rhythms. This release from Blue Moon Records is a must-have to your collection of albums saved for Cruise Night.

Detroit based trombonist George Bohanon is best known for his work with Chico Hamilton, but he put out some impressive material as a leader as well, like this hip samba session with Kirk Lightsey/p, Joe Messina/g, Cecil McBee/b and guest percussionists George Goldsmith, Bob Cousar and Henry Cosby to add to the Brazilian atmosphere. There’s one standard, “Speak Low,” but even it is given the samba treatment, with Bohanon’s warm horn riding the wave like a longboarder, and the team digging deep on the leader’s “El Rio,” “Simpatico” and Lightsey’s sensuous “El Rig” which features the pianist in a warm light. McBee gets some space on the peppy “Mioki” and everyone gets a spot in the light on the creative “Bobbie.” São Paolo by Detroit."