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  • Julien Fraipont

Tommy Flanagan - Overseas



Hello my little accents, I hope you are doing fine.


For today's album, I've chosen Tommy Flanagan's debut album as a leader, Overseas. This studio album was recorded in Sweden on August 15, 1957, whilst touring with J. J. Johnson's quintet.

It was published by Prestige records and recorded by engineer Gosta Wilholm, BUT mastering (for Prestige) by Rudy van Gelder.


This masterpiece is a perfect transition. A transition between Bebop and Hard Bop. The bebop language is there but a "little mellow", without his beautiful aggressiveness.


We are totally in Bebop with Parker's Relaxin' at Camarillo. Beautiful intro with this major chord pattern crossing the bar. Quite an up-tempo, isn't it? This tune is a great example to express the transition I just mention earlier.


Chelsea bridge. Elegant Billy Strayhorn piece. It is usually played as a ballad, but they decide here to interpret it in a medium tempo, and it works beautifully.

We chain than 6 of Flanagan's originals, where, one's more, the bebop is cunningly underlined. Even more true with Beat's up. Rhythm Change that Bird could write. Gorgeous.

The trio goes Latin with Eclypso, tastefully build-up by Wilbur Little and Elvin Jones. It makes me think of Parker's version of My Little Suede Shoes.

Skål Brothers and Little Rock are two great blues. "Skål Brothers" means in Danish something like "Cheers, brothers". Medium tempo blues with which Tommy Flanagan cheers his audience.

In Little Rock, we immediately understand the meaning of the title. The incredible steady intro of Wilbur LITTLE. Steady as a rock.


This album is a masterclass. From the effortless drumming with brushes of Elvin Jones to the creative rhythmical comping of Wilbur Little passing by the elegance, ingenious and swinging way of playing of Tommy Flanagan.


Splendid and inspiring album.


Like always, have fun listening!

Go listen to!


I'll see you soon for another great hard bop moment.


Greeting and long live Tommy Flanagan.

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