Workshop Jazz RecordsWorkshop Jazz 2006 (A), February 1963

b/w El Rig

(Written by Cecil McBee)

Label scan kindly provided by Lars “LG” Nilsson - www.seabear.se.  All label scans come from visitor contributions - if you'd like to send me a scan I don't have, please e-mail it to me at fosse8@gmail.com!I am so very, very bored of freeform pseudo-jazz noodling right now.

Trombonist George Bohanon – spelled “Bohannon” in many sources, including The Complete Motown Singles: Volume 3, but this is apparently a mistake – was a go-to brass player for Motown studio sessions, and accordingly he was one of the handful of Motown musicians granted his own Workshop Jazz LP (George’s effort, Boss Bossa Nova, released the previous month, is a load of cod-Latin trombone instrumentals done in a faintly embarrassing samba style).

As with the other 87 jazz singles released by Motown this month, both sides of this record appeared on the album.

Perhaps one of my problems with all of these jazz sides is a lack of familiarity; it’s just not an area of music I’m used to writing about, and I freely admit I don’t own many jazz records.

Bohanon's LP, 'Boss Bossa Nova', from which this single is drawn.Certainly, the entire notion of a trombone jazz instrumental is alien to me – listening to this, however skilled a player Bohan(n)on might be, the instrument just seems fundamentally unsuited to this milieu, coming over sounding amateurish and weedy.

When the trombone stops its clumsy parping (after a particularly unlistenable spell) at 2:50 and gives way to some random piano tinkling instead, it’s almost a blessed relief.

Sadly, it can’t last – the brass comes back in at 3:35 and, while I’m guessing this is meant to have the same sort of relaxed, pseudo-exotic feel as nailed more accurately by later Sergio Mendes or Tijuana Brass records, it all just comes across as cheesy, embarrassing easy-listening soup of the least appealing kind.

So, it turns out I’m not a big fan of jazz trombone. Who knew?



(I’ve had MY say, now it’s your turn. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment, or click the thumbs at the bottom there. Dissent is encouraged!)

You’re reading Motown Junkies, an attempt to review every Motown A- and B-side ever released. Click on the “previous” and “next” buttons below to go back and forth through the catalogue, or visit the Master Index for a full list of reviews so far.

(Or maybe you’re only interested in the George Bohanon Quartet? Click for more.)

Johnny Griffith Trio
“I Did”
George Bohanon Quartet
“El Rig”