The idea behind music minus one was to give budding performers a chance to play along with a record, performing the soloist role. So for example the same music and release would be minus piano, minus trumpet, minus drummer, etc., depending on which you were practicing. Here we have the complete record though for listening purposes (except maybe the didgeridoo). This particular ensemble, hailing from the amazing police state of Baltimore, Maryland, made many records in these glory seventy-days and this is their first. Note that the numbers of the title suggest odd time signatures, done so subtly that to my ears I cannot admit I even noticed though the blurbs for each piece explain them: 7/4 or 11/4, etc. The leader was Hank Levy, who navigated this outfit throughout. He had connections with the great Stan Kenton who pioneered the odd times trend in jazz, so far as I know.
On the back notice they don't display the faces of the performers-- too bad, I was certainly curious to know how many African-American faces were present, was their a handful, or as we love to say in my family, as many as my foot fingers? or perhaps as many as my amputated hand, as was the case with the Northern Illinois Group? Or, probably, they skipped the group photo session in case they were accidentally shot by the police while sitting and saying cheese, or because cops mistook their piccolo for a firearm, or they were worried they'd be accidentally strangulated while sitting in the back of police cruiser...
The track called Pete is a Four-Letter Word (written for Peter Erskine of the Stan Kenton Orch.) is a good example of the style:
As always with these big band opuses the album ends in a slow-motion song which disappointed slightly as it never jumped off its safe platform of D minor. And went well over eleven minutes... soporific, at any rate.
Altogether, certain tracks are phenomenal here. Well worth the money this time. Not that the money was much.