This is one of a set of four collections of 5CDís each that I have
received for review. As the reader will find from the reviews that
follow, the music is not always Big Band music. The music from this
group of artistes is however representative of their work and the
majority of it I had not heard before.
- Sugar Blues (Clyde McCoy)
- Tenderly (Randy Brooks)
- Georgia (Nat Gonella)
- Davenport Blues (Bix Beiderbecke)
- Morning Glory (Rex Stewart)
- Echoes of Harlem (Cootie Williams)
- Our love is Here to Stay (Bobby Hackett)
- Memories of You (Sonny Durham)
- Music Goes Round and Round (All Trumpet Players)
- Carnival Time (Ray Anthony)
- And the Angels Sing (Ziggy Elman)
- I Canít Get Started (Bunny Berigan)
- Wonít You Come Home Bill Bailey (Jonah Jones)
- You Made me love You (Harry James)
- Satchmo (Louis Armstrong)
- Whatís New (Billy Butterfield)
- How Long has this Been Going On (Doc Severonsen)
- Little Jazz (Roy Eldridge)
I think that few would take issue with me if I say
that Kenny Baker was the finest all round trumpet player that the
UK has produced. Whether as section man in the Ted Heath Band, leading
his own band or playing in a small jazz group, Kenny was always the
star. This album has him playing his impressions of some of the finest
jazz trumpet players in the world, playing their favourite solos.
Such is his versatility that he carries off this task with consummate
ease, he sounds relaxed throughout playing with a backing band whose
personnel sounds like a whose who of all the top UK Big Band musicians.
Names like Don Lusher, Tommy Whittle, Derek Watkins, Jack Parnell
and Pete Warner are just a sample from this all star band. For trumpet
players or people who like trumpet playing, this is definitely for
- Thyme Time
- The Way You Look Tonight
- Artís Oregano
- Over the Rainbow
- Sam & the Lady
- Art Pepper
- The Count on Rush St.
- Pooch Mc Gooch
- Brown Gold
- Holiday Flight
- Surf Ride
- Tickle Toe
- Chili Pepper
- Susie the Poodle
- Straight Life
There is only one big band track on
this disc, but it does contain some excellent small group jazz from
one of the finest alto sax players ever to appear on the jazz scene.
Like many of his contemporaries, Art Pepper acquired a narcotics habit
that resulted in him spending time in jail, when he was available
to play he turned in breathtaking performances however as this record
illustrates. These tracks were recorded in the period 1950m to 1953
and he was certainly on good form then. Strangely his unfortunate
life style never seemed to affect his playing. I heard him on his
last tour of the UK in the 70ís, he died in 1981, but he was still
The first five tracks find him in
the company of a great unsung hero of the Tenor Sax, Jack Monterose,
they play extremely well together and some of the counterpoint they
produce in ensemble passages is equal to that of the original Gerry
Mulligan Quartet with Chet Baker. Larry Bunker incidentally was the
drummer for both groups.
Tracks 6 to 10 have Pepper in the
company of Shorty Rogers and not surprisingly the group now starts
to sound like the ĎGiantsí such was Rogerís influence as an arranger.
The one and only Big Band track called Art Pepper probably came from
his time with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Stan plays piano on this
The remaining tracks feature Art in
various small group settings and each track is well worth listening
to. Not much Big Band playing, but plenty of quality music!
- Re-Bop Boogie
- Prelude to a Kiss
- Baby Your Mine for Keeps
- Twelve OíClock Jump
- Your Conscience tells You So
- June Comes Around Every Year
- Mexican hat dance
- Love for Sale
- Iím Lost
- Melodrama in a V-Disc Record Room
- I Canít Get Started
- Back bay Boogie
- Forever Blue
- Cadillac Slim
- Deep Purple
Benny Carter is still alive at 96
and this year the BBC is broadcasting a tribute to him, which is very
well deserved. During his musical life he has played Saxophone, Trumpet
& Clarinet as a top jazz soloist and has written arrangements
for many of the leading Big Bands as well as film scores and popular
songs. In the UK he has never really had the recognition he deserves
which is strange because he spent a period just after the war as a
staff arranger for the BBC.
Several famous musicians are present
on these tracks, Al Grey who spent many years with Count Basie is
on many of them, and Max Roach is also heard along with Ben Webster.
It is also said that Miles Davies had a minor role on track 17.
Carterís own playing is superb throughout,
no wonder he could easily hold his own with the heavyweights of Jazz
at The Philharmonic. My favourite is his rendition of I Canít Get
Started, it was good to hear someone play it on alto for a change.
The tracks were recorded between 1943
and 1949 but the sound quality is good, for anyone who would like
to become more familiar with Benny Carterís work I recommend both
the recording and the work itself.
- Let Me Off Uptown
- Before the Savoy
- Ball of Fire
- Harlem on Parade
- Murder He Says
- Thatís Drummerís Band
- Drumminí Man
- Jeepers Creepers
- Symphony in Riffs
- Tuxedo Junction
- Tutti Frutti
- Drum Boogie
- Georgia On My Mind
- Rockiní Chair
The prevailing images of Gene Krupa was of the demonic
drummer, hair down over his eyes, sweating profusely and full of energy.
Some Big band drummers imitate the look even today! Gene Krupa however
was much more than an image, he set the style of drumming that big
bands would continue to pursue. He really knew how to make a band
swing and as well as that great attribute, this disc demonstrates
his arranging abilities that were also considerable. Many of the stars
of the 1940ís jazz scene passed through Crupperís bands, on this disc
Roy Eldridge is heavily featured as is superb jazz vocalist Anita
OíDay. Krupaís bands are also about precision playing and excellence
in ensemble work that is also demonstrated here.
The music is classic swing band era stuff, much of
it was intended for the Ďpopí music charts of the day, but the quality
of musicianship is always present.
There is a link with another disc in this set because
Benny Carter is the arranger for Tuxedo Junction and Symphony in Riffs
Drum Boogie was re-titled by Ronnie Scott as ĎIím
Sick and Tired of Waking Up Tired and Sickí. There is a nice Trumpet
solo on RockiníChair but the sleeve notes give no one credit. They
do credit Irene Day with the vocal, but there isnít one!
The disc certainly catches the essence of the Krupa
Band well and I enjoyed it.
- Sleepy Time Down South
- Mr PC
- Moments Notice
- Giant Steps
- Buddyís Cherokee
- Take the A Train
- Iíll Never Be the Same
- Buddyís Rock
- My Funny Valentine
- Latin Silk
- Ainít Misbehaviní
This disc really does go for broke because there
is not a Big Band track on it anywhere. This is strange because Lionel
Hampton has fronted many of them.
There is also a complete lack of information about
the recordings making this a real mystery album.
It is fortunate then that Hamp is the greatest exponent
of the Vibraphone that the world has ever produced. The quality of
his playing is of the very best, he never fails to swing or run out
of ideas fore his improvisations. The only track I have managed to
find any reference to is Giant Steps, the John Coltrane tune which
seems to have been released before on a CD called ĎVibrationsí. There
are two Tenor players on this set and both sound like John Coltrane,
but I donít think either of them were. The drumming is crisp enough
to be Buddy Rich, but is it. The Bass player and pianist are also
excellent, but who are they? Coming from a record company that releases
quality classical music, I would have thought it was not beyond the
ability of Joan Records BV to find out what they have bought when
they took over these recordings. This is great music from a jazz Ďmonsterí,
but it would be so much nicer if we knew more about it.
Overall I Give This Collection Four Stars, even
though the title is misleading, the music throughout is of good quality
and well worth hearing.