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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




Crotchet

Freddy Gardner &

His Golden Tone Saxophone

LIVING ERA CD AJA 5454

 

 

    1. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
    2. Stardust
    3. China Boy
    4. Japanese Sandman
    5. You can’t Stop Me Dreaming
    6. I want to Be
    7. Limehouse
    8. I Double Dare You
    9. Have You Got Any Castles Baby
    10. The Snake Charmer
    11. The Dipsy Doodle
    12. Music, Maestro, Please
    13. Jeepers Creepers
    14. 10 AM Blues
    15. I Love You-At Sundown
    16. There’s No Two ways About Love-My Honey’s Arms
    17. Steamboat Bill-Beyond the Blue Horizon
    18. Indian Summer-S’posin’
    19. It Don’t Mean a Thing-Back home in Tennessee
    20. I Only Have Eyes for You
    21. I’m In the Mood for Love
    22. Roses of Picardy
    23. These Foolish Things
    24. Valse Vanite
    25. Body and Soul
    26. Softly As In a Morning Sunrise.

These recordings were made in the period 1935 to 1950 when Freddy Gardner was without doubt the uncrowned king of the saxophone in the UK. In tracks 1 to 4 he is heard playing with a trio, 5 to 14 with his Swing Orchestra and 20 to 26 with Peter Yorke & His Concert Orchestra.

Freddy was certainly a remarkable musician whose career came to an untimely end when he died at the age of 39. He was equally at home playing light orchestral music as he was in a jazz quartet and he played baritone and clarinet with fluency the equal of his immaculate alto playing. Some of the phrasing sounds somewhat old fashioned, but the music has moved on some 50 years later!

Of particular interest is his playing with the excellent Peter York Orchestra, Peter was a superb arranger and he really knew how to make the most of a soloist of Freddy’s ability. The reason for my interest, is that the whole of what is best described as light orchestral music has disappeared on BBC radio or television. When you listen to these tracks you realise what a shame that is.

Don Mather

 



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