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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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FATS NAVARRO

Complete Last Studio Session

RLR Records 88650

 

 


1. Wailing Wall (Take A)
2. Wailing Wall (Take B) Incomplete
3. Wailing Wall (Take C) Incomplete
4. Wailing Wall (Take D)
5. Wailing Wall (Take E)
6. Go (Take A) Incomplete
7. Go (Take B)
8. Go (Take C)
9. Go (Take B/C)
10. Go (Take D)
11. Go (Take E)
12. Infatuation (Take A) Incomplete
13. Infatuation (Take B)
14. Infatuation (Take C) Incomplete
15. Infatuation (Take D)
16. Stop (Take A) Incomplete
17. Stop (Take B)
18. Stop (Take C) Incomplete
19. Stop (Take D)
20. Lullaby in Rhythm
21. High on an Open Mike
22. Sweet Georgia Brown

Fats Navarro - Trumpet
Don Lanphere - Tenor sax
Al Haig - Piano
Tommy Potter - Bass
Max Roach - Drums 
Track 20 only
Fats Navarro - Trumpet
Tony Scott - Clarinet
George Shearing - Piano
Chuck Wayne - Guitar
Leonard Gaskin - Bass
Ed Shaughnessy - Drums   
Tracks 21 & 22
Fats Navarro - Trumpet
Charlie Ventura, Allen Eager - Tenor saxes
Bill Harris - Trombone
Ralph Burns - Piano
Al Valente - Guitar
Chubby Jackson - Bass
Buddy Rich - Drums 

 

Fats Navarro was one of the pioneers of bebop and in 1949 he shared top trumpet spot in the Metronome Magazine Jazz Poll with Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Unfortunately he only lived to the age of 26, being killed by heroin addiction in July 1950. If an example to young people is needed in the reason to avoid messing with drugs, his short life demonstrates the waste of an enormous talent.

These recordings were made a year before his death and it is certain that, had he lived, he would have developed his playing in the manner that Miles and Dizzy did. His work at this time is exceptional, as is the tenor playing of his front line partner Don Lanphere who, but for family support, would probably have gone the same way.

Despite the brilliance of the whole band, I found the numerous takes of each tune too much; I would have preferred the best two takes of each tune.

All the tunes except Wailing Wall are based on the chord sequences of standards.
Go is The Way You Look Tonight, Infatuation is Body and Soul, and more obviously Stop is Pennies from Heaven.

The sound reproduction on the bonus tracks 20, 21 and 22 is pretty awful and I find it hard to enjoy even the best of jazz under these circumstances.

For any one unfamiliar with the work of Fats Navarro, the sleeve notes by Matias Rinar are very informative and a pleasure to read.

As these tracks demonstrate, recording techniques improved dramatically during the 1950s.

Don Mather  



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