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ILLINOIS JACQUET

Five Classic Albums

Avid AMSC 1053

 

 

CD1

The Kid And The Brute
1. I Wrote This For The Kid
2. Saph
3. Mambocito Mio
4. The Kid And The Brute
5. September Song
6. Jacquet's Dilemma
 
Swing's The Thing
7. Las Vegas Blues
8. Harlem Nocturne
9. Can't We Be Friends
10. Achtung
11. Have You Met Miss Jones?
12. Lullaby Of The Leaves
 
Illinois Jacquet Flies Again
13. Sleeping Susan
14. Robbin's Nest
15. Lean Baby
 
Illinois Jacquet - Tenor sax plus:
Tracks 1-6
Russell Jacquet - Trumpet (tracks 2, 5, 6)
Ben Webster - Tenor sax (tracks 1, 4)
Matthew Gee - Trombone (tracks 2, 5, 6)
Leo Parker - Baritone sax (tracks 2, 5, 6)
John Acea - Piano
Al Lucas - Bass
Osie Johnson - Drums
Chano Pozo - Conga (tracks 3, 4)
Tracks 7-12
Roy Eldridge - Trumpet
Jimmy Jones - Piano
Ray Brown - Bass
Herb Ellis - Guitar
Jo Jones - Drums
Tracks 13-15
Russell Jacquet - Trumpet
Flip Ricard - Trumpet
Arnette Sparrow - Trombone
Frank Haywood - Tenor sax
Budd Johnson - Tenor sax
Haywood Henry - Baritone sax
Jimmy Jones - Piano
Barry Galbraith - Guitar
Al Lucas - Bass
Oliver Jackson - Drums
 
CD2

Illinois Jacquet Flies Again
1. Bottoms Up
2. That's My Desire
3. Black Velvet
4. Teddy Bear
5. Pleasingly Plump
6. Ghost Of A Chance
7. Potpourri
8. The King
 
Illinois Jacquet Collates
9. All Of Me
10. Pastel
11. Speedliner
12. Later For The Happenin'
13. Groovin'
14. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
15. Cottontail
16. Weary Blues
 
Groovin' With Jacquet
17. Just A Sittin' And A Rockin'
18. Mean To Me
19. One-Nighter Boogie
20. Little Jeff
21. Jacquet Jumps
22. Blue Nocturne
23. On Your Toes
24. R.U. One?
 
Illinois Jacquet Flies Again
25.Robbin's Nest (alternate take)
 
Tracks 1-8
Same as CD1, tracks 13-15
Tracks 9-11
Carl Perkins - Piano
Oscar Moore - Guitar
Red Callender - Bass
J. C. Heard - Drums
Track 12
Russell Jacquet - Trumpet
Joe Newman - Trumpet
Ernie Henry - Alto sax
Rudy Williams - Baritone sax
John Acea - Piano
Leonard Gaskin - Bass
Lee Abrams - Drums
Tracks 13-19
John Collins - Guitar
Hank Jones - Piano
Gene Ramey - Bass
Art Blakey - Drums
Tracks 20-24
Russell Jacquet - Trumpet
Matthew Gee - Trombone
Cecil Payne - Baritone sax
Ray Acea - Piano
Al Lucas - Bass
Shadow Wilson - Drums
Track 25
Same as CD1, tracks 13-15
 

There never was another tenor player quite like Illinois Jacquet. He first came to jazz fans' attention in 1942 with his raucous solo on Lionel Hampton's Flying Home. In 1944 he participated in the first Jazz at the Philharmonic concert organized by Norman Granz. He later became a regular member of the JATP touring group in the 1950s. While he did get his share of criticism for his squeals, honks and screams on his instrument, he was nevertheless a rhythmic accessible player whose style mirrored both Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. These sides from the early to late 1950s provide a great cross-section of Jacquet's playing and Avid should be commended for putting this retrospective together.

CD1

The Kid And The Brute has as its focal point two tracks that feature Ben Webster and Illinois Jacquet as both composers and players. The opening track I Wrote This For The Kid is the longest on both discs, coming in at close to twelve minutes. It is a blues riff that starts off as a demand from Webster with his gruff swooping tone leading the way and daring Jacquet to match his long lines and audacious improvisation. Jacquet fears no-one and comes back with his Texas-tenor sound that matches Webster note for note. On The Kid And The Brute, Jacquet lays down his marker, but Webster is prepared to stand his ground in the following swinging exchanges. Two terrific tunes from both tenor-men at the top of their game. The rest of the album does not match up to these two gems, but there is some swinging playing by the band on both Saph and Jacquet's Dilemma, with Jacquet leading the way in restrained but forceful fashion.

Swing's The Thing is exactly that, in this delicious session with trumpeter Roy Eldridge. Supported by what is an all-star rhythm section (especially Ray Brown with his full-toned bass, and the ultimate swinger Jo Jones on drums), the front line delivers in top-flight form. The Eldridge tune Las Vegas Blues is the jumping-off point in happy style, featuring Roy's muted horn and Jacquet swinging along in inventive mode. From start to finish this is a delightful album with several high spots including an emotional Jacquet on Harlem Nocturne, and a rousing Eldridge on Achtung. Jimmy Jones offers a catchy solo on Can't We Be Friends and Herb Ellis sets the stage with his creative introduction to Have You Met Miss Jones? The closer is Lullaby Of The Leaves which is no lullaby but a rhythmic blowout for both Eldridge and Jacquet.

While Illinois Jacquet Flies Again is part of this CD, the majority of the album starts off CD2 and the comments on this offering will be under that heading.

CD2

Illinois Jacquet Flies Again. Who could have imagined a danceable Illinois Jacquet album? Well, for the most part that is what this session is all about. With an eleven-piece group in tow, Jacquet leads the parade on some rather unexciting performances. Recorded with a heavy echo, most of the tunes are delivered at a leisurely tempo with the band having to do very little work, except offer sound support to Jacquet who uses his tenor sax to ride over the arrangements. While none of the presentations are truly memorable, there are several that are worthwhile highlighting. On the medium-tempo blues Teddy Bear, Jacquet channels Lester Young with a light airy sound. Bottoms Up is essentially Flying Home lite, and the Basie/Hendricks composition The King uses Jumpin' At The Woodside as its foundation.

The next two albums, Illinois Jacquet Collates and Groovin' With Jacquet, need to be looked at together, as a number of the same tunes appeared on both original albums. This caused some confusion at the time of their release and as a result Avid, when putting together the liner notes, mis-attributed several of the artists and the tracks on which they played. By researching online the original Clef releases, this discrepancy has been corrected, and the appropriate track/artist attributions are identified in this review. Collates, of course, refers to the fact that these tracks had originally been issued as 78-rpm discs and were brought together to build out the early LP records which were just starting to circulate. The interesting aspect to All Of Me, Pastel and Speedliner is that they were done with a quintet that included the ill-fated pianist Carl Perkins and the former Nat Cole guitarist Oscar Moore. These latter two players went on to form the crux of the Oscar Moore Trio from 1953-55. While they do not have too much to do here, the underpinnings are there for Jacquet to demonstrate his versatility.

The other quintet tracks 13-19, bring the tasteful piano of Hank Jones and the explosive drumming of Art Blakey into the mix. Jacquet's own composition Groovin' is spot on with some of his exuberant blowing, and the Duke's Cottontail gives Jacquet the occasion to show off his pungent tone. With Weary Blues we get a mobile yet laid-back Jacquet. The concluding tracks are again Jacquet with an expanded front line which from time to time contributes brief solos and unwavering assistance. Jacquet knows when he does his most effective playing and that usually is on the more rollicking tunes such as Jacquet Jumps and On Your Toes.

Illinois Jacquet was one of the most swinging mainstream tenor players of his time, and these five albums are marvellous illustrations of his approachable music.

Pierre Giroux



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