CD Reviews

MusicWeb International

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]

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

AmazonUK   AmazonUS  


Four Classic Albums

Avid AMSC 1087




Blowin' Country

1. Dinah

2. Mutual Admiration Society

3. Steve Allen Theme

4. I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face

5. Blowin’ Country

6. Love Nest

7. As Long As There’s Music

8. Just In Time

9. Two Lost Souls

10. Sweet Georgia Brown

Bud Shank - Alto sax, tenor sax, flute

Bob Cooper - Tenor sax, bass clarinet, oboe

Claude Williamson - Piano

Don Prell - Bass

Chuck Flores - Drums

Bud Shank with Shorty Rogers & Bill Perkins

11. Paradise

12. Fluted Columns

13. I Hear Music

14. Royal Garden Blues

15. A Sinner Kissed An Angel

16. It Had To Be You

17. Shank’s Pranks

18. Lotus Bud

19. Left Bank

20. Jasmine

21. Just A Few


Bud Shank with Shorty Rogers & Bill Perkins

1. Casa De Luz

Bud Shank - Alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, flute

Bill Perkins - Alto sax, tenor sax, flute (tracks I/11-16)

Hampton Hawes - Piano (tracks I/11-16)

Red Mitchell - Bass (tracks I/11-16)

Mel Lewis - Drums (tracks I/11-16)

Shorty Rogers - Flugelhorn (tracks I/17-21, II/1)

Jimmy Rowles - Piano (tracks I/17-21, II/1)

Harry Babasin - Bass (tracks I/17-21, II/1)

Roy Harte - Drums (tracks I/17-21, II/1)

Bud Shank And Three Trombones

2. Wailing Vessel

3. Baby’s Birthday Party

4. You Don’t Know What Love Is

5. Sing Something Simple

6. Valve In Head

7. Cool Fool

8. Little Girl Blue

9. Mobile

Bud Shank - Alto sax

Bob Enevoldsen, Maynard Ferguson, Stu Williamson - Valve trombones

Claude Williamson - Piano

Joe Mondragon - Bass

Shelly Manne - Drums

Jazz At Cal –Tech

10. When Lights Are Low

11. Old Devil Moon

12. The Nearness Of You

13. How Long Has This Been Going On?

14. Tea For Two

15. Lullaby Of Birdland

16. Somebody Loves Me

17. Moonlight In Vermont

18. The King

Bud Shank - Alto sax, flute

Bob Cooper - Tenor sax, oboe

Claude Williamson - Piano

Don Prell - Bass

Chuck Flores - Drums


This is the second of Avid's double CDs featuring Bud Shank. It contains four LPs dating respectively from 1958, 1955, 1954 and 1956. The compilation is book-ended by albums both by the same quintet, led by Bud Shank and Bob Cooper, who became friends when they played with the Stan Kenton Orchestra up to 1951. Later they worked and recorded together in Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All Stars. Shank and Cooper shared an ability to play a variety of woodwind instruments, which singled them out from other jazzmen and made them household names when they recorded albums together on flute and oboe.

I'm not sure why the first LP in this collection is called Blowin' Country, as the tunes have nothing to do with country music or anything rural. Another puzzle is that the CD reissue of this album in 1998 included 15 tracks, whereas there are only ten here. Of the extra five tracks, Sweet Georgia Brown used a guitarist named Howard Roberts instead of pianist Claude Williamson, but this is not mentioned in the barely-readable sleeve-note.

These albums present Bud Shank as a very different altoist from many others: less rhapsodic than Johnny Hodges, fiercer than Paul Desmond or Lee Konitz. And these recordings help to disperse the idea that West Coast musicians were "cool". In fact they combined hot solos with cool arrangements - nobody more than Bud Shank, who was a typical West Coast musician.

One pleasure of the first LP is that, because of Shank and Cooper's versatility, there are all sorts of combinations of instruments. Tracks 1, 2 and 5 have both musicians playing tenor saxes. Their famous mix of flute and oboe is first heard at the start of the Steve Allen Theme and in Sweet Georgia Brown. All the other tracks have interesting blends of instruments. The flute and oboe are not used as novelty instruments but as capable of creating genuine jazz. And the friendship between the two musicians comes through clearly in their harmony and interplay.

The same can be said for the final LP - Jazz at Cal-Tech, which uses the same quintet and has much of the same intriguing workmanship. Bud Shank only plays alto sax and flute on this LP, while Bob Cooper keeps to the tenor sax and oboe. Note particularly the delicate harmonizing between Bud's flute and Bob's oboe in The Nearness of You. And Bob Cooper's solo on Tea For Two dispels the idea that these were only "cool" musicians, as they could play "hot" with equal conviction. Chuck Flores' drums stoke up the heat.

Bud Shank with Shorty Rogers & Bill Perkins originally consisted of two separate LPs: one featuring Bill Perkins, the other featuring Shorty Rogers. The LP of Bud Shank with Perkins contains as much variety as the Shank/Cooper albums, since both musicians play several instruments, although it is Perkins who is the flautist here (notably on Fluted Columns). There are some nice piano solos from Hampton Hawes. The LP with Shorty Rogers comprises six pieces composed by Rogers, who plays flugelhorn throughout. The arrangements are typically tight West Coast orchestrations, giving both Shank and Rogers plenty of chances to shine.

Bob Cooper doesn't play on Bud Shank and Three Trombones but he did arrange all eight tracks. The album pits Bud Shank's alto against three valve trombonists, two of whom are better known as trumpeters. Maynard Ferguson is best-known as the high-note specialist on the trumpet; Stu Williamson is the brother of pianist Claude Williamson. Bob Enevoldsen takes most of the solos.

One alto sax against three trombones may seem an unequal battle but Bud Shank holds his own with some powerful solos and also as leader of several ensembles. Of special note are You Don't Know What Love Is, which is extremely mournful, with a heart-rending solo from Bud Shank, and Valve In Head, where part of Bud's solo uses only sax and drums, and Shank and Enevoldsen indulge in some tasteful counterpoint.

These recordings were made more than 50 years ago but they all sound as fresh as this morning.

Tony Augarde

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Return to Index

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: