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

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Jazz Giants '58

Phoenix 131588




1. Sundae

2. When Your Lover Has Gone

3. Candy

4. Ballad medley: Lush Life, Lullaby of the Leaves, Makin' Whoopee, It Never Entered My Mind

5. Woody 'n' You

6. Ballad medley: Indian Summer, Willow Weep for Me, If I Had You, A Ghost of a Chance, Love Walked In, Sophisticated Lady, Nancy (With the Laughing Face), I Hadn't Anyone till You

7. Blues for the Count

Stan Getz - Tenor sax

Gerry Mulligan - Baritone sax (tracks 1-5)

Harry "Sweets" Edison - Trumpet

Wardell Gray - Tenor sax (tracks 6, 7)

Benny Carter, Willie Smith - Alto saxes (tracks 6, 7)

Buddy DeFranco - Clarinet (tracks 6, 7)

Oscar Peterson - Piano (tracks 1-5)

Arnold Ross - Piano (tracks 6, 7)

Count Basie - Organ (track 7)

Herb Ellis - Guitar (tracks 1-5)

Ray Brown - Bass (tracks 1-5)

John Simmons - Bass (tracks 6, 7)

Louie Bellson - Drums (tracks 1-5)

Buddy Rich - Drums (tracks 6, 7)


I reviewed this album (on the Verve label) in 2008 but there's no harm in giving it another listen, especially as this new version adds two bonus tracks recorded in 1953, which swell the timing from 47 minutes to 76. You might call it a typical Norman Granz jam session, although it has arrangements by Gerry Mulligan and, as I pointed out before, it lacks some of the empathy and interplay of other Granz sessions.

One thing that I might have pointed out in my previous review is the gradual build-up on Sundae (which was called Chocolate Sundae on the previous disc!), with Ray Brown starting the track and then joined by Gerry Mulligan, followed by Herb Ellis and then Oscar Peterson.

The first of the bonus tracks gives us a mammoth ballad medley, with eight different soloists showing off their ballad abilities. The highlights are Arnold Ross's piano solo on Love Walked In, Buddy DeFranco's decorative interpretation of Nancy (With the Laughing Face) and Benny Carter's sweet-toned I Hadn't Anyone till You.

The second bonus track introduces Count Basie on the organ. He opens the gently-swinging Blues for the Count, where the outstanding soloists are Buddy DeFranco, Wardell Gray, Stan Getz and Buddy Rich. Basie doesn't get to solo but accompanies the others with groovy interpolations.

Perhaps my previous review was a little harsh but the album somehow didn't compare with other Granz productions, although the addition of two extra tracks makes it more worth spending money on.

Tony Augarde

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