The Bebop Shop : A Swingin' Affair: Blue Notes & Hard Bop Classics : The Big Sound: Boss Tenors
Son of legendary Boogie Woogie/Stride pianist Albert Ammons we feature son Gene on "Groove Blues", "Boss Tenor", "Blue Gene" and three tracks from "The Happy Blues" (currently only available as an expensive import).
"Groove Blues", driven by Billie Holidays pianist Mal Waldron who wrote three of the four featured tracks also features one of the rare occasions when legendary Tenor sax giant John Coltrane is featured on alto sax. As described in Joe Goldbergs liner notes " These solos are, I think, some of his very best on any horn!" Gene Ammons breaks out of his unfair label as a rhythm and blues player rather than a jazz player with a classic line up of solid jazz musicians including Coltrane, Waldron, Art Taylor, Pepper Adams and Paul Quinchette. 1960s "Boss Tenor" finds Ammons with perhaps one of his finest rhythm sections including Tommy Flanagan, Doug Watkins, Art Taylor and Ray Barreto who between them had played with the likes of JJ Johnson, Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Thelonius Monk. "Blue Gene" from 1958 again finds pianist Mal Waldron writing all four of the featured tracks accompanied by Idrees Suliman on trumpet and again the rhythm section from "Boss Tenor". Finally "Happy Blues" features a superb line up including Art Farmer, Jackie Mclean, Duke Jordan, Addison Farmer and Art Taylor. "Its a happy session, a blowing session, featuring a blues, a standard and an old but not so standard!"
All three albums plus have been digitally re-mastered for probably the finest ever sound quality! (AVID Entertainment) Price: £8.99
Stitts legendary quickness of thought and execution were, as always, outstanding, but Ammons passion and adroit, canny way of developing his solos made him an ideal partner for these two tenor jousts. The timeless groove puts the music beyond analysis - just enjoy ! (Discovery Records) Price: £12.99
Previously unissued performances, at Ronnie Scott's club, 1963, with "tough tenor" saxist Johnny Griffin, supported by house rhythm team---pianist Stan Tracey, bassist Malcolm Cecil, drummer Jackie Dougan. This Harkit archive series of American musicians making first U.K. appearances offers the authentic feel of live sessions. Griffin's fast-fingered, fluent tenor and exuberant attack gives extended work-outs to blues ("Wee Dot," "Straight, No Chaser") and standards (try "All the Things You Are" and "Little Man, You've Had a Busy Day"), with admirably sympathetic support from Tracey's trio. Jazz journalist Les Tomkins, who taped these Scott sessions, writes full liner notes and provides excerpts from a Griffin interview. A collector's edition, and more to come. Very welcome. (Andrew Clark, Editor, Riffs & Choruses: A New Jazz Anthology. Continuum Publishing.) Price: £13.99
We have to thank The Duke for the title of our first selection in this tribute to the great tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet. The Kid and The Brute are the nicknames given to two fine jazz men by their then leader, the one and only Duke Ellington, The Kid being Illinois Jacquet and The Brute being tenor legend Ben Webster. The Brute appears on two tracks after he had wandered into the studio during recording and he and The Kid had decided to lay some solid music down on tape. A fine line up greets our second selection "The Swings The Thing" from 1957. Check these guys out, Roy Eldridge on trumpet, Jimmy Jones on piano, Ray Brown on bass, Herb Ellis on guitar and Jo Jones on drums. The result is jazz of a high order! We get the big band experience for our next selection from 1959, "Illinois Jacquet Flies Again" a "high flying tribute to some of the great moments in jazz and the career of Illinois Jacquet"
and the "recreation of many of the exciting jazz masterpieces that will forever be associated with his distinctive tenor styling". On this album you will hear Illinois Jacquet not only do what he does best to "blow jazz with a clear cut force
..and soar with a house rockin driving pitch" but also play with a " grounded light and melodic slow tempo mood". 1951s "Illinois Jacquet Collates" finds The Kid joined by Carl Perkins on piano, Oscar Moore on guitar, Red Callender on bass and J.C. Heard on drums. "He swings like mad and that is one of the most important basics in jazz". "Groovin With Jacquet" contains many of the same musicians heard on the "Illinois Jacquet Collates" set. According to the original liner notes, the definition of Groovin reads as follows
"it is a comfortable swinging pace with the beat always in sturdy prominence". Ably accompanied by Art Blakey, Hank Jones, John Collins and Gene Ramey, "Groovin" , as they say does exactly what it says on the label!
All five albums have been digitally re-mastered for probably the finest ever sound quality. (AVID Entertainment) Price: £8.99
This CD contains all James Clay studio performances on tenor sax while the young kid from Dallas was living in Los Angeles in the mid Fifties. (Fresh Sound Records) Price: £12.99
Totally in their niche, the two men have selected a set list of favourite standards with which they are both amply familiar. But a good tune in the hands of artists such as Carter and Person is always a unique and special occasion. Person, in the glow of his artistic maturity, sounds completely relaxed with his burnished tone superbly caught by engineer Rudy Van Gelder. Ron Carter, carrying the responsibilities of time-keeper, harmonist and unaccompanied soloist relishes his role and responds with an easy virtuosity that only a master musician can supply. This is music-making of the highest order. (Proper Music) Price: £13.99
The album concists of a 1965 concert held in Berlin, the musicians were supposed to only play for 15 minutes. Tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin protested against the restrictive situation by performing the intense and stirring "Blues for You" for 27-and-a-half minutes, tearing down the house. A decade later (after Ervin's 1970 death) the performance was released for the first time and its passion was worth waiting for. Also on this historic album is pianist Horace Parlan's somber solo tribute to Ervin ("Lament for Booker") which was recorded in 1975.
Personnel: Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone), Kenny Drew (piano), Nils Henning Orsted Pedesen (bass), Alan Dawson (drums), Horace Parlan (piano). (Proper Music) Price: £10.99