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Wardell Gray: Memorial Vol.1 (CD: Prestige- US Import)Wardell Gray: Memorial Vol.1 (CD: Prestige- US Import)
Wardell Gray, one of the hardest swinging tenor men in modern jazz, was (like many others of the time) making a personal synthesis of Lester Young and Charlie Parker. Even when his sound was cool, his beat was hot and his lines always lissome.

These two record dates span little more than three years. "Twisted," Wardell's blues line and solo, became the basis for Annie Ross's famed lyrics and vocal performance; "The Man I Love" features Gray in solo at three different tempos from the L.A. date of 1953. Vibist Teddy Charles did the arrangement and produced the session which also featured Frank Morgan on alto and Sonny Clark on piano. (Fantasy, Inc)

1949-53 compilation of various early bop groups, encapsulating the best of Gray's fluent, open-toned and mobile tenor saxophone. Vol. 1 has quartet work, including "Twisted" (famously vocalised by singer Annie Ross) and beautiful ballads, with pianist Al Haig. Vol. 2 features Gray with trumpets Clark Terry and Art Farmer, and tenor sax Dexter Gordon. Direct, swinging and unaffected playing from a principal hornman and major early modernist. Covers the Gray canon and style range. Entirely representative. (Andrew Clark, Editor, Riffs & Choruses: A New Jazz Anthology. Continuum Publishing.) 


Price:  £15.49 


Wardell Gray: The Wardell Gray Story (CD: Proper, 4 CDs)
Wardell Gray was one of the truly great bebop tenor saxophonists. Often performing in tandem with that other giant, Dexter Gordon, Gray also worked with Benny Goodman and Count Basie. Like so many of his contemporaries he fell victim to the living conditions American society imposed on it's black musicians. With a smooth mellow and consistent tone, he created a tenor style that veered from swing to bebop, a style that was elegant, sure-footed, mature and distinctive. When musicians like Dexter Gordon, Sonny Criss or even Charlie Parker blew at him on the stand, Wardell did anything but fall over, he blew back with conviction and a style that was all his own. This 77 track celebration of the man's art is the most complete in the marketplace and comes with a 40 page booklet telling the story and including session detail and rare photos. (Proper Records) 


Price:  £15.49 

Wardell Gray: The Wardell Gray Story (CD: Proper, 4 CDs)

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