Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Still swinging after all those years!
rick from Boston | 12/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the 50's, the Fletcher Henderson band reformed for a jazz festival appearance. Fortunately they were able to find their way into a studio to lay down this rockin album. They used the original Henderson charts and had Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster on tenors. The men were inspired and the music is too. An added bonus is the fact that unlike back in the 78 days, the band was allowed to stretch out on the songs. You get lots of solo's and the songs build up some tremondous momentum. One of my favorites is "casey stew", where the band actually improvises a jam over a riff by guitarist Al Casey. Wow!
Now if someone will just find the recording of the comcert............"
...I want to love it, but...
jive rhapsodist | NYC, NY United States | 02/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...I can only like it. So many of these guys had felt the planned obsolescence that Bop placed them into. Even though they were in their early fifties, at most, they were treated as "has beens" by a large segment of the Jazz public. And they sound like it got to them. Hawkins and Webster are, of course, the exception to this. They had attained the status of classics, and were playing as well or better than any other time. But, while nothing is bad here, it all lacks clarity and sharpness. There's not enough material, and so the charts are opened way up for strings of solos. That would have been fine if either the solos or the riffing behind them were thrilling, but they just aren't.
Hilton Jefferson soloing on Round Midnight would have been more interesting had this record been made in 1944 (the "Swing to Bop" period), but here it sounds like Earl Bostic choosing a challenging piece of repertoire to keep himself from falling asleep on the bandstand. Everything on this disc is a little too broad, with a hint of desperation. And while these guys were certainly happy to play with Hawkins and Webster again, I'm sure there's a little bit of unproductive envy floating around in the background. There are no wrong choices on this disc, but not so many perfect ones either. Jimmy Crawford is a master drummer, but his Lunceford two-beat doesn't fit the first chorus of Henderson's Wrappin' It Up...and so he drops it right after. A sloppy detail.
And Rex Stewart's original pieces don't add much to the whole. It's nice to hear all those master swing trombonists on Three Thieves, but none are at their best.I buy as many later "Swing All-Star" discs as I can, because I love these players and this music (I've reviewed many such discs here). They all had something to say in their later years, but there was an enormous problem in finding the right context, the right fit. How to challenge them enough without taxing them. And this CD is far from the worst, but also nowhere near the best solution."