Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Count Basie, Roy Eldridge|
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
Essential late swing
Nikica Gilic | Zagreb, Croatia | 12/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since Basie and Eldridge are among my very favorite jazz artists, I may be less than reliable when grading this CD. However, even fans can say when their heros are not on their best level (see some of my earlier rewiews) and this is not the case. They are both great and their interaction with other players is superb.
First of all, it is important to say that, in addition to explosive jamming on "Loose Walk" and Eldridge's "54000 North" (and a tad less succesfully on Ellington's "In a Mellow Tone"), this CD (and the concert it was recorded on) shows the gentle side of its players as well.
For instance, explosive trombonist Al Grey is showcased in that sense on "Makin Whoopee" (although that song is usually used for romping); this is a subtle and very very gentle version. Grey demonstrates the concept of plunger trombone quite fresh and different from more prototypical Ellingtonish versions.
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis is equally subtle on "If I Had You"; his tone is beautiful and phrasing coherent and logical, and Roy leaves me speechless on "I Surrender, Dear". It always amazes me how easily he incorporates his fierce high notes into the subtlest of improvisations...
At his best behaviour, Eldridge, who can outblow anyone, can be as subtle and sweet as Harry Edison, without loosing the sense of dormant fire in his throat...
And as for the one and only Count... Well, I am inclined to believe the liner notes author who gently suggests this CD as one of his best recorded performance. Just listen the exuberance of his solo on the final romp of the CD, "5400 North", or how he interacts with Roy on "Loose Walk"! But he is a joy to listen throughout this great occasion, equally when he solos and when he feeds the horns with rhythmical cookies... Yes, his rhythmical shadow - Freddie Green on guitar - is also there to ensure that things don't stop swinging like mad.
At the time this was recorded (1972) all of these great artists were still young enough to give their best and although many of them (and others) will continue to record great swing music, I still feel that this CD is essential late example of swing style (although Davis is definitively the most modern soloist in this group)...
A final word: 40 minutes of music may seem too little to some contemporary listeners, but this was recorded and originally edited with LP format on mind. After all, expanded material on many CD reissues, as we all know, often contains nothing but junk; versions discarded for the lack of rhythm or coherence, not for lack of space on the vynil LP record..."