Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Eddie Davis, Buddy Tate, Coleman Hawkins|
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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A MASTERPIECE REMASTERED!
Wayne Dawson | New Zealand | 04/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The expectations from such a musical line up are very high; happily, the results were more than we could wish for.
Firstly, for this kind of occasion, a little retrospective is necessary. Eddie `Lockjaw' Davis and Buddy Tate were both, at various times, part of the Count Basie orchestra and were showcased as soloists. Arnett Cobb helped keep the excitement generated by Illinois Jacquet in the Lionel Hampton big band of the 1940's a happening thing after Illinois' departure, and Coleman Hawkins was a mainstay in the Fletcher Henderson big band of the 1920's. By the time of this recording in 1959, these cats had been around some.
In those earlier halcyon decades of jazz, competition was rife and merciless. Musical reputations were for toppling, much like a fast gun always had to watch his back. Informal after hour sessions were often referred to as `cutting contests'. As Coleman Hawkins had the first highly regarded reputation for big toned virtuosity, his was a scalp well sought after; in his own words . . . `they always wanted to try and cut me.'
The Hawkins influence on tenor players has been extraordinary, from Ben Webster through to Sonny Rollins and Stanley Turrentine; some, like Billie Holiday, felt Lester Young was the President, but to many others, the Hawk was greatest.
So, as you'd expect with a recording like this, the Hawk came out with that added touch. The Greybeard edge given to his tone makes him sound like some kind of biblical Moses laying down the law; but this is no cutting contest, this is a collaborative effort where everyone is on fire (Cobb and Tate are especially glorious while Jaws is his usual formulaic self), relishing the occasion to blow together that has led to an undisputed masterpiece we are very fortunate to have.
Unlike some of the Jazz at the Philharmonic recordings where the playing was a bit loose and at times exhibitionist, Very Saxy is tightly clad without loosing any of the immediacy and spontaneity of a live performance. The music will bowl you over from the gorgeous opening ensemble playing of the title track right through to the affirmative conclusion of Light and Lovely.
With the remastering all the hearty richness of the ensemble playing is even more sumptuous than before, while more juice and expressive nuance has been solicited from the individual solos.
On Lester Leaps In, once the individual solos have been delivered, the pace quickens into a spliced and segmented set of bar exchanges where quick thinking and split second timing will leave any listener reeling in amazement. At times the interplay of exchanges is like a relay race, where the baton (in this case, flaming torch) is passed from one player to the other; or like a volley ball team, setting each other up for a climatic spike. Incredibly, regardless of foghorn blasts, sobs, wailing or just straight out cragged utterances, the melody continues to unwind like a ribbon.
I could go on, I haven't even touched on the rhythm section, but that can be a surprise too, suffice to say organist Shirley Scott funks it up nicely for the boys without swamping the proceedings and bassist George Duvivier and drummer Arthur Edgehill are rock solid.
So there you have it, four great tenors remastered and what a resplendent shakedown!
Swingin' but Flawed
Opposite Lock, Ken | Canton, OH United States | 08/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good disc. But I have to say that Rudy Van Gelder missed the boat on the mix and mastering. Shirley Scott's playing was great, but his Hammond organ overpowers the saxophones on several of the cuts as does George Duvivier's excellent bass. Arthur Edgehill's drumming wasn't quite up to the playing of the others. He stumbled in a couple of cuts. It is very strange that a session touting these excellent tenor players would push their sound back and have the organ & bass more forward and prominent. Sure, they are dropped back when the saxes play, but even then both come through bright and crisp while the saxophones sound almost--dull!
The playing is great. It's obvious that everyone was having a great and relaxed time. No one-up-man-ship. No frantic displays of hyper technique. Just a good solid blowing session with pretty good solos and support. They meshed well. Up tempo and fun. This is a very good disc, but not a great one."