Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Will Bradley : Five O'Clock Whistle Buy it and have a Ball!
Arthur B. Cramer | Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | 07/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard of Will Bradley, when I was 13 and learned from promotional material that Will Bradley played a King 2B trombone (I ended up buying a Bach 42B which I continue to play today in a number of local amateur groups here in my home town, but that is another story!). The next time I heard of Will Bradley was while reading a Jazz History, learning that he had a central role in helping English Band Leader and Composer Ray Noble organize an American Dance Band in the mid 1930s featuring the era's finest musicians. The next time I heard of Will Bradely was while reading the writings of one-time Downbeat Swing Era columinst George T. Simon, who quoted Glenn Miller in an article as saying that Will Bradley was the best all-around Trombonist in America at the time of the article's penning.Well, I then next spent over thirty years looking for a record or CD so I could see for myself if Will Bradley was deserving of such praise. Well, after listening to this album, all I can see is I understand why Glenn Miller felt the way he did (he was not a musician to praise his peers so unreservedly). As a trombonist, if there is one thing I would say about Will Bradley, it would be intelligent, ultra accomplished trombonist. This CD is a showcase for his smooth jazz playing, with its exceptionally clean technique, fire, and solid even sound from high to low range. Former Henry Mancini Trombonist, Jazz musician and trombone balladeer extraordinare Dick Nash has been quoted as saying that Bradley played with a cleaniness, and precision that was unrivalled among trombonists of his time. While I would argue that another great trombonsit of the era Jack Jenny came close, I would agree that Nash is right in placing Bradley "in his own league". Will Bradley was cleary a trombonist of superior skill with an impecable ability to play a line that explored the idomatic moment in which it was being played to the maximum without ever going too far. To say it clearly, Will Bradley was an imaginative musician and trombonist with surperior musical taste, possesing skill and control that just was not heard often over the course of the era of the great bands. Every solo on this CD is a pure joy! Of greater surprise is the quality of the band and its other soloists. There are hard driving and stylish trumpet solos from Joe Weidman, some great Freddie Slack Boogie Woogie piano, not enough clarinet solo work by Jo-Jo Huffman, as well as tenor sax solo work featuring a very young "Peanuts" Hucko (likely his first recorded solo work) and the solid drumming of the frantic and quirky Ray Mackinnley. Each solist produces great musical moments that seem to mirror their leader's smooth and stylish approach to playing a musical line. But even more surprising and a real joy is the great ensemble work of the band and its members. Despite some occasionally cliched sounding arrangements, the band as a whole rises above their musical circumstances producing recordings that sound just as fresh and new today. It is just great listening!I really was surprised with how good this CD was and even after listening to it as many times as I have, it continues to sound fresh and new. Ordinally I would be reluctant to lavish such praise on a CD, but in this case, it deserves it. Buy this CD today; you won't regret it! You'll enjoy the pleasure of discovering a trombonist who just didn't earn the lasting fame enjoyed by his peers such as Tommy Dorsey. You'll have a ball!"