The "swing machine"
Jazzcat | Genoa, Italy Italy | 06/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Oscar Peterson Trio plus Herb Ellis was a terrific swing machine. Probably one of the best, if not the overall best rhythmn team in Jazz. Its swing flows with an impressive naturality. Everything seems incredibly easy and natural for these guys. This album de facto is an Oscar Peterson swing machine album plus some talented soloist, Jimmy Giuffre, Sweet Edison for the first four excellent tunes. This album is from 1956 and it has that fifties patina that is especially sweet and lovely. The program is classic, blues, standards and ballads. Herb is really focused on this album. It is clear he was playing regularly with a strong routine. His command of the instrument is total here. His ideas are brilliant, his playing precise and he swings like crazy. This album together with the album Herb preferred "Nothing but the blues" is perfect if you want to own just a couple of albums from Herb. The tunes I love the most here are the first four because of the variety and the quality of the solos from the improvisors. Edison and Giuffre were terrific, but I repeat Herb is absolutly excellent here. in this album he palyed some of his best music for sure. The opener is a splendid bop blues, a typical blues "sonic magma" from the trio. The second and the third tunes are two wonderful standards. Exceptional the rendition of the ballad It could happen to me. Pogo instead is a bebop tune, fast and "aggressive" just as bebop should be. The last four tunes are played more relaxed maybe (it was a different session). The music at some point is almost counterpoint (in the jazz sense). I think this album is a must buy for Jazz lovers."
Solid album from the mid-50's
Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 09/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an unassuming, swinging CD featuring the warm, deep, single-note playing of guitarist Herb Ellis. Joining Herb are trumpeter Sweets Edison, multi-reed man Jimmy Giuffre, alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano (4 sides only) and the rhythm section of Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, and Alvin Stoller. The proceedings kick off with a nice up-tempo blues (SWEETHEART BLUES) that has an excellent Edison muted solo. Giuffre is spotlighted well on SOMEBODY LOVES ME on tenor and POGO on baritone sax. On the title track the rhythm section drops out during Giuffre's clarinet solo to good effect. Ellis is a delightful player, melodic and relaxed. Though not qualifying as a must-have CD, these mid-`50s sides are solid, swinging, and appealing, and will not disappoint."