Various Artists – Tenor Sax Ballads (Priceless Jazz Collection) (1999)

FrontCover1GRP has cobbled together a set of performances from labels it now has under its umbrella, such as Impulse and Cadet, as well as from albums released under its own name. There’s no intent here to put together a survey of the development of the tenor saxophone. Rather, this album is an unabashed effort to attract those who celebrate good tenor sax playing in general, and ballad sax in particular — and it works. If there were a hall of fame for tenor sax players, all the performers present on this disc would have been inaugural inductees. Coleman Hawkins, the first true tenor sax improviser, is represented with “Solitude” and “Mood Indigo” from the memorable recording he made with Duke Ellington; an added treat on “Solitude” is the fine violin playing of Ray Nance. John Coltrane’s inimitable ballad style is put on display with “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and “It’s Easy to Remember,” an effort by the Impulse label to make Coltrane more “popular” with jazz fans. The playing of the tenor saxophone’s psalm, “Body and Soul,” is awarded to Paul Gonsalves, who follows the improvisational path that Hawkins took on his 1939 recording. Ben Webster, James Moody, Sonny Stitt, Illinois Jacquet, and the soul-laden horn of Stanley Turrentine are also present.

Ben Webster

Turrentine’s rendition of “Deep Purple” is a highlight of the album, as is Jacquet’s languid rendering of “You’re My Thrill.” A priceless set of performances by major practitioners of the tenor saxophone. Heartily recommended. (by Dave Nathan)

If you love tenor sax and music from the ’40s and ’50s and prefer melody, this is the CD for you.

It´s time to discover all these great jazz musicins from the past … timeless music !

Booklet01A

Tracklist:
01. Ben Webster: Stardust (Carmichael/Parish) 2.27
02. Duke Ellington & Coleman Hawkins: Solitude (DeLange/Ellington /Mills) 5.54
03. John Coltrane: You Don’t Know What Love Is (DePaul/Raye) 5.15
04. Paul Gonsalves: Body And Soul (Eyton/Green/Heyman/Sour) 5.27
05. Sonny Stitt: I’m Getting Sentimental Over You (Bassman/Washington) 4.18
06. Duke Ellington: Single Petal Of A Rose (Webster) 3.21
07. Stanley Turrentine: Deep Purple (DeRose/Parish) 4.51
08. Duke Ellington & Coleman Hawkins:  Mood Indigo (Bigard/Ellington/Mills) 5.58
09. John Coltrane:  It’s Easy to Remember (Hart/Rodgers) 2.48
10. Illinois Jacquet: You’re My Thrill (Gorney/Lane/Washington) 3.50
11. Ben Webster: Over The Rainbow (Arlen/Harburg) 4.45
12. James Moody: Don’t Blame Me (Fields/McHugh) 4.31

CD1

*
**

Stanley Turrentine

Advertisements

Coleman Hawkins – The Hawk Relaxes (1961)

FrontCover1It is said that one grows wiser and mellower with age, as proven by this recording from Coleman Hawkins that is a successful follow-up to his previous Moodsville album At Ease. There is a difference, as Kenny Burrell joins the legendary tenor saxophonist in this quintet setting, with no threat of upstaging or even a hint of any real showcasing of the guitarist’s then developing laid-back side. Underrated Ronnell Bright is on the piano, and also proves a veritable equal to Hawkins even more than Burrell. But it is the burgeoning talent of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Andrew Cyrille who mark their territory, not as the maverick individualists they would become, but as supple performers who understand the strength of Hawkins from a modest standpoint. Not all ballads, the fare is standard American popular song played for people sitting by the fire, the calm ocean, or late at night with a sweetheart over candles and wine. Any version of a well-known tune can be made classic by Hawkins, as heard during the somber “I’ll Never Be The Same,” the straight ballad “Under a Blanket of Blue” with the tenor’s slight fluttery trills, or “Just a Gigolo” where the spotlight is firmly focused on the leader’s droll tones. Burrell’s strumming on “When Day Is Done” signifies a downplayed, wound down feeling, and where he generally chooses a sublimated role in these recordings, he does come out with a strong lead melody for the soulful ballad “More Than You Know.” The modified tunes on the session are the midtempo take of “Moonglow” as Hawkins adopts some of Lester Young’s swagger as Cyrille’s nimble brushwork keeps the song moving forward. “Speak Low” is interpreted in a sleek and seductive calypso beat ably conjured by the drummer, a nice touch to end the album. This quintet — as unique as any Hawkins ever fronted — speaks to his open mindedness, but more so to his innate ability in adapting musicians to his situational hitting. The Hawk Relaxes is one of his best latter period efforts. by Michael G. Nastos)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, February 28th, 1961

ColemanHawkins

Personnel:
Ronnell Bright (piano)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Ron Carter (bass)
Andrew Cyrille (drums)
Coleman Hawkins (saxophone)

CDBackCover

Tracklist:
01. I’ll Never Be The Same (Kahn/Malneck/Signorelli) 6.12
02. When Day Is Done (DeSylva/Katscher) 4.28
03. Under A Blanket Of Blue (Livingston/Neiburg/Symes) 4.39
04. More Than You Know (Eliscu/Rose/Youmans) 4.12
05. Moonglow (  DeLange/Hudson/Mills) 6.00
06. Just A Gigolo (Brammer/Caesar/Casucci) 5.04
07. Speak Low (Nash/Weill) 6.44

LabelA1

*
**