HerbEllis & Stuff Smith —
Together ... LP Epic, 1963. New Copy (reissue)...
Strings are king in this rare set from guitarist HerbEllis and jazz violinist Stuff Smith – a date that's possibly more on Stuff's side of the spectrum, but which comes during a short by great run of Ellis work for Epic in the early 60s! Tracks are longer than you might expect – especially for a Smith session – with an open feel that's got an almost Verve-like energy. Ellis gets some great open solos on the date, and Stuff vocalizes on two tracks in this cool raspy way – and titles include "Skip It", "Blues For Janet", "Get Acquainted Blues", and "Hillcrest". LP, Vinyl record album
Gentle-going genius from the later years of Satchmo's career – a session that has Louis on trumpet and vocals, backed by the Oscar Peterson Trio! Peterson's usual group with HerbEllis and Ray Brown is expanded slightly for this outing – bringing in Louis Bellson on drums to syncopate the tunes a bit more strongly, and give them that gently swinging rhythm that always works well with Armstrong's style. The real surprise, though, is Louis' voice – which is simple, almost elegant at times – and free from some of the gimmicks of other 50s sessions, or the too-playful style of his better-known duets of the period. We really love his gentle, honest approach to the lyrics here – on tunes that include "I'll Never Be The Same", "Moon Song", "What's New", "There's No You", "You Go To My Head", "That Old Feeling", and "Let's Fall In Love". LP, Vinyl record album
A classic set in the best Verve Records mode – as these two mature giants of the tenor sax get lots of room to open up and solo with a great rhythm section at the core! Both Hawkins and Webster have a fantastic sense of tone and timing – and the space of the record really lets you hear the charms of both in equal measure – with backing from Oscar Peterson on piano, HerbEllis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass, and Alvin Stoller on drums. The best tracks have lots of room – plenty of space so that the tenors aren't "encountering" each other in too close of quarters, with space to express themselves freely – and titles include "Blues For Yolande", "Rosita", "Shine On Harvest Moon", and "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To". LP, Vinyl record album
Great overseas material from Stan Getz – tracks that echo some of his work on the Stan Getz At Large album from Sweden, but which also take off nicely in other directions as well! The first half of the set features Stan blowing tenor with piano from Swedish genius Jan Johansson, plus rhythm from the Oscar Peterson team of Ray Brown on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums! The set's got an unusual balance that sets it apart from even other Getz albums of the time – a vibe that might have made it a special Verve album, had it gotten released at the time – recorded beautifully with a clarity that matches any of Stan's studio albums too! Tracks are nice and long, with wonderfully fluid tenor lines from Getz – and titles include "Land's End", "Woody N You", "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most", and "I Remember Clifford". Next are two tracks recorded in Stockholm in 1958 - with Oscar Peterson on piano and HerbEllis on guitar – on "Out Of Nowhere" and "It Never Entered My Mind". Last are three numbers recorded in Copenhagen in 1959 – with Johansson on piano, Oscar Pettiford on bass, and Joe Harris on drums – on "Laverne Walk", "I Remember Clifford", and "Stuffy". LP, Vinyl record album
(Hand-numbered limited edition of 999! Heavy vinyl in a heavy tip-on cover!)