A new section exclusive for our jazz messengers customers. Scott Yanow, top jazz journalist and writer, and one of the most prolific jazz record reviewers in history, reviews exclusively for Jazz Messengers a selection of new releases. A very reliable source for a glimpse of what is worth having in your shelf!

LESTER BOWIE - The Great Pretender/Steel & Breath

Scott Yanow

Lester Bowie will always be best remembered for being the trumpeter with the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, playing music that was accurately called “ancient to the future.” His high musicianship, highly expressive playing and wit were major assets to the innovative group. Bowie also did many side projects in his career, displaying his versatility and creativity in different areas. This do...

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GRANT GREEN - Gooden’s Corner

Scott Yanow

Grant Green was one of the greatest guitarists to emerge during the 1960s. He was unofficially the house guitarist at the Blue Note label during 1961-65 and proved able to easily fit in and be creative in settings ranging from hard bop to post bop, Latin, and spirituals to soul jazz organ dates. Unlike nearly every other guitarist, Green very rarely ever played a chord, preferring to concentrat...

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THE GEORGE SHEARING TRIO - Jazz moments

Scott Yanow

George Shearing became world famous as the leader and pianist of his popular quintet with vibes, guitar, bass and drums during 1949-69. While he had recorded a couple of trio sessions during 1947-48, Jazz Moments was his only trio album during 1949-70. When Ahmad Jamal broke up his trio in early 1962, Shearing immediately hired bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Vernel Fournier for his quintet. ...

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STAN GETZ - The Complete Roost Studio Sessions

Scott Yanow

Tenor-saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Jimmy Raney always made for a magical combination. They both had similar cool tones, and their solos were full of thoughtful ideas yet they could play as fast as anyone. Their interaction on their recordings of the early 1950s is classic and memorable. This two-CD set has all of their joint studio recordings of the era (including the alterna...

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STAN GETZ - The Complete Roost Studio Sessions

Scott Yanow

Tenor-saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Jimmy Raney always made for a magical combination. They both had similar cool tones, and their solos were full of thoughtful ideas yet they could play as fast as anyone. Their interaction on their recordings of the early 1950s is classic and memorable. This two-CD set has all of their joint studio recordings of the era (including the alterna...

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HOWARD MCGHEE - West Coast 1945-1947

Scott Yanow

During 1945-49, Howard McGhee ranked with Dizzy Gillespie and Fats Navarro as the top bebop-oriented trumpeter. He was often excellent in later years, but this particular period found him playing with a wide range, a fat sound, constant creativity and plenty of energy. McGhee first came to Los Angeles in early 1945 as a member of the Coleman Hawkins sextet. He decided to stay and he ...

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COLEMAN HAWKINS - The Lost 1950 Munich Concert

Scott Yanow

This CD has a major new find, a previously unreleased concert featuring the masterful tenor-saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. A concert performed six weeks before this Jan. 19, 1950 date with the same group has been released but not this particular performance. Hawkins is heard during a European tour with a septet that also includes James Moody on tenor, altoist Hubert Fol, trombonist Nat Peck, pian...

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PHRONESIS - Life To Everything

Scott Yanow

Phronesis is a trio consisting of pianist Ivo Neame, bassist Jasper Hoiby and drummer Anton Eger. While their names may not be well known at this point, Phronesis plays a very vital form of modern jazz. While they are a piano trio, this is very much a co-op group. Bassist Hoiby often takes the lead. Drummer Eger is also free to lead the music in a different direction than the other two musician...

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KAT GANG - Dream Your Troubles Away

Scott Yanow

Kat Gang has had two careers in her life thus far, working as both an actress and as a singer. As a vocalist, she has a simple and direct delivery, doing justice to the lyrics that she interprets while swinging in an attractive voice. On Dream Your Troubles Away, she shows that she is quite comfortable interacting with an impressive group of jazz all-stars. For this set of 13 superio...

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JASON PALMER - places

Scott Yanow

Jason Palmer is a superior modern jazz trumpeter and a skilled composer. Among his many musical associations have been performances with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Smith, Roy Haynes, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ravi Coltrane, Phil Woods, Grace Kelly, Greg Osby, and touring with the Miles Davis Experience 1949-1959. Places is his fourth CD as a leader for the Steeple Chase la...

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STEVE DAVIS - for real

Scott Yanow

Trombonist Steve Davis’ For Real CD is a recording that will strongly appeal to lovers of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and J.J. Johnson. Davis, who has a warm boppish style, put together a top-notch hard bop quintet for the set, a group that also features tenor-saxophonist Abraham Burton, pianist Larry Willis, bassist Nat Reeves and drummer Billy Williams. It is not surprising that ...

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TOM RAINEY - Obbligato

Scott Yanow

This is an utterly fascinating recording. The five musicians on Obbligato (trumpeter Ralph Alessi, tenor-saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, pianist Kris Davis, bassist Drew Gress and drummer-leader Tom Rainey) have often played in free form settings together. This live set from Brooklyn’s Systems Two is something different for the ten performances feature them exploring nine familiar standards (openi...

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The Lonely Bull - HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS

Scott Yanow

It is always very intriguing hearing a pop artist at the very beginning of his or her career. In 1962 when Herb Alpert recorded the music for The Lonely Bull, which was the very first release by the A&M label, there was not actually a working group called the Tijuana Brass. The music was recorded in Alpert’s garage utilizing a few session players and with him overdubbing the trumpet parts. ...

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SHIRLEY BASSEY - Let’s Face The Music – Complete Edition

SHIRLEY BASSEY

Shirley Bassey, who emerged in the 1950s, in ways could be considered the Barbra Streisand of her time. She was never a jazz singer although one suspects she could have been if she had desired. Blessed with a very powerful voice, she could easily belt out lyrics over a big band or a string orchestra, giving each word a lot of feeling and often making even the most familiar standard sound quite ...

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SHELLY MANNE & HIS MEN - Checkmate

Scott Yanow

During 1961-62, drummer Shelly Manne led a particularly strong quintet, one that also included trumpeter Conte Candoli, tenor-saxophonist Richie Kamuca, pianist Russ Freeman and bassist Chuck Berghofer. That group recorded seven selections from John Williams’ score for the Checkmate television series. The themes performed by Manne and his Men from the suspenseful crime drama are all moody and a...

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JIM HALL - Classic Quartets

Scott Yanow

Jim Hall, who recently passed away at the age of 83, had been a senior statesman in jazz as well as a major inspiration for such younger guitarists as Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Bill Frisell. His quiet playing and harmonically adventurous style first became prominent in 1955 when he was with the Chico Hamilton Quintet. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Hall was an important part of suc...

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SEAMUS BLAKE/CHRIS CHEEK - Reeds Ramble

Scott Yanow

It is always a treat getting to hear jazz improvisers who often play very explorative music returning to playing straight ahead jazz, standards and in earlier styles. They usually bring something special and original to the music because they come to it from a different angle and perspective than those who have spent much of their musical lives steeped in the music of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gill...

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FRANK WESS - Magic 201

Scott Yanow

Frank Wess, who passed away recently at the age of 91, was a major jazz player for over 60 years. One of jazz’s first significant flute players, Wess was also a talented tenor-saxophonist, altoist and arranger. During 1953-64 he was one of the stars of Count Basie’s orchestra and he appeared on a countless number of sessions during and after that period as both a leader and a sideman. His playi...

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SHEILA JORDAN - Portrait Of Sheila

Scott Yanow

This CD could be called “The Complete Sheila Jordan 1960-1974.” Included is all of the music from the singer’s debut album Portrait Of Sheila, one of the very few times that the Blue Note label in its classic years featured a singer. Also on the CD is a rare selection (“Yesterdays”) from a session led by bassist Peter Ind, and her emotional singing on “You Are My Sunshine” from a George Russell...

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ANDREA MOTIS & JOAN CHAMORRO QUINTET Live At Jamboree - Barcelona

Scott Yanow

Although her name is not yet known in the United States, during the past few years singer Andrea Motis has had success in Europe co-leading a quintet with bassist Joan Chamorro. Ms. Motis, who also plays trumpet and alto-sax, has a sweet and very appealing voice (with bits of Billie Holiday and Norah Jones), swings easily, and uplifts each song that she sings.                 Live At Ja...

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HENRY MANCINI Combo + The Blues And The Beat

Scott Yanow

The late Henry Mancini will always be famous as one of the top film and television composers of all time. Whether it is “Days Of Wine And Roses” or the television soundtrack of Peter Gunn, his music has generally been of strong interest to the jazz world even though he himself was not really a jazz musician. Mancini liked swinging jazz and included some of it on many of his soundtracks. <p...

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ART PEPPER Unreleased Art, Vol. VIII.

Scott Yanow

 Art Pepper made one of the most remarkable and unlikely comebacks in jazz history. A superb altoist in the 1950s, Pepper spent the 1960s in and out of prison due to his drug use. By the early 1970s he was not picking up his horn very much. However to a large extent his wife Laurie Pepper saved both his life and his career. Due to her, Pepper dealt with his drug addiction, his life stabilized, ...

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TUBBY HAYES The Complete Tubby’s Groove

Scott Yanow

Prior to 1950, there were only a handful of major jazz musicians who were from Europe (such as George Shearing), and even fewer who spent most of their careers in Europe as opposed to moving to the United States (Django Reinhardt is the obvious example). In the 1950s that situation began to change although it was not until Europeans came up with new ways to play avant-garde jazz in the 1960s an...

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JOHN COLTRANE Ole Coltrane

Scott Yanow

John Coltrane was at one of the many turning points in his career when he recorded the Ole album on May 25, 1961. A year after leaving the Miles Davis Quintet, he had settled on the members of his working quartet: pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Reggie Workman (later succeeded by Jimmy Garrison) and drummer Elvin Jones. He was on the verge of leaving the Atlantic label for Impulse and he had a rec...

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ORNETTE COLEMAN Change Of The Century – The Complete Session

Scott Yanow

 In 1959, altoist Ornette Coleman and his quartet with cornetist Don Cherry made history. After having developed their music during the previous years in Los Angeles, when they appeared for a long stint at the Five Spot, playing tight originals and expressive solos that did not use chord changes, they created a sensation. Some considered their controversial music to be the next major step in th...

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ART BLAKEY Complete Studio Recordings

Scott Yanow

During 1960 and the first half of 1961, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers had one of its strongest lineups. Drummer Blakey and bassist Jymie Merritt were joined by three masterful soloists, all of whom were also strong songwriters; trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Bobby Timmons. This magnificent five CD set has all of the music that this lineup recorded in the studio...

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3 COHENS Tightrope

Scott Yanow

The talented siblings Anat Cohen (who plays clarinet, tenor and bass clarinet), trumpeter Avishai Cohen and soprano-saxophonist Yuval Cohen form the 3 Cohens. While they have each had important individual careers (particularly Anat), in some ways they sound best when all playing together. There is a magical communication between the Cohens who have been performing together on and off since chil...

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HELEN HUMES Sings Ballads & Blues

Scott Yanow

Helen Humes was always a delight to hear. When she sang, whether it was a swing tune, a ballad or a lowdown blues, there was always happiness in her voice. She could not help it because she simply loved to sing, and she did it so well.                 Humes had a long career that included recording blues in the 1920s when she was just 13 and 14, being featured with the Count Basie Orche...

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THELONIOUS MONK The Complete 1961 Amsterdam Concert

Scott Yanow

 The music on this formerly rare concert is the earliest recorded example (with one slight exception) of tenor-saxophonist Charlie Rouse playing as a member of the Thelonious Monk Quartet without other guests. Rouse joined Monk in 1959, staying for ten years. He appeared at that year’s Town Hall concert as part of Monk’s tentet and there were a few titles in which he was the only horn with the ...

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GENE AMMONS - Blue Groove + Preachin’

Scott Yanow

Gene Ammons was one of the most expressive of all saxophonists. Although he could play bebop with the best, always holding his own in tenor battles with his good friend Sonny Stitt, he had the rare ability to say a great deal with one note. In his career he was equally admired by jazz and r&amp;b listeners because he made virtually everything sound soulful and bluesy. This single CD...

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GRANT GREEN - Remembering Grant Green

Scott Yanow

Grant Green was such a fine bop-oriented guitarist that he was essentially Blue Note’s house guitarist during 1960-65. He made his most rewarding recordings during that era, whether playing with a quartet, interacting with an organist, making a spiritual album, or being a sideman for other cutting edge jazz musicians. Green was unusual for a guitarist in that he rarely ever played chords, conce...

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HARRY MILLER - Different Times, Different Places

Scott Yanow

Bassist Harry Miller (1941-83) did not live long, but he made a strong impact in the British and European jazz scenes of the 1960s and ‘70s. Born in South Africa, he moved to England in the early-1960s. In his career Miller worked with Mike Westbrook, John Surman, Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath, Keith Tippet’s big band, Alan Skidmore, Stan Tracey and other forward-looking jazz musicians...

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ANGELICA SANCHEZ & WADADA LEO SMITH - Twine Forest

Scott Yanow

Pianist Angelica Sanchez has been part of the New York avant-garde scene since 1994. She plays percussively, leaves plenty of space, and has performed with such artists as Paul Motian, Ralph Alessi, Susie Irabba, Tim Berne, Mario Pavone, Mark Dresser, Reggie Nichols and Ben Monder among others. She also leads her own groups and has performed regularly with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. <br /...

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ART BLAKEY’S JAZZ MESSENGERS - Pisces

Scott Yanow

During 1955-90, drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers served as the definitive hard bop jazz college. Young up-and-coming musicians joined the Jazz Messengers as promising soloists and, after serving time and learning from Blakey, they “graduated” as potential bandleaders. When one thinks of the great sidemen who were with the Jazz Messengers (everyone from Freddie Hubbard to Benny Green), one c...

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ETIENNE CHARLES - Creole Soul

Scott Yanow

One of the most interesting young trumpeters in jazz today is Etienne Charles. Born in Trinidad, he went to college in Florida before attending Juilliard in New York. Since then he has worked as a sideman with many artists (including Wynton Marsalis, the Count Basie Orchestra and Maria Schneider), recorded four albums as a leader, and developed his own style. While influenced by the hard bop ma...

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BOOKER LITTLE - Complete recordings - master takes

Scott Yanow

Booker Little did not last very long, dying in 1961 from uremia when he was only 23. However despite that, he left behind quite a bit of wonderful music. Born in 1938, he started on the trumpet when he was 12, attended the Chicago Conservatory, and gained experience playing in Chicago with Johnny Griffin and the MJT + 3. Little became known in the jazz world during his year (1958-59...

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ALBERT AYLER - Lorrach, Paris 1966

Scott Yanow

It could be said about Albert Ayler’s music, particularly of the band featured on Lorrach, Paris 1966, that it was so far advanced that it reached to the beginnings of jazz. There are many times during this superior CD when Ayler’s group sounds like a slightly out-of-control New Orleans marching band from 1900! A leader of the jazz avant-garde, Ayler actually began his career as a c...

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Gary burton - WHO'S GARY BURTON ?

Scott Yanow

The answer to this CD’s title is well known to jazz fans. Gary Burton is one of the greatest vibraphonists of all time, ranking at the top with Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Milt Jackson, Terry Gibbs, Cal Tjader and Bobby Hutcherson. Burton has had a wide ranging career as a virtuoso vibraphonist, bandleader and educator. Who is Gary Burton, a single CD, includes no less than 2 ½ Lps worth of mate...

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ELLA FITZGERALD - Best Of The BBC Vaults

Scott Yanow

The packaging may not be the best on this CD, but all of this music from Ella Fitzgerald is superb and being released for the first time. Ella Fitzgerald requires no introduction for she is arguably the greatest jazz singer of all time. Certainly no one could outswing her and during her prime (which lasted over 30 years), she was consistently magnificent. One cannot hear an Ella rec...

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DIZZY GILLESPIE/HANS KOLLER - Dizzy Gillespie Quintet and Hans Koller New Jazz Stars

Scott Yanow

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the jazz radio series on NDR, music from the earliest surviving program, from Mar. 9, 1953, has been released on the first in what will hopefully be an extensive reissue series from NDR. That program featured two different bands performing live in the studio. Dizzy Gillespie was touring Europe and he is heard with his regular group, which at the ...

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BEN WEBSTER QUARTET - Live In Hilversum 1970

Scott Yanow

In addition to being one of the three great early tenor-saxophonists (along with Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young), Ben Webster will always be best known for his playing with Duke Ellington during 1940-43. However he had a busy career before joining Duke (playing with many different big bands for short periods including Bennie Moten, Fletcher Henderson and Cab Calloway) and many recordings and ...

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BENNY GOODMAN - swings again

Scott Yanow

Benny Goodman, one of the greatest clarinetists of all time, was at the peak of his popularity and influence during the swing era of 1935-46. Still only 37 in 1946, Goodman continued to perform regularly during his remaining 40 years, always remaining a household name. As is obvious from listening to Benny Goodman Swings Again, the “King Of Swing,” while not changing his style, was ...

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MARK MASTERS ENSEMBLE - Everything You Did

Scott Yanow

Founded in the early 1970s, Steely Dan was a studio group that always interested jazz musicians. While their music, written and co-led by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, utilized jazz artists including Phil Woods, Pete Christlieb and Wayne Shorter, much of it fell outside of jazz and could be considered sophisticated pop/rock. Nevertheless, the band has held onto its following for all of these ...

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NICHOLAS PAYTON - Sketches Of Spain

Scott Yanow

Sketches Of Spain was one of the classic recordings of Miles Davis with arranger Gil Evans, following Miles Ahead and Porgy And Bess. The 1960 recording will always be considered a classic. The five-movement work, which has been infrequently performed during the 53 years since its debut, has very rarely been recorded. The five movements have the trumpeter in the forefront almost the...

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PLAYS THE MAX ROACH SONGBOOK - LIVE AT DIZZY'S

Scott Yanow

Ever since he emerged in Los Angeles in the 1990s as a member of Black Note and as he evolved during a notable period with the Roy Hargrove Quintet, Willie Jones III. has been a hard swinging drummer who invigorates and moves ahead the mainstream of jazz. Now leader of both his own group and his own record label, Willie Jones III. has become one of the most significant drummers in jazz. <b...

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SECOND GENESIS + WAYNING MOMENTS

Scott Yanow

During 1959-62, tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter led three albums for the Vee Jay label. The second (Second Genesis) and third (Wayning Moments) are reissued on this single CD in full and there are also alternate takes from two songs (“Ruby And The Pearl” and “Tenderfoot”) recorded for the earlier album. 27 at the time of Second Genesis, Wayne Shorter had recently joined Art Blakey’s...

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BENT JAEDIG - Live At Montmartre 1969

Scott Yanow

Although he never became quite as famous as his talent deserved, Bent Jaedig was a jazz giant from Denmark. He had a huge tone on the tenor, swung hard, and was creative within the bebop tradition. Starting when he became a fulltime musician in 1957 and continuing until his death in 2004, he worked with many of the top American and European jazz players, ranging from Chet Baker and Lucky Thomps...

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THE MODERN JAZZ QUARTET - Germany 1956-1958 – The Lost Tapes

Scott Yanow

The Modern Jazz Quartet recorded regularly during their two long periods (1952-74 and 1981-99) but this set of previously unreleased performances from 1956-58 is a major addition to their musical legacy. Vibraphonist Milt Jackson, pianist John Lewis, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Kenny Clarke formed the Dizzy Gillespie rhythm section in 1946. In 1951, with Percy Heath on bass, they ...

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BEN WEBSTER - In norway

Scott Yanow

Ben Webster, one of the three great tenor-saxophonists who dominated jazz before the bebop era (along with Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young), had a long and episodic career. In the 1930s he spent brief periods with several different big bands, making his recording debut in 1932 with Bennie Moten. During 1940-43 he found fame as a major soloist with Duke Ellington, making such songs as “Cotton T...

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PEE WEE RUSSELL - NEW GROOVE + THE COLLEGE CONCERT - 1966

Scott Yanow

Pee Wee Russell spent much of his career being known as an eccentric clarinetist who was usually heard in freewheeling Dixieland settings, often under the leadership of Eddie Condon. Russell’s very spontaneous solos, which could sound pretty radical compared to the others in the groups, always stood out from the crowd even when heard in crowded ensembles. He really did not fit securely into any...

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