Jazz Giant - Complete Sessions
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Featuring: Frank Rosolino (tb), Benny Carter (as & tp), Ben Webster (ts), André Previn, Jimmy Rowles (p), Barney Kessel (g), Leroy Vinnegar (b), Shelly Manne (d)
Benny Carter was—with Johnny Hodges and Charlie Parker—one of the three original and major alto saxophonists in jazz up until the late Fifties. He was undoubtedly, as the title of this album suggests, a Jazz Giant.
The music in these sessions is unpretentious; bright, relaxed and buoyant, with an infectious swing. Everyone gets a chance to blow and show their worth. Carter plays with his characteristic lyricism, technical facility, and beauty of sound on alto, and—on two tracks—flawlessly on trumpet, his first love. Also, much like Ben Webster—another giant—he demonstrates his extraordinary melodic imagination. Frank Rosolino shows his inventive individuality, Barney Kessel plays with his usual lithe phrasing, laconic wit and consummate ease, and the rhythm section is never less than superior.
The last two tracks came to life in a happily fortuitous way, thanks to the greatness of the talents involved. Benny Carter had been set for the session, but became ill at the last minute. With Barney taking over as leader, the sidemen decided to use their time for some congenial, informal blowing. The unforgettable results include some of the finest work ever recorded by Webster and Rosolino in particular.
01. Old Fashioned Love (Mack-Johnson) 7:48
02. Blue Lou (Sampson-Mills) 4:56
03. A Walkin’ Thing (Benny Carter) 5:57
04. I’m Coming, Virginia (Heywood-Cook) 5:46
05. How Can You Lose? (Benny Carter) 6:12
06. Ain’t She Sweet? (Ager-Yellen) 3:38
07. Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me (Swanstone-McCarron-Morgan) 4:39
08. Tiger Rag (Original Dixieland Jazz Band ) 9:50 (*) Bonus Track
09. Jersey Bounce (Bradshaw-Plater-Johnson-Feyne) 9:33 (*) Bonus Track
Total time: 58:41 min.
Tracks #1-7 from the Contemporary album Benny Carter “Jazz Giant” (C 3555). Tracks #8 & 9 from the Contemporary album Barney Kessel “Let’s Cook!” (C 3603).
Frank Rosolino (tb), Benny Carter (as, tp #4, 5), Ben Webster (ts), André Previn, Jimmy Rowles (p), Barney Kessel (g), Leroy Vinnegar (b) and Shelly Manne (d).
Recorded at Contemporary’s Studio in Los Angeles, on June 11 (#1-2), July 22 (#3 & 4), August 6 (#8-9), October 7 (#5), 1957; and on April 21 (#6-7), 1958.
Original recordings produced by Lester Koenig. Recording engineer: Roy DuNann. Cover photo: William Claxton.