Release Date: 02/27/02
The Great and the Good
Eddie Durham was a key figure in jazz history - he was the first guitarist to experiment with an electric guitar, a trombone player of great ability, an arranger and songwriter.Recorded in 1981 and released as a vinyl LP, these sides are on CD for the first time.Born in Texas in 1906 Eddie's family was musical - his first professional work was on guitar with the Durham Brothers Orchestra. After working with the Blue Devils, he joined Bennie Moten. He joined Count Basie in 1937. He was a fine trombonist and was one of the first guitarists to play single-string solos. Later he pioneered amplification, assisting Charlie Christian at one stage. He later became a successful arranger before leading various bands of his own. He was active in clubs around Long Island His companions here were all seasoned pros. Johnny Williams was a fine jazz bassist - rock-steady and a prolific recording artist. Pianist Russ Henderson was a West Indian who was resident in London from the early 50s. As can be heard here his spritely keyboard work is suffused with a pleasing individuality.Danny Moss and Ronnie Verrell need no endorsement. Both were with Ted Heath and went on to forge outstanding careers. Moss was an authoritative and discerning jazzman, insistently creative in almost any playing situation. He worked often with his vocalist wife Jeanie Lambe, and it's to her that 'Wee Jeanie' was dedicated. Verrell was one of our best session drummers, versatile, yet far from blasé. His enthusiasm on this session was contagious and its success owed a lot to his suggestions and the vigor of his drumming. During a break, Eddie confided that, I'm getting carried away with this tenor and this drummer. I'm gonna play with them all night if you'll let me.An apt commentary on Moss and Verrell but typically modest. Durham's own playing is superb, too. Eddie Durham has made a vital contribution to the story of jazz: this Anglo-American collaboration provides an update of his qualities.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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