Release Date: 09/11/07
Tenor Sax - Smooth and Commanding
Jean Baptiste Illinois Jacquet, born in 1922 in Louisiana, was raised in Houston, Texas - land of the big tenor sound. He's one of the giants of the jazz tenor sax. His playing, full of muscle and authority, is a rich synthesis, but his style is unmistakably his own. He has the assertiveness of Hawkins, the breathy touch of Webster, the sinuousness of Herschel Evans, the aphoristic flair of Lester and the easy- swinging legato of Wardell Gray. He also created, when with Lionel Hampton, a solo on Flying Home so winningly constructed that it has become definitive. Jacquet has always been a melodic player and a fine interpreter of ballads. He has said that the real test of a musician is not how fast he can play or how complex his phrasing, but whether he can play a ballad with integrity and feeling. Listen to his work on I Cover The Waterfront and you have it. The line-up here makes strange reading. Veteran trombonist Vic Dickenson is basically Dixieland; Slam Stewart links the swing and bop eras; Barry Harris is a bebopper; drummer Grady Tate comes from the world of big bands and sessions. The junior of the date, Gray Sergeant, is a talented guitarist from Boston who has worked often with Jacquet. An unlikely combination on the face of it - but such is the nature of jazz that disparate musicians can create an atmosphere of creative compatibility. The lugubrious sound of Slam Stewart on bowed bass and sandpaper larynx introduces the opener, Bow Jest, a 32-bar Jacquet original in the saxophonist's favorite key of A flat. Jacquet takes two forceful, emphatic choruses and is followed by Sargeant, Dickenson, Harris and finally Stewart bowing and humming in octave unison. The rest of the album is delivered in the same vein - creative, adventurous, respectful. This is a priceless snapshot of a time when jazzmen played together for the sheer pleasure of it. Ategories were put to one side - to be argued over by others.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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