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Customer Review

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SET 'EM UP, JOE, 4 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (After Hours / Piano Moods / Brad Gowans And His New York Nine) (Audio CD)
Somewhat perversely, this compilation presents Joe Bushkin's recordings in almost reverse chronological order. He recorded two 10" LPs for Columbia in the early fifties, and Buck Clayton (trumpet), Eddie Safranski (bass) and Jo Jones (drums) accompanied him on the 1951 "After Hours" (the same personnel as for CD 2, tracks 2 to 10). Bushkin played in a relaxed swinging style, to which his 1951 small group sounds perfectly attuned, probably because they were appearing together at "The Embers" at East 54th Street, New York at the time. The showstopper has to be "Ol' Man River" which is taken apace with Buck soloing throughout. Sid Weiss (bass) and Morey Feld (drums) accompanied Joe Bushkin on the 1950 "Piano Moods" which was a set of four double medleys. He is more to the fore on this earlier album, and the group sounds slightly less integrated.

For me the highlight is the third 10" album, which dates from 1946 and features Brad Gowans & his New York Nine. Brad played what he called the valide trombone, a hybrid slide and valve instrument of his own invention. He recorded very little under his own name, but in April 1946 he fronted a studio group comprising Billy Butterfield on trumpet, Joe Dixon on clarinet, Arthur Rollini on tenor sax, Paul Ricci on bass sax, Joe Bushkin on piano, Tony Colucci on guitar, Jack Lesberg on bass and Dave Tough on drums. Eight numbers were issued on a now very rare RCA Victor LP, which stands as the definitive testament to his arranging skills (he wrote for Bud Freeman's Summe Cum Laude Orchestra) and of which a reissue was long overdue.

Bushkin's three tracks from "The Jazz Keyboards" span the two CDs, date from 1946, and include Barney Kessel on guitar and Harry Babasin on bass. They're followed by a single track with strings, take 2 of which concludes the second CD. In between come eight tracks of radio transcriptions from "The Embers" where Bushkin was the house pianist in the early fifties, three singles recorded with trumpeter Hot Lips Page and bassist Al Morgan in 1941, and five piano solos recorded for Commodore in 1940.

This is a superb reissue which, although centred around a memorable pianist, is likely to be sought out primarily for the wonderful Brad Gowans recordings. Sound quality is everything you could wish for.
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Initial post: 16 Oct 2013 17:44:26 BDT
Very informative review of a well constructed 2 CD set. Informatively the Brad Gowans LP was indeed reissued on CD in 1996 through a German RCA/BMG issue combining the Brad Gowans LP with another 10 inch. LP "Jazz on the Campus Ltd" by Max Kaminsky and his Dixieland Bashers. CD number is 7421 36408 2.
Regards
Christian Hille
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