Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SHANK'S FOR THE MEMORY, 6 Oct 2012
This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Bud Shank Quartet Featuring Claude Williamson / The Swing's To TV / Bud Shank Plays Tenor / I'll Take Romance) (Audio CD)
NOTE: Under Amazon's crazy Product Group policy this review (and others) have been cross-posted to a later Bud Shank 2-CD set on Avid. I cannot delete it from there in isolation, nor can I post a separate review there. So if you're reading this under the "Blowin' Country/Shorty Rogers/Bill Perkins/3 Trombones/Jazz at Cal-Tech" compilation, please disregard the next two paragraphs.

This 2-CD set features four Pacific Jazz albums from the fifties, of which the two earlier are Quartet recordings, both with the same personnel, namely Bud himself, Claude Williamson on piano, Don Prell on bass and Chuck Flores on drums, and date from January 1956 ("The BS Quartet featuring Claude Williamson"), and November 1957 ("BS Plays Tenor"). "I'll Take Romance" features Bud, Don Prell and drummer Jimmy Pratt with the Len Mercer Strings, and "The Swing's to TV" dates from November 1958 and features Bud and Bob Cooper with an orchestra.

This was a period when cool jazz held sway on the West Coast, and Bud's limpid tones were perfectly suited to that prevailing mood. My own preference is for the tenor sax album, with the emphasis on standards, but all four albums are both highly rated and hard to come by, unless you have unlimited funds.

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AMSC 1087 is shown as comprising four albums, but that's being modest. In fact the original Pacific issues ran to five, two of which were packaged together subsequently. "Bud Shank & Three Trombones" dates from April & June 1954, "Bud Shank with Shorty Rogers & Bill Perkins" from mid-1955, "Jazz at Cal-Tech" from January 1956, and "Blowin' Country" from early 1958. The order in which they feature here is "Blowin' Country/ BS with Bill Perkins/ BS with Shorty Rogers/ 3 Trombones/ Cal-Tech. The first was a shared session with tenor saxophonist Bob Cooper, who doubled on bass clarinet & oboe, while Bud played alto, tenor and flute, backed by Claude Williamson on piano, Don Prell on bass & Chiuck Flores on drums. It's a judicious selection of mainly standards which mixed ballads with up-tempo swingers, and the joint leaders' multi-instrumental talents enabled a wide tonal palette.

The same applies to the session with Bill Perkins, where both doubled on alto and tenor, Bud added baritone, and Perkins the flute; they were backed by Hampton Hawes, Red Mitchell & Mel Lewis. The Shorty Rogers session was more confined both in terms of instruments and material; Bud played alto & flute, and Shorty the flugelhorn, accompanied by Jimmy Rowles, Harry Babasin & Roy Harte, and all the numbers were Shorty Rogers compositions. The three trombones in question were the valve variety, blown by Bob Enevoldsen, Maynard Ferguson & Stu Williamson, accompanied by Claude Williamson, Joe Mondragon & Shelly Manne. It was an unorthodox line-up, which was well worth the experiment. The personnel for the live concert at Cal-Tech was identical to the "Blowin' Country" line-up, and the presence of an audience obviously stimulated the participants, to judge from the results. Sound quality is excellent throughout.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Barry McCanna
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Normandy, France

Top Reviewer Ranking: 95