The Essential Vic Dickenson
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The good-natured, avuncular, mildly eccentric trombone of Vic Dickenson is one of the enduring delights of jazz. He cloaked the bold imagination and sly wit of his solos in a kind of amiable bumbling which fooled no-one and merely added to their delight. These 10 longish tracks (originally the LPs Vic Dickenson Showcase Volumes 1 and 2), date from 1953 and 54. They take the form of a jam session, each number made up simply of theme, solos and theme. It is a perilous format and only the best jazz musicians can bring it off successfully on record. Fortunately the cast here is magnificent: clarinettist Edmond Hall, Ruby Braff and Shad Collins alternating on trumpet, pianist Sir Charles Thompson, guitarist Steve Jordan, bassist Walter Page, joined for five tracks by his old Basie colleague, drummer Jo Jones, and for the remainder by Les Erskine. The material consists mainly of standards, well-worn but not threadbare, such as "Russian Lullaby" and "Old Fashioned Love". The mood is relaxed and the swing mellow. This is as close as we are every likely to come to eavesdropping on a bunch of swing-era masters playing purely for their own delight. --Dave Gelly
Top Customer Reviews
Finding Ed Hall on clarinet, Ruby Braff and/or Shad Collins on trumpet and Vic Dickenson on trombone you might be forgiven for thinking this is a "trad" record. Nothing could be further from the truth, ensemblem playing is minimal, very fine and full solos of the mainstream genre allow the members to develop their ideas fully; 4.39 being the shortest track. The engine consists of Steve Jordan (guitar), Walter Page (bass), Les Erskine or Jo Jones (drums) and drives every track at a compelling but appropriate pace. On piano is perhaps one of the most underrated players on the scene at that time, Sir Charles Thompson.
Tracks 1-5 are the first album with Braff on trumpet and Erskin on drums the rest of the group is common to both albums. Tracks 6-10 the second album use Collins and Jones plus Braff on 8 & 9. The music is noticeably different in each set, neither being inferior but giving a wider range of music.
Excellently recorded by a sympathetic producer, gives one of the best examples of mainstream jazz as it was when it was becoming a real force. This is music for the thinking person (who taps his foot) to enjoy.
Tracks 1-5 were recorded on December 29, 1953 with Vic Dickenson(trombone); Edmond Hall(clarinet); Ruby Braff(trumpet); Steve Jordan(guitar); Sir Charles Thompson(piano); Walter Page(bass) & Les Erskine(drums).
Tracks 6-10 were recorded on November 29, 1954 with the same personnel except Jo Jones replacing Les Erskine and Shad Collins(trumpet) plus Ruby Braff on tracks 8 & 9.
The ten varied tracks include two originals by Sir Charles Thompson, one by Vic Dickenson and seven standards.
The music is relaxed and enjoyable with fine solos and this 78-minute CD is one of the classics of mainstream jazz.