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USA All Stars In Berlin - February 1955

USA All Stars In Berlin - February 1955

3 Dec 2006

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13:54
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2:17
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars JATP By Any Other Name 23 Dec. 2004
By David Renzi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This oddly titled disc, while technically accurate - the musicians are American and virtuosos - is ostensibly a Norman Granz Jazz At The Philharmonic concert date from the 1955 European tour. It features the aggressive, over-the-top blowing endemic to JATP, and a lineup of killers at every position: Diz and Roy on trumpet, Flip Phillips on tenor, Bill Harris on trombone, Oscar Peterson on piano, Ray Brown on bass, Herb Ellis on guitar, Louie Bellson on drums, Buddy DeFranco on clarinet and Ella on vocals. Two long jam sessions kick things off. The first, a medium tempo blues, starts in the pocket and keeps building in intensity to its conclusion 13 minutes later; the second starts fast and gets faster, culminating with Roy and Diz trading trumpet blasts and threatening to blow the roof off the place. The truncated ballad medley, a JATP staple, precedes a drumming tour de force by Bellson, who shows off his double-bass prowess to ample effect in a thunderous 10-minute solo. The Oscar Peterson Trio follows for two numbers, then adds Bellson and DeFranco for a storming "Now's The Time" (mislabeled "Billie's Bounce") that displays DeFranco's bebop virtuosity on a traditionally swing instrument. Ella closes out the show with "Papa Loves Mambo" and a group jam. A recording in Stockholm from the same tour, The Exciting Battle (originally released on Pablo, now on Fantasy's Original Jazz Classics label), contains some of the same material but omits the DeFranco, Fitzgerald and Peterson Trio numbers. They are both excellent recordings, capsules of a time before the New Thingers politicized the art form and removed the joy.
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