Charlie Barnet: The Everest Years (2005)
Barnet has added a bit of Johnny Hodges to his timbre, yet he knows how to use the basic swing vocabulary to string together nice solos. He's joined by Charlie Shavers and Clark Terry to give him a front line that's practically unbeatable. The rest of the bandstand is filled with some better-known players like Billy Byers and Chubby Jackson and a bunch of unknowns who hold their own.
This release compiles both of Barnet's Everest recordings, Cherokee and More. Both feature tunes that were Barnet staples, like "Cherokee and "Redskin Rhumba, as well as popular swing tunes associated more with others, like "Moten Swing and "Take the 'A' Train. Yet Barnet puts his own unique spin on each, due in large part to the expert charts by veteran West Coaster Bill Holman. For More Barnet sticks to alto and soprano saxophones, giving him a whole new palette to work with.
Once again the Everest label has proven that letting these bandleaders have free reign in the studio was the best way to produce great records. And once again Empire Musicwerks has unearthed a forgotten gem from the '50s. With crisp sound and hot playing, this is a big band album anyone can enjoy.
Track Listing: Cherokee/Redskin Rhumba; Serenade to May; Molten Swing; Pompton Turnpike; East Side, West Side; Charleston Alley; Skyliner; Blue Juice; Wild Man of the Fishpond; Southern Fried; Smiles; Evergreens; Atardust; Take the 'A' Train; Goodbye; Early Autumn; Flying Home; I Can't Get Started; Begin the Beguine; Darn That Dream; Midnight Sun; One O'Clock Jump; Harlem Nocturne.
Personnel: Charlie Barnet: tenor sax; Charlie Shavers; Irving Markowitz; Clark Terry; Al Stewart; Don Lamond; Chubby Jackson; Phil Woods; Kurt Bloom; and others.
Record Label: Empire Musicwerks
Style: Big Band