James Moody & the Swedish All-Stars: Greatest Hits
Culled from six separate sessions these twenty-four tracks were originally released in Sweden as 78’s on the Metronome imprint and later reissued in the late 60s on LPs by Prestige. As a result of their shellac origins many of the tracks suffer in fidelity, though the remastering team at Fantasy has done a reasonable job in cleaning up most of the sonic blemishes. As is to be expected given his exalted status Moody takes the lion’s share of solo space on the majority of pieces, but there are instances where several of the All-Stars also get to show their improvisational mettle. “Indiana” is one such notable exception and features capable solos from Linde, Swanerud and Berg alongside Moody’s customary high-octane blowing. Gullin also proves himself a proficient baritone technician on later tracks.
The groups featured range in size from quartet to octet and predominately focus on standard swing fare with Moody contributing a handful of compositions scattered across the sessions. Moody finds the time and space to alternate between tenor and alto to great effect and his numerous solos invite close and enthusiastic listening. The only questionable performances come towards the disc’s midsection and find the saxophonist in the company of a poorly recorded string-section and harp. The resulting orchestral arrangements are usually saccharine in conception, but Moody tries to make the most of the maudlin backdrop and crafts some suitably laconic solo statements. Overall this disc is an excellent collection of Moody in his prime years as well as an enlightening record of one of the earlier American-European jazz collaborations.Collective
Track Listing: The Flight (aka The Flight of the Bopple Bee)/ I
Personnel: Collective James Moody- alto & tenor saxophones; Lennart
Record Label: Prestige Records