Buck Clayton, an acclaimed trumpet soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra in the late 1930s and early '40s, had lip surgery in 1969 that all but ended his playing career. After setting the trumpet aside for good in 1979, he turned full-time to composing and arranging, and the Buck Clayton Big Band made its debut in 1986 at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. The year before, he had become friends with British bassist Alyn Shipton who offered words of advice about Clayton's autobiography. After Clayton passed away in 1991 at age ninety, his co-author, Nancy Miller Elliott, handed Shipton ...read more
Assuming that these were new albums from the busy Nagel Heyer assembly line, I asked for review copies, only to find that they are in fact old wine in new bottles. Both were previously released in 1999--Turnstile as Music Of The Trumpet Kings, and Buck Clayton Swings The Village as Live Fom Greenwich Village, NYC. As nothing has changed save the album titles and cover photos (the liner notes are the same), I shall herewith recycle, in condensed versions, my earlier reviews.
Harry Allen/Randy Sandke Turnstile Nagel Heyer 2007
Happiness is the keynote from ...read more
An album based around music by Mendelssohn, Mahler and other classical composers might sound a little too polite for expressionist saxophonist Dave Liebman. But Vienna Dialogues, a followup to the more in-character Manhattan Dialogues (Zoho, 2005), demonstrates what anyone who has followed his career already knows. Liebman has always been a player who can immerse himself in any setting, capture its essence and still sound completely himself. Vienna Dialogues simply challenges Liebman, in duet with young pianist Bobby Avey, to approach interpretation and improvisation in a different way.
Some view classical music as inherently restrictive. One typically doesn't get the ...read more
A bright re-release of Big Band music.
Trumpeter and bandleader Buck Clayton was a mainstay of the '30s and '40s big band. Following that, Clayton led every stripe of band for the next 40 years. In the late 1980s, when age prevented Clayton to play his trumpet, he turned his attention to composition and arrangement for a big band. In 1990, Clayton brought his big band to the Village Vanguard for a recital of his compositions, some written only recently before the show. This music was originally released in 1997 on Nagel Heyer as Buck Clayton Live From Greenwich ...read more
If you’d like an up–to–date example of why the first Golden Age of big–band music in this country was known as the Swing Era, simply insert this wonderful disc, recorded in concert in February 1990, in your CD player and crank up the volume. This is music from the heart, a throwback to those memorable days when Lunceford, McShann, Basie, Goodman, Webb and Ellington helped redefine the boundaries of Jazz and big bands swung like there was no tomorrow. Buck Clayton, 78 years old when this recording was made, 22 months before his passing, knew about swing from the inside ...read more
Verve's Take 2" series has been reissuing collections of material in two disc sets for a few years now, and many of the selections in the series have been collections of the work of well known artists -- people like Maz Roach, Clifford Brown, Charlie Parker, and Joe Williams. However, recently, Verve has moved the focus of this series towards less well known, but artistically important artists and musical forms. Swing Trumpet Kings is one of the latest additions to the Take 2 series, and it follows in Verve's recent direction.
A reissue of three classic albums from the late ...read more