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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bud Shank: Four Classic Albums

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Bud ShankFour Classic AlbumsAvid Records UK2012Bud Shank is typical of the jazz musicians that roamed the West Coast in the fifties in that he was able to work comfortably in a variety of settings: big bands, the studio, and clubs. Like many of the other players, Shank also played more than one instrument, which made him a valuable member of the bandstand and afforded his solo recordings a bit more variety than what was coming out of the cool school at the time. Four Classic Albums collects a handful of records from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jake Fryer / Bud Shank Quintet: In Good Company

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One of the apparent pitfalls that a young artist such as Jake Fryer finds himself in danger of, while making an album with star such as Bud Shank--especially when playing the same instrument, namely the alto saxophone--is that freedom of expression often gives way to reverence. The younger player might feel obligated to diminish him/herself, so that the mentor can be given his or her rightful place in the proceedings. However, this is certainly not one of the issues that arise with the Jake Fryer/Bud Shank Quintet. While Shank soars--seemingly from an already elevated position on the haloed ground of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jake Fryer / Bud Shank Quintet: In Good Company

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On April 2, 2009 the world lost another giant of jazz when alto saxophonist great Bud Shank died peacefully in his Tucson, Arizona home. But the master chose not to pass away with a whimper but, rather, with a bang, blowing his last notes the day before at Studio West in San Diego. Shank was one of Jake Fryer's greatest influences on the alto saxophone. Fryer, a British composer and alto saxophonist, had dreamed of pairing up with Shank for a magical recording, leading to In Good Company. The two alto saxophonists, along with Shank's west coast rhythm section of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jake Fryer / Bud Shank: In Good Company

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Young British composer/alto saxophonist Jake Fryer joins forces with veteran bopper Bud Shank and his favorite West Coast rhythm section, to form the Jake Fryer / Bud Shank Quintet for In Good Company. It's a lively and engaging album, a mix of standards and Fryer originals that brings the two alto saxophonists together for a recording date full of spontaneity, mutual respect and enjoyment. Sadly, it also proved to be the 82 year-old Shank's valedictory recording, as he was not in good health and died on April 2nd 2009, the day after the session took place. In ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jake Fryer / Bud Shank Quartet: In Good Company

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Jake Fryer second recording, In Good Company, finds the British alto saxophonist recording in San Diego with fellow altoist Bud Shank and his rhythm section. Fryer's previous release, On Our Terms (Nuts About Jazz, 2008), was the live debut of the London Bebop Collective; Fryer also leads the Jake Fryer Quartet and is part of the Little Big Band. With two saxophonists in front, it is not surprising that this turns out to be a blowing session in the main. But pianist Mike Wofford makes a considerable presence as well--not only with his rhythmic drive, but also with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bud Shank: Fascinating Rhythms

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In the Wild West, when a cowboy passed away while doing his job, whether herding cattle, branding a steer or engaging in a gunfight, the popular saying was that he “died with his boots on." The adage applies as well to renowned alto saxophonist Bud Shank, who recorded what was to be his final album, Fascinating Rhythms, at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City, CA on January 29-31, 2009--less than three months before his passing at age eighty-two after a long battle with emphysema. As it turns out, Shank not only had his boots on, he had them specially polished ...

BIG BAND REPORT

Bud Shank: A Voice for the Ages

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I'll always have fond memories of the 2007 Prescott (Arizona) Jazz Summit, as it was the last time I had the great pleasure of seeing and hearing the phenomenal alto saxophonist Bud Shank doing what he did best: enfolding an entire audience in the palm of his hand with a seemingly endless stream of irrepressible notes and phrases that arose from his heart and soul and cascaded gracefully through the bell of his horn.

As Shank was at the time recovering from a serious illness, there was talk among those at the event that he might not be able to ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Reflections on Bud

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During the past few years I have had the honor to work with many famous jazz musicians, but without a doubt the nicest one of that group was Bud Shank. In thinking about Bud, and his contributions to the jazz world the past 60 years or so, one must rank his demeanor right next to his extensive music abilities.Bud would listen to you intently. It did not matter whether you were a fan rushing up to him on the stage after a gig, a fellow musician in a recording session, or in my case a producer/director working with ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Bud Shank: Never at a Standstill

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Bud Shank has long been labeled as a cool or “West Coast Jazz" stylist, though the veteran alto saxophonist, now in his seventh decade as a performer, has long evolved past such labels. An alum of Charlie Barnet, Stan Kenton and Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All Stars, Shank first began leading his own quartet during the '50s and recorded extensively for Pacific Jazz/World Pacific while also doing studio work. In the '70s, Shank formed the LA Four with Laurindo Almeida, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne. He has over 70 albums as a leader to his credit. Shank grew up ...

BIG BAND REPORT

Bud Shank: Still Going Strong at Eighty-Two

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At a time when most of his contemporaries are content to relax on a couch or easy chair and watch their favorite TV programs and sporting events, alto sax superstar Bud Shank is on a roll. Hard on the heels of Graham Carter's splendid documentary of Shank's career, Against the Tide: Portrait of a Jazz Legend, and its companion CD, the eighty-two-year-old Shank, who continues to blow up a storm, has been honored by the Tucson, AZ, Jazz Society with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

A press release announcing the award, which was presented on September 14, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bud Shank: The Original - The Pacific Jazz Years

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> Bud Shank The Original - The Pacific Jazz YearsGiant Steps2008 Any debate that might once have raged over the hoary question of East Coast/West Coast dichotomy has hopefully died out by now. If the hope that the music prevails holds water, this is a vessel it's held in.

As an alto saxophonist in the mid-1950s, Bud Shank showed about as much of a Charlie Parker influence as Art Pepper did, and whilst the music his quartet produced here was indeed the product of West Coast sensibilities, its subtleties are ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Bud Shank: Against the Tide - Portrait of a Jazz Legend

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Bud Shank Against the Tide: Portrait of a Jazz Legend Jazzed Media 2008

Not long ago, several record labels began issuing DVDs to complement their new CD releases, a move that was welcomed by listeners and reviewers alike, as it enabled them not only to hear a particular musician and group but to see them adapt and intertwine to reach their musical goals together. Saxophonist/flautist Bud Shank's new CD, Against the Tide: Portrait of a Jazz Legend, is packaged that way, but in this case it is the nearly two-hour-long DVD, not ...

INTERVIEWS

Bud Shank: Change is Good

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With half a century of music making under his belt, Bud Shank is a survivor and a legend. To merely label him as a player of the West Coast/Cool school is to deny the full measure of a multi-faceted artist.

Still touring and recording, Shank took time to speak with AAJ's Maxwell Chandler about his artistic legacy.

All About Jazz: Your family was not musical, what were the circumstances of your initially being bitten by the jazz bug? Were they supportive of your playing?

Bud Shank: I grew up on a farm ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bud Shank / Bill Mays: Beyond the Red Door

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At its best, jazz is about spontaneity and surprise. It is also, as Bud Shank writes in his cogent liner notes to Beyond the Red Door, wherein his persuasive alto saxophone is seamlessly blended with Bill Mays's decorous piano, about “the expression of emotions... about feeling good, about self-respect, about self-assurance, about happiness and humor."

Shank and Mays bring all those qualities, plus a lifetime of experience, to bear in an engaging and varied program of old favorites and newer treasures that encompasses a broad musical and emotional spectrum. Shank, who at eighty-one wears comfortably the mantle of elder statesman, ...



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