Like Chicago, Texas is well known for its tenorsbig-toned, fat, soulful, hard-blowing, gutsy tenors. This CD reminds us that Prestige did its part to document Texas-style tenors; even if a particular player on this CD didn't live in Texas his entire life, the Lone Starr connection was there. Texas tenors loved the blues, and we hear just how much thanks to Buddy Tate on "The Salt Mines," King Curtis on "Jeep's Blues," David "Fathead" Newman & James Clay on "Wide Open Spaces" and Wilton Felder on "Stomp" (a 1969 performance with organist Charles Kynard). Don Wilkerson's version of "Where Or When" and Arnette Cobb's 1960 recording of "Black Velvet" show how seductive and charismatic the Texas tenors could be. Except for John Hardee's blowing with altoist Russell Procope in 1946 on the swing number "Right Foot Then Left Foot," all of the recordings are from the 1960s.
Texas Tenors may not be the last word on the style, but it certainly illustrates its richness. Chile, anyone?
Reprinted with the permission of Myrna Daniels and L.A. Jazz Scene , the largest jazz publication in Southern California.