Amazon.com Widgets

Tab Smith: Top 'n' Bottom

By Published: | 3,976 views
No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Here are twenty–one danceable and gently swinging numbers recorded in 1953–54 by the underrated (and almost forgotten) saxophonist Tab Smith who shows clearly why he was held in such high regard by Count Basie, Lucky Millinder and others for whom he worked as a sideman. Smith, who nimbly straddles Jazz’s swing and contemporary eras, displays a strong Lester Young influence on tenor, while his creamy alto (heard on most selections) enkindles memories of such early pioneers as Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Willie “The Lion” Smith and Benny Carter (sounding much like Benny on the bouncy title track and the standard “In a Little Spanish Town”). While Smith is loose and comfortable at any tempo, he’s especially effective on romantic ballads such as “My Ideal,” “Prisoner of Love,” “Imagination” and “Don’t Take Your Love from Me,” and makes another powerful statement on Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” The vocalists (on “I’m a Bouncin’ Mama,” “For Only You,” “If You Believe in Me,” “Crying My Blues Away,” “Baby Please Don’t Go,” “They Call Me a Fool”) aren’t identified, nor are most of the other personnel. The set closes with a straightforward Basie–like head arrangement entitled “Zig Zag” on which Smith’s athletic alto burns a deep and impressive groove. But this is the exception; most of the selections are more solicitously produced (and sometimes reinforced by an echo–chamber effect, especially on the ballads). For those who dig the accessible and unpretentious sounds of the Swing Era, a real treat.

Contact:Delmark Records, 4121 N. Rockwell, Chicago, IL 60618. Phone 773–539–5001; fax 773–539–5004. Web site, www.delmark.com

Track Listing: Top

Personnel: Tab Smith, alto, tenor sax; Irving Woods, trumpet; Charlie Wright, Robin Darby, tenor, baritone sax; Teddy Brannon, Lavern Dillon, piano; Wilfred Middlebrooks, Lloyd Anderson, bass; Walter Johnson, drums. Other personnel unidentified.

Record Label: Delmark Records

Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search