All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

184

Bud Freeman: All-Star Swing Sessions

Florence Wetzel By

Sign in to view read count
In the ‘20s, Chicago was one of jazz’s key geographic streams, and at the heart of the city’s music was the famed Austin High School gang, a group of young men who loved the new music so much they decided to play it. Amongst this group—which included Frank Teschemacher, Eddie Condon, Jimmy McPartland, and sometimes Benny Goodman—was tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman. Born 1906 in Chicago and died 1991 in the same city, Freeman spanned the century, and he spent almost all his life playing the music he helped build from the ground up.

This CD is a successful mix of three separate sessions: a 1960 quintet album, a 1962 jam session album, and—the jewel—four selections from 1935 which feature the legendary trumpeter Bunny Berigan. The 1960 sessions include trumpeter Shorty Baker; best known for his work with Duke Ellington in the ‘40s and ‘50s, Baker also has deep musical roots, including playing with Fate Marable on riverboats in the ‘30s. The nine songs are a delight—Freeman and Baker play with effortless precision, and pianist Claude Hopkins, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer J.C. Heard provide a fresh, swinging groove. There’s standards such as “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart” and “But Not for Me,” and also blues, ballads, and even a march.

The three cuts from 1962 are equally enjoyable, particularly the rambunctious “Darktown Strutters Ball.” Except for Freeman, the personnel is entirely different, and includes Pee Wee Erwin and Big Chief Russell Moore. The four 1935 cuts are sublime, and at the same time provide a jazz history lesson: produced by John Hammond, there’s Freeman on clarinet and tenor sax, Berigan on trumpet, Eddie Condon on guitar, Claude Thornhill on piano, Grachan Moncur on bass, and Cozy Cole on drums. It’s always good to see these names in the light of day, and it’s important to remember how groundbreaking this music truly was, including the fact that the group was integrated, a rarity at the time. Berigan’s trumpet sings and soars, and satisfies with its complete authenticity.

This CD is a generous offering, with 15 cuts of fine music and reprints of the original liner notes by venerable critics Nat Hentoff and Dan Morgenstern. The music is utterly enjoyable and completely relevant; as Hentoff says in the liner notes, “[J]azz listeners... have a surprisingly wide-ranging reservoir of what has already been accomplished to draw on for comparison and for refreshing senses. No era or stylistic group ever had a monopoly of artistic ‘truth’—or ‘soul'."


Track Listing: 1. I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (Ellington/Mills/Nemo/Redmond) - 5:18 2. S'posin' (Denniker/Razaf) - 5:41 3. March on, March On (Edwards) - 4:48 4. Shorty's Blues (Baker/Freeman/Hopkins) - 4:45 5. Love Me or Leave Me (Donaldson/Kahn) - 5:18 6. Something to Remember You By (Dietz/Schwartz) - 4:41 7. Hector's Dance (Baker/Freeman/Hopkins) - 3:26 8. But Not for Me (Gershwin/Gershwin) - 4:26 9. Darktown Strutters Ball (Brooks) - 7:41 10. It Had to Be You (Jones/Kahn) - 5:01 11. Farewell Blues (Mares/Rappolo/Schoebel) - 3:38 12. Keep Smiling at Trouble (De Sylva/Gensler/Jolson) - 3:13 13. The Buzzard (Freeman) - 3:11 14. What Is There to Say? (Duke/Harburg) - 3:32 15. Tillie's Downtown Now (Freeman) - 3:28

Personnel: Bunny Berigan - Trumpet; Eddie Condon - Guitar; Bud Freeman - Clarinet, Tenor Sax; Claude Hopkins - Piano; Claude Thornhill - Piano; Cozy Cole - Drums; Pee Wee Erwin - Trumpet; Leonard Gaskin - Bass; Red Richards - Piano; Herb Hall - Clarinet; Grachan Moncur III - Bass; George Duvivier - Bass; Herman Autrey - Trumpet; Harold Baker - Trumpet; J.C. Heard - Drums; Herb Lovelle - Drums; Big Chief Russell Moore - Trombone; Dicky Wells - Trombone.

Title: All-Star Swing Sessions | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Melodious Drum CD/LP/Track Review
Melodious Drum
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 21, 2018
Read The Speed of Dark CD/LP/Track Review
The Speed of Dark
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "I Try To Remember Where I Come From" CD/LP/Track Review I Try To Remember Where I Come From
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Mississippi Slide!" CD/LP/Track Review Mississippi Slide!
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: October 6, 2017
Read "Time Being" CD/LP/Track Review Time Being
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 25, 2017
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Blow + Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Blow + Beat
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 8, 2017