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by David Rickert
Red Norvo played the vibes while leading his own band during the swing era and grew into smaller groups in the forties and fifites once the practicality of leading a large ensemble became too much. He was one of the first to specialize of what has always been somewhat of an unusual instrument for jazz, but his nimble soloing and chords provided a template for others like Milt Jackson to follow. The four sessions collected here are from his fifties ...read more
by Charlie B. Dahan
The most interesting of the initial three Savoy Jazz reissues is the Modern Red Norvo release. This long overdue collection features Norvo’s virtuostic vibraphone playing, but while he comes from the big band school (having played with Paul Whitehead orchestra), the personel that surround Norvo provide a fascinating glimpse into an artist and a music in transition. Not concerned with whether a particular artist fit his style, it is apparent that Norvo on these two sessions was ...read more
by AAJ Staff
In many ways it was the perfect match. Contemporary Records loved the soft sound of “chamber jazz”, and recorded it often. Woodwinds were used for a lush blanket, and many albums had an unlikely feature: a four-movement suite (Bob Cooper recorded one; Shelly Manne had two!) Red Norvo was born elsewhere, but his gentle interplay with his trios and the Jazz Pickers put him squarely in the “West Coast” sound. This is a warm breeze of an album, as Red ...read more