238

The Leslie Drayton Orchestra: By Request

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
By Request encompasses more than a dozen songs recorded on at least four occasions some years ago by trumpeter Leslie Drayton’s orchestra; I can’t say how much of what is included was previously released, but unless you’re an ardent and well–informed connoisseur of the big–band scene, the chances are better than even that Drayton’s gregarious charts (he arranged everything and wrote all but “Stormy Monday”) will be as fresh and charming to you as they were to me. He adroitly combines tasteful elements of Basie, Herman, Jones/Lewis, Clarke/Boland and other modern swing–based ensembles without sounding too much like any of them (“Greasy Brown Paper Sack,” for example, shuffles parallel to but suitably apart from Herman’s “Greasy Sack Blues”). Speaking of the blues, Barbara Morrison comes aboard for two numbers that effectively mine that rich vein, “Stormy Monday” and Drayton’s “When Will You Be Mine?” Drayton has a number of respected sidemen in the various bands, and it’s good to hear from such as Curtis Peagler (“Rush–Hour,” “Fos–Alarm,” “Love Is a Four–Letter Word”), Al Aarons (“Fos–Alarm”), Fostina Dixon (“Southern Extremity,” “Take a Plunge”), Jackie Kelso (“Plunge”) and Snooky Young (“Plunge,” “Stormy Monday”). Young, by the way, is one of the album’s two dedicatees (the other is composer/trombonist Melba Liston, whom Drayton calls “my musical mother”). Among the best of Drayton’s charts — each of which swings ferociously — are “Rush–Hour,” “Fos–Alarm,” “May I?,” “Southern Extremity,” “Making Ends Meet” and “Take a Plunge.” As for Drayton’s trumpet, heard solo on “Rush–Hour,” “May I?,” “Paper Sack” and “Making Ends Meet,” a friend says Leslie reminds him of the talented American expatriate Benny Bailey, and I wouldn’t disagree with that. Nor would I argue that By Request is anything less than a pleasurable and swinging endeavor from one end to (almost) the other (I could live without the mawkish and syrupy closing track, but at least it’s placed conveniently after the others).

Track listing: Rush–Hour Traffic; Fos–Alarm; When Will You Be Mine?; Turning a Corner; May I?; The Southern Extremity; A Greasy Brown Paper Sack; Le Boulevard St. Germain; Stormy Monday; Making Ends Meet; Take a Plunge; Pent–Up Emotions; Love Is a Four–Letter Word (71:35).


Personnel:

Leslie Drayton, trumpet, leader. Tracks 1, 5, 6, 11

Title: By Request | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: New Perspective


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read The Chase CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Paint CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read A Pouting Grimace CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Flesh & Bone" CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2017
Read "The Behemoth" CD/LP/Track Review The Behemoth
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "14.11.2016" CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Change Of Address" CD/LP/Track Review Change Of Address
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 6, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.