247

The Don Redman Orchestra: Geneva 1946

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
From an historical standpoint, it’s beneficial to have on compact disc this concert date by saxophonist Don Redman’s orchestra, recorded by Swiss Radio during a tour of Europe undertaken only one year after the end of World War II. Redman’s well–disciplined orchestra nimbly straddled the fence between two eras — swing and bop — and numbered in its ranks such acclaimed sidemen as Don Byas, Tyree Glenn, Quentin Jackson and a 25–year–old pianist named Billy Taylor. In other particulars the CD is rather less satisfactory with muffled and uneven sound throughout and some intrusive surface noise, presumably carried over from its original incarnation on vinyl. And there are times, as on “I Got Rhythm,” when the soloist (in this case Byas) is off–mic for a few bars before the recording engineer zeros in on him. Still, in terms of over–all sound, soloists fare better than the ensemble, as they reside more prominently in the foreground where they can at least be heard more clearly. It’s always good to be reminded of what a marvelous player Byas was (as we are on “How High the Moon” — which he also arranged — “Laura,” “I Got Rhythm” and “These Foolish Things”). There are eight charts by Redman (who takes no solos), two by Taylor (“Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “Tea for Two,” both of which showcase his piano) and one by Elton Hill (“My Melancholy Baby,” on which Glenn is featured on vibes, as he is on Redman’s treatment of “Limehouse Blues”). That could be either Glenn or Jackson soloing on the Gershwins’ “Embraceable You.” Two vocalists are listed, and each is heard once — Inez Cavanaugh on “Stormy Weather,” which also features the trombone section both playing and singing in unison, and trumpeter Peanuts Holland on his own composition, “Carry Me Blues.” Despite its sonic shortcomings, the recording provides a rare glimpse of one of the more prominent Jazz orchestras of its day, and as such is easily recommended to big–band aficionados.

Track listing: My Melancholy Baby; Limehouse Blues; Laura; How High the Moon; Carry Me Blues; I Got Rhythm; Stormy Weather; Alexander’s Ragtime Band; Tea for Two; Embraceable You; These Foolish Things; Stompin’ at the Savoy (58:05).

Personnel:

Don Redman, leader, alto sax; Bob Williams, Allan Jeffries, trumpet; Peanuts Holland, trumpet, vocals; Quentin Jackson, Jackie Carman, trombone; Tyree Glenn, trombone, vibes; Chauncey Houghton, Peter Clark, alto, baritone sax, clarinet; Don Byas, Ray Abrams, tenor sax; Billy Taylor, piano; Ted Sturgis, bass; Buford Oliver, drums; Inez Cavanaugh, vocals.

Contact: TCB Music SA, Grand

| Record Label: TCB Music | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Varanda" CD/LP/Track Review Varanda
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "The Real Deal" CD/LP/Track Review The Real Deal
by James Nadal
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "For King & Country" CD/LP/Track Review For King & Country
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Acoustically Speaking" CD/LP/Track Review Acoustically Speaking
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Oddara" CD/LP/Track Review Oddara
by James Nadal
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!