Like Basie has already seen the light of day in the CD era as an OJC release, but given its qualities, its reappearance here is welcome anyway. Paul Quinichette's career was perhaps more dogged than aided by the lazy "Vice-Pres" tag that was placed upon him because of his stylistic allegiance to Lester Young. As ever the details of the matter were somewhat different. His work was in fact rhythmically far less oblique, whilst the timbre of his playing was entirely his own.
Quinichette's allegiance to all things Basie cannot be denied, and this album was the second he released in the vein. From the opening bars of "Jump The Blues Away, he's up and running over a trumpet section made up largely of Basie veterans, and for a few minutes the world is a brighter, happier and perhaps inevitably more swinging place.
It could be argued that reviews like this write themselves, especially when pianist Nat Pierce, a man whose keyboard work has an affinity with Basie's which is similar to that of Quinichette's with Young, establishes the mood of his own "The Holy Main within the space of a couple of bars, and the trumpets again nail that inimitable thing in their section work. Quinichette's blue flame burns most vividly here, generating enough heat to keep Boston warm in winter. He does more or less the same thing on "Jump For Me, where he comes across like Stan Getz would if he'd ever known the value of underplaying. He makes every note count, and thus seems a whole lot more eloquent. Al Grey's trombone gets perhaps its best outing on this one, and again only the stoniest of hearts are surely capable of resisting.
On his own "P.Q. Quinichette proves his worth, also through not treating it as a vehicle for himself. Again the band is more than equal to the task, and it's interesting to note just how telling a drummer Jo Jones was in this idiom of the music. Snooky Young and Shad Collins could just be the trumpet soloists here, but the idea of some blindfold test on music as sublime as this seems just a little too indulgent, especially when the groove throughout is so buoyant in the first place.
Jump The Blues Away; Jump For Me; Like Basie; The Holy Main; Big D; P.Q.
Paul Quinichette: tenor saxophone; Al Grey: trombone; Harry "Sweets" Edison, Snooky Young,
Dick Vance, Shad Collins: trumpets; Nat Pierce: piano; Freddie Greene: guitar; Eddie Jones:
bass; Jo Jones: drums.
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