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Retta Christie: Retta Christie with David Evans and Dave Frishberg

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "Did You Ever See A Dream Walking"

Many saxophonists also double on clarinet, some notable examples being Lester Young, Art Pepper and Phil Woods, as well as the converse in Eddie Daniels, Don Byron, and Victor Goines. The two reeds complement one another by informing the performance of a player talented enough to play both. Young, who played a vibrato-less tenor with perfect tonal dimensions, achieved the same with his clarinet. Some of that master's notable clarinet tunes include "Three Little Words" and "I Got Rhythm," from his Kansas City Sessions recorded in September 1938 for Milt Gabler.

On that note, David Evans' clarinet solo on the 1934 Revel/Gordon tune "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking," from Retta Christie with David Evans and Dave Frishberg (Retta Records, 2008), illustrates just how tenor saxophone tonal technique can bleed into a clarinet performance. Evans' tone is bone dry; never rising above the middle register. His solo is tart and mossy, like a rusty nail; pungent and breathy. Retta Christie is the gravy of the performance, while Dave Frishberg's tasteful period piano accents the clarinetist's playing. But it's Evans who ultimately steals the show with his beautifully unselfconscious clarinet work.

Personnel: Retta Christie: vocals; David Evans: reeds; Dave Frishberg: piano.

Title: Retta Christie with David Evans and Dave Frishberg | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced

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