If you think female wind players are limited to the flute or oboe, with an occasional soprano or alto saxophonist thrown in, get ready for Claire Daly, who plays baritone sax with a big roundhouse sound - although from the looks of the cover photo of "Swing Low" it's almost as big as she is.
But however she may heft it, Daly's baritone should end forever any gender prejudice that may still exist in jazz circles, for if this disc had come in anonymously the story would only be about the passionate intensity and assurance of the baritone playing, the suave execution of the tunes, the excellence of the group, and so on.
Daly can play hard bop. She can play the blues. She brings all the chryselephantine power of her instrument to the proceedings, but she can also make that elephant jump. The great reedman George Garzone shows up on a few tracks, but he does not outshine the leader.
Excellent mainstream baritone jazz from a musician with tremendous ability.
Claire Daly, bari s; Eli Yamin, p; Dave Hofstra, b; Peter Grant, d; George Garzone, ts (tracks 3, 7, 11).
Track listing: Swing Low / I've Got the World on a String / I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face / For All We Know / You Make Me Feel So Young / Lady's Blues / The Chooch / Sharp Turn / I Wished on the Moon / I Thought About You / Little Old Lady.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.