124

Tab Smith: Top 'n' Bottom

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Tab Smith: Top 'n' Bottom Here are twenty–one danceable and gently swinging numbers recorded in 1953–54 by the underrated (and almost forgotten) saxophonist Tab Smith who shows clearly why he was held in such high regard by Count Basie, Lucky Millinder and others for whom he worked as a sideman. Smith, who nimbly straddles Jazz’s swing and contemporary eras, displays a strong Lester Young influence on tenor, while his creamy alto (heard on most selections) enkindles memories of such early pioneers as Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Willie “The Lion” Smith and Benny Carter (sounding much like Benny on the bouncy title track and the standard “In a Little Spanish Town”). While Smith is loose and comfortable at any tempo, he’s especially effective on romantic ballads such as “My Ideal,” “Prisoner of Love,” “Imagination” and “Don’t Take Your Love from Me,” and makes another powerful statement on Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” The vocalists (on “I’m a Bouncin’ Mama,” “For Only You,” “If You Believe in Me,” “Crying My Blues Away,” “Baby Please Don’t Go,” “They Call Me a Fool”) aren’t identified, nor are most of the other personnel. The set closes with a straightforward Basie–like head arrangement entitled “Zig Zag” on which Smith’s athletic alto burns a deep and impressive groove. But this is the exception; most of the selections are more solicitously produced (and sometimes reinforced by an echo–chamber effect, especially on the ballads). For those who dig the accessible and unpretentious sounds of the Swing Era, a real treat.

Contact:Delmark Records, 4121 N. Rockwell, Chicago, IL 60618. Phone 773–539–5001; fax 773–539–5004. Web site, www.delmark.com


Track Listing: Top

Personnel: Tab Smith, alto, tenor sax; Irving Woods, trumpet; Charlie Wright, Robin Darby, tenor, baritone sax; Teddy Brannon, Lavern Dillon, piano; Wilfred Middlebrooks, Lloyd Anderson, bass; Walter Johnson, drums. Other personnel unidentified.

Title: Top 'n' Bottom | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Delmark Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read # 1 CD/LP/Track Review # 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Tetrawind CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Triplicate CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "It's A Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Mystery
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Tangofied III" CD/LP/Track Review Tangofied III
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by John Sharpe
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Tied Together, Not to the Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Tied Together, Not to the Ground
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "Rough Boundaries" CD/LP/Track Review Rough Boundaries
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 7, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!