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Gerry Wiggins (HiFi Jazz: Wiggin' Out

C. Andrew Hovan By

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Very much a behind-the-scenes type of musician, pianist Gerald Wiggins is an excellent player who came up during the swing era working with Louis Armstrong and Benny Carter, among others. In the early '50s, he headed to California where he would accompany divas such as Eartha Kitt and Kay Starr, in addition to day gigs in the studios as a film coach and director.

Adding considerably to Wiggins' slight catalog of albums as a leader, Wiggin' Out is also only one of two recordings that put him behind a Hammond B-3 organ, the other being his sideman appearance on Teddy Edwards' Contemporary session Heart & Soul. Wiggins gets a full and vibrant attack from the instrument that is not quite as gutsy as Jimmy Smith's sound, but not as light as Shirley Scott's. Land proves to be a perfect foil for this organ combo, with a jocular approach that is also quite intelligent, while drummer Mills adds just the right splash of hot oil, particularly with his turn at "A Night in Tunisia."

Representing his talents as a writer, two refined Wiggins originals appear along with some old chestnuts, rounding out a thoroughly agreeable romp that will be a must for fans of that ol' B-3, not to mention followers of Land. As an added caveat, Wiggins' smiling mug graces one of the best West Coast albums covers you've probably never seen, yet another reason to buy!

Track Listing: Wiggin' Out, Teach Me Tonight, A Night in Tunisia, Yes, Dove, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Without a Song (38:55)

Personnel: Gerry Wiggins- organ, Harold Land- tenor saxophone, Jackie Mills- drums

| Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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