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Reviewers: Don Mather, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

Finest Hour

Crotchet  £8.50
Stan Getz Verve 543 601 - 2
  1. It Never Entered my Mind
  2. Shine
  3. Desafinado
  4. Early Autumn
  5. I'm Late, I'm Late
  6. The Girl from Ipanema
  7. Manha de Carnaval
  8. I didn't know what time it was
  9. Symptones
  10. Con Alma

Crotchet  £8.50
Quincy Jones Verve 490 667 - 2
  1. Stockholm Sweetnin'
  2. The Midnight Sun will Never Set
  3. Moanin'
  4. G'won Train
  5. Blues in the Night
  6. Stormy Weather
  7. Quintessence
  8. Hard Sock dance
  9. For Lena and Lennie
  10. Theme from the Pawnbroker
  11. Soul Bossa Nova
  12. Comin' Home Baby
  13. Killer Joe
  14. Velas
  15. Stuff like That

Crotchet  £8.50
Oscar Petersen Verve 543 599 - 2
  1. Salute to Garner
  2. The Astaire Blues
  3. Love you madly
  4. Sometimes I'm Happy
  5. Work Song
  6. Young and Foolish
  7. Con Alma
  8. Mumbles
  9. Tenderly

Crotchet  £8.50
Sarah Vaughan Verve 543 597 - 2
  1. Misty
  2. How High the Moon
  3. I'm Glad there is You
  4. Make Yourself Comfortable
  5. Lush Life
  6. What is this thing called Love?
  7. The Other Half of Me
  8. Dedicated to You
  9. Shulie a Bop
  10. Lover Man
  11. Broken Hearted Medley
  12. My Man's Gone Now
  13. Lullaby of Birdland
  14. Night song
  15. Dreamsville
  16. Star Dust
  17. Sassy's Blues

Just lately there has been an enormous crop of re-issues. of material previously available only on vinyl and of composite albums, put together from tracks takenfrom various albums. There is probably two reasons for his, firstly the record companies wish to ring the last few bucks from their previous investments and secondly the cost involved in making composite albums is much lower than recording new work. Is it desirable from the listener's point of view? I think it is, each of the albums above have brought my attention to work from artistes, that all though I thought I knew well, I had missed.

The Stan Getz compilation contains many examples of the ultimate master of the Tenor Saxophone at his very best. In contrast to his life, which seems to have been constant turmoil, everything Stan played was of great beauty and immediately identifiable. In particular, I enjoyed It Never Entered My Mind, which features Stan at his lyrical best with Oscar Petersen on Piano. Shine has an added bonus with some excellent Trumpet from Conte Condoli, this time another fine pianist Lou Levy provides the accompaniment. It was inevitable I suppose that Desafinado and the Girl from Ipenema should be included, although anyone interested in jazz will have these in their collection already. Stan Getz was a one off, a completely unique and irreplaceable jazz musician.

Quincy Jones is synonymous with quality in everything he does, his arrangements and compositions reach a level of consistency rare in any field; he also has the happy knack of getting exactly the right line up of musicians for each session. As in the Stan Getz album there are some pleasant surprises, Sarah Vaughan is featured on The Midnight Sun Will Never Set and Theme from the Pawnbroker, Dinah Washington sings on Stormy Weather which also has Joe Newman of Count Basie fame on Trumpet. Quincy Jones started his career as a Trumpet player, but it is his skills as an arranger that put him in a class above the rest. Unlike many fine jazz writers and composers, he has had the good sense to adapt his skills to make them more attractive to the movie industry, where the pay is much better, he has however always returned to his roots in jazz.

Oscar Petersen is the world's greatest living jazz pianist, of that there can be no dispute. The tracks on this Verve album relate to the period 1950 to 1965. Ray brown who would surely be the world's finest Bass player is on many of the tracks together with neat and swinging Drummer Ed Thigpen. It was in the late 1940's that Oscar first hit the jazz scene in a big way, he was already famous in his native Canada and not at first convinced that the USA was the place he wanted to be. It was the tours with Jazz at the Philharmonic organised by Norman Granz, that brought him to the attention of a world wide audience and he has enjoyed their patronage ever since.

As with the other albums in the series there are some nice surprises, Milt Jackson plays some great Vibraphone on Work Song and Ernie Wilkin's All Star Big Band on Young and Foolish. The always delightful Clarke Terry turns up to do the vocal honours on Mumbles, his own composition and the album is completed with a masterly version of Tenderly from a 1952 Carnegie Hall Concert with Barney Kessel and Ray Brown.

Sarah Vaughan. In discussions as to who was, or for that matter is, the No1 female Jazz vocalist. There are really only two contenders, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. Like so many of the very best singers, she learned her craft as vocalists with Big Bands, in her case the Bands of Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine. The latter's Band spawned the Dizzy Gillespie Band and it contained a huge collection of future jazz stars including Charlie Parker. On the first track Misty, tenorman Zoot Sims pops up for a few short improvisations, but this track is about nothing but Sarah. How High the Moon is a rave up with Cannonball Adderley on alto. It was nice to hear the verse on I'm Glad there is You, it is a shame it's not heard more often, the whole song is a masterpiece. I am sure Sarah did not want to record Make yourself Comfortable, obviously aimed at the pop market of the day. The live recording at he Tivoli Theatre in Copenhagen is tremendous and worth the money of the whole album. Frequent recording partner Billy Eckstine crops up on Dedicated to You. Sassy's Blues shows that Sarah Vaughan could sing the blues with the best.

Verve are to be congratulated on these Finest Hour recordings, I have enjoyed all of them equally, but with musicians and singers of this quality, how could things be otherwise.

for each album

Don Mather

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader based in Coventry

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