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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

Tommy Whittle and the Bob Hudson Trio

  1. Flamingo
  2. Darn That Dream
  3. Sweet and Lovely
  4. Trotting
  5. It Never Entered My Mind
  6. Wave
  7. My Foolish Heart
  8. Tee-Jay Blues
  9. Night and Day
  10. On Green Dolphin Street
  11. My Romance

Tommy Whittle - Tenor Sax
Bob Hudson - Piano
Geoff Pearson - Double Bass
Derek Bush - Drums
Recorded in Nottingham UK, 26 June 1997.

One of the interesting features of the UK Jazz Scene is brought about by the fact that the music is a minority taste and cost dictates that top musicians like Tommy Whittle are backed by local rhythm sections. I have noticed that the very best musicians don't have a problem with this, they find out what the local group are familiar with and play that. This is of course where the not so good are found out, they can only play there own limited repertoire and if that does not fit, they complain that the local guys are not up to it! In the case of this record, there was not a problem, because Bob Hudson leads a very professional sounding trio that does a fine job in supporting Tommy Whittle.

Tommy was of course a long time member of the Ted Heath Orchestra and he has been the UK's top tenor sax player for a long time, winning many polls over the period!

I heard him a few years ago with an American Band at the Jersey Jazz Festival, everyone of the Americans I spoke to was in awe of Tommy's playing. Whilst I was doing this review I also played a Scott Hamilton record and one by Harry Allen, this is the company that Tommy Whittle can keep and on the world jazz scene he has been entirely under-rated. The fact that his brilliant musicianship outside the world of jazz has kept him so busy may account for his lack of sufficient recognition in the jazz field. He has the perfect Tenor Sax tone, his ideas just flow and flow and his timing is exceptional. Every young Tenor Sax player should buy a copy of this record to see how it's done!

The choice of tunes is also excellent, it was nice to hear Flamingo again and Darn That Dream is an exceptional Jimmy Van Heusen ballad. Zoot Sim's Trotting is another forgotten gem as is the last track, My Romance which is not often heard now.

Two very minor criticisms, the drums seem a bit under-recorded all the way through and the tempo on Wave seems a touch bright. Bob Hudson's piano solos are all worth listening to and his 'comping' behind the soloist is also excellent. Geoff Pearson gets an excellent sound on the Bass Fiddle and Derek Bush keeps good time and certainly induces the kind of swing this music relies on.

Overall a very enjoyable album,

Don Mather

Don Mather is a saxophone player and Bandleader in Coventry

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