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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Four Classic Albums

Avid AMSC 1047



Locking Horns
1. Corky
2. Mambo For Joe
3. Wolafunt's Lament
4. Midnight Fantasy
5. `Tater Pie
6. Oh Shay
7. Bassing Around
8. Oh Joe
9. Susette
10. Similar Souls
Joe Newman - Trumpet
Zoot Sims - Tenor sax
Adrian Acea - Piano
Oscar Pettiford - Bass
Osie Johnson - Drums
All I Wanna Do Is Swing
11. Soon
12. Limehouse Blues
13. Dream A Little Dream Of Me
14. Corner Pocket
15. If I Could Be With You
16. It's A Thing Of The Past
17. Pretty Skinny Bunny
18. Leonice
19. Jack's Wax
20. Topsy
21. Captain Spaulding
22. I Could Have Told You
Joe Newman - Trumpet
Al Cohn - Tenor sax
Ernie Wilkins - Alto sax
Frank Rehack - Trombone
Nat Pierce - Piano
Freddie Green - Guitar
Milt Hinton - Bass
Shadow Wilson - Drums
The Midgets
1. The Midgets
2. The Late Late Show
3. Really? Healy!
4. One Lamper
5. She Has Red Hair
6. Valerie
7. No Moon At All
8. Indeed The Blues
9. Living Dangerously
10. Scooter
11. My Dog Friday
Joe Newman - Trumpet
Frank Wess - Flute
Barry Galbraith - Electric guitar
Freddie Green - Rhythm guitar
Hank Jones - Piano, organ
Eddie Jones - Bass
Osie Johnson - Drums
Soft Swingin' Jazz
12. Makin' Whoopee
13. Three Little Words
14. Scotty
15. There's A Small Hotel
16. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart
17. Moonglow
18. Organ Grinder's Swing
19. Rosetta
20. Too Marvellous For Words
21. The Farmer's Daughter
22. Save Your Love For Me
Joe Newman - Trumpet, vocals
Shirley Scott - Organ
Eddie Jones - Bass
Charlie Persip - Drums


Joe Newman is probably best known for the years he spent in Count Basie's band - in the mid-1940s and for most of the 1950s. For his second stint with Basie, Newman filled the chair previously occupied by Harry Edison and some critics have compared his style to Edison's. He could certainly play with easy swing like Edison did and his playing with a mute resembles Edison, yet he was often a more forceful soloist.

This bargain double CD contains four LPs recorded with small groups between 1955 and 1958. The first album had the benefit of tenorist Zoot Sims, whose smooth style contrasts effectively with Newman's punchy trumpet. You can hear Zoot at his best in Mambo For Joe - warm and relaxed.

On the second LP, Joe Newman led an octet, with arrangements by Manny Albam, Al Cohn and Ernie Wilkins: the last two of the three being part of the band. These arrangements make good use of the group's potential for close harmony. The session was actually recorded from midnight to 10am, using only one microphone, round which the musicians gathered in a circle. Jazz fans will be particularly interested in the appearance of a Freddie Green original called Corner Pocket, which became a staple of the Basie band's repertoire in later years.

The second CD's first eleven tracks perk up the proceedings thanks to Frank Wess's tuneful flute, especially in the title-tune, which uses flute and muted trumpet together to create a memorable sound. In fact Joe Newman plays muted throughout this LP, to merge more closely with the flute. Ernie Wilkins, formerly a saxist with the Basie band, arranged all the tracks, including seven of his own original compositions. The recording of this LP seems brighter than the previous sessions, and you can really savour the rhythm section's dynamism. The Late Late Show marks pianist Hank Jones's first recording as an organist.

Organist Shirley Scott leads the rhythm section on the final LP, which dates from 1958. It is a laid-back session, with leisurely vocals by Joe Newman on three tracks. Shirley Scott tends to play thick, swirling chords rather than single-note lines on the organ, which sometimes gives an impression of heaviness, but this is generally an easy swinging session. Joe Newman contributes some of his best soloing on this LP.

Tony Augarde

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

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