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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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GENE KRUPA

Five Classic Albums Plus

Avid AMSC 1069

 

 

CD1
The Gene Krupa Sextet No. 1
1. Payin' Them Dues Blues
2. Swedish Schnapps
3. I'm Coming Virginia
4. Showcase
5. Midget
6. Jungle Drums
 
Charlie Shavers - Trumpet
Bill Harris - Trombone
Ben Webster - Tenor sax
Teddy Wilson - Piano
Ray Brown - Bass
Gene Krupa - Drums
 
The Gene Krupa Sextet No. 2
7. Don't Take Your Love From Me
8. Imagination
9. Coronation Hop
10. Capital Idea
11. Paradise
12. Overtime
 
Personnel as for The Gene Krupa Sextet No. 1, except on tracks 9 to 12 where the personnel is:
Charlie Shavers - Trumpet
Willie Smith - Alto sax
Teddy Wilson - Piano
Steve Jordan - Guitar
Israel Crosby - Bass
Gene Krupa - Drums
 
The Gene Krupa Sextet No. 3
13. Medley: Dancing In The Dark/The Nearness Of You /You Are Too Beautiful/Tenderly/Autumn In New York
14. Who's Rhythm
15. Second Helping Blues
16. Bloozy Woozy
17. Meddle My Minor
18. Windy
 
Gene Krupa - Drums
Bill Harris - Trombone
Charlie Shavers - Trumpet
Eddie Davis - Tenor sax
Ray Brown - Bass
Teddy Wilson - Piano
 
CD2
Hey...Here's Gene Krupa!
1. Day By Day
2. Little Girl Blue
3. As Long As I Live
4. Love Is Here To Stay
5. Jumpin' At The Woodside
6. Memories Of You
7. Gene's Solo Flight
8. Home
9. Chelsea Bridge
10. Out Of Nowhere
11. China Boy
 
Gene Krupa - Drums
Eddie Shu - Tenor sax, clarinet, trumpet
Dave McKenna - Piano
Wendell Marshall - Bass
 
 
The Gene Krupa Trio Collates
12. St. Louis Blues
13. Fine's Idea
14. Drum Boogie
15. Perdido
16. Star Dust
17. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
 
Charlie Ventura - Tenor sax
Teddy Napoleon - Piano
Gene Krupa - Drums
 
Drum Boogie
18. Drum Boogie
19. The Moon Over The Ruined Castle
20. How High The Moon
 
Charlie Ventura - Tenor sax
Teddy Napoleon - Piano
Gene Krupa - Drums

 

We have come to expect generous helpings of jazz from the Avid label but this double CD seems to outdo Avid's usual generosity, with five whole LPs plus three tracks from an EP - a total of 153 minutes.

This collection might be less magnanimous if the music had been of a poor standard but there is sone really exciting music here, performed by some of the greatest stars of jazz. The sextet tracks include such masters as Charlie Shavers and Ben Webster, while the trio and quartet recordings are fronted by two inspiring but underrated reedmen: Charlie Ventura and Eddie Shu. Shu is one of those unsung heroes whose versatility is clear in the tracks with Gene Krupa's quartet. Just sample his solos in As Long As I Live, where he plays both clarinet and trumpet.

The trio and quartet sides make the most of their limited resources, often producing music that appears to come from larger ensembles. Gene Krupa may not be the subtlest of drummers but he has an instinctive feeling for drama, especially in the trio set with Charlie Ventura, who shares Krupa's taste for histrionics. The trio uses varying tempos and clever dynamics to keep you on the edge of your seat. For instance, Star Dust starts slowly, with long pauses and Krupa accenting Ventura's introduction with a forceful bass drum.

The sextet uses arrangements by Charlie Shavers, who had formerly created some fine arrangements for John Kirby's band. In fact Swedish Schnapps sounds very like a Kirby recording. And many of these sextet tracks make the six men sound like a big band, thanks to Shavers' ingenuity. Charlie composed the majority of the tunes. And there are some memorable solos from Shavers, Harris, Webster, Wilson and Eddie Davis - who I assume is the tenorist we know better as "Lockjaw". Davis shows his sentimemtal side as well as his trademark growl in You Are Too Beautiful; Ben Webster's solo on I'm Coming Virginia is sublime; and Charlie Shavers is marvellous whatever he plays.

These recordsings all date from the 1950s but they still sound fresh and dynamic. There is only one remaining puzzle: what is the meaning of the title "Gene Krupa Collates"?

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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