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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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LOU STEIN AND HIS
JAZZ SEXTET

That Was Yesterday

Sounds of Yester Year
DSOY 908

 

 

1. That Was Yesterday
2. Tapping the Bass
3. Ah Proves It
4. I Spoke to the Moon
5. Chic Chic Boogie
6. Marionette
7. Three Hundred Pounds of Blues
8. Bouncing Ghost
9. Silver Star
10. Shake Your Spurs Off
11. Boogie Woogie Rhapsody
12. I'm Lonely
13. Just Wasn't There
14. This is My Heart Beat
15. Black Witch
16. Cotton Blossom Dance
17. Raindrops on my Window
18. Red Hot
19. Am I Dreaming
20. I'm Always Grieving For You

Lou Stein - Piano
Billy Butterfield - Trumpet
Peanuts Hucko - Clarinet, tenor sax
Tony Mottola - Guitar
Bob Carter - Bass
Cliff Leeman - Drums

 

Lou Stein is not exactly a household name nowadays, even among jazz fans, but he played with such people as Ray McKinley, Glenn Miller, Charlie Parker, Charlie Ventura and Joe Venuti. At one point in the 1950s, he was voted by Downbeat readers as second only to Mel Powell among pianists. He may not have stuck in the minds of jazz enthusiasts because he played in so many different styles: from Dixieland to bebop, from mainstream jazz to easy listening.

This undated album illustrates some of the variety he espoused. Some of the tracks might seem better suited to a cocktail lounge than a jazz club, but the personnel suggests a strong influence from some top-rate jazzmen. Billy Butterfield is probably the star of the recordings, producing some fine solos such as the plunger-muted solo in Three Hundred Pounds of Blues. Peanuts Hucko is another considerable asset to the group. He is probably best remembered as a clarinettist but he contributes some beautifully smooth tenor sax to I Spoke to the Moon. Gutarist Tony Mottola is another noteworthy soloist.

Lou Stein was no slouch at the piano, either, and I suspect that he wrote the ingenious arrangements and maybe even the tunes, whose composers are not listed in the sleeve-notes. Altogether this is an album of pleasantly unpretentious music, with some worthwhile jazz among the politer material.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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