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

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Texas Tenor

Sackville SK 3027



1. June Night

2. Someday Sweetheart

3. If You Could See Me Now

4. I’ll Remember April

5. Georgia on my Mind

6. Alone Together

6. Bye Bye Blackbird

7. Isfahan

8. Lullaby of the Leaves

Buddy Tate – Tenor sax, clarinet

Wray Downes – Piano

Dave Young – Bass

Pete Magadini - Drums

There has been at least one other album with the same title as this, which suggests that Buddy Tate can be pigeon-holed as a Texas Tenor: one of those musicians from Texas with a hard-blowing style to match the breadth and image of the Lone Star State. Other tenorists in the same camp include Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet and Herschel Evans.

When Herschel Evans died in 1939, Buddy Tate replaced him in the Count Basie band, where he stayed for almost ten years. That band contained one fine tenorist after another: from Lester Young to Don Byas, Lucky Thompson, Illinois Jacquet and Paul Gonsalves. Buddy Tate learnt something from each of these men but developed a distinctive sound of his own.

This album, recorded in 1978, contains some fine examples of muscular blowing, but it also proves that Buddy Tate could play delicately when he wished. For example, If You Could See Me Now is taken as a gentle ballad which Buddy savours thoughtfully. And Isfahan matches Johnny Hodges in its tenderness, without becoming bland. On tracks 5 and 9, Tate plays the clarinet with a satisfyingly full tone, approaching the rather sweet sound of Acker Bilk.

Buddy Tate is well served by his accompanying trio from Canada. Wray Downes furnishes some clean piano solos, while Dave Young and Pete Magadini ensure that the music swings even in the slower numbers. This CD contains barely 50 minutes, which is rather miserly, but the sound quality is clear and every track has something to commend it.

Tony Augarde

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