The 1956 Red Garland Trio – Essential Jazz Classics Art Tatum & Ben Webster – The Album (1956) – Essential Jazz Classics

by | Jun 16, 2009 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

The 1956 Red Garland Trio – Essential Jazz Classics EJC55402, 77:35:
Art Tatum & Ben Webster – The Album (1956) – Essential Jazz Classics EJC55403, 64:50:

(Art Tatum, piano; Ben Webster, tenor sax; Red Callender, bass; Bill Douglass, drums)

Sure, these recordings have been issued before, but in this form you have basically two LP albums on one disc with each, plus excellent mono transfers, good notes and a mid-price. The masters were obviously licensed from Concord Music, but this is an independent, imported effort.  Similar reissues of Sonny Rollins’ famous Saxophone Colossus and  the Clifford Brown/Sonny Rollins/Max Roach Quintet are in the same series.

Texas-born Garland had one of the grooviest piano trios in the world of the 50s and 60s.   He played with such people as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Flip Phillips, but  his trio with Paul Chambers and Art Taylor was his main calling card. The initial eight tracks here came from his LP A Garland of Red; then five more tracks from later sessions in 1956 have been added for a nearly full up CD capacity.  Philly Joe Jones replaces Art Taylor at the drums on the final track.  This wonderful trio makes most of the piano trio CDs that come thru here for review sound like the players are just going thru the motions.

TrackList:

1. A Foggy Day    
2. My Romance    
3. What Is This Thing Called Love?    
4. Makin’ Whoopee    
5. September In The Rain    
6. Little Girl Blue    
7. Blue Red    
8. Constellation    
9. Willow, Weep For Me    
10. If I Were A Bell    
11. I Know Why    
12. What Can I Say?   
13. Ahmad’s Blues    

The second CD has an even more important place in jazz history. It features all of the recordings by the Tatum/Webster Quartet and was the last studio session for the ailing Tatum, who died soon after. The producers of the reissue recreated most of the order of songs from the original LP, but as a Tatum solo piano album – on tracks 8 to 12.  Thus you can compare the different approach Tatum used to the same tune depending whether he was part of the quartet or playing solo. There never has been any pianist who could do what Tatum did at the keyboard! And nobody else ever sounded just like Ben Webster on tenor. The 16-page note booklet has the original album notes by Ira Gitler and new material plus photos. The first four pages are a bit of a reflection on Tatum from Count Basie. This is great stuff!

TrackList:

All the Things You Are

Gone with the Wind
HAve You Met Miss Jones?
Night and Day
Where or When
My Ideal
My One and Only Love
All the Things You Are
9. Gone with the Wind
10. Have You Met Miss Jones?
11. Night and Day
Where or When

 — John Henry

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