Monday, July 14, 2008

Mr. Jacquet's Texas Tenor still sounds tough

The late Illinois Jacquet certainly left his mark on musical history with so many outstanding recordings. The Man I Love is a marvelous reissue from the French Black & Blue label that I downloaded from emusic (I believe it is available on other download services such as amazon and itunes). A trio date with organist Wild Bill Davis and drummer Al Bartee, there are few musical surprises, but plenty of space for Mr. Jacquet's tough texas tenor as well as space for organ pioneer, Wild Bill davis to shine. Perhaps not a lot of surprises in the music contained as it includes classic big band swing numbers. Still Jacquet handles it in his own distinctive approach with a heavy blues foundation (and a bit of vibrato in the manner of Ben Webster) with a dash of Lester Young in how he phrases his solos. This can be heard in the marvelous trio rendition of Cottontail, a feature for Webster in the Ellington Band of the early forties. The title track is taken at a quicker tempo than usual for a song most probably identify with Billie Holiday's classic renditions. Of course Jacquet was one of the great ballad players as evidenced on Misty. There are also strong renditions of Herschel Evans blues ballad, Blue and Sentimental, and Ellington's It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got the Swing). I won't claim this is a definitive Jacquet disc, just one that has given me plenty of enjoyment after downloading it and well worth folks sampling.

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