If you thrive on a healthy diet of 1950s jazz played by a matched pair of talented saxophonists, this collection will be a swinging slice of heaven. Among the "coolest" of the West Coast tenor players of the 1950s, Bill Perkins in later years became a bit influenced by John Coltrane and modernized his style in a personal way. A flexible and versatile musician who also played baritone, alto, soprano, and flute, Perkins was best-known for his work on tenor.
This compilation CD has material recorded by Gary Moore between 1977 and 1979, when he was signed under MCA label, and issued on albums and singles either as a solo artist as well as a member of Colosseum II. Four songs: Back On The Streets, Fanatical Fascists, Don't Believe A Word and Parisienne Walkways come from his second solo album titled Back On The Streets, originally issued in december 1978. All these four songs fwature Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy in a way or another. Back On The Streets has Phil Lynott on backing vocals, Fanatical Fascists was written by Lynott, Don't Believe A Word (a Lizzy song played here in a slower tempo) and Parisienne Walkways have both Lynott on lead vocals. Musicians on these four songs are Gary Moore (guitar and vocals), Phil Lynott (bass and vocals), Don Airey (keyboards), Simon Phillips (drums). Parisienne Walkways has Thin Lizzy's Brian Downey on drums.
For this set, tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins is showcased in an all-star octet also including altoist Bud Shank, baritonist Jack Nimitz, trumpeter Stu Williamson, trombonist Carl Fontana, pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Mel Lewis. Perk's tone is heard throughout at its coolest (influenced by Lester Young but distinctive within the style) and there are plenty of short spots for the other key voices.
Other than a Bethlehem album in 1955 and a few obscure titles, all of vibraphonist Joe Roland's recordings as a leader are on this enjoyable CD reissue. Roland, best-known for an early '50s stint with George Shearing's Quintet, was a excellent vibist whose style fell somewhere between Terry Gibbs and Milt Jackson. He is paired in two 1954 quintets with either Freddie Redd (who plays conventional bop) and Wade Legge (sounding at his most eccentric) on piano. However the most memorable set is from 1950 for Roland is joined by guitar (Joe Puma), bass, drums and a string quartet. The writing for the strings (which is uncredited) is quite inventive and, although the strings do not solo, they sound very much like a jazz ensemble. It is particularly interesting to hear this instrumentation playing "Half Nelson," "Dee Dee's Dance" and Roland's original "Sally Is Gone"; guest singer Paula Castle does a fine job on the haunting "Love Is Just a Plaything." Recommended.
It's 1940s and Dizzy Gillespie's big band are at their absolute peak! Listening to this record makes me wonder why there ever became such a thing as jazz snobbery. This music doesn't sound like the domain for snobs. In fact it showcases jazz in a crucial and innovative place. Here we are in this place where swing and be-bop have long ago cross polinated eachother (one needed to have the other anyway:we all know in what way",you've got Dizzy whose at once both a great intellectual musician as well as being able to make it move. And here you have him playing with these…well nowadays you'd have to call them all stars such as Dexter Gordon, Milt Jackson, Charlie Parker, Cozy Cole, Sonny Stitt, Kenny Clarke…the list goes on like that and BIM BAM BOOM you've got big band be-bop!