Saturday, December 8, 2012

Top Ten Historic CD Update: Two More!!!

cover artI just received two CDs in the mail of the Stan Tracey Trio with Ben Webster, "UK Live Volumes I and II" (Jazzhus Disk 2012).  These are recordings done in 1967, presumably at Ronnie Scott's in London, as Scott himself sits in on three melodies at the end of Disc 2 and the expanded group tears up a storm on "Honeysuckle Rose", "C Jam Blues" and "A Night in Tunisia".

I had already included Webster in London on my 2012 list for the "Soho Nights" recording and this one is up to the same standards for quality and musicianship. Recorded in 1967, the sound is excellent and the audience responsive, which keeps the energy way up throughout. A tip of the cap too to Kenny Baldock on bass and Tony Oxley on drums for setting the pace as member of the Tracey Trio.
A bunch of standards but oh what a bunch -- along with the ones above add things like "In a Mellow Tone", How Long has this Been Going On", Our Love is Here to Stay", "My Romance", and "Perdido". Hear Webster at his loveliest on the ballads, and hear him tearing it up on "Sunday", followed on that track by a fantastic Tracey solo while the drums and bass pound away on the rhythm, and then hear Baldock run with his solo.  "Honeysuckle Rose" pairs Webster and Tracey on another uptempo romp, opening in unison and then Tracey taking first lead, followed by the larger and mellower sounds of Webster, and then the imagination of Tracey on the piano and Baldock on bass.

Another wow recording find from 45 years ago and still fresh as a daisy. Add it to the top 10 list for historical recordings. May be a bit pricey but very worth it.

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