Sunday, September 27, 2009
Jay McSHANN - The Last Of The Blues Devils 1977
Label: Atlantic / COLLECTABLES
Release Date: 09/26/2006
RCA Studios, NYC, June 29 & 30, July 1, 1977
For this album Jay McShann put together a program of old favorites in his repertory (CONFESSIN' THE BLUES, HOOTIE BLUES, HOT BISCUITS, FORE DAY RIDER among others) and brought together some impressive musicians to play them. But the date is only partially successful, the reason being, I think, that he doesn't use the players to his best advantage. Joe Newman (tp) Buddy Tate and Paul Quinichette (ts) should be prominently featured all over this album, but all three men take a back seat here. John Scofield (g) gets a lot of space, however; I'm not knocking Scofield, but there's some other great talent here just going to waste.
Newman and Quinichette (The Vice President) are nicely heard on JUMPIN' AT THE WOODSIDE (both played the tune while with the Basie band, of course), and Quinichette also has a good solo on CONFESSIN' THE BLUES, where his Lestorian touches are prominent. But TAIN'T NOBODY'S BIZNESS is taken at so slow a tempo it's dead in the water. As usual with McShann the best tracks are the ones on which he sings, especially FORE DAY RIDER. It's a good album (half of it is very good), but with a little bit more care given to the other men he had around him, the whole album would really shine.
When Charlie Parker first came to New York in 1942, he was a sideman in Jay McShann's big band. Every jazz fan knows what happened after that -- Parker changed the world and McShann became a footnote in Parker's biography. That's too bad, and not just for him; if the 1978 session remastered and reissued on this disc is anything to go by, McShann had much more to offer the world than his role as caregiver to the inventor of bebop. Leading an all-star cast that includes saxophonist Paul Quinichette, the ubiquitous Milt Hinton on bass, and a young, up-and-coming guitarist named John Scofield, McShann teaches an entire course on the history of blues-based jazz, going from his own "Confessin' the Blues" through "Hootie Blues" (which he co-wrote with Parker and Walter Brown) and an intensely swinging version of Count Basie's "Jumpin' at the Woodside." He goes off on a welcome tangent with Pete Johnson's sweet stride ballad "Just for You" and comes on home with the boogie-woogie composition "'Fore Day Rider" and Leiber and Stoller's "Kansas City." Highly recommended.
By Rick Anderson, All Music Guide.
Jay McShann- (Vocals, Piano);
Paul Quinichette, Buddy Tate- (Tenor Sax);
Joe Newman- (Trumpet);
John Scofield- (Guitar);
Milt Hinton- (Bass);
Jackie Williams- (Drums).
01. Confessin' the Blues 4:45
02. 'Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do 7:02
03. Hootie Blues 4:32
04. Blue Devil Jump 3:28
05. My Chile 4:18
06. Jumpin' at the Woodside 4:39
07. Just for You 5:40
08. Hot Biscuits 3:29
09. 'Fore Day Rider 4:10
10. Kansas City 4:53