Jazz on Verve (Reissues, Part 2)

Gold showers on Verve as well. LESTER YOUNG wit OSCAR PETERSON TRIO is the compiled original double 10“ plus a crazy track (# 13!) where Lester sings himself (or let’s say hums better). Barney Kessel on Guitar (his best years) and what will you do if Ray Brown wasn’t on bass? Following is: Oscar Peterson trio »We get requests« (no more Kessel but J.C.Heard on drums). A good catalogue of Peterson’s possibilities (basically anything) with a selection of ballads, hard funky swing and Bossa Nova.

COLEMAN HAWKINS encounters BEN WEBSTER – sees again the Peterson trio but with my beloved HERB ELLIS on guitar doing some of his most striking 4/4 struming (á la Freddie Green). The two old mates on Tenor upfront are more than relaxed and at ease.

What a nice afternoon it must have been. Probably more necessary for whom needs one record only is: Duke Ellington & Johnny Hodges »Play the blues back to back« 1959. Again a dream-team cast here: HARRY SWEETS EDISON, LES SPANN, SAM JONES & JOE JONES. I can’t tell what the Duke and Hodges had in mind on that day but there’s some sort of »Satchmo in LA« atmosphere. And listening to Ellington on Piano only is always a turning point for all of us. Bill Evans »Alone« 1968, we’re getting closer to the decadence, or even right in the middle. Bill Evans and »Alone« are two words I hardly imagine not together. Yes you will probably cry again and the photo shows him as a lost Sam Sheppard hero (but no Jessica Lange here). »JIMMY SMITH&WES MONTGOMERY« that’s more of a quick session than a real project. I mean Wes and Smith are such geniuses that they handle it without any problem but you can tell it’s not been really organised (altough Oliver Nelson’s at the Arrangments).

A couple of Blues, Riffs and good old songs. Nevermind, we can always find something to hear in this collection of fantastic sessions and albums.