Sunday, November 26, 2006

joe newman at count basie's

Trumpeter Joe Newman was more famous for his dozen years with the Count Basie’s Orchestra and his work for jazz preservation than for his solo career, but he and his quintet were marvelous musicians. In 1961 they played a series of shows in New York at his old boss’s club, and Quincy Jones and Mercury records were on hand with tape.

The result is the stunning Joe Newman Quintet at Count Basie’s, a perfect bite of small group jazz in a small club setting. Yes there is crowd noise, but it adds to smoky, late-night feeling of the record. The listener can almost imagine being in Harlem enjoying a scotch and this seductive performance.

For the recording, remastered and reissued by Verve last year, the Joe Newman Quintet plays the standards Caravan, Our Love is Here to Stay and On Green Dolphin Street as well as Joe Newman’s own compositions The Midgets and the jumping Wednesday’s Blues; music that is ideal for relaxing after work or a sophisticated dinner party. To give you a taste I have linked to Someone to Love.

Joe Newman Quintet - Someone to Love

Joining Joe are Oliver Nelson on tenor, Lloyd Mayers on piano, Art Davis on bass and Ed Shaughnessy on drums.