Neil Swainson Quintet

49th Parallel

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Bassist Neil Swainson is known more as an accompanist (most notably with George Shearing) than as a bandleader, and this was his first opportunity to head his own recording date. Swainson was able to secure the services of both trumpeter Woody Shaw (on his final studio session just two years before his death) and tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, in addition to a couple of Toronto-based musicians: pianist Gary Williamson and drummer Jerry Fuller. Swainson, who has long had impressive technique and a beautiful tone, performs five of his originals, plus Henderson's "Homestretch." Overall, this is an underrated, high-quality advanced hard bop date worth exploring.

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