Don Redman Orchestra / Don Redman

Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 11: Live from Geneva 1946

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This newly discovered 1946 concert is one of his last recordings as a leader. The all-star group with which he toured Europe that year includes Don Byas, trombonists Quentin Jackson and Tyree Glenn, pianist Billy Taylor as well as the leader on alto sax. Although many of Redman's arrangements were relatively new and under-rehearsed by the band, there are still enjoyable tracks. The swinging opener is the old chestnut "My Melancholy Baby," which like "Limehouse Blues," is primarily a feature for Glenn on vibes. Taylor's piano solo of "Alexander's Ragtime Band" is reminiscent of Teddy Wilson, while his rendition of "Tea for Two" explores new territory in a roundabout way. The musicians still seem to be finding their way through "Stormy Weather," but all is made well as Glenn returns to vibes for the romp through the closing "Stompin' at the Savoy," which also features nice solos by the big-toned tenor of Don Byas, Taylor, bassist Ted Sturgis, and an unidentified muted trumpet. The sound is very good for such an old air check, and swing fans should definitely consider acquiring this CD.

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