Chas Burchell & His Chastet

Unsung Hero

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Chas Burchell was an obscure and part-time but talented British tenor saxophonist. Early in his career, he became a factory manager so he could stick to playing the music he most loved. Influenced by Warne Marsh and Stan Getz, Burchell led his Chastet for a few decades, up until the time of his 1986 death. He only recorded three times along the way, all sideman appearances on bassist Peter Ind's Wave label. But after his death, Burchell's former sidemen performed at a few benefit concerts in order to raise money for a commemorative CD made out of private tapes, and this disc is the result. Burchell is heard on seven different occasions, all from 1977-1985 with the exception of three songs from 1962. There is also a 1993 version of his song "Solea" as played by the surviving members of the Chastet. In addition to the fine British musicians, the great fl├╝gelhornist Clark Terry guests with Burchell on "Just Squeeze Me" and "Blue Monk." Other highlights include "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "Tickle Toe," and a version of "Sonnymoon for Two" that has Burchell holding his own with fellow tenor Ronnie Scott. This is a valuable release that makes it possible for future generations to hear how fine a tenor player Chas Burchell was during his unheralded career.

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