Buddy Tate gained his initial fame as one of the tenor saxophonists with Count Basie's Orchestra during 1938-1948, replacing Herschel Evans. All of his early dates as a leader are on this CD, and most of the sessions were formerly quite rare. Tate is heard as a sideman in 1945 with trumpeter Karl George's swing-to-bop octet (which also starred trombonist J.J. Johnson), with pianist Skip Hall's combo in 1949 (four instrumentals featuring trumpeter Buck Clayton), and on four sessions of his own. Thirteen songs are from two dates near the end of 1947 and feature some excellent Emmett Berry trumpet, pianist Bill Doggett's arrangements, and a couple of early vocals by Jimmy Witherspoon; Tate comes across effectively in an Illinois Jacquet jump/jazz role. His other two dates (from 1949-1950) are in a similar vein, with Buck Clayton and trombonist Tyree Glenn helping out. A few songs along the way have vocals (a pair by Eddie Fullylove are essentially middle-of-the-road pop), but most of the music is quite worthwhile and swinging. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow