Tyree Glenn

1947-1952

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Texas-born trombonist and vibraphonist Tyree Glenn developed his chops with Benny Carter's Orchestra during the late '30s and with Cab Calloway from 1940-1946. Classics 1420 presents all of the pre-LP-era records released under his name, with the exception of "Working Eyes," a maiden effort originally issued on the flip side of "Gloria," a Don Byas performance issued on the 78-rpm Swing label in 1946 and found on Classics 1009. During this time, both Byas and Glenn made records in Europe with members of Don Redman's touring band and the cream of the local jazz talent. The opening six tracks, recorded for Blue Star in Paris on January 13, 1947, mingle modern bop creations like Billy Taylor's "Mad Monk" and Charlie Parker's "Billie's Bounce" with pleasantly updated jazz standards. Although the enclosed discography fails to mention his presence on this first session, master tenor saxophonist Don Byas is present and in fine form throughout the entire date. The other front-liners were trumpeter Herbert "Peanuts" Holland and alto saxophonist Hubert Rostaing, himself a mainstay in the Parisian jazz scene that revolved around Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club de France during the late '30s and 1940s. Tyree Glenn was a versatile musician whose adventures as both leader and sideman fit perfectly into the postwar transatlantic transition from swing to bop. On February 17, 1947, Tyree Glenn, Don Byas, and their orchestra cut four sides for the Decca label in Hilversum, Holland. This was the same ensemble as the previous date, with second trombonist Nat Peck replacing Rostaing. The music is superb -- Dvorák's Humoresque rolls along effortlessly, their version of Irving Berlin's "Always" sounds as modern as Dizzy Gillespie's (thanks especially to pianist Billy Taylor's sweeping arpeggios), and Glenn demonstrates his mastery of the vibraphone during "My Melancholy Baby." On March 28 and April 1, 1947, Glenn cut a series of recordings in Stockholm for the Musica and Swedish HMV labels with ensembles led by bassist Simon Brehm and pianist Charles Norman. The Brehm Kvintett rendition of "My Melancholy Baby" feels like something cooked up by Benny Goodman's bop band, largely because of agile clarinetist Ake "Stan" Hasselgård. Glenn's next session as a leader took place in New York on May 12, 1949, when he led a seven-piece band that was a scaled-down version of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, with Billy Strayhorn at the piano. This exciting compilation closes with a series of Roost recordings from 1951 and 1952. Here Glenn teams up first with organist Bill Doggett and finally with the rock-solid rhythm section of Hank Jones, Milt Hinton, and Jo Jones.

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