The third installment in the Classics Buck Clayton chronology documents the trumpeter's European adventures with recordings made between April 2 and October 21, 1953. Clayton had toured Europe in 1949, and after savoring the social atmosphere in the U.S. was happy to head back to France in February 1953 with drummer Kansas Fields, pianist Red Richards, and trombonist Big Chief Russell Moore, a Native American whose Pima heritage places his ancestral turf within the Gila and Salt River valleys in southern Arizona. In addition to playing live gigs with Mezz Mezzrow, the North Americans made phonograph records. On April 2, the Buck Clayton Quintet cut five sides for the Vogue label; "Patricia's Blues" is a particularly attractive example of Clayton at his most subtle, sensual, and soulful. A concert performance by this band led by Mezzrow with Gene Sedric in the front line took place at the Theatre de Champs-Elysee near the end of May. The recordings made at that event have been reissued under Mezzrow's name. Buck Clayton and Kansas Fields participated in four different recording sessions in Brussels, Belgium, between August and October, 1953. These would be the only records ever released under the name of Marion Joseph "Taps" Miller, a trumpeter and rowdy vocalist who became marginally famous for a minute when Count Basie named a tune after him in 1944. The heavy-handed Belgian musicians who participated in these sessions made enough noise to match Miller's extremely boisterous vocals. "Hot Dog," with its repeated demands for mustard and pickles, epitomizes Miller's approach to entertainment. Fortunately, tracks 16-23 find Clayton sitting in with a big band led by Django Reinhardt session man Alix Combelle, an intelligent, hip, and sophisticated tenor saxophonist whose complete chronological recordings occupy their own niche in the Classics Chronological series.
by arwulf arwulf