Ray Nance

A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing

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A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing is Ray Nance's first LP as a leader, aside from a recording session in 1948 that produced a pair of 78 rpm records. Recorded for the Charlie Parker label in 1959, Nance is heard exclusively on violin. He is backed by two slightly different groups, with either tenor saxophonist Budd Johnson or alto clarinetist Rudy Powell, along with fellow Ellington sidemen Cat Anderson on trumpet, bassist Jimmy Woode, and drummer Sam Woodyard, as well as pianist Leroy Lovett. Unlike later dates featuring Nance solely on violin, this one is a bit of a disappointment because Lovett's arrangements don't feature enough of the leader, and they obviously pale beside the charts created by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. "Accen'tuate" is particularly odd, as this lame Latin number is more of a feature for Anderson, and Nance doesn't make an appearance until the end of the piece. Even so, Nance's warm violin is worthy of attention even when he doesn't get enough solo space, so this long unavailable and difficult to find record is worth acquiring.

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