Billy Strayhorn

Cabu Collection

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Of all the Cabu Collections issued by the Masters of Jazz label, this tribute to composer, arranger, pianist, and bandleader Billy Strayhorn deserves highest commendations for sheer depth and artistic merit. Although a truly comprehensive Strayhorn retrospective has yet to materialize, this pleasantly scrambled 40-track assortment admirably addresses many of his greatest compositions, a few of his better arrangements, and a handful of memorable improvisations, all recorded within a time line between June 1939 and November 1948. The Duke Ellington Orchestra is most heavily featured, with only marginal examples from the Barney Bigard and Johnny Hodges All-Stars and the Billy Strayhorn Trio and Septet. Even amidst so much excellent ensemble jazz, the most magical moments occur during "Halfway to Dawn" and "Tailspin," performed as piano solos by Strayhorn. Even if it's a pity the producers of this compilation didn't include more examples of Strayhorn as leader and soloist, this is a veritable lexicon of his most important compositions, sprinkled as they are among nine bearing Ellington's name and three from the standard jazz repertoire. Like everything else in the series, this big taste should serve to whet the appetite and lead to a search for more comprehensive issues and reissues.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:58
2 2:49
3 2:30
4 2:54
5 2:57
6 2:35
7 2:33
8 2:59
9 3:24
10 3:37
11 3:01
12 3:10
13 3:06
14 2:30
15 3:15
16 2:32
17 3:15
18 2:43
19 3:09
20 2:49
21 3:40
22 2:56
23 23:45

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:17
2 2:52
3 5:36
4 3:06
5 3:17
6 2:58
7 3:01
8 3:46
9 5:55
10 5:13
11
feat: Kay Davis
5:07
12 4:44
13 4:23
14 3:54
15 4:36
16 3:28
17 3:13
blue highlight denotes track pick