Buddy Childers

Come Home Again

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Horn player Buddy Childers first joined Stan Kenton's band when he was just 16 years old, showing up on his first Kenton recording in November 1943 on an Army and Air Force radio transcription. Over the next 11 years he played with Kenton, sharing trumpet seats with such notable section men as Karl George, Gene Roland, and Ray Wetzel. Anita O'Day and then June Christy were the vocalists. It was a period when Kenton had some of his biggest pop hits -- quite heady stuff for a young man out of St. Louis, MO. Over his career, Childers played with renowned outfits led by the likes of Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown, and Benny Goodman, to name a few. Childers was one of the top section and studio men in the country. After hearing Charlie Parker's seminal recording with strings, and then Clifford Brown's, he held onto a hankering to do something similar. Finally, he got together with conductor/arranger supreme Russ Garcia in 1993 to produce this album using the straight, pure, vibrato-less flügelhorn rather than the trumpet. The results are predictable. Garcia's tasteful strings and simple arrangements become the perfect foil for the melodic virtuosity of the veteran performer. There is not a slack track to be heard. The songs are familiar romantic classics played in a fanciful manner, ideal for both listening and dancing. Childers does some things with the melody line on such tunes as "Dindi" and "The Shadow of Your Smile" to keep this album far away from the easy listening category. But this does not break the wistful atmosphere created by the music one iota. Lovely music, lovingly presented -- and recommended.

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