Cootie Williams

Echoes of Harlem

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The little known big band that trumpeter Cootie Williams led in 1944 had some rather notable sidemen: pianist Bud Powell (in his first recordings), altoist-vocalist Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. This superior English LP from Affinity has all 16 recordings by Williams from that year, eight songs apiece from his sextet and his big band. In addition to the other soloists, a young Pearl Bailey has two vocals and future R&B tenor star Sam "The Man" Taylor gets in a few licks. Among the many highlights of this historic program are "Echoes of Harlem," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Cherry Red Blues," "Blue Garden Blues," and the earliest recording ever of Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight."

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