Oscar Pettiford

First Bass

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The remarkable Oscar Pettiford, arguably the top bassist in jazz during 1945-60 (Charles Mingus was his closest competitor) and the first great jazz cellist (preceded only by Harry Babasin), is showcased on 14 formerly rare titles on this CD from the collectors' IAJRC label. Pettiford is heard on four fascinating titles with Babasin, in which the two cellists are backed by a rhythm section, as part of a small group with vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, in a trio with guitarist Attila Zoller, jamming with pianist Phineas Newborn in 1958 (on "Yardbird Suite," where they are also joined by altoist Lee Konitz and tenorman Zoot Sims), and with top European players on three numbers from 1960. Whether playing bass or cello, Oscar Pettiford is well-featured on each selection, yet his strong soloing and creative ideas keep the music from ever becoming dull or predictable. Highly recommended for bop collectors.

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