Ray Nance

Huffin' & Puffin'

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This is one of the rarest record dates led by Ray Nance, recorded in 1971 for BASF with pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Ron Mathewson, and drummer Daniel Humair. Nance pulls all the stops in showcasing his talents, opening with an obscure Ellington composition, "He Huffed 'n' Puffed" (played during just two 1965 concerts before it was dropped), with the leader delivering its jive vocal with his trademark humor in his hoarse voice. His swinging violin is heard on "Some of These Days" and his exotic original "Wild Child," written shortly before the session began, which finds him moving away from swing and closer to the post-bop sounds of John Coltrane. His muted horn and campy vocal on "Tangerine" and open horn on "Struttin' With Some Barbecue" are also highlights of what evidently was his final recording as a leader prior to his death in 1976. This long out of print LP is worth an extensive search.

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