Lennie Niehaus

Lennie Niehaus, Vol. 4: The Quintets and Strings

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This CD reissue brings back one of Lennie Niehaus' finest recordings of the 1950s. His alto is featured throughout the dozen selections and the varied settings (Niehaus is backed by a string quartet, a standard rhythm section, and sometimes two other saxophonists in addition to performing four numbers with a standard quintet) give him an opportunity to show off his writing abilities. Niehaus varies tempos a lot (the strings are often heard on faster material), there is solo space for the tenor of Bill Perkins, baritonist Bob Gordon, and Stu Williamson on trumpet and valve trombone, and the leader's boppish alto is heard at the peak of his playing powers. Bop collectors can consider this disc to be essential.

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