Pee Wee Russell

New Groove

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New Groove Review

by Scott Yanow

In 1962, clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, who was closely associated with Dixieland and Eddie Condon even though he had a highly original style, began teaming up with valve trombonist/bass trumpeter Marshall Brown in more modern settings. Utilizing a pianoless quartet, Russell performed music that was a little reminiscent of Gerry Mulligan and often incorporated surprisingly modern songs. The musical partnership lasted for two albums, of which New Groove (originally recorded for Columbia) was the first. On this intriguing set, Russell, Brown, bassist Russell George, and drummer Ron Lundberg perform such songs as "Chelsea Bridge," "Moten Swing," "Good Bait," "'Round Midnight," and even John Coltrane's "Red Planet." Although their follow-up project for Impulse is more classic, this is a particularly intriguing set, with Russell and Brown making for a mutually compatible team.

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