Roy Eldridge / Budd Johnson

Nifty Cat

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One of only two Eldridge-led studio sessions from the 1961-1974 period, this CD reissue of a set originally recorded for Master Jazz matches the great swing trumpeter with Budd Johnson (who doubles on tenor and soprano), trombonist Benny Morton, pianist Nat Pierce, bassist Tommy Bryant, and drummer Oliver Jackson. All six of the jump tunes are by Eldridge with "5400 North" and "Ball of Fire" being the best-known. For this album, the veteran trumpeter had a very rare opportunity to call his own shots on a recording date, and the generally inspired playing makes this CD a fine example of small-group swing from the early '70s.

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