Remembering Eddie Jefferson

Eddie Landsberg

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Remembering Eddie Jefferson Review

by Ken Dryden

Organist Eddie Landsberg's recording debut is a tribute to the late master of vocalese, Eddie Jefferson. Also on hand are the delightful vocalese artist (and badly under-recorded) Giacomo Gates, veteran alto saxophonist James Spaulding (who doubles on flute), and guitarists Randy Johnston or Coleman Mellett. Landsberg keeps things moving with his strong left hand and potent pedal technique, though it's difficult not to focus on Gates' hip vocal interpretations of pieces indelibly associated with Jefferson, such as his famous treatments of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation" and "Now's the Time," along with Dexter Gordon's "Dexter Digs In." The ballads are every bit as enjoyable, including "I Feel So Good" (Jefferson's reworking of the perennial standard "Body and Soul") and "I Just Got Back in Town" (which is based upon James Moody's arrangement of the chestnut "I Cover the Waterfront"). Instrumental tracks include a snappy "Stella By Starlight" and the upbeat original blues "Eddie's Delight." This very enjoyable debut is easily recommended to fans of vocalese and bop in general.

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