Sax Appeal

Various Artists

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Sax Appeal Review

by Scott Yanow

The corny cover photo (a female model allegedly playing a saxophone), the hodgepodge nature of the program and the barely adequate liner notes mask the fact that this CD contains a great deal of interesting music. Most of the 24 performances (nine previously unissued) put the emphasis on its tenor soloists and the music generally falls somewhere between bop and early rhythm & blues. Included are complete sessions by Julian Dash, bassist David Shipp (whose sidemen include altoist Porter Kilbert and pianist Andrew Hill), keyboardist Tommy Dean (one of his songs features altoist Oliver Nelson), the great tenor Wardell Gray (the four numbers from his final session), honker Big Jay McNeely ("Big Jay's Hop"), Al Smith (featuring the tenor of Red Holloway), Arnett Cobb and Noble "Thin Man" Watts. Collectors in particular will want to pick up this very interesting set.

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