Bud Freeman / George Barnes / Carl Kress

Something Tender

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One of two unusual sessions featuring tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman with guitarists George Barnes and Carl Kress, this studio date for United Artists was recorded a year after a live performance in 1962, but it was issued decades sooner. Regardless whether the trio is playing a standard, a classic jazz composition, or an original of their own, they swing effortlessly together, with Freeman typically leading the way and a guitar solo to follow. The lively unison line between the tenor sax and the lead guitar combine to sound somewhat like an accordion in the lively opener, "The Eel's Nephew." Other highlights include "Doctor Paycer's Dilemma" (evidently composed at the session) and a perky take of Rodgers & Hart's "Mountain Greenery." The liner notes don't indicate which of the two guitarists is soloing on a track-by-track basis, although Kress can be identified by his advanced chordal approach. In the end, it doesn't really matter, however. All three musicians have been unjustly overlooked since their respective deaths, but this long unavailable LP is worth pursuing by serious jazz collectors.

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