Buck Clayton

Songs for Swingers

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This somewhat obscure LP by trumpeter Buck Clayton has thus far missed being reissued, since it was not one of his official jam session dates that Mosaic put out on CD. In the late '50s, Clayton led a medium-size mainstream group that featured several Count Basie alumni (trumpeter Emmett Berry, trombonist Dickie Wells, altoist Earl Warren and tenor saxophonist Buddy Tate) plus a complementary rhythm section (pianist Al Williams, bassist Gene Ramey and drummer Herbie Lovelle). Everyone is in fine form on four of Clayton's originals and four swing standards (including "Mean to Me" and "Sunday"). Even though these middle-aged musicians were thought of by some as being a bit passé, they were all actually still in their musical prime at the time and were enthusiastic about their brand of small-group swing.