Ralph Burns

Spring Sequence

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Although a skilled enough pianist to play with the big bands of Charlie Barnet, Red Norvo and Woody Herman, Ralph Burns' arranging talents led to him eventually discarding the piano. Burns led seven jazz albums during 1951-1958 but this obscure effort (which has yet to be reissued on CD) was his only one in as small a setting as a quartet. Teamed with guitarist Jimmy Raney (who has plenty of solo space), bassist Clyde Lombardi and drummer Osie Johnson, Burns plays piano on six songs that have "Spring" in their title plus five other tunes. His originals "Springsequence" and "Sprang" are quite memorable, as are his reinterpretations of Willie "the Lion" Smith's "Echo Of Spring" and "Bijou." In fact, on a whole, this is Ralph Burns' finest ever album as a player. It is a pity that he felt that he had to give up this part of his musical legacy to write for films. Well worth searching for.