Harry "Sweets" Edison

Sweets at the Haig

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This is one of those wonderful jazz oddities that seems to have no rhyme nor reason for its existence, but given its quality and sound, we're lucky to have it. This set features trumpet great Harry "Sweets" Edison live in Los Angeles shortly after relocating there in 1953. On the first seven selections -- reissued from an earlier LP -- Edison is accompanied by pianist Arnold Ross, Joe Comfort on bass, and drummer Alvin Stoller (his regular band at the time). The program is made up entirely of standards, but played with Edison's requisite bright and fluent swing. His trumpet playing here is simply lovely, warm and sprightly. On the latter three selections, Edison is part of an octet session that includes saxophonists Georgie Auld, Benny Carter, and Bob Lawson, bassist John Simmons, and pianist Jimmy Rowles, with Buddy Rich on drums. Here, Harold Arlen's "Let's Fall In Love," sets the pace for the band, while Carter's wonderful "Me and My Jaguar," is a showcase for Edison's harder sensibilities. Finally, Rich's "Just Blues," is an 11-minute steamfest with all the players breaking in and out of the solo chair, while Edison and Rowles undeniably steal the entire tune. This is a wonderful if unusual item to have. The sound quality is fantastic, and the performances are truly memorable.

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