The ABQ Salutes Buck Clayton

Howard Alden

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The ABQ Salutes Buck Clayton Review

by Scott Yanow

It is surprising that the Alden-Barrett quintet (ABQ has recorded relatively little for the group comprised of guitarist Howard Alden, trombonist Dan Barrett, Chuck Wilson on alto and clarinet, bassist Frank Tate, and drummer Jackie Williams) was one of the top small swing groups of the late '80s, creating an unusual sound that often recalled the John Kirby Sextet despite the difference in instrumentation. For this CD, the quintet performs 11 songs written by Buck Clayton (who contributed most of the arrangements for the band) plus two standards ("Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" and "Dickie's Dream") that the swing trumpeter had recorded near the beginning of his career. The very enjoyable music, which includes many rewarding obscurities, is easily recommended; the success of the group helped inspire Buck Clayton to put together a big band of his own.

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