Bud Freeman is joined by an English trio for this magnificent studio session from 1980, one of the last recordings the tenor saxophonist made. Although rooted in traditional jazz, swing, and Chicago-style jazz, the veteran tenor saxophonist was open to exploring new material; his gorgeous tone makes the often banal "On a Clear Day" swing effortlessly, while the obscure "The Dolphin Has a Message" proves to be an interesting feature with the leader backed only by drummer Johnny Richardson. Brian Lemon's jaunty piano is the perfect foil for Freeman in "Just Past Tea Time," while bassist Len Skeat is the leader's duo partner in an imaginatively constructed take of "Don't Blame Me." This English CD is easily one of the best recordings by Bud Freeman during the final decade of his long career.
The Dolphin Has a Message Review
by Ken Dryden