The Sound of the Wide Open Spaces

James Clay

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The Sound of the Wide Open Spaces Review

by Scott Yanow

James Clay's debut album as a leader (and one of only two that he cut before moving back to Dallas for nearly 30 years) matches him with fellow Texas tenor David "Fathead" Newman, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Art Taylor. Cannonball Adderley supervised the session, putting the spotlight on the competitive horns who really battle it out on the Babs Gonzales blues "Wide Open Spaces." Clay, who plays flute on the date's lone standard "What's New," holds his own with Newman and plenty of sparks fly. This Riverside album was reissued in the Original Jazz Classics series as an LP in the 1980s.

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