Frank Wess

Yo Ho! Poor You, Little Me

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In the late '50s and early '60s, Frank Wess had two careers. In addition to being a star soloist in Count Basie's big band, the saxman/flutist was recording some worthwhile albums as a leader. Wess had yet to leave the Count's employ when, in 1963, he recorded Yo Ho! Poor You, Little Me, which finds him leading a quintet that boasts Thad Jones on trumpet, Gildo Mahones on piano, Buddy Catlett on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums. For those who were used to hearing Wess in the Basie band, it was a treat to hear him in a more intimate setting. A small group meant more improvising and more stretching out, which is exactly what Wess and his sidemen do on a lyrical performance of "Poor You" as well as up-tempo Wess originals like "Cold Miner" and "Yo-Ho." Wess is heard on both tenor sax and flute, although he doesn't play any alto sax on this vinyl LP. In 2000, Fantasy reissued Yo Ho! Poor You, Little Me and 1962's Southern Comfort back to back on a 68-minute CD titled The Long Road.

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