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Bix Duke Fats / Basically Duke [Import]

Oscar PettifordAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Price: $18.79 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 25, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Lonehill Jazz Spain
  • ASIN: B001GBZEAS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478,640 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered two-fer includes a pair of albums from Jazz great Oscar Pettiford plus bonus tracks. The albums contained on this disc are Bix, Duke Fats (1956) and Basically Duke (1954). The bonus tracks were recorded in 1957. 17 tracks. Lonehill. 2008.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(3)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Concept, Modest Execution November 30, 2010
By M. Figg
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
(For starters, I'd actually rate the disc 3.5 stars.)

Unusual material often inspires great musicians to unexplored heights. While Duke Ellington's music had a noticeable if not overwhelming presence among beboppers, Bix Beiderbecke and Fats Waller were firmly passe by the 50's. So while a chance to hear their music interpreted by modern jazz musicians sounded intriguing, the results just didn't push the music or the players anywhere outstanding.

This disc actually collects two albums. "Bix, Duke & Fats" was a 1957 session led by arranger Tom Talbert, with Pettiford on bass (not leading, as the album cover implies). Talbert's arrangements for groups of 8 to 9 players in various combinations resemble the Miles Davis/Gil Evan nonets, without the same spacious feel. Instead, the charts inundate the material and obscure the unique personalities of the composers. The four Waller tunes are smartly arranged, with lighthearted, melodic solos by trumpeter Joe Wilder and pianist George Wallington. Yet on the three Bix compositions, the cushy bassoon/oboe/flute sonorities don't jell with Bix's wandering, dissonant themes. Barry Galbraith's gentle guitar invites the listener in, but the disjointed ensemble has nowhere to take them. It's background mood, rather than moving emotion. Talbert's busy section writing chops up the contours of Duke's music, and the parts meander rather than flow. (Problems with intonation between the closely blended instruments further mar the effect).

On the second album, 1954's "Basically Duke," Pettiford leads an impressive tentet that includes Clark Terry on trumpet and Jimmy Hamilton.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved It February 18, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Just to offer a differing opinion, I loved this CD. I thought the above review was very informative, but maybe because I'm not the biggest Duke fan, I didn't feel like Tom Talbert's arrangements left anything to be desired. Pettiford is an amazing bassist, taken from the world all too soon -- in his prime at age 37 in 1960. The musicians here, as mentioned by the other reviewer, are excellent, and the sound for the mid 50s and a larger ensemble is amazing. Lone Hill Jazz can have some questionable reissues, but this one, all the way down to its liner notes, is first rate.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two great albums plus a bonus track October 22, 2013
Format:Audio CD
This two album set contains a lot of Ellington tunes, plus an homage to three great composers (Fats Waller, Bix Beiderbecke and Duke Ellington) arranged by the talented Tom Talbert. Since there are no sound samples on this page I am going to link to the source album product pages, which do have them so you can get an idea of the music.

What makes this set a bargain - in my opinion - is the sound quality on the disc is outstanding. Whoever remastered this set knew what they were doing.

Here is what is on the disc:
Tracks 1 through 10: Bix Duke Fats. Although usually associated with Oscar Pettiford, this is not specifically his album since he was a sideman on the sessions that produced it. What this is: an album of Fats Waller, Bix Beiderbecke and Duke Ellington compositions that were arranged and conducted by Tom Talbert. One of Talbert's own compositions is also included. This was his debut album that was recorded for Atlantic during the course of three September 1957 sessions in NYC and released the same year. The full line-ups for the three session dates are given in the October 22, 2013 review on that page.

Tracks 11 through 16: Basically Duke. This album was recorded for Bethlehem Records in NYC on Deceber 17, 1954. The front line was comprised of Clark Terry and Joe Wilder on trumpet, Jimmy Cleveland on trombone, Dave Schildkraut on alto sax, Jimmy Hamilton on clarinet and tenor sax and Danny Bank on baritone sax. The rhythm section consisted of Joe Earl Knight on piano, Pettiford on bass and Osie Johnson on drums.
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