Great Big Band and Friends with Harry Arnold Orchestra
1. Sister Sadie (4:16) (soloist: Nat Adderley)
2. Tea for Two (3:13) (soloist: Coleman Hawkins)
3. On Easy Street (3:00) (soloist: Lucky Thompson)
4. That Old Black Magic (4:02) (soloist: ‘Toots’ Thielemans)
5. Image (4:32) (soloist: Benny Bailey)
1. The Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn (4:32) (soloist: Nat Adderley)
2. On the Sunny Side of the Street (3:49) (soloist: Coleman Hawkins)
3. Pennies from Heaven (4:14) (soloist: ‘Toots’ Thielemans)
4. Frosty Summer (4:13) (soloist: Lucky Thompson)
5. I Remember You (3:22) (soloist: Benny Bailey)
Big bands with guest soloists aren’t new. The Harry Arnold orchestra isn’t new. I feel it’s safe to say that players like Nat Adderly, Coleman Hawkins or Lucky Thompson aren’t “new” – but GREAT BIG BAND and FRIEDS is new and a welcome addition to any record collection.
The idea of American soloists “guesting” with a Swedish orchestra isn’t a new one. Stan Getz, Clifford Brown, don Byas, Tony Scott, Oscar Pettifford, to name just a few, have produced some fine examples of Swedish-American jazz integration. IN many of the aforementioned examples, the Harry Arnold orchestra also played a part. Arnold, one of Sweden’s most popular musical figures, is Music Director for Radio Sweden, and in this capacity provides a very happy and swinging home for some of the best of the Swedish jazz players. On this particular album, for instance, you’ll hear such Swedish luminaries as Arne Domnerus, Ake Persson, Jack Noren and Rolf Blomqvist, all of whom have impressed the American audience – the public and critics alike – in earlier recorded performances.
On GREAT BIG BAND and FRIENDS, the Arnold band provides dynamic backing (plus some interesting arrangement) for its American guests. Messrs. Adderley, Hawkins, Thompson, Thielemans and Bailey reciprocate by producing notable solos throughout. It’s interesting to note the rapport between soloist and band, considering the fact that neither had worked together for any great period of time, on this date or any other. In the case of Coleman Hawkins it’s even more striking. Hawk, on his arrival in Sweden, was met at the airport and rushed right to the recording studio to cut this date. On hearing his two tracks, the fantastic compatibility will be even more apparent.
The tunes chosen for the album are well-balanced as to tempo and mood. IN addition to the five standards there’s Horace Silver’s Sister Sadie, taken at a slightly slower tempo than the original; Benny Bailey’s poignant Image; two highly interesting originals by Lucky Thompson, On Easy Street and Frosty Summer; and the delightful Swedish folk-song The Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn. To spotlight a particular track out of the ten on the album or to choose one performance from the two allotted each soloist would be extremely difficult, for each has some mark of distinction. Hawkins’ complete dissection of the Tea for Two changes … Thieleman’s deft handling of the unwieldy harmonica … altogether, there is much to choose from.
There’s little to say about the soloist that hasn’t been said already. Their work should be familiar to all. Nat with brother Cannonball’s quintet; Benny Bailey with Dizzy and Quincy Jones; ‘Toots’ Thielemans with George Shearing. And is there anyone not familiar with the work of lucky Thompson and Coleman Hawkins?
The story is simple. Five tal4ented jazz players traveled from the United States to Sweden, met with sixteen talented Swedish jazz players, took ten good compositions, the recording equipment was turned on and the result was thirty-nine minutes and thirteen seconds of completely enjoyable music. That’s GRAET BIGH BAND and FRIENDS. I think you’ll be glad they got together.
This recording is available in both Stereophonic (JLP 965) and Monaural (JLP65) form.
Adderley can be heard on his own Jazzland LP –
Naturally: Nat Adderley Quartet (JLP 47; Stereo 947)
Recorded in Sweden in November, 1960 and August, 1961.
Mastered at Plaza Sound Studios, New York.
Album design; Ken Deardoff.
JAZZLAND RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc.
235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York