A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.
With three saxophones and a trombone, this is a fresh combination that really brings out the best in all the players during this Prestige jam session, a format for which they are justly famous . I raved about this album when it was in print many years ago – it’s solidly swinging jazz that belong in your collection.
As I wrote years ago, back in the days when we regularly sent out catalog mailings:
When we discover a record like this, a record with no reputation either in the jazz world or the audiophie world, we try to bring it to people’s attention, usually with some success. Some of my customers called me up to tell me what a great record this is.
Based on what I’m hearing my feeling is that most of the lively, natural, full-bodied, sound of the album is on the master tape, and that all that was needed to get that vintage sound correctly on to disc was simply to thread up that tape on a reasonably good machine and hit play.
The fact that nobody seems to be able to make an especially good sounding record — certainly not as good sounding as this one — these days tells me that in fact I’m wrong to think that such an approach would work. Somebody should have been able to figure out how to do it by now. In our experience that is simply not the case today, and has not been for many years.
George Horn was doing brilliant work for Fantasy all through the ’80s. This album is proof that his sound is the right sound for this music.
What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was still on the tapes in 1983
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments of the septet having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
- No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
AMG 4-Star Review
The swing-based tenor Paul Quinichette is heard with a more modern group of players than usual: trombonist Curtis Fuller, both Sonny Red and John Jenkins on altos, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Ed Thigpen. Waldron’s three originals (highlighted by “Cool-Lypso”) allow plenty of room for swinging, and Quinichette (who also performs “On the Sunny Side of the Street”) sounds comfortable interacting with the younger musicians. An enjoyable and underrated release.
Known as the “Vice Pres” due to the similarity of his sound and style to Lester Young, tenor saxophonist Paul Quinichette (1916-1983) was creative within the approach that he chose.
Born in Denver, Quinichette played early on with the bands of Nat Towles, Shorty Sherock, and Ernie Fields. He gained some attention during his stints with Jay McShann (1942-1944) and Johnny Otis (1945-1947). Quinichette was also with the bands of Louis Jordan, Lucky Millinder, Henry “Red” Allen, and Hot Lips Page. All of this was a warmup to his year with Count Basie (1952-1953) which found him playing in Lester Young’s old chair, alerting the jazz world to his abilities. He also worked with Benny Goodman in 1955 but otherwise led his own groups in the 1950s, his prime period.
Quinichette recorded a variety of sessions during 1951-1959, including four albums for Prestige. On the Sunny Side from 1957 teams Quinichette in a septet with trombonist Curtis Fuller, pianist Mal Waldron, and both John Jenkins and Sonny Red on altos. Although the other players are more modern, Quinichette sounds comfortable with his sidemen; he is showcased on “On the Sunny Side of the Street.” Cattin’ with Coltrane and Quinichette, which is usually released under John Coltrane’s name, is surprisingly successful as the two very different tenor stylists challenge each other and battle to a tie.
Quinichette’s two other Prestige dates are reunions with Count Basie sidemen; all but the tenor are from the earlier Basie band. For Basie teams Quinichette with trumpeter Shad Collins while Basie Reunion has him joined by baritonist Jack Washington and both Collins and Buck Clayton on trumpets. The two enjoyable sets contain some of Quinichette’s finest playing.