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HOME -> FRESH SOUND RECORDS -> Gene Quill 'the Tiger' - Portrait Of A Great Alto Player
Gene Quill 'The Tiger' - Portrait of a Great Alto Player

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Gene Quill







Gene Quill 'the Tiger' - Portrait Of A Great Alto Player

Gene Quill

Featuring: Dick Sherman (tp), Gene Quill (as), Argonne Thornton, Dick Katz, Terry Pollard (p), Dick Garcia (g), Buddy Jones, Teddy Kotick, Bill Anthony (b), Sol Gubin, Osie Johnson, Frank Isola (d)


Gene Quill—or “Tiger” as he was affectionately called by his cohorts in New York—was born in Atlantic City, N.J. in 1927. Unmistakably a Parker inspired musician and a brilliant, hard-edged, imaginative soloist with a tight, strained sound, he had a very characteristic attack that revealed Bird’s influence in his tone and the shape of his lines.

While with Claude Thornhill in 1953, he began to attract greater attention, becoming one of the best lead alto players in the New York scene. In 1955 he formed a combo with his friend, trumpeter Dick Sherman, a veteran of the big name bands who had played with him in the Goodman and Thornhill orchestras. From 1956 onwards, Quill was on almost all big band recordings that took place in New York, but he also recorded with smaller groups, such as the last two featured on this set.

About him, the noted jazz critic Burt Korall said: “His technical resource is large and he possesses a definite ability to create pointedly swinging musical pictures.”

He died in 1989. His desire to live on the “edge” cost the music world the loss of a great talent, but jazz fans won’t easily forget him.


01. Introduction by Al “Jazzbo” Collins 0:50
02. Flying Down to Rio (Kahn-Eliscu-Youmans) 6:22
03. The Things We Did Last Summer (Styne-Cahn) 6:22
04. Darn That Dream (van Heusen-De Lange) 3:59
05. Sid Meets Haig (Sherman) 4:49
06. Blues for the Camels (Katz) 5:34
07. Lover Man (Davis-Sherman-Ramirez) 3:52
08. Achilles’ Heel (Sherman) 6:08
09. Everything Happens to Me (Dennis-Adair) 3:48
10. Rubbin’ the Genie (Sins) 4:57
11. If I’m Lucky (Darwin-Girard) 3:55
12. The Deacon (Garcia) 2:45
13. It Could Happen to You (Burke-Van Heusen) 5:18
14. Stompin’ at the Savoy
(Sampson-Goodman-Webb-Razaf) 2:11
15. Round Table (Jones) 2:56
16. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Kern-Harbach) 3:16
17. I Don’t Know (Quill) 3:11
18. Tangerine (Grouya-Anderson) 3:23

Total time: 71:00 aprox.

Original sources:

Tracks #1-4 from the Coral album
"Al 'Jazzbo' Collins Presents the East Coast Jazz Scene"

Tracks #5 taken from the Brunswick album
"Concert Jazz" (BL-54027).

Tracks #6-9 from the Dawn album
"Jazzville '56, Vol.1" (DLP-1101).

Track #10 from the Jazztone (Europe) album
"Modern Jazz Festival" (J-1245).

Tracks #11-14 from the Dick Garcia Dawn album
"A Message From Garcia" (DLP-1106).

Tracks #15-17 from the Epic album
"Rhythm Plus One" (LN-3297).

Track #18 from the Epic album
"After Hours Jazz" (LN-3339).

Personnel on GENE QUILL QUINTET (#1-5):
Dick Sherman (tp), Gene Quill (as), Argonne Thornton (p), Buddy Jones (b), Sol Gubin (d).

Recorded at Pythian Temple, New York,
on November 7, 1955.

Personnel on GENE QUILL QUINTET (#6-10):
Dick Sherman (tp), Gene Quill (as), Dick Katz (p),
Teddy Kotick (b), Osie Johnson (d).

Recorded in New York, on December 8, 1955.

Personnel on GENE QUILL QUINTET (#11-14):
Gene Quill (as), Terry Pollard (p), Dick Garcia (g),
Bill Anthony (b), Frank Isola (d).

Recorded in New York, 1956.

Personnel on GENE QUILL QUARTET (#15-18):
Gene Quill (as), Hank Jones (p), Barry Galbraith (g),
Milt Hinton (b), Osie Johnson (d).

Recorded in New York, on June 26, 1956.

Compiled for CD release by Jordi Pujol.

24-Bit Digitally Remastered



"Altoist Gene Quill never became that famous but he was a very skilled bop musician. Portrait Of A Great Alto Player (FSR 667) differs from the other Fresh Sounds in this review in that the music is drawn from seven albums, featuring Quill with four overlapping combos from 1955-56. Whether teamed with the cool-toned trumpeter Dick Sherman in quintets or showcased as the only horn, the masterful Quill shows that he could have been a contender."

Scott Yanow -Los Angeles Jazz Scene (April, 2012)

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