Reference: FSRCD 1664
Bar code: 8427328616645
This album is a happy musical trip to eight Long Island communities written by Tony Aless (1921-1985). A pianist of broad big band experienceBunny Berigan, Teddy Powell, Georgie Auld, Charlie Spivak, Woody Herman, Charlie Ventura, Neal Hefti, Chubby Jackson, George Siravohe also worked on networks and independent stations around New York and recorded with the groups of Stan Getz, Charlie Parker, George Handy, Seldon Powell and John Plonsky. These years of iron-clad, elite experience not only inform his authoritative playing, but are also distilled in this impressive project into a personal musical credo. More than anything else, he said, my concern was swinging. I think we got that across.
Besides his persuasive contributions as player, composer and arranger on what was the only album released under his own name, there is much to admire; in a first-rate rhythm section of Billy Bauer, Arnold Fishkin and Don Lamond, Bauer is also one of the better soloists on the date; of the others, Nick Travis is crisply vibrant, and Dave Schildkraut swings hard and Bird-like. Tenorman Seldon Powell, imaginative, visceral, with a fine, full sound, is best of all. Also effective in their brief appearances are the alternating trombones Kai & J.J.
But even the most casual hearing of the Long Island Suite will confirm Alesss judgment: it swings all the way. And it is, as he hoped it would be, simple, like Basie. Because, as far as I am concerned, thats the only thing, to swing all night-long.
01. Levittown 4:29
02. Corona 4:41
03. Aqueduct 5:03
04. Riverhead 5:29
05. Valley Stream 3:35
06. Greenport 4:20
07. Fire Island 4:23
08. Massapequa 4:38
Total time: 37:00 min. approx.
Music composed and arranged by Tony Aless
Originally released as a Roost album (LP 2202)
Nick Travis (trumpet), J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding (trombones), Dave Schildkraut (alto sax), Seldon Powell & Pete Mondello (tenor saxes), Tony Aless (piano), Billy Bauer (guitar), Arnold Fishkin (bass),
and Don Lamond (drums).
Recorded in New York City, July 1955
Musical producer: Tony Aless
Original recordings supervised by Teddy Reig
Art and photographs by Burt Goldblatt
Liner notes: Barry Ulanov
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Mono · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
"Pianist Tony Aless was never very well known, even though he played for the likes of Bunny Berigan, Woody Herman, Charlie Parker and Stan Getz. He is probably best known for this 1955 album, which consists of eight of his compositions named after areas of Long Island. He makes sure that he has plenty of piano solos. His piano has touches of Bach on Riverhead and Basie in Valley Stream, and it scintillates in Massapequa.
The band includes many wellknown musicians, some of whom later became even more famous. Seldon Powells tenor sax is pleasingly lyrical in Fire Island. Trombonists J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding appear on four tracks each, although its difficult to tell which. For me, the outstanding soloist is guitarist Billy Bauer, who originally came to notice with the adventurous Lennie Tristano but here fits in well with the mainstream style of the arrangements. Tony Aless says about this album: More than anything else my concern was swinging [...]"
Tony Augarde (October, 2014)
The Jazz Rag
"An infrequently recorded pianist, Tony Aless mixed bop, mainstream and cool elements into his compositions and solos. Aless played with trumpeter Bunny Berign in the late '30s, then recorded with Teddy Powell in the early '40s. After serving in the army, Aless played briefly with Charlie Spivak, then worked and recorded with Woody Herrman in the mid-'40s. Later stints included stretches with George Auld, Flip Phillips, Chubby Jackson, Neal Hefti, Stan Getz and Charlie Parker, plus radio appearances. Aless's best-known album is the 1955 release Long Island Suite, notable for the inclusion of twin trombone dynamos J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding, and contributions from another solid, undervalued musician, alto saxophonist Dave Schildkraut."
Ron Wynn -All Music Guide