Tenor, Clarinet & Co. · Quintet, Sextet and Octet Ensembles
  • Bethlehem BCP-1008
    Bethlehem BCP-1008
  • Dawn DLP1114
    Dawn DLP1114
  • Rama RLP1004
    Rama RLP1004
  • Aaron Sachs
    Aaron Sachs

Aaron Sachs

Tenor, Clarinet & Co. · Quintet, Sextet and Octet Ensembles

Fresh Sound Records

Aaron Sachs (cl, ts), Phil Sunkel, Bernie Glow (tp), Urbie Green, Jimmy Cleveland, Frank Rehak (tb), Danny Bank, Gene Allen (bs), Nat Pierce, Hall Overton (p), Joe Roland (vib), Barry Galbraith, Dick Garcia, Jimmy Raney (g), Clyde Lombardi, Aaron Bell (b), Osie Johnson (d)

Reference: FSRCD1143

Bar code: 8427328611435

Aaron Sachs (1923-2014) was a native New Yorker who grew up in the Bronx. After studying clarinet with private teachers, in 1941, still in his teens, Sachs landed his first job with Babe Russin, playing clarinet and alto saxophone, the latter through self-training. That same year, he joined vibraphonist Red Norvo's Septet, alongside fellow Bronx musicians Shorty Rogers and Eddie Bert. After a brief period with the Van Alexander orchestra in 1943, Aaron rejoined Norvo in January 1944, solidifying his reputation as a skilled clarinetist and earning the prestigious Esquire "New Star" award in 1945.

Between 1945 and 1946, he performed both instruments with Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, and Charlie Ventura bands. In 1946, Sachs formed his quintet, Aaron Sachs and his Manor Re-bops, establishing himself as the first jazz musician to embrace bebop on the clarinet, preceding Tony Scott and John LaPorta.

In 1948 Aaron married singer Helen Merrill, a union that lasted only a few years, as they divorced in 1956.

His tenure with the Earl Hines sextet from 1952 to 1953 allowed him to develop his talent as a tenor saxophonist. He admitted, "I enjoy playing both instruments, but I am disappointed that the clarinet isn't used more, both in jazz and pop records today." Sachs had Lester Young as his main influence, and that's how he wanted to play both tenor sax and clarinet. Subsequently, Aaron led his own combo at Cafe Society in New York for a period. Later, he worked as a freelancer in commercial recording sessions, primarily playing the tenor saxophone. Sachs cited Lester Young as his main influence for both instruments.

Leonard Feather once remarked, "Aaron has proved that he can bring to both instruments the taste, style, and musicianship that bespeak artistry rather than mere versatility for its own sake."

This CD compilation features three albums recorded by Aaron between 1954 and 1957, showcasing his talent as an instrumentalist and composer alongside some of the finest jazz musicians from the New York scene. The arrangements of these recordings were skillfully crafted to provide a supportive backdrop for either clarinet or tenor saxophone, highlighting Sachs' versatility and artistry.

—Jordi Pujol



Album details

01. One Track (Sachs-Johnson) 2:41
02. Helen (Sachs-Johnson) 3:44
03. Kingfish (Quincy Jones) 3:33
04. Conversation (Sachs-Galbraith) 3:05
05. The Bullfrog (Quincy Jones) 3:47
06. If You Are But A dream (Jaffe-Fulton-Bonx) 3:29
07. Aaron's Blues (Aaron Sachs) 3:09
08. You're My Thrill (Gorney-Clare) 3:08
09. Platter Pie (Aaron Sachs) 3:52
10. Why Shouldn't I? (Cole Porter) 2:35
11. Ah! The Pain (Billy Ver Plank) 3:42
12. Rondo Blues (Phil Sunkel) 3:42
13. Just Sick Blues (Billy Ver Plank) 2:54
14. Mona's Kimona (Nat Pierce) 4:00
15. Conversation (Sachs-Galbraith) 2:38
16. Blue Sophisticate (Benny Golson) 4.02
17. Countryfied (Phil Sunkel) 3:44
18. Wiggins (Billy Ver Plank) 3:28
19. Gorme Has Her Day (Aaron Sachs) 3:06
20. I Can't Believe (Aaron Sachs) 2:59
21. Hall's Loft (Aaron Sachs) 2:42
22. Nancy (Van Heusen-Silvers) 3:21

Total time: 73:19 min.

Tracks #1-6, from the album “Aaron Sachs Sextette” (Bethlehem BCP-1008)
Tracks #7-11, from the album “Jazzville Vol.3” (Dawn DLP1114)
Tracks #12-22, from the album “Clarinet and Co.” (Rama RLP1004)

Personnel on “Aaron Sachs Sextette”:
Urbie Green, trombone; Aaron Sachs, clarinet (#3,6) & tenor sax (#1,2,4,5); Danny Bank, baritone sax; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Clyde Lombardi, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded in New York City, November 1954

Personnel on “Jazzville Vol.3”:
Jimmy Cleveland, trombone; Aaron Sachs, clarinet (#8,19,11) & tenor sax (#7,9);
Joe Roland, vibes; Dick Garcia, guitar; Aaron Bell, bass, Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded in New York City, 1956

Personnel on “Clarinet and Co.”:
Phil Sunkel, Bernie Glow, trumpet; Frank Rehak, trombone; Aaron Sachs, clarinet (#14,17) & tenor sax (#12,13,15,16,18); Gene Allen, baritone sax; Nat Pierce, piano; Aaron Bell, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded in New York City, February 18 & 21, 1957

Aaron Sachs, clarinet (#19-21) & tenor sax (#22); Hall Overton, piano; Jimmy Raney, guitar; Aaron Bell, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded in New York City March 4, 1957

Original recordings produced by Creed Taylor (#1-6),
Chuck Darwin (#7-11), and Joe Guercio #12-22)
This compilation produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
© 2024 by Fresh Sound Records

Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas, S.L.

Press reviews

"There was such a surfeit of great sax players in the 1950s that it’s understandable that many got overlooked. Here’s a chance to see what you’ve been missing with this rich reissue from Fresh Sound Records.

Aaron Sachs is not a household name, but he was with a number of important artists such as Shorty Rogers and Red Norvo. This single disc set finds him with some impressive company, giving his ideas to mostly originals in a sound that has “LA Cool” written all over for it, even though it was all recorded in The Big Apple.

He plays both a Lester Young-Zoot Sims inspired tenor, and a stripped down Buddy DeFranco styled clarinet, in quintet, sextet and octet settings, mixing and matching with Urbie Green/tb, Barry Galbraith-Jimmy Raney-Dick Garcia/g, Aaron Bell-Clyde Lombardi/b, Nat Pierce Hall Overton/p, Joe Roland/vibes and Osie Johnson/dr. Sachs blows like a West Coaster on “One Track” and is gorgeously fluffy on “Aaron’s Blues,” fluttering on “Conversations” and sublime on “Why Shouldn’t I?” while digging in on the Basie-ish “Wiggins”. His licorice stick is cool for “Kingfish” and flexible for “Gorme Has Her Day” with a nice bounce for “You’re My Thrill”. Warm and breezy."

—George W. Harris (March 11, 2024)


10,95 €  (tax incl.)

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