6 LP on a 3-CD Box Set, including:
* Al Cohn —Mr. Music (RCA Victor LJM-1024) 1955
* Al Cohn —The Natural Seven (RCA Victor LPM-1116) 1955
* Joe Newman —All I Wanna Do is Swing (RCA Victor LPM-1118) 1955
* The Jazz Workshop —Four Brass, One Tenor (RCA Victor LPM-1161) 1955
* Joe Newman —I'm Still Swinging (RCA Victor LPM-1198) 1956
* Freddie Green —Mr. Rhythm (RCA Victor LPM-1210) 1956
From December 1954 to December 1955, jazz producer Jack Lewis recorded a series of outstanding albums at RCA Victor’s famous Webster Hall Studios in New York City with Al Cohn and Joe Newman, each leading several small swinging bands, and as sidemen on Freddie Green’s only album as a leader.
By then, Al Cohn was one the hardest working and most sought-after tenor saxophonists and arrangers in New York. His playing was in some way reminiscent of Lester Young, but above all, it was personal, both in sound and concept. The originality and strength of his work are evidenced by these sessions, for which he joined forces with his friend, trumpeter Joe Newman, as well as some of the best jazzmen on the New York scene.
It was in 1952, after becoming amain trumpet soloist for the Count Basie Orchestra, that Joe Newman rose to fame. Basically, Newman’s style stayed close to that of his mentor Harry Edison. His playing was a mixture of simplicity and spontaneity with just the right amount of originality of his own but without ever neglecting the contribution of the bop school.
The unamplified guitar of Freddie Green, long a mainstay of the bright and relaxed rhythm section of the Count Basie Orchestra, also brought a swing touch to these recordings. “Mr. Rhythm”, the first and only album recorded under his leadership, completes and closes this amazing set of swinging sessions that sustain a high level of musicianship, and a constantly pulsating rhythmic drive.
“The big thing around here these days is the Count Basie band. I think it’s having more and more of an influence on our musicians and arrangers all the time,” said Al Cohn in 1955. “We all want to swing, because swing, I think, is still the most important element in jazz.”
01. COHN MY WAY (Manny Albam) 2:54
02. THIS REMINDS ME OF YOU (Ralph Burns) 3:14
03. CABIN IN THE SKY (Duke-Latouche) 3:03
04. BREAKFAST WITH JOE (Johnny Carisi) 4:06
05. LULLABY OF BIRDLAND (Shearing-Weiss) 2:19 *
06. MOVE (Denzil Best) 7:14
07. NEVER NEVER LAND (Styne-Comden-Green) 5:27
08. SOMETHING FOR LISA (Al Cohn) 6:25
09. COUNT EVERY STAR (Coquatrix-Gallop) 3:06
10. LA RONDE (Cochran-Strauss) 2:45
11. COUNT ME IN (Al Cohn) 3:34
12. PICK A DILLY (Al Cohn) 3:30
13. DOGGIN' AROUND (Battle-Evans) 3:01
14. A KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON (Hammerstein-Kalmar-Ruby) 3:31
15. JUMP THE BLUES AWAY (Lewis) 2:56
16. A.C. MEETS OSIE (Al Cohn) 2:42
17. 9:20 SPECIAL (Warren-Palmer-Engvich) 2:58
18. THE NATURAL THING TO DO (Al Cohn) 2:59
19. BABY PLEASE (Al Cohn) 3:04
20. OSIE'S BLUES (Johnson-Albam) 2:30
21. JACK'S KINDA SWING (Al Cohn) 3:36
22. FREDDIE'S TUNE (Freddie Green) 3:27
01. CORNER POCKET (Freddie Green) 2:39
02. DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME (André-Kahn-Schandt) 2:33
03. TOPSY (E.Durham-E.W.Battle) 3:12
04. LEONICE (Joe Newman) 3:34
05. JACK'S WAX (Al Cohn) 2:29
06. LIMEHOUSE BLUES (Braham-Furber) 3:22
07. CAPTAIN SPAULDING (Al Cohn) 3:26
08. SOON (G. & I.Gershwin) 2:40
09. IF I COULD BEWITH YOU ONE HOUR TO-NIGHT (Johnson-Creamer) 3:05
10. I COULD HAVE TOLD YOU (Williams-Sigman) 2:54
11. LULLABY OF BIRDLAND (Shearing-Weiss) 3:06 *
12. PRETTY SKINNY BUNNY (Ernie Wilkins) 2:26
13. IT'S A THING OF THE PAST (Manny Albam) 2:45
14. EVERY TIME (Farrar-Kent) 2:18
15. JUST PLAIN SAM (Manny Albam) 2:55
16. ROSETTA (Hines-Wood) 4:27
17. ALONE TOGETHER (Schwartz-Howard-Dietz) 3:27
18. A LITTLE SONG (Al Cohn) 2:46
19. THE SONG IS ENDED (Irving Berlin) 2:44
20. COHN NOT COHEN (Al Cohn) 2:44
21. FOGGY WATER (Manny Albam) 2:47
22. SUGAR COHN (Manny Albam) 3:07
23. I'M COMING, VIRGINIA (Heywood-Cook) 2:30
24. HAROOSH (Al Cohn) 4:01
25. LINGER AWHILE (Rose-Owens) 3:23
01. YOU CAN DEPEND ON ME (Hines-Carpenter-Dunlap) 3:33
02. TOP HAT, WHITE TIE, AND TAILS (Irving Berlin) 2:40
03. SOMETIMES l'M HAPPY (Youmans-Caesar-Grey) 3:03
04. SHAMEFUL ROGER (Manny Albam) 2:46
05. LAMENT FOR A LOST LOVE (Ellington-Bigard-Mills) 3:09
06. SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE (Lombardo-.Newman) 2:39
07. SLATS! (Joe Newman) 3:51
08. PERFIDIA (Dominguez-Leeds) 2:49
09. IT'S BAD FOR ME (Cole Porter) 3:18
10. EXACTLY LIKE YOU (McHugh-Fields) 3:15
11. WE'LL BE TOGETHER AGAIN (Laine-C.Fisher) 3:36
12. THE DAUGHTER OF MISS THING (Joe Newman) 2:33
13. UP IN THE BLUES (Freddie Green) 2:33
14. DOWN FOR DOUBLE (Freddie Green) 3:58
15. BACK AND FORTH (Freddie Green) 2:16
16. FREE AND EASY (Freddie Green) 3:25
17. LEARNIN' THE BLUES (Dolores Vicki Silvers) 3:28
18. FEED BAG (Freddie Green) 2:58
19. SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE (Johnny Mercer) 2:52
20. EASY DOES IT (Oliver-Young) 3:43
21. LITTLE RED (Freddie Green) 2:08
22. SWINGING BACK (Freddie Green) 3:22
23. A DATE WITH RAY (Freddie Green) 4:52
24. WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR (Washington-Harline) 2:37
25. SWINGIN' THE BLUES (Count Basie) 3:16 *
Al Cohn and His Orchestra [“Mr. Music”]
Tracks 1-5: Joe Newman, trumpet; Billy Byers, trombone; Gene Quill, alto sax; Al Cohn, Sol Schlinger, tenor sax; Sanford Gold, piano; Buddy Jones, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Arrangements: Al Cohn (#3, 5-10), Manny Albam (#1), John Carisi (#4), Ralph Burns (#2).
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York City, December 23, 1954
Tracks 6-10: Joe Newman, trumpet; Frank Rehak, Billy Byers, trombones; Hal McKusick, Gene Quill, alto saxes; Al Cohn, tenor sax; Sol Schlinger, baritone sax; Sanford Gold, piano; Billy Bauer or Jimmy Raney (#8-10) guitar; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York City, December 24, 1954
Al Cohn Septet [“The Natural Seven”]
Tracks 11-22: Al Cohn, tenor sax; Joe Newman, trumpet; Frank Rehak, trombone; Freddie Green, guitar; Nat Pierce, piano; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums & vocals (#20).
Arrangements by Al Cohn (#11,12,16,18-22), M.Albam (#14,15,17), Ernie Wilkins (#13).
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York City, February 3 (#11-16), and 5 (#17-22), 1955
The Joe Newman Octet [“All IWanna Do Is Swing”]
Tracks 1-13: Joe Newman, trumpet; Frank Rehak, trombone; Ernie Wilkins, alto sax; Al Cohn, tenor sax; Nat Pierce, piano; Freddie Green, guitar: Milt Hinton, bass; Ross “Shadow”Wilson, drums.
Arrangers: Al Cohn (#5,6,7,9), Manny Albam (#3,4,8,11,13), Ernie Wilkins (#1,2,10,12).
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York City, in three sessions on February 8, 1955
The Jazz Workshop ["Four Brass, One Tenor"]
Tracks #14-17 Joe Newman, Thad Jones, JoeWilder, trumpets; Nick Travis, trumpet & valve trombone; Al Cohn, tenor sax; Dick Katz, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Buddy Jones, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Tracks #18-21, same as #14-17, but Bernie Glow, trumpet, replaces Thad Jones.
Tracks #22-25, same personnel as #14-17, but Phil Sunkel, trumpet, replaces Joe Wilder.
Arrangements: Al Cohn (#14,16,18,20,23,24), Manny Albam (#15,17,19,21,22,25).
Recorded at Webster Hall, NYC, May 9 (#14-17), 14 (#18-21), and 16 (#22-25), 1955
The Joe Newman Octet [“I’m Still Swinging”]
Tracks #1-12: Joe Newman, trumpet; Urbie Green, trombone; Gene Quill, alto sax; Al Cohn, tenor sax; Dick Katz, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Eddie Jones, bass; Ross “Shadow”Wilson, drums.
Arrangements by Al Cohn (#5,6,9,10), Manny Albam (#1,2,3,4), Ernie Wilkins (#7,8,11,12).
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York City, October 3 (#1-8), and 4 (#9-12), 1955
Freddie Green [“Mr. Rhythm”]
Tracks #13-24: Joe Newman, trumpet; Henry Coker, trombone; Al Cohn, tenor sax, clarinet & bass clarinet; Nat Pierce, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson or Jo Jones (#14,16,17,20,22), drums.
Arrangements by Al Cohn (#13,14,19), Manny Albam (#16,17,18,20), Ernie Wilkins (#15,21,22,23,24)
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York City, in three sessions on December 18, 1955
Bonus track #25: Al Cohn, tenor sax; Joe Newman, trumpet; Freddie Green, guitar; Hank Jones, piano; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums. Plus 3 violins.
Arranged by Ernie Wilkins
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York City, May 13, 1955
(*) Bonus tracks sources:
CD 1, track #5 and CD 2, track #11, taken from the 12-inch collective compilation
“Lullaby of Birdland” (RCA Victor LPM-1146)
CD 3, track #25, taken from the Al Cohn album “That Old Feeling” (RCA Victor LPM-1207)
Original recordings produced by Jack Lewis
All sessions were recorded at the RCA Webster Hall Studios
Sound Engineer: Ray Hall
Cover photo of Al Cohn and Joe Newman taken at Webster Hall’s Grand Ballroom
Photos © Fresh Sound archives
This CD compilation produced by Jordi Pujol
Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.
This CD set is dedicated to the memory of Robert Anotaux “Shorty”