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Billy Bauer was the most celebrated guitarist in early modern jazz, winning more awards than any other on the instrument and establishing an enviable reputation as a member of the Woody Herman rhythm section. As a longtime sideman for Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz, he made some brilliant recordings showcasing his magisterial authority with contrapuntal lines.
Despite his long career as a sideman, he did only two recording dates as a leader, both quartet sessions, compiled in this CD. In them he managed at all times to extract the greatest tenderness from his instrument. Playing with soul, swinging subtly, straight ahead or lightly as the need arose, he accomplished the rare and difficult feat of combining good jazz with accessibility.
01. Somebody Loves Me (Gershwin-MacDonald-DeSylva) 2:36
02. September In The Rain (Warren-Dubin) 2:55
03. A Ghost Of A Chance (Young-Washington-Crosby) 3:04
04. 'S Wonderful (G. & I. Gershwin) 2:25
05. Easy Walkin' Blues (Billy Bauer) 2:50
06. Out Of Nowhere (Green-Heyman) 2:40
07. These Foolish Things (Strachey-Link) 3:13
08. (Back Home In) Indiana (Henley-MacDonald) 2:21
09. It's A Blue World (Forest-Wright) 4:10
10. Maybe I Love You Too Much (Irving Berlin) 2:31
11. Lincoln Tunnel (Billy Bauer) 4:04
12. Night Cruise (Billy Bauer) 4:44
13. Too Marvellous For Words (Mercer-Whiting)2:59
14. Lady Estelles's Dream (Billy Bauer) 3:38
15. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To (Cole Porter) 3:12
16. When I'ts Sleepy Time Down South (Muse-Rene-Rene) 3:44
17. The Way You Look Tonight (Kern-Fields) 3:38
18. Lullaby Of The Leaves (Petkere-Young) 3:58
19. Moon Mist (Billy Bauer) 2:11
Tracks #1-8, from the 10" album "Let's Have a Session" (Audio Lab AAL-5501)
Tracks #9-19, from the 12" album "Billy Bauer, Plectrist" (Norgran MGN-1082)
Personnel on "Let's Have a Session":
Billy Bauer (guitar), Tony Aless (piano), Arnold Fishkin (bass), Don Lamond (drums).
Recorded in New York City, April 1955
Personnel on "Plectrist":
Billy Bauer (guitar), Andrew Ackers (piano), Milt Hinton (bass), Osie Johnson (drums).
Recorded in New York City, May 1956
Sessions supervised by Charlie Mack (#1-8) and Norman Granz (#9-12)
Original liner notes by Michael Tristano (Ad Lib), unknown (Norgran)
Hi Fi · Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas, S.L.
"Billy Bauer was an accomplished studio guitar player whose only studio date as a leader was this release, finally reissued as a part of the Verve Elite Edition limited edition CD series in 2000. Throughout the CD he is never overpowering, but a solid rhythmic player, whether essaying a gently swinging "Too Marvelous for Words" or a more sprightly "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." Bauer also wrote several originals for the date, including the easygoing bop vehicle "Lincoln Tunnel," the tender ballad "Night Cruise," and the unaccompanied "Blue Mist." Accompanying Bauer is bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Osie Johnson, and the obscure pianist Arnold Ackers. While this won't be an essential CD for every jazz fan, those who acquire it will not be disappointed."