Bobby Hackett (cnt), Tony Mottola, Al Casamenti (g), Dave McKenna, Stan Freeman (p), Bob Dougherty (b), Don Lamond (d), Lew Davies (arr, cond)
Reference: BMCD 879
Bar code: 8427328008792
· Collector's Edition
· Issued in Digipack
· 2 Original LPs on 1 CD
· Original Cover Art and Liner Notes
· Stereo Recordings
· Newly Remastered in 24-Bit
Bobby Hackett was one of those enduringly admirable jazzmen, lyrical, concise, logical, unfailingly melodic and individual, able to be himself regardless of style or context. The word mellow—which means softened, ripe, mature—has been used, properly, to describe the sound of his cornet, and he was justifiably well-known for his ability to transform a schmaltzy, drag-tempo tune with strings into meaningful music. In some jazz circles his consistently melodic approach was once somewhat out of fashion, possibly because aggression was not part of his artistic makeup, but no less than the great Miles Davis spoke admiringly of his gift for finding a very personal way through the changes.
And he was always never less than excellent. The stereo sound of these recordings brings out the beauty of his sound the most, with Hackett’s unusually lyrical horn backed by a subtle string orchestra arranged by Lew Davies, and the valuable assists from his friends: guitarists Tony Mottola and Al Casamenti, pianists Dave McKenna and Stan Freeman, with Bob Dougherty on bass, and Don Lamond on drums.
Bobby Hackett was once called the modern-day counterpart of Bix Beiderbecke. He wasn’t; Armstrong was his hero. But out of his inspiration he forged a personal style as delicately individual as Beiderbecke achieved.
"Cornetist Bobby Hackett was one of the few artists who had a rich and warm tone almost identical to Louis Armstrong. While he took advantage of that fact on a ton of “Traditional” albums with the likes of Jack Teagarden, he also used his tone in the 50s and 60s for a series of “mood” albums which guys used to play for their women to get them relaxed for a night of romance. Ah! The good old days, when you had 18 minutes a side to make your move!
These two albums from 1967 have Hackett with Lew Davies arranging and conducing a string orchestra which was augmented by Tony Mottola or Al Casamenti/g and Dave McKenna or Stan Freeman/p with a rhythm team of Bob Dougherty/b and Don Lamond/dr. Hackett is seductively rich in tone as the celeste adds charm on “September Song” and is suave a all get out during “The Lamp Is Low” while blowing sweet nothings into your ear during “My Funny Valentine.” Mottola is sublime on “Laura” and Casamenti delivers a hip samba on ”You Stepped Out of a Dream” and a nice line on “All Through the Night.” McKenna floats a bed of rice pilaf on “Emily and “All Too Soon,” and the band never strays into ennui, always creating a richly textured mood to be wooed. Give it a try, guys-it beats indie singers by a landslide!"
George W. Harris (February 27, 2017)