Cat Anderson, Ernie Royal, Clark Terry (tp), Jimmy Cleveland, Henderson Chambers (tb), Earl Warren, Jimmy Forrest, Ernie Wilkins, Budd Johnson (reeds), Ray Nance (vln), Jimmy Jones, Leroy Lovett (p), George Duvivier, Jimmy Woode (b), Panama Francis, Sam Woodyard (d)
Reference: FSRCD 460
Bar code: 8427328604604
William Alonzo Cat Anderson (19161981) was a musician in the Ellington tradition. He was first trumpet man with Duke for more than twenty years, being best known for his amazingly consistent high-note work. On 'Cat on a Hot Tin Horn,' his first LP as a leader, Cats upper-register is handsomely displayed, along with some brash, bluesy trumpet work and a glimpse of his lyrical qualities. Also on display are his talents as a composer and arranger, along with the redoutable Ernie Wilkins, of a big band, which featured a dazzling all-star group of jazzmen. But as vigorous and technically dazzling as Andersons excursions into the upper register were, they too often overshadowed the fact that he was a trumpet player with a rich and varied palette of expression at his command.
For the second LP included in this CD set, entitled 'Ellingtonia,' Cat assembled some of the finest Ellington musicians. The tunes chosen were in the soft swing vein and done essentially as a tribute to Duke Ellington.
"Today, Cat Anderson is usually thought of only as one of Duke Ellington's superb high-note trumpeters in the 1940s. But in 1958 and 1959, he recorded as the leader of a big band and a small group of five Ellington members, and both are superb. The albums were Cat on a Hot Tin Horn and Ellingtonia. Arrangements for the former were written by Anderson and the great Ernie Wilkins while the latter were likely handled by Anderson. You'll find them both on 'Cat's in the Alley' (Fresh Sound). To hear just how gifted Wilkins was, sample You're the Cream in My Coffee."
Marc Myers (November 4, 2013)
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