Cootie Williams (tp), Rex Stewart (cnt), Lawrence Brown, J.C. Higginbotham (tb), Coleman Hawkins, Bud Freeman (ts), Billy Bauer (g), Hank Jones (p), Milt Hinton (b), Gus Johnson (d)
Reference: BMCD 818
Bar code: 8427328008181
· Collectors Edition
· Issued in Digipack
· Original Cover Art and Liner Notes
· Stereo Recordings
· Newly Remastered in 24-Bit
The idea of this album was one often found in jazz: the pairing of outstanding soloists on the same horn, with an eye on the competitive atmosphere thus created. In this case the chosen musicians were brassmen Cootie Williams and Rex Stewart, who had been partners in the bands of Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington.
Although co-leaders, they had paired alongside them some of the greatest swingers in the history of jazz, including tenor saxists Coleman Hawkins, a particular idol of Cooties, and Bud Freeman, and trombonists Lawrence Brown and J.C. Higginbotham.
Hawks art, in particular, went beyond schools, eras, and style; his elegant simplicity and his stark, monolithic, dominating sound are among the high points of the entire album. For the record, Cooties plea to dont just put us in the studio and tell everybody to blow, please, was met by assigning the arranging chores to Ernie Wilkins and Joe Thomas.
The results were brilliant, simultaneously redolent of an era of mainstream jazz, yet also sounding as freshly minted as the day they were made.