Harry Edison, Conrad Gozzo (tp), Cy Touff (b-tp), Richie Kamuca (ts), Matt Utal (as, bs), Pete Jolly, Russ Freeman (p), Leroy Vinnegar (b), Chuck Flores (d), Johnny Mandel, Ernie Wilkins (arr)
Reference: FSRCD 2237
Bar code: 8427328622370
When these recordings were made, Cy Touff had been sitting in the Woody Herman trombone section for almost two years. His ungainly looking instrument seldom has been heard in the Jazz field. It sounds much like a valve trombone, but seems to be more flexible and more personal than the bone. Richie Kamuca, who co-featured with Cy on these sessions, was also a member of the Herman Herd. Both men have Lester Youngs spirit in their playing. They typify the mainstream school of Jazz.
The groups on this CD achieve a compulsive swing and joy that is practically guaranteed to make you pat a hole in the floor with your foot. The quintet sides are marked by lengthier solos from Cy and Richie, and presented them with an auspicious bow as recorded leaders. Johnny Mandel and Ernie Wilkins charts provide ample chance for the octet to get a walking, pulsing, Basie-ish beat going behind all the soloists.
"Cy Touff was one of the few specialists on the bass trumpet, an instrument that does not sound all that different from a valve trombone. This reissue CD finds Touff in two different settings. The first five numbers feature a quintet, the remaining an octet comprised of trumpeters Harry "Sweets" Edison and Conrad Gozzo, Touff, tenor-saxophonist Richie Kamuca, Matt Utal on reeds, pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Chuck Flores. Performing Johnny Mandel arrangements and one by Ernie Wilkins ("What Am I Here For"). "Keester Parade" uses a familiar Sweets Edison line ("Centerpiece") while Tiny Kahn's "TNT" is easily recognizable as the basis for Dave Frishberg's "Can't Take You Nowhere." Touff, Kamuca and Edison are the main soloists on the cool-toned Basie-oriented date. The quintet tracks from the following day puts more of the focus on Touff's soloing with Kamuca and pianist Pete Jolly. Touff and Kamuca blend together very well and play off each other in winning fashion. This music also tips its cap constantly to Basie (Jolly purposely plays a few phrases like Count) with "Prez-ence" finding the two horns playing Lester Young's recorded solo on "You're Driving Me Crazy." One of only 2 1/2 albums led by Cy Touff, this CD is definitive of Touff and also notable for featuring Richie Kamuca in superb form."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide
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