Georgie Auld (ts), Don Fagerquist (tp), Frank Rosolino (tb), Lou Levy (p), Larry Bunker (vib), Howard Roberts, Johnny Gray (g), Max Bennett, Leroy Vinnegar (b), Tiny Kahn (d, vcl), Mel Lewis (d)
Reference: FSRCD 366
Bar code: 8427328603669
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Georgie Auld had a long and varied career, changing his tenor sound gradually with the times and adapting to many different musical situations. He moved from Canada to the U.S. in the late '20s and, although originally an altoist, he switched to tenor after hearing Coleman Hawkins. While with Bunny Berigan during 1937-1938, Auld sounded like a dead ringer for Charlie Barnet. After spending a year with Artie Shaw in 1939 (including leading the band briefly after Shaw ran away to Mexico), Auld sounded much closer to Lester Young when he joined Benny Goodman.
With B.G., Auld was a major asset, jamming with a version of Goodman's Sextet that also included Cootie Williams and Charlie Christian. He was back with Shaw in 1942, and then led his own big band (1943-1946), an excellent transitional unit between swing and bop that at various times included such young modernists as Dizzy Gillespie, Erroll Garner, and Freddie Webster; Sarah Vaughan also guested on a couple of his recordings. After the band's breakup, Auld led some smaller groups that tended to be bop-oriented. He was with Count Basie's octet in 1950 and then freelanced for the remainder of his career, maintaining a lower profile but traveling frequently overseas and not losing his enthusiasm for jazz.
This collection pays homage to this long-underrated tenor saxophonist. Georgie Auld was a unique jazzman. His virile and communicative sax in the solo spots, his bubbling humor and his big, wholesome sound were his basic appeal. Without doubt, Georgie Auld's warm and emotional style has contributed to enlarge list of those horn players with unswerving rocking spirit.
"Georgie Auld had important associations during the swing era with the big bands of Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. While with Goodman, he played with one of the clarinetist's finest small groups, the septet that also featured trumpeter Cootie Williams and guitarist Charlie Christian. Auld's tone evolved from being influenced by Charlie Barnet to a softer sound closer to Lester Young. In the mid-'40s he led his own short-lived big band and then spent the 1950s and '60s leading combos, doing studio work, and in general having a low profile. Four of his best albums from the 1951-1963 period are reissued in full on this generous two-CD set.
A 1951 quintet matches Auld with trombonist Frank Rosolino on a variety of standards and tunes from Count Basie's book, including "Taps Miller" and "Airmail Special." A 1959 septet is a tribute to the Goodman period and has Auld, trumpeter Don Fagerquist, pianist Lou Levy, guitarist Howard Roberts, and vibraphonist Larry Bunker mostly playing songs recorded by the Benny Goodman Septet of 1940-1941.
The second CD consists of a pair of albums from 1963. Plays the Winners reunites Auld with Rosolino in a quintet, while Here's to the Losers has Auld as the only horn in a group with Larry Bunker and Lou Levy. Despite the fact that he plays quite well throughout, Auld did not record as a leader after 1963 other than his work for the New York, New York soundtrack a decade later. He remains one of the most underrated saxophonists to emerge during the swing era, with this two-fer featuring some of his finest recordings of later years."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide