Gerald Wiggins (p), Gene Wright (b), Bill Douglass (d)
Reference: FSRCD 1076
Bar code: 8427328610766
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Fresh Sound Records presents:
Rare and Obscure Jazz Albums
A CD series created for the most discerning jazz collectors
· Hard to find albums in Collector's Edition
· 2 Original LPs on 1 CD
· Original Cover Art, Liner Notes
· Complete Personnel Details
· Stereo Recordings
· Newly Remastered in 24-Bit
The King and I
The musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, burst onto Broadway with inexhaustible pomp, presenting a sophisticated and balanced book accompanied by melodies of extraordinary beauty. When 20th Century Fox adapted this hit musical to film, it won an Academy Award for “Best Score for a Motion Picture Musical” in 1956. With the film’s success, it seemed timely to extend the triumphs of “The King and I” into yet another dimension: a jazzy version of the show’s best songs. Producer David Axelrod selected pianist Gerald Wiggins’ trio for this challenge. Wiggins, along with his colleagues, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Bill Douglass, demonstrated their undeniable ability to maximize the quality of this music, taking advantage of his collective talent. The trio swings hard and there is such a delightful element of fun that you can’t help but enjoy the product.
Around the World in 80 Days
The growing trend of jazz combos performing the music of successful Broadway shows and notable film productions in the late 1950s indicated one thing above all: jazz was expanding its reach, always seeking new fields of expression. “Around the World in 80 Days” was another highly imaginative modern jazz performance by the Gerald Wiggins Trio of a filmscore, produced by David Axelrod. The familiar theme was played in three ways: as an up-tempo opener, a beguine, and a ballad, with Wiggins displaying a deft left hand on these tracks and the others. Wig was an extremely versatile artist with an impressive technique that allowed him to don any musical mantle he desired. Deep down, though, Gerry was always Wiggins. By dint of many hours playing together, Wiggins, Gene Wright on bass and Bill Douglass on drums, fused into a brotherly rhythm, whose common bond is the mutual desire to “always keep it swingin’.” Even after the most cursory listen to this album, its preeminent success in this regard is immediately revealed.
-The King and I
"This set brings back a trio date originally cut for the obscure Challenge label and featuring pianist Gerald Wiggins, bassist Eugene Wright (shortly before he joined Dave Brubeck's Quartet) and drummer Bill Douglass. Together they perform six selections from the show The King and I. Best-known of the Richard Rodgers melodies are "Getting to Know You," "We Kiss In a Shadow" and "Hello, Young Lovers," although the other five songs are superior too. Wiggins, showing hints of his roots in Erroll Garner and Art Tatum, performs an enjoyable if often easy-listening set of melodic improvisations that are pleasing, even if they contain few surprises."
-Around the World in 80 Days
"The problem with Victor Young's score to Around the World in 80 Days is that, other than the title song, none of the melodies were at all memorable. When was the last time anyone performed "Aouda," "Passepartout" or "The Royal Barge?" This recording was made during a period when many Broadway show and film scores were being recorded in jazz settings. Pianist Gerald Wiggins (along with bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Bill Douglass) does his best, the results (under a half-hour of music) are pleasant and swinging [...]"
—Scott Yanow (All Music Guide)