Reference: FSRCD 669
Bar code: 8427328606691
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The idea of two-tenor battles had its origin in the original Count Basie band, where Lester Young and Herschel Evans were the alpha males competing for supremacy. It made good copy and the public lapped it up.
It could also make for exciting music when two such great talents were involved, something recognized when Wardell Gray and Dexter Gordon made their celebrated recording of The Chase in 1947. By the late Fifties, however, the idea had been diminished by fashion overkill when two of the best tenors around, Charlie Rouse and Paul Quinichette, met in the studio and proved the contest still had much to offer, especially in the company of such blue riband players as Wynton Kelly, Hank Jones, Wendell Marshall, Ed Thigpen and Freddie Green.
Two years later, under the leadership of Art Taylor, Rouse was back duelling successfully again, this time with the renowned Basie-ite, Frank Foster, with Walter Davis Jr and Sam Jones completing the rhythm section.
The music that emerged from both encounters, mature, powerful and swinging, redolent of its era while somehow transcending it, has stood the test of time remarkably well.