Personnel: Rex Stewart, Emmett Berry, Taft Jordan (tp), J.C. Higginbotham, Dickie Wells (tb), Hilton Jefferson, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Haywood Henry (saxes), Buster Bailey (cl), Red Richards (p), Al Casey (g), Bill Pemberton (b), Jimmy Crawford (d)
· Collectors Edition · Issued in Digipack · Original Cover Art and Liner Notes · Stereo Recordings · Newly Remastered in 24-Bit
This album reunited many members of the legendary Fletcher Henderson band in a set that recalled the tradition of big-band swing and stellar soloists. It is not only a reunion, but also a recreation of the sound and style that foreshadowed the heyday of the big white bands that borrowed so much from outfits such as Hendersons.
The storming drive and roaring spirit is clearly evident in the section work and in the wild succession of solos. Rex Stewarts cornet and the three trumpets lend constant solo quality to the set, and Hawkins and Webster, seminal figures on the tenor saxophone, both play magnificently, while Buster Baileys fluid clarinet and Jeffersons alto are heard in several swinging, warm, and expertly controlled solos.
Tracks #1-8 were originally issued
on Jazztone as "The Big Reunion"
Fletcher Henderson All Stars in Hi Fi,
Under the direction of Rex Stewart" (J 1285).
Later reissued on Urania Records
as "Cool Fever" (USD 2012).
Rex Stewart, Emmett Berry, Taft Jordan, Joe Thomas (tp), J.C. Higginbotham, Benny Morton, Dickie Wells (tb), Garvin Bushell, Hilton Jefferson (as), Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster (ts), Haywood Henry (bs), Buster Bailey (cl), Al Casey (g), Red Richards (p), Bill Pemberton (b), and Jimmy Crawford (d).
Dick Vance replaces Berry, Norman Thornton replaces Henry on #4,5 & 7.
Stewart, Hawkins, Jefferson, The Trombones and Rhythm play on #2,3,6 & 9.
Recorded in New York City, November 26 & 29, and December 2, 1957.
"The Big Reunion" was produced especially
for Jazztone Society by George T. Simon.
Recording engineer: Ernie Oelrich
Photos by Kal Weyner.
Produced for CD release: Jordi Pujol
Stereo 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
As George T. Simon reports in his excellent liner notes, all the soloists except Jordan, Casey and Richards, at one time or another, worked with Henderson.
Not all the tracks are big-band chargers. Jim Timmens wrote four arrangements for a smaller group, giving Hawkins and Jefferson opportunity to play ballads.
Under the supervision of jazz writer and producer George T. Simon, this album was recorded and originally issued on LP in highfidelity mono on the Jazztone label as The Big Reunion, and later in stereo on Urania Records, under the title Cool Fever.