Jazz Sahib · Complete Sextets Sessions 1956-1957 (2-CD)
  • Savoy MG 12073
    Savoy MG 12073
  • Epic LN 3339
    Epic LN 3339
  • Savoy MG 12112
    Savoy MG 12112
  • Savoy MG 12124
    Savoy MG 12124
  • Sahib Shihab
    Sahib Shihab
  • Regent MG 6066
    Regent MG 6066

Sahib Shihab

Jazz Sahib · Complete Sextets Sessions 1956-1957 (2-CD)

Fresh Sound Records

Sahib Shihab (as, bs), Don Stratton, Joe Wilder (tp), Eddie Bert (tb), John Jenkins, Phil Woods (as), Benny Golson, Clifford Jordan, Mike Cuozzo (ts), Bobby Jaspar (ts, fl), Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Dick Katz, Bill Evans, Ronnie Ball (p), Kenny Burrell (g), Mort Herbert, Paul Chambers, Oscar Pettiford, Addison Farmer (b), Kenny Clarke, Elvin Jones, Art Taylor, Dannie Richmond (d)

Reference: FSRCD 487

Bar code: 8427328604871


This double CD set features veteran bop era saxophonist Sahib Shihab (a.k.a. Edmund Gregory). After playing alto saxophone with Luther Henderson and Fletcher Hendersons bands, he tuned into the new music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Despite his association with stars such as Roy Eldridge, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Tadd Dameron, Lucky Thompson, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie, he remains largely underrated. While with Gillespie in 1951 he started to play baritone sax and since then alternated in both instruments, although the big horn became his main voice. In 1956 and 1957, before he went to Europe, he madealong with several outstanding sidemensome great sextet recordings on baritone, as a leader, mostly for Savoy Records, except one early alto session for Epic Records.

Here, for the first time on CD, are all these sextet sides plus two swinging dates he recorded with Mort Herberts group, also for Savoy. This collection surely will put him in the place he deserves in the jazz field.

CD 1
01. Swissmovement (Mort Herbert) 4:57
02. Night People (Mort Herbert) 4:41
03. I've Got You Under My Skin (Cope Porter) 3:10
04. Son Of The Preacher (Mort Herbert) 5:57
05. Hum-Bug (Sahib Shihab) 3:37
06. Southern Exposure (Kenny Burrell) 4:42
07. Blues For Fred And Fay (Mort Herbert) 7:21
08. Mitchs Carol (Mort Herbert) 6:00
09. S.M.T.W.T.F.S.S. Blues (Sahib Shihab) 6:36
10. Rockaway (John Jenkins) 6:43
11. The Things We Did Last Summer (Styne-Kahn) 7:05

CD 2
01. S.M.T.W.T.F.S.S. Blues (Sahib Shihab) 4:59
02. Sugar Dugar (Sahib Shihab) 4:39
03. Lo-Ba (Sahib Shihab) 7:39
04. The Moors (Melba Liston) 7:19
05. Jamila (Sahib Shihab) 5:33
06. Blu-A-Round (Sahib Shihab) 10:17
07. Le' Sneak (Sahib Shihab) 5:29
08. Ballad To The East (Melba Liston) 4:41
09. Ba-Dut-Du-Dat (Melba Liston) 6:02

Album details

Sources CD 1:
Tracks #1-4, 7 & 8, from the album "Night People" (Savoy MG 12073)
Tracks #5 & 6, from the album "After Hours Jazz" (Epic LN 3339)
Tracks #9-11, from the album "The Jazz We heard Last Summer" (Savoy MG 12112)

Sources CD 2:
Tracks #1,4-8, from the album "Jazz Sahib" (Savoy MG 12124)
Track #2, from the album "Jazz is Bursting Out All Over" (Savoy MG 12123
Tracks 3 & 9 are Savoy bonus tracks

Personnel on CD 1

Tracks #1-4: Don Stratton (tp), Sahib Shihab (bs), Ronnie Ball (p), Mort Herbert (b), Kenny Clarke (d).
Recorded in Hackensack, New Jersey, March 12, 1956

Tracks #5-6: Eddie Bert (tb), Sahib Shihab (as), Tommy Flanagan (p), Kenny Burrell (g), Carl Pruitt (b), Elvin Jones (d).
Recorded in New York City, May 17, 1956

Tracks #7-8: Joe Wilder (tp), Bobby Jaspar (ts, fl), Sahib Shihab (as, bs), Dick Katz (p), Mort Herbert (b), Kenny Clarke (d).
Recorded in Hackensack, New Jersey, May 29, 1956

Tracks #9-11: John Jenkins (as), Clifford Jordan (ts), Sahib Shihab (bs), Hank Jones (p), Addison Farmer (b), Dannie Richmond (d).
Recorded in Hackensack, New Jersey, June 6, 1957

Personnel on CD 2

Tracks #1-5: Phil Woods (as), Benny Golson (ts), Sahib Shihab (bs), Hank Jones (p), Paul Chambers (b), Art Taylor (d).
Recorded in Hackensack, New Jersey, July 9, 1957

Tracks #6-9: Phil Woods (as), Benny Golson (ts), Sahib Shihab (bs), Bill Evans (p), Oscar Pettiford (b), Art Taylor (d).
Recorded in Hackensack, New Jersey, November 7, 1957

Liner notes compiled by Jordi Pujol
All recordings produced by Ozzie Cadena (Savoy), except CD 1 #5 & 6 originally issued on Epic Records.
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol

24-Bit Digitally Remastered

Press reviews

"One of the trademarks of Barcelona's Fresh Sounds label is its manner of compiling the complete sessions by an artist, usually the leading lights of hard bop, mainstream, cool, and the West Coast jazz scenes early in their respective careers. These 1956-1957 sides by saxophonist Sahib Shihab were the first to really showcase him as he came into his own as a bandleader, and as a session musician who could write his own ticket. (He moved to Europe two scant years later: he relocated to Europe in 1959, settled in Denmark, and didn't return for 16 years.) Shihab had been playing professionally since he was 16, and had previously worked with Fletcher Henderson, Roy Eldridge, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Tadd Dameron, Lucky Thompson, Miles Davis, and most importantly, Dizzy Gillespie, where he first made his mark as a baritone player of great taste, power, and swing; he was in his thirties before he led his own group. Even here, on a volume under his own name, there is only one full LP to his credit, the killer Jazz Sahib and four cuts he led on. The rest comprises two albums under bassist Mort Herbert's leadership, and some compilation sides on which Shihab played. That said, there isn't anything generic or unsatisfying about the music here. The Herbert's sides were released as Night People and Jazz After Hours (the latter is a bit confusing since Shihab led on two of the cuts).

The personnel on these sides reads like a who's who of players on the New York scene: the first four cuts -- all under Herbert's name, feature pianist Ronnie Ball, Don Stratton on trumpet, Shihab on baritone, and Mike Cuozzo on tenor. The drummer was none other than Kenny Clarke, whose association with Shihab would continue in one form or another until his death. This is an historic meeting in a sense, because as both men decided to leave the States, they achieved not only great fame and opportunities to work, they became entwined in one another's music in the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band and their various sextets from the 1960s and into the '70s.

Shihab's first session as a leader also features his own composition, "Hum-Bug" and the Kenny Burrell-penned "Southern Exposure." These recordings include Tommy Flanagan, trombonist Eddie Bert, a young Elvin Jones on drums, Burrell on guitar, and bassist Carl Pruitt. "Hum-Bug" is a tough bop burner with knotty heads and Jones tearing up the backbeat; the horn solos are all terrific. The last five tracks include the cuts from Herbert's second album that both Shihab and Clarke played on, and some cuts from the 1957 compilation album Jazz We Heard Last Summer. The latter record's players included Hank Jones, Addison Farmer, Dannie Richmond, John Jenkins, and Clifford Jordan. Without doubt, the most slamming track from this session is "S.M.T.W.T.F.S.S. Blues" by Shihab, who doubled on alto and baritone. The heads are short and knotty and the solos intense and flowing. The second disc here offers the complete Jazz Sahib, and is a real treat because of the band: Phil Woods, Benny Golson, Shihab with two different rhythm sections. The first five cuts feature Hank Jones, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor; on the last four, Bill Evans replaces Jones and Oscar Pettiford takes the bass chair instead of Chambers. There is another version of "S.M.T.W.T.F.S.S. Blues" here, but it swings harder and burns hotter than the previous version. It is not the album's highlight, however, just one of them. Shihab wrote all but two tunes on the album, all of them solid. The shining stars on this set, however, are Melba Liston's "The Moors," with its Eastern-tinged melody and the beautiful harmonic spread of the horns, and "Ballad to the East." On the latter, Woods' solo is beautifully sensitive, and Shihab and Golson complement one another almost like singers. The final track on the disc that closes the package is another Liston tune, the wildly swinging "Bat-Dut-Du-Dat" with the latter band. It was issued on a compilation album called Jazz Is Busting Out All Over. This entire package is worth owning simply for disc two: Jazz Sahib is not in print (on CD) in any other form. Disc one is not to be denied either; there is plenty of great jazz on it, and some amazing players and solos. That said, its lack of context is sometimes a bit jarring. In addition to the music there are informative liners, and some hip photos to boot.

Thom Jurek -All Music Guide


14,95 €  (tax incl.)

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