Reference: CHR 70039 CD
Bar code: 0608917003925
Here’s a little tale of two jazz trumpet players. First the old master, once-in-a-lifetime original, his fire and daring a highlight of the music’s long story. The other, many years his junior, can be viewed as contender or legatee, depending on your turn of mind. It’s a story of inspiration and succession, friendship and reverence; even, in a way, father and son. And as such it’s bound to be uplifting. The whole performance was taped for radio, and now the best of it appears on this Challenge Vineyard Series compact disk for all to share.
"After Roy Eldridge was forced to give up playing trumpet in 1980 due to his heart, the younger Spanky Davis took his place at his regular gig at Ryan's. Ryan's closed for good in 1983 (after a long run that had started in 1940) and in 1985 at the Vineyard, a special concert that paid tribute to the spirit of the legendary club. The last Ryan's house band, comprised of Davis on trumpet, pianist Bobby Pratt, bassist Frank Tate, and drummer Eddie Locke, were joined on some numbers by pianist Dick Katz (with Pratt switching to trombone) and clarinetist Artie Baker. In addition, Eldridge himself (who rarely performed during his last years) acted as an informal MC and is heard on this CD taking three good-humored vocals; at one point he trades comments with Buck Clayton, who was also involuntarily retired from playing.
The music, which was originally broadcast on the radio but never released before, came out for the first time on this 1998 CD. Davis is the main star throughout, taking Eldridge-inspired solos on such tunes as "I Can't Get Started," "After You've Gone," and "Struttin' With Some Barbecue," but the shadow of Roy Eldridge is felt throughout what could be considered his final recording. A colorful set that will be of interest to mainstream/swing collectors."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide