Almost forty years ago, Canadian vibraphonist Peter Appleyard assembled a group of truly Jazz giants; pianist Hank Jones, saxophonist Zoot Sims, bassist Slam Stewart, cornetist Bobby Hackett, drummer Mel Lewis and trombonist Urbie Green.
The result was the album, Peter Appleyard and the Jazz Giants – The Lost Sessions 1974, an exquisite collection of jazz standards each one showcasing the amazing talents of these musicians.
The album also includes the outtakes and dialogues before each take, giving the sensation to the listener of being into the studio.
The Lost Sessions starts with a Duke Ellington medley (“Sophisticated Lady”, “I got it bad and that ain’t good”, “Prelude to a kiss”, “Mood Indigo”) that highlights the haunting tone of Zoot Sims on sax, the classic sound of cornetist Bobby Hackett and the finesse of pianist Hank Jones.
The band goes in full swing in “After you’ve gone”, Appleyard and Sims exchange flawless solos and Hackett brilliantly took a different approach to his improvisation playing slower and longer notes.
Each one of these masters had a chance to shine in the following tracks, “Tangerine” and “But Beautiful” features Urbie Green’s lyrical and melodic soloing, the bluesy ballad “You don’t know what love is” gave Bobby Hackett the chance to display his warm tone on cornet, Sims takes control on Dizzy Gillespie’s “You go to my head”, the New Orleans, vintage sound on “Indiana” features bassist Slam Stewart brilliantly scatting to the bass lines and “Dancing on the ceiling” is all Hank Jones and his sophisticated style on piano.
On Benny Goodman’s “A smooth one”, sax, cornet, vibes and trombone take turns soloing in an arrangement that takes the listener back to the Swing era.
Tracks: Ellington Medley, After you’ve gone, Tangerine, You don’t know what love is, But Beautiful, You got to my head, Indiana, A smooth one, Dancing on the ceiling, Outtakes
Musicians: Peter Appleyard – vibes, Hank Jones – piano, Zoot Sims – sax, Slam Stewart – bass, Bobby Hackett – cornet, Mel Lewis – drums, Urbie Green – trombone
Peter Appleyard on the web: peterappleyardvibes.com
Label: Jan Matthies Records | Release date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre