Monday, February 6, 2017

Buddy Arnold - Wailing

Here's an obscure jazz album from 1956 - tenor saxophonist Buddy Arnold's only recorded appearance as leader of a record date. Arnold was a big-band veteran (Claude Thornhill, Stan Kenton, etc.) and was a good "brothers-style" Lester Young-influenced tenorist, but he is frankly outclassed by some of the other musicians here - especially Gene Quill and Dave Schildkraut, who alternate on alto sax. Quill and Schildkraut were both strongly influenced by Charlie Parker, but they shared a certain unpredictable quality, and were both extremely imaginative improvisers.

Arnold (or producer Creed Taylor) was wise to commission some top-notch arrangers to write for the seven-piece (four horns, three rhythm) band; Bob Brookmeyer, Al Cohn, Dick Sherman, Nat Pierce, Johnny Williams, and Phil Urso all contribute charts. The result is an intelligent, well-put-together record of 1950s jazz. Buddy Arnold's one shot at the spotlight may not have have resulted in a timeless masterpiece, but it's a very enjoyable album, and it deserves to be remembered.

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