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Friday, 27 August 2010

Teddy Edwards / Dexter Gordon / Leo Parker / Wardell Gray - The Foremost!

(Onyx / Poydor (UK) Monaural LP 2344 050, recorded beteen 1947 - '55. released 1973)

Teddy Edwards and Dexter Gordon are heard in a quintet setting with Jimmy Rowles on piano, bassist Red Callender (who taught the young Charles Mingus) and Roy Porter on drums in three tracks from 1947 for Dial Records. Then it's baritone saxophonist Leo Parker in 1950 for the obscure Gotham Records, with three takes (all different) of the same tune ("On The House") featuring veteran Curley Russell on bass and the young Kenny Drew on piano. Never issued at the time, this is their first appearance anywhere. Leo also has a great baritone saxophone solo on Ellington's "Solitude" and a rousing "Symphony In Sid", alluding to "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid". The Wardell Gray tracks have him playing tenor sax in Chicago in 1955, not long before his tragic and untimely death, with a line up including Victor Sproles on bass and Norman Simmons, piano, both later accompanists for Carmen McRae (See McRae's "Live At Sugar Hill" in my future listings). Also featured on drums here is Vernell Fournier, who would go on to play with the great Ahmad Jamal Trio. Tracks include "Hey There", a pop hit by Sammy Davis, Jr. at the time, and "Blues In The Closet", among others.

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