Friday, April 26, 2013

Howard McGhee (Savoy Sessions)

This single CD put out by the Japanese Denon label has 23 of the 27 selections put out a decade earlier on a two-LP set. Worse than the omissions was the decision to duplicate the liner notes and reprint them so small as to be microscopic. The first half of this set is actually quite good, featuring trumpeter Howard McGhee jamming with a talented sextet that co-stars altoist Jimmy Heath and vibraphonist Milt Jackson and with another group that has solo space for Billy Eckstine on his surprisingly effective valve trombone. The remainder of the CD is much weaker, music recorded in Guam by McGhee, trombonist J.J. Johnson and tenor saxophonist Rudy Williams with a pianoless rhythm trio. Guitarist Skeeter Best is not strong enough to make up for the lack of a piano and some of the repertoire (including an attempt at a brief history-of-jazz) does not work that well. It is best to hold on to the original two-LP set. Otherwise, this CD is mostly recommended for the two earlier dates.
Scott Yanow

Source :

Howard McGhee
(The Savoy Sessions)


1 Merry Lee (McGhee)  2:03
2 Short Life (McGhee)  1:55
3 The Talk of The Town (Livingston, Neiburg, Symes)  2:48
4 Bass C Jam (Lubinsky)  2:54
5 Down Home (Donaldson, McGhee)  2:42
6 Sweet and Lovely (Arnheim, LeMare [Daniels], Tobias)  2:57
7 Fiesta (Daniels)  2:07
8 I'm in the Mood for Love (Fields, McHugh)  2:52
9 Belle from Bunnycock (McGhee)  2:42
10 Flip Lip (McGhee)  2:28
11 The Man I Love (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:37
12 The Last Word (McGhee)  2:20
13 Medley :
a. Royal Garden Blues (Williams)  1:50
b. Mood Indigo (Ellington)  0:55
c. St.Louis Blues (Handy)  1:27
14 One O'clock Jump (Basie)  2:35
15 Stormy Weather (Arlen, Koehler)  2:00
16 The Man With a Horn (DeLange, Jenney, Lake)  4:41
17 Stompin' at The Savoy (Goodman, Razaf, Sampson, Webb)  2:10
18 Lady Be Good (Gershwin, Gershwin)  5:17
19 Stardust (Carmichael, Parish)  3:04
20 How High The Moon (Hamilton, Lewis)  4:56
21 Don't Blame Me (Fields, McHugh)  3:23
22 Body and Soul (Eyton, Green, Heyman, Sour)  3:20
23 Harvest Time (David)  3:23

[# 1-8]
Howard McGhee - tp
Jimmy Heath - as & bs
Milt Jackson - vb
Will Davis - p
Percy Heath - b
Joe Harris - dr
Recorded in Chicago, February 1948
[# 9-12]
Howard McGhee - tp
Billy Eckstine - tb
Unknow - ts
Will Davis - p
Percy Heath - b
Joe Harris - dr
Recorded in Chicago, February 1948
[# 13-23]
Howard McGhee - tp
J. J. Johnson - tb
Rudy Williams - ts
Skeeter Best - g
Oscar Pettiford or Unknow - b
Charlie Rice - dr
Recorded in Guam late 1951 & early 1952

See also


yewsta said...

Thank you.

Otis Foster said...

Thanks Mel - I was listening to some early Maggie in the car this PM.

I recall that there were some wild stories about that Guam gig. Unfortunately, I don't know all the details, but wasn't the trip aborted by the Government because some of the band (OP maybe) got into a jam involving alcohol or drugs?

jazzlover said...

Thank you Mel, McGhee is always well came.

Melanchthon said...