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Dusty Blue

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Album Review

The 1950s had largely been a waste for Howard McGhee, as drug addiction had taken its toll on his playing. But he is in good form for this 1961 studio session for Bethlehem, leading a septet with baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, trombonist Bennie Green, and tenor saxophonist Roland Alexander, with a top-notch rhythm section of Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter, and Walter Bolden an added bonus. His delicious muted horn is the centerpiece of the lightly swinging take of "The Sound of Music" and strolling rendition of the normally bittersweet "Cottage for Sale," while he's on open horn for a snappy take of Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You." McGhee's explosive side comes out in bop favorites like "Groovin' High," yet he is just as powerful playing long notes in the lush ballad "With Malice Toward None." McGhee's originals are all enjoyable, though none caught on with other jazz musicians.

Biography

Born: 06 March 1918 in Tulsa, OK

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

During 1945-1949, Howard McGhee was one of the finest trumpeters in jazz, an exciting performer with a sound of his own, who among the young bop players, ranked at the top with Dizzy Gillespie and Fats Navarro. The "missing link" between Roy Eldridge and Fats Navarro (Navarro influenced Clifford Brown who influenced most of the post-1955 trumpeters), McGhee originally played clarinet and tenor, not taking up trumpet until he was 17. He worked in territory bands, was with Lionel Hampton in 1941, and...
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Dusty Blue, Howard McGhee
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