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The Modern Red Norvo

Red Norvo

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Album Review

This two-disc compilation, one of the first in a new series by the rekindled Savoy Jazz label, documents the masterful bop vibraphone of Red Norvo. The first eight tracks of disc one feature Norvo with his Selected Sextet of 1945, an astonishing lineup indeed: Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Charlie Parker on alto, Flip Phillips on tenor, Teddy Wilson on piano, Slam Stewart on bass, and J.C. Heard or Specs Powell on drums. The remainder of disc one and all of disc two focus on Norvo's timeless, drummerless trio with guitarist Tal Farlow and bassist Charles Mingus. These are the 1950-1951 sessions that gave listeners the Move! album; here most of the tunes appear back to back with at least one alternate take (three in the case of George Wallington's "Godchild"). Tunes that don't appear on Move! — like "Little White Lies," "Time and Tide," "I'm Yours," and a few others — can be found on The Savoy Sessions, a single disc released in 1995. But die-hard fans will want to study these alternates, particularly versions of "Night and Day" and "Cheek to Cheek" that were previously unreleased on CD and LP. Additional bonuses include thorough annotation, sepia photographs, sleek black-and-silver packaging, and essays by producer Orrin Keepnews and Norvo disciple Gary Burton. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi

Biography

Born: 31 March 1908 in Beardstown, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Red Norvo was an unusual star during the swing era, playing jazz xylophone. After he switched to vibes in 1943, Norvo had a quieter yet no-less fluent style than Lionel Hampton. Although no match for Hampton popularity-wise, Norvo and...
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The Modern Red Norvo, Red Norvo
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