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Snap Your Fingers

Al Grey

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Album Review

Trombonist Al Grey is joined by emerging young tenor saxophonist Billy Mitchell on this pair of 1962 sessions, which were originally issued as an Argo LP and finally reissued on a limited-edition CD by Verve in 2003. The first five tracks also feature trumpeter Dave Burns and obscure pianist Floyd Morris. "Nothing But the Truth" is smoldering up-tempo blues with a bit of a gospel flavor, while Morris gets into the groove of the mid-tempo "Three-Fourth Blues." Mitchell especially shines on Melba Liston's soulful ballad "Just Waiting." The three tracks from the earlier session feature Donald Byrd on trumpet and Herbie Hancock on piano. Also here is the slashing hard bop composition "Minor on Top." Another Liston piece, "African Lady," is complex and showcases Grey's sensitive solo. There's not a bad track on this recommended CD.

Biography

Born: 06 June 1925 in Aldie, VA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Al Grey's trademark phrases and often humorous use of the plunger mute long made him quite distinctive. After getting out of the service, he was with the orchestras of Benny Carter (1945-1946), Jimmie Lunceford (1946-1947), Lucky Millinder, and Lionel Hampton (off and on during 1948-1953). Grey was a well-featured soloist with the classic Dizzy Gillespie globetrotting orchestra during 1956-1957 (taking an exciting solo at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival on a blazing version of "Cool Breeze"). He was...
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Snap Your Fingers, Al Grey
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