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For Europeans Only

Don Redman

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Album Review

The music on this CD reissue is taken from the first visit by an American band to Denmark after World War II. Arranger/singer/altoist Don Redman, who was undertaking his last significant contribution to jazz, led an all-star big band that included such notable stars as trumpeter/vocalist Peanuts Holland, trombonist Quentin Jackson, Tyree Glenn on vibes and trombone, pianist Billy Taylor and the great tenor Don Byas. In fact, Byas enjoyed Europe so much during the tour that he made it his permanent home, only returning to the U.S. once briefly decades later. Byas is the star of several of the numbers (particularly "How High the Moon" and "Laura"), but many of the other sidemen also get some solo space. The music is essentially late-period swing with hints of bop in places, including the Tadd Dameron piece "For Europeans Only." Unfortunately, the recording quality of the privately made acetates is not always the greatest, although the sound and balance is a lot better on the CD than on the earlier LP. Important historic music that has some strong moments.

Biography

Born: 29 July 1900 in Piedmont, WV

Genre: Jazz

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

The first great arranger in jazz history, Don Redman's innovations as a writer essentially invented the jazz-oriented big band with arrangements that...
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