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Man from Muskogee

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Album Review

Pianist-vocalist Jay McShann was in the early part of his comeback when he recorded this superior quartet session with violinist Claude Williams (a veteran who was also on the verge of finally being discovered), bassist Don Thompson and drummer Paul Gunther in 1972. Reissued on CD, the fine swing date is so enjoyable that it makes one wonder how McShann and especially Williams had remained so obscure for the past 20 years. McShann (who takes four spirited vocals) leads the quartet through veteran standards and a few blues with the highlights including "After You've Gone," "Yardbird Suite," "Hootie Blues" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside." Recommended.

Biography

Born: 12 January 1916 in Muskogee, OK

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The great veteran pianist Jay McShann (also known as Hootie) enjoyed a long career and it is unfair to primarily think of him as merely the leader of an orchestra that featured a young Charlie Parker. He was mostly self-taught as a pianist, worked with Don Byas as early as 1931 and played throughout the Midwest before settling in Kansas City in 1936. McShann formed his own sextet the following year and by 1939 had his own big band. In 1940 at a radio station in Wichita, KS, McShann and an octet out...
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Man from Muskogee, Jay McShann
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