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A Whole New Ballgame

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Album Review

Boots Randolph will always be best-known for his cornball pop hit "Yakety Sax" and for his association with country music, but he has long loved swinging jazz. Years ago he recorded an effective jazz album with Richie Cole called Yakety Madness!. Randolph's huge tone, influenced by Illinois Jacquet, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Coleman Hawkins, perfectly fits into the idiom, and on A Whole New Ballgame, he performs no-nonsense jazz. Although the occasional synthesized strings of keyboardist Jason Webb sounds a little cheesy in spots, Randolph is heard throughout in top form. He displays very impressive technique, knows the songs well and swings hard without going too over the top. The rhythm section is fine in support, with pianist Steve Willets and guitarist Roddy Smith having solo space, but Randolph is the main show, really blowing up a storm on "L-O-V-E," an up-tempo "Take Me out to the Ballgame" and "Basically Blues." Recommended. Unfortunately, Radolph died about a month after this was released..


Born: 03 June 1927 in Paducah, KY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Tenor saxophonist Boots Randolph was an important contributor to the Nashville sound, the set of pop-flavored textures that dominated country music in the late '50s and early '60s. He was born in Paducah, KY, but grew up in small-town Cadiz, in Trigg County. Born Homer Louis Randolph III, he acquired the nickname "Boots" in childhood from his brother Bob. Randolph began playing the trombone in school and learned several other instruments, but by the time he was 16 he had begun to focus seriously...
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A Whole New Ballgame, Boots Randolph
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