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Album Review

This set, originally put out on Master Jazz and the Australian Swaggie label, features pianist Jay McShann at the peak of his powers. Teamed up with a couple of fine swing tenors (Buddy Tate, who doubles on clarinet, and Julian Dash), bassist Gene Ramey and drummer Gus Johnson, McShann romps through some forgotten numbers from the book of his 1940s big band ("Say Forward, I'll March" and "Four Day Rider"), a few Count Basie-associated tunes, and a couple of basic originals, taking two bluesy vocals. The set gives listeners a strong sampling of Jay McShann's accessible and swinging music.


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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Jay McShann: Going to Kansas City, Jay McShann
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