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The Everest Years

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Album Review

Charlie Barnet was at his prime as a tenor saxophonist and bandleader during 1939-1949 when his big bands were quite popular. By 1958 he was semi-retired but still enjoying himself, putting together orchestras whenever the mood struck him. He recorded two albums for Everest that year and, to be different, he left his tenor at home, instead playing alto and soprano sax. Although some of the songs are remakes of his earlier hits, they were often rearranged and sound fresh and new, particularly by 1958, with this version of "Pompton Turnpike" topping (and being more humorous) than the original recording. In addition to Barnet, the key soloists are trumpeters Charlie Shavers and Clark Terry. The enthusiasm of the musicians, some of whom were alumni but most at the time were studio musicians, is contagious and Barnet is heard at his most enthusiastic. Recommended.


Born: 26 October 1913 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

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

Charlie Barnet was unusual in several ways. One of the few jazzmen to be born a millionaire, Barnet was a bit of a playboy throughout his life, ending up with a countless number of ex-wives and anecdotes. He was one of the few white big band leaders of the swing era to openly embrace the music of Duke Ellington (he also greatly admired Count Basie). Barnet was a pioneer in leading integrated bands (as early as 1935). And, although chiefly a tenor saxophonist (where he developed an original sound...
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The Everest Years, Charlie Barnet
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