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Album Review

Billy Bauer was an accomplished studio guitar player whose only studio date as a leader was this release, finally reissued as a part of the Verve Elite Edition limited edition CD series in 2000. Throughout the CD he is never overpowering, but a solid rhythmic player, whether essaying a gently swinging "Too Marvelous for Words" or a more sprightly "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." Bauer also wrote several originals for the date, including the easygoing bop vehicle "Lincoln Tunnel," the tender ballad "Night Cruise," and the unaccompanied "Blue Mist." Accompanying Bauer is bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Osie Johnson, and the obscure pianist Arnold Ackers. While this won't be an essential CD for every jazz fan, those who acquire it will not be disappointed.

Customer Reviews

Bebop Guitar At It's Finest

Here's what I've learned after being dropped to the floor by this album: Billy Bauer is one of the finest jazz guitarists (or should I say, plectrists?) of his generation, and one of the least well known. Although he spent a multi-decade career as a well regarded sideman, this is the only album where he recorded under his own moniker Originally released on the Norgran label in 1956, this album had to wait almost 50 years to be re-released, and then only on CD and subsequently i-Tunes; Better late than never... One listen will tell you why original copies of the vinyl LP are so rare (go try and find one!), but also begs the question,"Why did it take so long to re-issue this masterpiece?" Track 3, 'Lincoln Tunnel' stands out as a timeless example of bebop jazz guitar at it's finest and most ferocious! Best known for his work with both Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz, he also put in time with the likes of Charlie Parker. Mr. Bauer is the real deal, and one must only assume after listening to this album that his relative obscurity as a headliner must have been intentional on his part. While he's not a horn player, I think it's fair to say this guy doesn't blow corn! This album truly ranks on my list of all time favorite albums. If you like bebop guitar, and could only have one example, I'd be hard pressed to recommend another album, bar none.


Born: November 14, 1915 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Guitarist Billy Bauer was a critical force behind jazz's evolution from swing to bebop, his precise, progressive fretwork foreshadowing the emergence of cool jazz and even the avant-garde. Born in New York City on November 14, 1915, Bauer played banjo as a child but moved to guitar in his late teens, first earning notice behind clarinetist Jerry Wald. In 1941 he made his first recordings with Carl Hoff & His Orchestra -- three years later, Bauer signed on with Woody Herman's First Herd, with whom...
Full Bio
Plectrist, Billy Bauer
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 1956

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