Frank Wess: Low Life


Low Life


Frank Wess (flute)


Jazz for Playboys (Savoy 17088)

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Frank Wess (flute), Joe Newman (trumpet), Kenny Burrell (guitar), Freddie Green (rhythm guitar), Eddie Jones (bass), Ed Thigpen (drums).

Composed by Johnny Mandel


Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, December 26, 1956


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Six months to the day after these same musicians (except Burrell and Thigpen) recorded "Low Life" with Count Basie's big band, they reconvened for this sextet version featuring Frank Wess's flute, which had become emblematic of Basie's New Testament band. Not surprisingly, Basie's busmen on holiday remain very much in Count's bag. After all, any track on which Freddie Green plays rhythm guitar is going to sound like Basie. Hell, if Freddie had recorded Beethoven's Ninth with the New York Philharmonic, we'd expect Leonard Bernstein to exclaim "One more time!" at the finale la Basie's "April in Paris."

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


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