Billy Bauer: Lincoln Tunnel


Lincoln Tunnel


Billy Bauer (guitar)


Plectrist (Verve)

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Billy Bauer (guitar), Milt Hinton (bass), Osie Johnson (drums),

Andrew Ackers (piano)


Composed by Billy Bauer


Recorded: New York, January 23, 1956


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Nowadays, few listeners are aware of the art of guitarist Billy Bauer, and that's a shame. Of course, this consummate accompanist best known for his work with Woody Herman, then Lennie Tristano released only one album under his own name. When this unique mid-'50s leader session was recorded, Bauer was active mostly in recording studios, which is where he enlisted sidemen for a short-lived quartet that never appeared publicly. If it hadn't been for producer Norman Granz's determination to record Bauer, the informal session, and in particular this gem of a track, might never have occurred. Bauer's guitar is backed by a solid rhythm team and by the comping of Andrew Ackers, a discreet, unobtrusive, little-known pianist. Throughout "Lincoln Tunnel," where he is the main soloist, Bauer displays a boppish phrasing totally his own: brisk, inventive, full of unexpected twists, along with a firm touch and great sense of rhythm. All this pleads for the rediscovery of a musician who, though now largely forgotten, was widely appreciated by his peers and, out of the sunlight, carved his own style.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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