Teddy Charles: Nostalgia In Times Square


Nostalgia In Times Square


Teddy Charles (vibes)


Dances With Bulls (Smalls SRC00038)

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Teddy Charles (vibes), Chris Byars (alto sax), John Mosca (trombone), Harold Danko (piano), Ari Roland (bass), Stefan Schatz (drums).

Composed by Charles Mingus


Recorded: New York, July 23, 2008


Rating: 83/100 (learn more)

Teddy Charles might well be the only jazz musician to have given up a successful career in music to become a sea captain. In the '50s, he recorded a series of excellent, forward-looking albums with such giants of West Coast jazz as Shelly Manne, Jimmy Giuffre, and Shorty Rogers. Since the mid-1960s, however, his primary gig has been as an owner/operator of charter sea vessels. As of early 2009, he's playing music once again, backed by saxophonist Chris Byars's group. "Nostalgia In Times Square" was composed by another of Charles's former musical associates, Charles Mingus. Byars's arrangement is a bit more elaborate than Mingus's best-known recorded version of the tune. The opening arco solo by bassist Ari Roland (obviously meant to evoke the spirit of Mingus) leads into the bluesy theme. It's taken at a slow '50s-strip-joint tempo that Byars milks for ironic possibilities. Charles is in excellent form: the ideas flow, the touch is assured. Pianist Harold Danko takes top solo honors, however; his rhythmically and melodically unhinged spot stands out like Tom Hanks at a Bosom Buddies reunion.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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