COMPOSERS: Bill Holman,Billy Byers
WORKS: Live at Basin Street East, 66
PERFORMER: Charlie Barnet, Richie Kamuca, Willie Smith (saxophone); Clark Terry, Randy Brecker (trumpet); Jimmy Cleveland (trombone); Nat Pierce (piano); Eddie Jones (bass); Steve Little (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: HEP CD 2005
This disc recalls memories of a terrific band which the veteran swing-era leader Charlie Barnet took out on the road, some 40 years ago.
Tiring of his millionaire’s life back in Palm Springs, Barnet kept boredom at bay by assembling this line-up of old pros (as well as the young Randy Brecker, of course) who had a strong book of Bill Holman charts at their disposal.
By the time they got to Christmas week, when these tracks were recorded, the band had arrived at New York’s Basin Street and was very much on song. It was a time when you could still hear big bands in even small American clubs, and though The Beatles had taken their toll on the jazz audience, there were still some fine orchestras at work in the grand style.
By any modern standards, the sound on these broadcast tapes is pretty poor. Even so, the spirit of the occasion undoubtedly endures, and it’s a nice reminder of Charlie Barnet’s lifelong love of jazz music.