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Buddy Collette: Jazz for Thousand Oaks

Buddy Collette was one of the “coolest” of the Los Angeles saxophonists of the ’50s and one of the first African-American musicians in the Hollywood studios. Today, he’s director of the California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz and Distinguished Visiting Artist at Cal State-Long Beach, and as this recording attests, continues to perform his special brand of lyrical jazz.

Recorded live in concert, the album also features Sam Most on woodwinds, Al Aarons on trumpet/flugelhorn, George Bohannon on trombone, Richard Simon on bass, Al Viola on guitar, Ndugu Chancler on drums, and Ronnell Bright on piano and vocals. Except for a cooking Ellington opener, the tunes are the work of Collette or Bright and include some nice bossas, a hard-driving blues, and a couple of jazz-inflected vocals.

The usual format of head/solos/head affords everyone ample blowing opportunities. On tenor, Collette and Most both still favor a relatively quiet, laid-back attack while dancing through the changes with a fine sense of melody. Their colleagues all do their jobs so well it would be difficult to single anyone out.

Originally Published