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Harry Sweets Edison: There Will Never Be Another You

Having played with everyone from Count Basie and Art Tatum to Nat Cole and Frank Sinatra, Harry “Sweets” Edison is best known for his perfect timing and his way of repeating a note or phrase over several measures. He didn’t make that many records under his own name, so it’s nice to find that he’s the leader and featured soloist on There Will Never Be Another You (Nagel-Heyer), with German drummer Torsten Zwingenberger and his band, for a live 1986 club date in Berlin. On the title track, Edison plays just behind the beat, which creates delicious tension and generates an exciting kind of swing. He plays some sly turnarounds on a relaxed bossa nova, then rips into some rhythm changes on “Cottontail.” The band includes Hendrik Meurkens, who contributes a rhythmically vibrant vibes solo on Dizzy Gillespie’s “Ow!” and the impressive Sardinian guitarist Giorgio Crobu, who flashes octaves a la Wes Montgomery on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Wave.” Backed by a first-rate rhythm section, Edison does his thing while playing mostly in the middle register, shouting declamations and quoting both obscure and well-known songs, often to humorous effect.

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