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Paul Quinichette: For Basie

Paul Quinichette was not styled the Vice-Pres for nothing. Of all the tenor players Lester Young inspired, he passed on the message the most faithfully. He was too often dismissed as an imitator, but Young’s language seemed to be natural to him, so that his flow was not broken up by the fashionable ejaculations necessary to others. The program of Basie hits perhaps imposed limitations of another kind, but here-in 1957-he was backed by Freddie Green, Walter Page, and Jo Jones, with Nat Pierce happily at the piano. Pierce’s striding on “Texas Shuffle” would certainly have delighted The Chief. Ira Gitler’s good notes from the original LP suggest that this was bassist Page’s last session-a worthy one.

Like Quinichette, and that of several other tenors from the Southwest, Arnett Cobb’s style bore some relation to that of Herschel Evans and thence no doubt to those of Coleman Hawkins and Chu Berry. Annotator Leroi Jones seems impressed by the “fashionably boppish rhythm section” served up for this “old swinging workhorse stomper,” but the patronizing tone disappears as the notes proceed. The conga drums were an affectation in 1960 before which producer Esmond Edwards bowed unfortunately, but his choice of pianist Tommy Flanagan was wise, one that produced fine results on “Blue Lou.”

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