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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hank Crawford- Soul of the Ballad

Here is something that is kind of interesting.. an Atlantic fairly early jazz lp from Hank Crawford with the Marty Paich Orchestra on Atlantic 1405...This came out in 1963 and includes back cover notes from Nat Hentoff...I think Hentoff- who together with a few others such as Ira Glitter- has to be one of the contenders for most liner notes written..I'd love to see his jazz collection! ANyways Nat tells us how it is "He (i.e. Crawford) also succeds in surging through and above the string backgrounds provided by Marty Paich becuse he has such a firm sense of self that the strings do not muffle nor deflect his story lines. I am not yet a convert to strings in a jazz context, but I will grant that Marty Paich's arrangements here are not obstrusively ornate. Paich has left Crawford ample space..." ANyways, I get the sense Nat did not really like the strings which at times can sound schlocky....The guy at the record store I bought this happened to be playing a more recent Crawford LP which sounded cool and funky but obviously that one wasn't going in the dollar bin.. Anyways Hank by this point had been playing saxophone for Ray Charles for 7 years and he does remind me of those great southern soul saxophone players.. I am thinking of King Curtis here.. The track listing is a strange hodge podge of classic standards (the number one american song ever "Stardust", "Stormy Weather", "I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You", etc.) and newer songs such as "Blueberry Hill", "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and even "Have a Good Time" by Boudleaux Bryant and Felice Bryant who I am familiar with for their work writing hits for the Everly Brothers...$1

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