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"Here Comes Frank Foster" & "George Wallington Showcase" (Blue Note, May 1954)

"This double reissue combines saxophonist Frank Foster's first U.S. recording and a session led by pianist George Wallington that took place one week later with Foster sitting in. [...] 'Here Comes Frank Foster' (also issued as 'New Faces, New Sounds') was only Foster's second album as a leader. His debut album was recorded one month earlier for the Vogue label in Paris, France. 'Here Comes Frank Foster' fits neatly with other albums from the mid-'50s Blue Note catalog. Foster shares the spotlight with trombonist Benny Powell, and the rhythm section of Gildo Mahones, Percy Heath, and Kenny Clarke is superb. [...] This straight-ahead hard bop is tasty and stimulating. Use the four alternate takes for a chaser." -

HERE COMES FRANK FOSTER Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, May 5, 1954 Benny Powell, trombone; Frank Foster, tenor sax; Gildo Mahones, piano; Percy Heath, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums. Tracks: Little Red; Gracias; How I Spent the Night; Blues for Benny; The Heat's On; Out of Nowhere

"Frank's tenor sound represents a healthy compromise between the heavy, lush tone of such early stars as Coleman Hawkins or Ben Webster, and the smaller, cool edges of the tone initiated by Lester Young and carried further by the Stan Getz school. He leans a little in favor of the former group; in style and phrasing, too, he is emphatically of the extrovert school, speaking out in bold, mature lines while managing never to descend into the banalities of stomping-and-honking. A grace note here, an appogiatura there, attest to the fact that his solos in this set could not have been recorded before the new jazz generation arose, for he has absorbed the basic qualities of the veteran tenor men while adding more youthful ingredients of technical skill." - Leonard Feather (Down Beat Magazine, original liner notes to "Here Comes Frank Foster") GEORGE WALLINGTON SHOWCASE Audio-Video Studios, NYC, May 12, 1954 Dave Burns, trumpet; Jimmy Cleveland, trombone; Frank Foster, tenor sax; Danny Bank, baritone sax, flute; George Wallington, piano; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums; Quincy Jones, arranger. Tracks: Summertime; Festival; Christina; Frankie and Johnnie; Baby Grand; Bumpkins

"The name Wallington, selected more or less at random by its owner, hides a colorful cosmopolitan background, for George Figlia, as they called him when he made his bow in Palermo, Sicily in 1923, was the son of an Italian opera singer and grew up in a classical setting, but grew out of it into the jazz world when he first listened to Basie and Lester Young. George was only 15 when he quit high school to work in Brooklyn and Greenwich village, playing with small bands for "pocket money and hot dogs" as he recalls. A chance meeting with Max Roach led to his participation in the birth rites of the bop movement. With Max, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Pettiford and Don Byas, he became one fifth of the first real bop combo ever to play on 52nd Street, in 1944. Later, working with Charlie Parker, Georgie Auld, Red Rodney et al. he become a constant protagonist of the new jazz school. [...] The collaboration with Quincy [Jones] on three Wallington originals, and on the other material in this set, was a prime factor in the success of the session." - Leonard Feather (original liner notes to "George Wallington Showcase")


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