Herb Ellis - Ellis In Wonderland (1956)

Genre: Jazz | Total Time: 36:15 | Size: 80.50 MB | MP3 320 kbps
01. Sweetheart Blues
02. Somebody Loves Me
03. It Could Happen To You
04. Pogo
05. Detour Ahead
06. Ellis In Wonderland
07. Have You Met Miss Jones?
08. A Simple Tune

Alto Saxophone – Charlie Mariano; Bass – Ray Brown; Drums – Alvin Stoller; Guitar – Herb Ellis; Piano – Oscar Peterson; Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Clarinet – Jimmy Giuffre; Trumpet – Harry Edison. Recorded December 1955 and January 1956 in Hollywood.

In the midst of his tenure with the Oscar Peterson Trio, Herb Ellis had the chance to turn the tables on his boss and employ him as a sideman, though the keyboard virtuoso strangely reigns in his chops and pretty much stays in the background. This pair of sessions was first issued on a Norgran LP and finally reissued as a Verve CD in early 2006. The first four tracks add Jimmy Giuffre (alternating between baritone sax, tenor sax, and clarinet) and trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, along with fellow Peterson sideman Ray Brown and drummer Alvin Stoller. Ellis' originals include the easygoing "Sweetheart Blues" and the cooking bop vehicle "Pogo," where both the leader and Edison eclipse Giuffre's efforts on sax. "It Could Happen to You" focuses exclusively on Ellis, with Peterson and Edison sitting out and Giuffre adding some background color on clarinet. Alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano is added for the latter date. The well-known "Detour Ahead" (jointly credited to Ellis and his former Soft Winds bandmates Lou Carter and Johnny Frigo, though Frigo has long maintained that it was his composition alone) has a chamber-like setting, with the band primarily providing background for Ellis, though Ray Brown gets in a snappy solo toward the end. The session picks up with the bubbly "Ellis in Wonderland" and a snappy rendition of "Have You Met Miss Jones?" Giuffre's loping "A Simple Tune" reflects Ellis' Texas roots in a bluesy setting, with Peterson finally getting a chance to stretch out for a chorus. This early album by Herb Ellis is well worth acquiring.

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