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"Sweets" Live

23 FEB 11 CHRIS SLAWECKI

In the time they played together in the Count Basie band, saxophonist Lester Young christened Harry Edison with the nickname "Sweets." The nickname stuck because Edison's trumpet sound is precisely that. For his 1997 performance captured Live At The Iridium (Telarc), "Sweets" teamed with Clark Terry, who filled the trumpet and flugelhorn chair for both Basie and Duke Ellington, and Frank Wess on tenor sax and flute, plus soulful jazz blues pianist Junior Mance.

"Doggin' Around" jumps on and rides Mance's roadrunner blues, with all three horn players swapping bars with the drummer and then simultaneously wailing a unison riff that just keeps climbing higher and growing louder until it screams out the literal high note of the set. Small wonder that horns lay out of the next song, Nance's beautiful piano trio recollection of "Emily" by Johnny Mercer and Johnny Mandel (Bill Evans also recorded numerous versions of this piece). Other Mance solos rock "Midgets" and "Mean Greens" down to their foundations. Edison and friends close with all three horn players soundly swinging his most famous tune, the Basie-like, uptempo blues bop "Centerpiece."

Pianist Oscar Peterson worked both Edison and Terry into his famous piano/trumpet duet series, recording Oscar Peterson & Harry Edison (Pablo/OJC, '92) in late 1974 and Oscar Peterson & Clark Terry (OJC, '94) in mid-'75. In 1976, Edison reunited with Basie for Edison's Lights ('94, OJC); Edison and Mance later played together on Al Grey's 1995 set Centerpiece: Live At The Blue Note (Telarc).

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