VOICES Notes and news on Jazz releases
02 MAY 11 CHRIS SLAWECKI
Available in Concord's Digital Catalog, Jazz By Gee! (Original Jazz Classics, 1996) puts together two 1956 Riverside sessions by the Matthew Gee All-Stars. These All-Stars include drummer Arthur Taylor, trumpeter Kenny Dorham, and stalwart Count Basie saxophonist Frank Foster, all directed by relatively unknown trombonist Matthew Gee (1925-'79). Gee also served in bands led by Basie, Duke Ellington, and in other swing and more modern jazz ensembles.
With freewheeling and robust blends of Dixieland, blues, swing, and modern jazz, Jazz By Gee! captures jazz fusion of a different, nearly forgotten, type. Gee's trombone brings the perfect sound to the romantic moan "Lover Man," and swings thick and meaty riffs into his leisurely neighborhood stroll with "The Boys From Brooklyn."
But above all else, Gee's joint be jumpin'! "Sweet Georgia Brown" rockets out of the gate like a Dixieland parade with its tail on fire, a fire that Taylor keeps bright and burning. With special thanks to the ensemble horns and pianist Joe Knight, the eponymous "Gee" and rocking "Kingston Lounge" -- essentially rounds of saxophone, trumpet, and trombone solos -- roar like powerful engines while the soloists try to blow each other of their perches and Taylor pounds out their rhythms.
You can also hear Gee smear the blues through The Gene Ammons Story: The 78 Era (Prestige, '92); Johnny Griffin's Big Soul Band (Riverside, '90) and Best Of (Riverside, 2009); and King Pleasure's Golden Days (OJC, '91).
Sweet Georgia Brown
Matthew Gee All-Stars, from Jazz By Gee!
King Pleasure, from Golden Days
in this playlist.