The third installment in the Classics chronological overview of recordings issued under the name of pianist Jess Stacy traces a time line from March 16, 1951, to March 3, 1956, with recordings made exclusively in Los Angeles, CA.
It opens with eight titles recorded for Brunswick by Stacy, guitarist George Van Eps, bassist Morty Corb, and drummer Nick Fatool. This quartet's marvelous integrity is strongly in evidence on Rodgers & Hart's "You Took Advantage of Me" and endures throughout each of the ensemble members' subsequent collaborations. Tracks nine through 18 were recorded for Atlantic during April 1954 by two different nine-piece Benny Goodman reunion bands under the leadership of Jess Stacy.
With all due respect to tenor saxophonists Babe Russin and Vido Musso, the real star of these swinging sessions was front-line trumpeter Ziggy Elman. According to Classics producer Anatol Schenker, these miniature big-band recordings (including a rendition of Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye" lasting 50 seconds and a tiny take of "Let's Dance" that clocks out at less than half a minute) were only released to the public following the success of the sentimentalist motion picture The Benny Goodman Story. Stacy recorded four more titles (including a blues dedicated to jazz critic Otis Ferguson) for Atlantic on October 6, 1955, this time with bassist Artie Shapiro and drummer Nick Fatool. Stacy and Fatool also recorded four duets (on themes composed by Stacy) for Brunswick on March 3, 1956.
This all adds up to one of the most enjoyable Jess Stacy compilations ever assembled by anyone, especially as the range of instrumentation -- duet, trio, quartet, and nonet -- illuminates him as a wonderfully adaptable improviser.
|You Took Advantage of Me||Jess Stacy||2:35|
|Fascinating Rhythm / George Gershwin||Jess Stacy||2:12|
|I Can't Get Started||Jess Stacy||2:55|
|I Want to Be Happy / Irving Caesar / Vincent Youmans||Jess Stacy||2:45|
|Stars Fell on Alabama / Mitchell Parish / Frank Perkins||Jess Stacy||2:57|
|If I Could Be with You||Jess Stacy||2:29|
|Oh, Baby||Jess Stacy||2:49|
|Roll 'Em||Jess Stacy||4:00|
|Where or When||Jess Stacy||2:56|
|Sing, Sing, Sing / Louis Prima||Jess Stacy||3:17|
|Let's Dance / Joseph Bonine||Jess Stacy||0:25|
|King Porter Stomp||Jess Stacy||4:27|
|Don't Be That Way||Jess Stacy||3:16|
|Sometimes I'm Happy / Irving Caesar / Clifford Grey / Vincent Youmans||Jess Stacy||3:21|
|When Buddha Smiles||Jess Stacy||2:34|
|Down South Camp Meeting||Jess Stacy||3:04|
|You Turned the Tables on Me||Jess Stacy||2:53|
|I Must Have That Man||Jess Stacy||3:18|
|Gee, Ain't I Good to You||Jess Stacy||2:31|
|Blues for Otis Ferguson||Jess Stacy||3:44|
|Boo-Boos for Bob||Jess Stacy||3:17|
|Ain't Goin' Nowhere||Jess Stacy||2:37|