Jess Stacy - 1951-1956

Jess Stacy - 1951-1956
Recording Date:
March 16, 1951 - March 3, 1956
Jazz Instrument, Piano Jazz
Release Date:
January 22, 2008

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 MeJess Stacy2:35
Fascinating Rhythm / George GershwinJess Stacy2:12
I Can't Get StartedJess Stacy2:55
I Want to Be Happy / Irving Caesar / Vincent YoumansJess Stacy2:45
IndianaJess Stacy2:34
Stars Fell on Alabama / Mitchell Parish / Frank PerkinsJess Stacy2:57
If I Could Be with YouJess Stacy2:29
Oh, BabyJess Stacy2:49
Roll 'EmJess Stacy4:00
Where or WhenJess Stacy2:56
Sing, Sing, Sing / Louis PrimaJess Stacy3:17
Let's Dance / Joseph BonineJess Stacy0:25
GoodbyeJess Stacy0:52
King Porter StompJess Stacy4:27
Don't Be That WayJess Stacy3:16
Sometimes I'm Happy / Irving Caesar / Clifford Grey / Vincent YoumansJess Stacy3:21
When Buddha SmilesJess Stacy2:34
Down South Camp MeetingJess Stacy3:04
You Turned the Tables on MeJess Stacy2:53
I Must Have That ManJess Stacy3:18
Gee, Ain't I Good to YouJess Stacy2:31
Blues for Otis FergusonJess Stacy3:44
Boo-Boos for BobJess Stacy3:17
Ec-StacyJess Stacy3:08
Complainin'Jess Stacy2:20
Ain't Goin' NowhereJess Stacy2:37

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