Performance CreditsDick Hafer Primary Artist,Tenor Saxophone
John Leitham Bass
Dick Hafer, a veteran tenor-saxophonist best-known for his association with Woody Herman's Orchestra in the early 1950's, made a big impression with his 1994 tribute to Lester Young for Fresh Sound (Prez Impressions). A fine cool-toned tenor in the Four Brothers tradition, Hafer finally had the opportunity to star in a quartet session. As it turned out, that was Dick Hafer's second opportunity. His Progressive CD, which was released in 1996, was actually recorded back in 1991. For this set, Hafer is joined by Johnny Varro (one of the top swing pianists of the past 30 years), bassist Johnny Leitham and the late drummer Gene Estes for a varied program filled not only with swing and bop standards but Al Cohn's "High On You," Bob Enevoldsen's "Three Bop" and Estes' "Forever After"; the latter is based on "After You've Gone." While Hafer purposely emulated Lester Young on the Fresh Sound date, on his Progressive album he sounds more like himself, playing in the same genre as Zoot Sims and Al Cohn. The mix of swinging pieces and ballads works quite well with the highlights including "The Love Nest," "Lullaby In Rhythm" and "The Man I Love."
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