Lush Life: The Billy Strayhorn Songbook

Lush Life: The Billy Strayhorn Songbook


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Lush Life: The Billy Strayhorn Songbook

As an informal soundtrack for his revealing biography of Billy Strayhorn, Lush Life, David Hajdu selected and annotated the tracks for this rambling dig through the PolyGram archives. In doing so, Hajdu ranges far afield in date and idiom, yet the overall impression is amazingly consistent of Strayhorn as an elegant yet haunted musical figure whose work has a strikingly individual and timeless signature. Strayhorn himself is typically lodged in the background, appearing on two lovely Johnny Hodges tracks, "Your Love Has Faded" and "Three and Six," a Louie Bellson rarity, "Far-Eastern Weekend," and Ben Webster's "Chelsea Bridge" in various roles arranging, conducting, and playing piano. Yet the mighty Ellington band only turns up on on "Something to Live For," suavely backing a marvelously evocative Ella Fitzgerald interpretation. Given the tone of the book, one imagines that the scarcity of Ellington tracks was deliberate, to let Strayhorn's work shine on its own without having to compete with Duke's flashy aura. A few random high points: Dizzy Gillespie's pithy, witty, and swinging solo in "U.M.M.G.," a great, dynamic Oliver Nelson chart backing Art Farmer's "Rain Check," Cecil Taylor's slightly fractured version of "Johnny Come Lately" live at Newport, and the inevitable "Take the 'A' Train" in a JATP jam. Sarah Vaughan, Oscar Peterson, Frank Morgan, Billy Eckstine, Joe Henderson, and Stan Getz also turn up as leaders. Ultimately, Ellington's passionate And His Mother Called Him Bill album remains the essential Strayhorn sampler, with this disc as a backup to illustrate the impact he has had upon the jazz repertoire.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/23/1996
Label: Polygram Records
UPC: 0731452990822
catalogNumber: 529908

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lalo Schifrin   Piano
Tony Scott   Clarinet
Ray Barretto   Percussion
Cat Anderson   Trumpet
Louie Bellson   Drums,Tambourine,Track Performer
Bill Berry   Trumpet
Phil Bodner   Woodwind
George Cables   Piano
Jimmy Cleveland   Trombone
Buddy Collette   Saxophone
Art Davis   Bass
Billy Eckstine   Vocals,Track Performer
Roy Eldridge   Trumpet
Art Farmer   Track Performer
Ella Fitzgerald   Vocals,Track Performer
Tommy Flanagan   Piano
Stan Getz   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Dizzy Gillespie   Trumpet,Track Performer
Paul Gonsalves   Tenor Saxophone
Urbie Green   Trombone
Jim Hall   Guitar
Joe Henderson   Tenor Saxophone
Hi-Lo's   Vocals,Group
Johnny Hodges   Alto Saxophone,Track Performer
Hank Jones   Piano
Jo Jones   Drums
Steve Lacy   Soprano Saxophone
Frank Morgan   Alto Saxophone,Track Performer
Ray Nance   Trumpet
Oliver Nelson   Conductor
Oscar Peterson   Piano,Track Performer
Rufus Reid   Bass
Jimmy Rowles   Piano
Paul Serrano   Trumpet
Cecil Taylor   Piano,Track Performer
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Cootie Williams   Trumpet
Shorty Baker   Trumpet
Aaron Bell   Bass
Lawrence Brown   Trombone
Stan Levey   Drums
Ernie Royal   Trumpet
Jimmy Woode   Bass
Robert DiDomenica   Flute
Victor Lewis   Drums
Willie Rodriguez   Percussion
Hal Mooney   Conductor
Coleman Hawkins   Tenor Saxophone
Russell Procope   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Chuck Connors   Trombone
Quentin Jackson   Trombone
Denis Charles   Drums
Ray Copeland   Trumpet
George Duvivier   Bass
Lewis Nash   Drums
Ray Alonge   Trombone,French Horn
Danny Bank   Baritone Saxophone,Woodwind
Kenny Barron   Piano
Raymond Beckenstein   Woodwind
Max Bennett   Bass
Benny Carter   Alto Saxophone
Richard Berg   Trombone
Ray Brown   Bass
Billy Byers   Trombone
James Buffington   French Horn
Don Byas   Tenor Saxophone
Harry Carney   Baritone Saxophone
Mac Ceppos   Violin
Clark Terry   Trumpet
Buster Cooper   Trombone
Richard Dickler   Viola
Duke Ellington   Conductor
Rolf Ericson   Trumpet
Ernie Wilkins   Alto Saxophone
Paul Faulise   Bass Trombone
Barry Galbraith   Guitar
Bernie Glow   Trumpet
Bennie Green   Trombone
Jimmy Hamilton   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Hendrickson   Guitar
Jimmy Jones   Piano
John Lamb   Bass
Jay McAllister   Tuba
Christian McBride   Bass
Ed Mullens   Trumpet
John Murtaugh   Woodwind
Buell Neidlinger   Bass
Jack Nimitz   Saxophone
Robert "Brother Ah" Northern   French Horn
David Novales   Violin
Romeo Penque   Woodwind
Charlie Persip   Drums
Seymour Red Press   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Mischa Russell   Violin
Sarah Vaughan   Vocals,Track Performer
Doc Severinsen   Trumpet
Billy Strayhorn   Piano,Conductor,Track Performer
Tony Studd   Bass Trombone
Bobby Tucker   Conductor
Sam Woodyard   Drums
Snooky Young   Trumpet
Joe Singer   French Horn
Ernie Bright   Woodwind
Stanley Webb   Woodwind
Jimmy Zito   Trumpet
Duke Ellington & His Orchestra   Track Performer
David Williams   Bass
Hal Mooney Orchestra   Track Performer
Tommy Mitchell   Trombone
Eddie Wasserman   Tenor Saxophone
Herbie Jones   Trumpet
Jazz at the Philharmonic All-Stars   Group,Track Performer
John Frost   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Louie Bellson   Composer
Stan Getz   Producer
Oliver Nelson   Arranger
Don Sickler   Producer
Hal Mooney   Arranger
Norman Granz   Producer
George Devens   Contributor
Clare Fischer   Arranger
Jimmy Jones   Arranger
Michael Lang   Executive Producer
Seymour Red Press   Composer
Peter Pullman   Contributor,Notes Editing
Richard Seidel   Producer
Bob Shad   Producer
John Snyder   Producer
Billy Strayhorn   Arranger,Composer
Jack Tracy   Producer
Bobby Tucker   Arranger
Ib Skovgaard   Producer
David Hajdu   Liner Notes
Nichell Delvaille   Contributor
T. Cohan   Composer

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