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Considering his ability and strong reputation, it is very surprising that this was trombonist Carl Fontana's first recording date as a leader. Fifty-seven at the time, Fontana's fluent horn matches well with tenor saxophonist Al Cohn, pianist Richard Wyands, bassist Ray Drummond, and drummer Akira Tana. The CD reissue of the Uptown release expands the original six-song program to ten. An excellent effort from an underrated but talented bop-based trombonist.
Performance CreditsCarl Fontana Primary Artist,Trombone
Ray Drummond Bass
Richard Wyands Piano
Cohn Tenor Saxophone
Akira Tana Drums
Technical CreditsLeonard Feather Liner Notes
Bill Watrous Liner Notes
Rudy Van Gelder Engineer,Liner Notes
J.J. Johnson Liner Notes
Maureen Sickler Cover Design
Mabel Fraser Producer
Peter Watrous Liner Notes
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Carl Fontana has no peers. He puts the trombone to his mouth and the most swinging, articulate, lyrical, expressive, original phrasing just flows forth from the unending stream of his musical genius! Simply stunning! His straight-ahead swinging technique seems as effortless as breathing. He never appears to reach for a single note or to be at a loss for ¿words¿. He shines particularly brightly on this, his own album where he is front and center playing what he wants the way he wants. Al Cohn brings to the party the incomparable lyricism of his tenor sax ¿ the perfect complement to Fontana. They have the support of a superb rhythm section: Richard Wyands, piano; Ray Drummond, bass; Akira Tana, drums. This album flat out cooks, in the most gorgeous and elegant manner. Every cut is fantastic, from bop to ballads ¿ they all swing to their core. My favorite is which ever one I am listening to at any given moment, but I think the most amazing is ¿It Might As Well Be Spring¿ ¿ all Fontana for umpty-dozen choruses, each one hotter than the one before; he relinquishes the floor to the piano for a few choruses ¿ probably to keep the trombone from melting down ¿ then he comes roaring back for an a cappella solo that curls my toes; the rhythm section rejoins him to take it out. A big surprise is the romping rendition of ¿America the Beautiful¿ set to a Latin rhythm. That and several other cuts that did not appear on the original LP release, are incredible bonuses on this phenomenal album that ranks as one of my three all-time favorites! FONTANA CAN PLAY THAT SACKBUT!!!
Amen to the first review. If you want to hear more of Fontana, Look up the album, "The Complete Ohio Sessions". Kai Winding also was in that one.