Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Hrayr Attarian
A gem of a discovery, vibraphonist Peter Appleyard's The Lost 1974 Sessions is an important record, both artistically and a historically. Appleyard assembled most of clarinetist Benny Goodman's group in RCA's Toronto studios for a one of a kind opportunity when band in town for a concert. He called the ad hoc band the Jazz Giants, and this is perhaps the only place to hear these masters play and interact with one another.
The perfect host and leader, Appleyard uses his clean and crisp mallet strikes to introduce, support and direct the others while staying out of the spotlight most of the time. His give and take with Zoot Sims on the surprisingly modernistic "Tangerine" allows the tenor man's characteristic thick vibrato and exact phrasing to take center stage, buoyed and anchored at once by Appleyard's unique approach to the vibraphone. He mirrors Hank Jones' melodic piano lines on "Ellington Medley." Here, he also punctuates Urbie Green's smooth and agile trombone, just as Jones does for Bobby Hackett's muted trumpet solo. ... read more...
Personnel: Zoot Sims (saxophone); Bobby Hackett (cornet); Urbie Green (trombone); Hank Jones (piano); Peter Appleyard (vibraphone); Mel Lewis (drums).
Audio Mixer: Anthony Montano.
Liner Note Author: Peter Appleyard.
Recording information: RCA Studios, Toronto (09/14/1974).
Peter Appleyard and the Jazz Giants' The Lost 1974 Sessions features the British/Canadian vibraphonist backed by members of Benny Goodman's sextet at the time. Having played a show at the Ontario Place Forum with Goodman, Appleyard booked the ensemble for a recording session figuring, quite rightly, that the chance might not come around again. Featured here is truly an all-star cast of swingers including pianist Hank Jones, bassist Slam Stewart, tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims, trombonist Urbie Green, cornetist Bobby Hackett, and drummer Mel Lewis. Primarily sticking to standards, as well as a superb medley of Duke Ellington compositions, the Giants delivered an ad hoc, inspired and swinging performance that was somehow lost to time for over 30 years. Also included here are in-studio dialogue clips between the musicians and the engineer, which adds to the overall sense of being right there in the studio with the once-in-a-lifetime ensemble. ~ Matt Collar