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Roy Eldridge/Vic Dickenson: Roy Eldridge & Vic Dickenson With Eddie Locke & His Friends

Album Notes

Roy Eldridge and Vic Dickenson get top billing on this Storyville CD, though this concert at St. Peter's Church was actually led by drummer Eddie Locke, with tenor saxophonist Budd Johnson, pianist Tommy Flanagan, and bassist Major Holley rounding out the sextet. This evidently was Eldridge's final recording on trumpet before heart problems caused him to give it up, though he still sang and occasionally played piano when he had the opportunity during his remaining years. Aside from an extended opening blues, most of the set is devoted to familiar standards, with a convivial atmosphere among the veteran musicians. It's a joy to hear the three horn players engaging in a raucous workout of "Oh, Lady Be Good," while Johnson's big-toned heartfelt introduction to "Yesterdays" is a reminder of his greatness. The loping rendition of "Manhattan" featuring Dickenson and Flanagan is a highlight, then Eldridge's sassy muted solo of "There Is No Greater Love" simmers with passion. The evening finishes with several tunes from Duke Ellington's vast repertoire, starting with the obligatory "Satin Doll," though the long rousing jams of "Caravan" and "Take the 'A' Train" are far more satisfying. Although initially recorded for private distribution by the American Field Service, the tapes were purchased and duly issued by Storyville in 1995. Unfortunately, this was one of many titles deleted from the catalog in 2007, and it is already turning into a pricey collector's item. ~ Ken Dryden


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