V.S.O.P. #35 LP Rave 101 RED NORVO: NATURALLY!
The Red Norvo Quintet: Naturally!
Red Norvo (vibes), Rob Drasnin (flute, alto), Jim Wyble (guitar), Buddy Clark (bass), Bill Douglass (drums).
I'LL REMEMBER APRIL (Raye, DePaul, Johnston)
SPIDER'S WEB (Red Norvo)
TENDERLY (Walter Gross, Jack Lawrence)
LULLABY OF BIRDLAND (George Shearing)
STELLA BY STARLIGHT (Victor Young, Ned Washington)
SCORPION'S NEST (Red Norvo)
FUNNY VALENTINE (Rodgers, Hart)
LOVE FOR SALE (Cole Porter)
This March, 1957 recording on Rave Records features Red Norvo and his quintet in prime form. During the 1950s and 1960s Red Norvo fronted a quintet that featured vibes with a reed, guitar, bass and drums. This version of the quintet included Bob Drasnin, Jimmy Wyble, Buddy Clark and Bill Douglass. Everything about this group and recording swings! This is very much a cool West Coast jazz session.
This quintet is a very tight group. Red is an excellent leader. He lets everyone shine and is masterfully supportive, but also drives the group with his solos and ensemble work. Bob Drasnin is great throughout this recording, both on flute and alto. Jim Wyble who worked regularly with Red during the 1950s provides great rhythm support and some nice solo licks. Buddy Clark and Bill Douglass propel the beat with a clear sense of where they are going.
The program features six standards and two original compositions by Red. Each selection stands alone and demonstrates the care taken in arranging and soloing. For those already familiar with Red Norvo’s work during this stage in his career, this album is one of the finest examples of it and a welcome release. For those who have yet to be introduced to the high caliber musicianship that Red Norvo’s Quintet represented, now is the time to discover it and enjoy it. In either case, you are in for a treat.
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