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JAZZ

CHARLIE VENTURA QUINTET circa 1958: A Lost Gem

This 1958 CD features some of the first recordings of the Charlie Ventura Quintet--a wonderful combination of young and experienced musicians.

TRACK LISTING : Click on Title to listen
  1. Intro--High on an Open Mike
  2. Charlie's Ant
  3. Cry Me A River
  4. Love and the Weather
  5. Euphoria
  6. Parlay 2
  7. Jazz Roost
  8. Sleep Till Noon
  9. East of Suez
  10. Bernie's Tune
  11. Bernie's Tune (Ad Lib

 

THE MUSICIANS:
REEDS Charlie Ventura--Alto, Tenor, and Baritone Saxes
BASS Richard Davis--Gave up his position as lead bassist with the Chicago Symphony to play jazz in New York. He played with many major jazz musicians and eventually became one of the top studio bassists in New York.
GUITAR Billie Bean--Was 18 years old when this album was made. An extremely talented youngster, he gave up a brilliant future by returning to his home town of Boston, and to musical obscurity.
DRUMS Mousie Alexander--A veteran drummer who played with a who's who of jazz musicians.
PIANO Dave Hildinger--Was in his 20s when this album was made.  A brilliant arranger at home with both bebop and modern jazz. He eventually went to Germany to become the musical director for one of that country's major radio stations. One of his responsibilities was arranging for and conducting the radio station's jazz orchestra. He spent the rest of his career there.

In these tunes Charlie Ventura played Alto, Tenor, and Baritone Sax.   His mastery of each of these instruments makes him a unique artist. This album was recorded in one night, presenting a unique challenge to the reed player, who knows how difficult it is to switch instruments, especially within the same tune.

BACKGROUND
Having made his reputation as a Tenor soloist with the Gene Krupa band, and the Trio within the band, Ventura was thought of by many has an exhibitionist player. His raucous style with Krupa was encouraged for commercial reasons. This CD shows another side of his playing. He swings with sensitivity. His ballads are soulful, and he was comfortable playing with Boppers, which most swing musicians of his era were not.

Ventura had his own nightclub, the Open House, in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA. After leaving the Krupa band, Ventura formed his own band in 1946, first as a small group, then increasing its size to feature be-bop. His Bop For The People band included Conte Condoli, Kai Winding, Bennie Green, and the singers Jackie Cain and Roy Krall. The group eventually disbanded in 1951.

Charlie Ventura continued playing into the 70s and 80s, delighting audiences with his swinging performances. He died of lung cancer in 1992.

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