15.52 In Stock
Some 40 years after Charlie "Mad Mab" Barnet led a big band in live performance at New York's Basin Street East, the amazing Scotland-based Hep record label brought out the only known recording of this ensemble, which included trumpeters Clark Terry, Randy Brecker, and Snooky Young; trombonist Jimmy Cleveland; saxophonists Barnet, Willie Smith, and Richie Kamuca, and pianist Nat Pierce, with arrangements by Bill Holman and Billy Byers. This recording, made in December 1966, appears to have been the last to feature altoist Smith, who rose to prominence with the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra in the '30s and would succumb to cancer only three months after this recording was made. Contrary to certain speculative reports currently circulating in cyberspace, this was not Barnet's final recording as a leader. That was taped in 1967, and he lived many years afterward in relative peace and comfort following a lengthy, industrious, and eventful career that began in 1933. This exciting live recording, which includes a salty rendition of Terry's signature tune "Mumbles," is fortified with several titles from the Ellington/Strayhorn book. Barnet was a lifelong devotee of the Duke, and at its best, this band sounds quite similar to Ellington's punchy orchestra as heard a few months earlier on the French Riviera and subsequently on the Verve album Soul Call. The biggest treat is an extended medley of Barnet staples, including Ray Noble's "Cherokee," Harlan Leonard's "Southern Fried," "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" by Ellington and Johnny Hodges; "Smiles," "East Side, West Side," the enduring hit "Pompton Turnpike," and the dependably exhilarating "Skyliner."