1940 1946


aec.clsr1434.2 6/19/07 New
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    1940 1946 Classics

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Review Text Joe Bushkin (1916-2004) was a fine swing pianist who operated in a groove similar to that of Teddy Wilson, Jess Stacy or Joe Sullivan. He worked with Bunny Berigan, Billie Holiday, Artie Shaw and Eddie Condon, then with Tommy Dorsey and young Frank Sinatra until 1942 whereupon he transferred most of his energies to the war effort by blowing trumpet in the United States Army Air Corps Band until 1946. Bushkin's postwar career would involve him briefly with Benny Goodman's band, in an excursion to Brazil with tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman and subsequently in New York's theater and nightclub scene. In 2007, the Classics Chronological Series took on the Joe Bushkin discography, beginning with his first solo Commodore session of May 17, 1940 (tracks one through five); lining up master takes from three subsequent Commodore dates and rounding off the album with four solid Savoy sides cut in Los Angeles at some undetermined point during the year 1946. Some of these recordings are uncommon and have been sought after for years by jazz lovers. Bushkin's harmonic sensibilities make his "Serenade in Thirds" the most attractive of the 1940 solos. An inspired threesome, Joe Bushkin's Blue Boys waxed five titles on March 28, 1941. "Morgan's Blues" spotlights string bassist Al Morgan and trumpeter Hot Lips Page is featured on the other four tunes. On May 23, 1944 Joe Bushkin waxed another five sides for Commodore, this time with bassist Sid Weiss and drummer Cozy Cole. The following day Bushkin, Weiss and drummer Specs Powell backed trumpeter Ernie Thomas Figueroa, trombonist Bill Harris and 18-year-old tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims; what a thrill to hear a teenage Zoot riding the swift and straightforward changes of "Pickin' at the Pic." The Savoy session of 1946 (tracks twenty through twenty-three) resulted in four choice cuts, rendered pleasantly cool by the lightly amplified guitar of Barney Kessel with subtle support from bassist Harry Babasin. Bushkin's technique at this point brings to mind the dexterity of Nat King Cole, a master pianist who would soon all but abandon the instrument in order to focus his energies on singing pop tunes for mass consumption. The next leg of Joe Bushkin's career would find him recording for V-Disc, MGM, Atlantic, Columbia and Capitol. Hearing this artist's recordings laid out neatly session by session is a wonderful treat for which many listeners are and will continue to be grateful. ~ arwulf arwulf

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Serenade in Thirds - 3:47
  2. 2. I Can't Get Started - 3:59
  3. 3. Blue Chips - 3:55
  4. 4. Joe's Blues - 3:49
  5. 5. In a Little Spanish Town - 3:47
  6. 6. I'll Never Be the Same - 3:01
  7. 7. Caldonia Is Gone - 3:56
  8. 8. Morgan's Blues - 3:01
  9. 9. Sweet Georgia Brown - 3:12
  10. 10. Bozay - 3:07
  11. 11. Merci Michelle - 3:41
  12. 12. Getaway Joe - 3:02
  13. 13. Black Satin Gal - 3:14
  14. 14. In a Persian Black Market - 3:11
  15. 15. Culver City Suite - 3:37
  16. 16. Pickin' at the Pic - 3:46
  17. 17. Fade Out - 3:16
  18. 18. Oh, Lady Be Good! - 4:31
  19. 19. Georgia (On My Mind) - 3:54
  20. 20. Mean to Me - 3:50
  21. 21. Indian Summer - 3:51
  22. 22. Boogie Woogie Platter - 3:14
  23. 23. Indiana - 3:35

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