Woody Herman routinely receives plaudits for employing a killer sax section in the late 1940s. But Benny Goodman also featured a tight bunch of reeds during the same period and into the '50s [Photo of Benny Goodman above by Herb Snitzer]
I'm a reed guy and a big fan of albums that are sax-section centric. I light up when I hear the sound of tightly voiced saxes that swing easy. My "Saxophone Section" iTunes folder includes the following recordings...
- The Brothers!—Al Cohn, Bill Perkins and Richie Kamuca (1955)
- Al Cohn and the Sax Section (1956)
- Zoot Sims Plays Alto, Tenor and Baritone (1956)
- Zoot Sims Plays Four Altos (1956)
- Reeds in Hi-Fi—Pete Rugolo (1956)
- Four Brothers Together Again (1957)
- Gerry Mulligan Song Book (1957)
- Coleman Hawkins Meets the Big Sax Section (1958)
- Cross Section Saxes—Hal McKusick (1958)
- Saxes Inc.—Bobby Prince and His Orchestra (1959)
- Ten Saxophones and Two Basses—Pete Rugolo (1961)
- Further Definitions—Benny Carter (1961)
- Bud Shank and the Sax Section (1966)
- Dave Pell's Prez Conference (1978)
- Supersax (1972-1988)
- Marlene VerPlanck Meets Saxomania (1993)
Last week I added another to the list: The rare Hymie Schertzer All the King's Saxes. Recorded in 1957 for the fledgling Disneyland label and released in 1958, the album featured Benny Goodman's '50s sax section in tribute to the King of Swing. The musicians included Hymie Schertzer and Sid Cooper (as); Boomie Richman and Al Klink; Sol Schlinger (bs); Dick Hyman (p); Mundell Lowe and Tony Mottola (g); Eddie Safranski (b) and Don Lamond (d).
The songs are Let's Dance, Sometimes I'm Happy, Stealin' Apples, It's Been So Long, The Glory of Love, I've Found a New Baby, Goody Goody, Stompin' at the Savoy, Always, Riffin' at the Ritz, You Turned the Tables on Me and Just for Fun. [Photo of Hymie Schertzer indicated with red arrow]
I spoke to Sol Schlinger yesterday but he couldn't remember who wrote the arrangements. I also spoke to Mundell Lowe [pictured above], who recalls that Eddie Sauter wrote the arrangements. I also have an email in to Dick Hyman.
JazzWax tracks: All the King's Saxes was originally released as a 12-inch mono LP and never issued on CD. But you can listen to the entire album here for free. All of the songs are on the one track bar. Just click the "play" triangle and enjoy.
JazzWax note: The spelling of Hymie's name varies. On the cover of the album, it's spelled "Shertzer," but his relatives spell it "Schertzer," as does Tom Lord's Jazz Discography.