Warning: Reading this post is going to cost you money. That's because the five downloads that follow are superb. New to JazzWax? My "Hidden Jazz Downloads" series is ongoing and meant to expose you to albums at iTunes and Amazon that are little known. I call them "hidden" because e-retailers add vintage jazz albums without any sign that they've done so. You'd never know they were there unless someone told you. I find them by rummaging around the sites or by hearing about them through the e-grapevine. All of the albums below can be sampled at iTunes or Amazon:
Teddy Wilson—Cole Porter Classics (1977). Track after track of classic Cole Porter—all given the solo treatment by America's foremost "walking bass" piano practitioner. This CD was recorded by Wilson in England for the Black Lion label. Get Out of Town, Just One of Those Things, I've Got You Under My Skin—all the Porter primaries are spinning under Wilson's elegant spell.
Jutta Hipp—Cool Dogs and Two Oranges (1954). German bop pianist Jutta Hipp is little known today among jazz fans but in the early 1950s, she was all the rage. On this one for MGM, she was joined by Emil Mangelsdorff (as), Joki Freund (ts), Hans Kresse (b) and Karl Sanner (d). Hipp's piano clicks and the bop blowing is very Stan Getz in his Long Island Sound phase. As for the cover, well that's one for the oddball books.
Andy Kirk—A Mellow Bit of Rhythm (1956). Saxophonist Hal McKusick told me about this one several days ago when we were on the phone. Hal, of course, has recorded on dozens and dozens of superb sessions, some obscure. Sitting down? Dig Kirk's Clouds of Joy on this date: Conte Candoli, Ray Copeland, Joe Newman and Bernie Glow (tp); Jimmy Cleveland, Frank Rehak and Chauncey Welsch (tb); Tom Mitchell (bass-tb); Sam Marowitz and Hal McKusick (as); Al Cohn and Eddie Wasserman (ts); Al Epstein (bar); Kenny Kersey (p); Freddie Green (g); Milt Hinton (b); Osie Johnson (d,vcl);and Andy Kirk (cond), with arrangements by Manny Albam and Ernie Wilkins. Virtually the entire '50s A-team in one place at the same time.
Shelly Manne—2-3-4 (1962). Drummer Shelly Manne first recorded with tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins in 1943, and the two remained close friends through the years. On this album, they're joined by Hank Jones (p) and George Duvivier (b). Two songs—Take the A Train and Cherokee are taken at slow-motion tempos by Hawkins, with Manne double-timing the rhythm. Fascinating. This album is simply sensational and a must own. That's the much unheralded Eddie Costa on piano on Lean on Me.
Cleveland Jazz Orchestra—Swingin' Together (1998). Reader Mel House brought this one to my attention. Recorded live in 1998 at Fairmount Temple Auditorium, this recording features the swingingest composer/arranger Sammy Nestico leading this wrapped-tight big band through some of his most happening charts. Cleveland—who knew?
Want more HJD? Go to the right-hand column and scroll down to "Hidden Downloads," where you'll find earlier volumes.