Dameronia’s Legacy All-Stars: Live At Audi Forum Ingolstadt

New tribute to the celebrated arranger and composer makes a worthy sequel to the Don Sickler and Philly Jo Jones albums of the 80s

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Tadd Dameron was an influential writer during the immediate post-war bop period when his charts were performed by Jimmie Lunceford, Billy Eckstine, Georgie Auld, Dizzy Gillespie and others. He also contributed a number of highly original compositions to the genre, including Hot House, Good Bait, Lady Bird, Our Delight, Stay On It and If You Could See Me Now.

On this release the All-Stars have chosen to ignore these well-known pieces except for See Me Now, which Tadd wrote specifically for Sarah Vaughan in 1946. He borrowed a little from Dizzy Gillespie’s Groovin’ High coda but the tune rivals ’Round Midnight as probably the most original ballad to emerge from the bop period. Here it’s a feature for the rich sonority of Rik Van Den Bergh’s baritone.

The opening Choose Now, which had been premiered on a 1953 Clifford Brown date with Dameron on piano, allows all the soloists to introduce themselves. Philly J.J. comes from the same 1953 session and was a feature for Philly Jo Jones. Drummer Bernd Reiter has an impressive work-out here and Jim Rotondi and Dick Oatts, the only Americans on the date, are clearly inspired by the Woody’n’You contrafact. The lovely On A Misty Night, based on the equally lovely September In The Rain, was introduced by the composer in 1956 with John Coltrane. It features fine solos by Rotondi, Oatts and Van Den Bergh.

The cleanly articulated ensemble passages together with the octet’s close attention to dynamics reveal just how comfortable they were with this material after a two-week European tour. Their tribute to Tadd Dameron’s legacy is a welcome addition to the albums Don Sickler and Philly Jo Jones (as Dameronia) recorded in the 80s.

Discography
Choose Now; The Scene Is Clean; If You Could See Me Now; Philly J.J.; On A Misty Night; My Foolish Heart; Flossie Lou; Look Stop And Listen; Portrait (65.29)
Jim Rotondi (t); Johannes Herrlich (tb); Dick Oatts (as); Jon Boutellier (ts); Rick Van Den Bergh (bar); Andrea Pozza (p); Aldo Zunino (b); Bernd Reiter (d). Audi Forum Ingolstadt, Germany, 14 October 2021.
Ubuntu Music UBU0113