Friday, October 10, 2014

Ray Bauduc's Bob Cats-Capitol (1947)

I'm working my way thru Mosaic's Massive Capitol Jazz Sessions Box Set. It's a wonderful collection of dixieland, swing and big band jazz.
There are some great Dixieland sessions here,many involving  the various Bob Crosby alumni working on the West Coast in those post-war years. The core of regulars are Eddie Miller, Matty Matlock, Nappy Lamare and Ray Bauduc. They all took turns leading sessions and this one was under Ray Bauduc's aegis.
I used to have the old 78 of Susie/Honky Tonk Town, so it's a pleasure to hear the entire session and in excellent sound.

Ray rounded up a stellar band including fellow Bob Cats, Miller,Matlock and Lamare along with the multi-instrumentalist Brad Gowans on valve trombone, Stan Wrightsman on piano who would be a frequent member of the "West Coast" dixielanders, top studio man Morty Corb on bass and the very underated trumpeter, Nate Kazebier. Nate worked with several big bands and recorded many solid solos for Benny Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey. Unfortunately, he only plays lead here-but a solid one it is.(we will definitely give him a future post).

The ensemble work is very tight and well arranged. I suspect Gowans as arranger on all titles, Matty Matlock's charts all have that "Crosby" feel. Brad himself was an excellent arranger,he did a lot of Bobby Hackett's book for his short-lived Big Band of 1939.
Susie from the Bix/Wolverine book has a lot of the feel of the original. The band takes the verse with Eddie on the melody, with some nice stop time for Ray's drumming. Eddie,Matty and Brad all solo in between the ensembles. The band swings on the nicely arranged rideout, but not in a loud way-very much like the old Bud Freeman combo-also arranged by Brad!
Down in Honky Tonk Town is another tasty swinger with verse and chorus nicely arranged.  Eddie,Matty and Brad split nice solos with a tricky rideout involving two retards before the coda.

When my Sugar Walks down the Street. Another oldie that gets a new treatment via Brad's nice writing.
There are tasty spots for the aforementioned soloists and some great piano by Stan,another underated studio pro(he has shades of Jess Stacy in his solo work).The closing band riff uses a descending line and has a bit of the "Ira Ironstrings" dixie sound(Warner Bros. studio pros headed up by Alvino Rey). Nice Stuff!
Lil' Liza Jane- An old folk song popular in New Orleans. There are fun call and response vocals by the band. The lead vocalist suggests Lamare, but I think it may be Ray,I can hear a New Orleans accent.
There are also nice spots for Eddie and Brad before the drum break and  rideout with Nate riding high on lead.

All in All, a very tasty session. One of many that Capitol produced in the mid and late 40s.
I'll be stopping by with more as we work our way thru the collection.

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