Tenorist Buddy Tate was part of the two tenor package of the Count Basie Orchestra, the deep toned counterpoint to Lester Young’s cirrus clouds. This pair of Swingville sessions from 59 and 63 find him in a semi-small group ensemble of reliable swingers like Osie Johnson/dr, Adik Hakim/p and Wendell Marshall/b. The tunes are basic blues, swingers, “Rhythm” variations, heavy on addictive riffs, as on “Idling” and “Blues For Trix.” Tate’s sound is thick like Greek yoghurt, but with an extra growl or two, with enough KC licks to keep your neck supple. Great, unassuming stuff.
Between his decade as a featured soloist with the legendary Count Basie band and diverse appearances in all-star groups that have carried him into the Nineties. Buddy Tate spent the 1950s at the head of a talented septet at Harlem’s Celebrity Club. That band, with its tight four-piece horn section and emphasis on relaxed blues blowing at several tempos, is featured on the first of the sessions that make up this disc. It is complemented by a more intimate date that finds Tate as the sole featured horn and makes room on “A Lucky So and So” for his ruminative clarinet. In addition to the leader’s consistently inspired tenor sax work and the contributions of his talented if lesser-known accompanists, the program is also notable for the written contributions of such frequent Tate associates as Dicky Wells, Buck Clayton, and Clark Terry.
with Pat Jenkins, Ben Richardson, Eli Robinson, Sadik Hakim, Wendell Marshall, Osie Johnson