May 23, 2024

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CD review: Stan Tracey Trio – The 1959 Sessions – 2022: Video, CD cover

You hear the familiar sound of a CD sized package dropping through the mailbox and you groan. The package is from Proper Music who know a thing or two about music which is all right and proper and you decide it’s worth opening and maybe even listening to the contents.

Your fears turn to joy when you discover it’s a 1959 Stan Tracey Trio recording!

Earlier today I’d splashed out a tenner for a Panasonic mini CD system in our local Sally Army charity shop. I praised the Lord and now the ammunition had been passed on for me to check it out.

Both came through with flying colours. Tracey plays magnificently. The Ellington/Monk overtones that characterised much of his later work (nothing wrong with that!) is less obvious and the rare vibes solo on his own Street of Themes reminds us that there were other great mallet wielders in the UK apart from Tubbs, Feldman, Le Sage and er and er…

Kenny Napper on bass is the perfect link between Stan and the drummers. Tony Crombie is on the first four tracks with Phil Seaman handling the last four. Crombie is the more laid back of the two, possibly because of the material, whereas Seaman is more driving. This isn’t a criticism of either. Both handle the music as Tracey no doubt demanded.

Stan moved on to more ambitious projects such as Under Milk Wood etc. but, for sheer, straight down the middle jazz piano, they didn’t come much better than this on either side of the ocean.

1 Sometimes I’m Happy 5:14
2 Just You, Just Me 3:24
3 Moonlight In Vermont 3:39
4 Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid 5:11
5 Mood 13 5:43
6 Little Girl Sadly 4:12
7 Street Of Themes 5:18
8 Pitter Patter Panic 3:15

Double Bass – Kenny Napper (tracks: All)
Drums – Phil Seamen (tracks: 5-8), Tony Crombie (tracks: 1-4)
Piano – Stan Tracey (tracks: All)

The 1959 Sessions by Stan Tracey Trio: CDs & Vinyl

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