Recorded by JOHNNY GRIFFIN on THE LITTLE GIANT
Fantasy (Riverside): OJCCD 136 / Recorded August 4 & 5, 1959
1st part: Trumpet, Alto Sax, C treble clef
2nd part: Tenor Sax, Alto Sax
3rd part: Trombone, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax
Rhythm Section: Piano, Bass, Drums, Guitar
This challenging arrangement is full of little details that highlight a well rehearsed group. Simmons's attention to creating an entire composition rather than a vehicle for a set of blowing changes stimulates players to explore deeper musical elements. The impressive lines for the horns and the rhythm parts that set up and highlight these lines also make this a great way to challenge the technical abilities of an experienced ensemble.
SOLOS: The chord changes are a challenge with a string of II-Vs at the end of each A section that start in a distant key and work their way back to tonic.
NORMAN SIMMONS (b. 1929) Pianist Norman Simmons, in addition to his playing, worked behind the scenes, contributing compositions and arrangements to many recording dates. He wrote arrangements for Johnny Griffin's big band as well as for many other Riverside dates and later recorded with Griffin and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. This session represents some of the Riverside label's top recording jazz artists of the period.
Norman is especially known as a skilled vocal accompanist and has worked with some of Jazz's greatest singers, including Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, Anita O'Day, Helen Humes and Joe Williams. He has also recorded several albums as a leader.
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