Review of Hank Garland and Jimmy Raney for Just Jazz Guitar August issue.
Here’s an interesting marketing ploy. Records! Not CD’s but actual vinyl. It’s being marketed as “Cool “N” Swinging!” “Vintage Jazz on Vinyl” Euophoria/Sundazed are restoring the early “Dawn” record catalog. I must admit it’s fun holding a big record and seeing the photos so clearly as well as being able to read the liner notes with no trouble. Aside from the Hank Garland record, there’s the fantastic “Jimmy Raney Visits Paris” from 1954 (also reviewed here), Joe Puma “Wild Kitten”, Al Cohn “Jazz On the Saxophone” and “Jazz for Hi-Fi Lovers” (Various Artists).
With regard to the Hank Garland record, “Subtle Swing” was released shortly after the classic recording “Jazz Winds From A New Direction” from 1960. The “Jazz Winds” record featured the amazing playing of 17-year-old Gary Burton. The “Subtle Swing” record is essentially the same session as “Jazz Winds”. Recorded about a week later, it was minus Joe Benjamin on bass and Joe Morello on drums. The new rhythm section had Bob Moore on bass and Doug Kirkham and Murray Harman on drums. The addition of Bill Pursell on the piano changes the tenure of this session from the “Winds’ record. There is some wonderful playing on this record and Hank plays with finesse and taste. This record was originally released on the Sesac label that was a song-licensing firm who produced country and gospel records for radio stations that took licenses with the company. Columbia records released it later as “The Unforgettable Guitar Of Hank Garland”
All of these tracks, plus the first of Hank Garland’s jazz efforts, “Velvet Guitar” have been available on CD on the Euphoria label called, “Move, The Guitar Artistry Of Hank Garland”. These records are also on the Euphoria/ Sundazed label
It’s difficult to be too excited about this product, as many people don’t even own turntables anymore. The music is great, the record jacket is fun, but the CD has it all already.
“Jimmy Raney Visits Paris”
Here’s a classic recording by Raney that’s a must for any self respecting jazz guitar lover. Recorded in 1954, it’s vintage Raney. This record has also been on CD for a while and as much as I love this recording, I have the same reservations as with the Hank Garland record. As far as the music, it’s as good as it gets. Jimmy is in tiptop form throughout the entire record.
In terms of the sound quality, the 2 albums sound like albums. Good clear fidelity. Also interesting is how heavy the records are. Just like the old Dawn and Decca records.
In any event, if you’re a record lover, this is for you.
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Review-Hank Garland-Jimmy Raney