JazzTimes - 3/96, p.107
"...The co-leaders have a warm rapport and swing assuredly on blues at well-chosen tempos..."
Personnel: Buck Clayton (trumpet); Buddy Tate (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Sir Charles Thompson (piano); Gene Ramey (bass); Gus Johnson (drums).
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on September 15, 1961. Includes liner notes by Joe Goldberg.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1995, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Buck Clayton (trumpet); Buddy Tate (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Sir Charles Thompson (piano); Gus Johnson (drums).
Liner Note Author: Joe Goldberg.
Recording information: Englewood Cliffs, NJ (09/15/1961).
Photographer: Don Schlitten.
BUCK AND BUDDY BLOW THE BLUES, the second recording trumpeter Buck Clayton and tenor man Buddy Tate made for Riverside, is something of a Count Basie Band reunion. Clayton, Tate, drummer Gus Johnson and bassist Gene Ramey are all alumni of Basie's band, and they share a kindred creative vision in the lightly grooving, blues-inflected swing that defined the Basie aesthetic. The pianist here, Sir Charles Thompson, is clearly a student of Basie's playing, and his understated accompaniment and minimal, yet meticulously constructed solos keep the ensemble sound in the Basie mode.
But one should not mistake this outing for a mere nostalgia trip. The compositions are all originals by Tate and Clayton and the playing, while seldom adventurous harmonically, is full of energy and ideas. The tunes are deeply rooted in the blues, and keep pace with the mainstream jazz of the early '60s in their svelte execution and feel (thanks in part to Rudy Van Gelder's pristine sound engineering). This is a fine dose of low-key, swing-inspired combo jazz, made by musicians who knew how to do it right.