After playing with Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton's bands in the mid-'40s, sax player Johnny Sparrow formed his own band, Johnny Sparrow and His Bows and Arrows. The group was based in Philly in the early 1950s, and signed to Gotham Records in 1952. This selection features the best of his Philly years, when the band was enhanced with a trombone, flute, baritone sax, and vibraphone.
2.When Your Lover Has Gone
5.Serenade To Satchmo
9.Sparrow's Flight Number 2
10.Sparrow In The Barrel
11.I'll See You In My Dreams
13.Am I Blue
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Johnny Sparrow And His Bows And Arrows includes: Johnny Sparrow (saxophone).
Includes liner notes by Dave Penny.
Johnny Sparrow's sides for the Gotham label, including six previously unreleased numbers and six previously unissued outtakes. "Sparrow's Flight" isn't here, although "Sparrow's Flight No. 2" is on hand. "Sparrow In the Barrel," which he'd originally cut for National and turned up as the B-side of his Gotham debut "When Your Lover Has Gone," features a strikingly dark solo from Sparrow. "Sparrow's Flight No. 2" soars effortlessly. "Boudoir Blues" shows Sparrow doing a distinctly '40s brand of jump blues, which comes off extremely well -- with superbly aggressive playing on his part -- but could hardly have been commercially appealing at the time. And "Serenade to Satchmo" is a loving tribute to Sparrow's ex-boss, with both flute and tenor sax solos. ~ Bruce Eder