Bop trumpet player Candoli and pianist Levy, each considered members of the jazz elite, team together (along with Leroy Vinnegar) in this diverse collection of classics and original compositions, while torch singer Chris Connor contributes an expressive selection of jazz and pop standards.
/Lou Levy/Chris Connor.
2 LPs on 1 CD: Conte Candoli & Lou Levy WEST COAST WAILERS (1957)/Chris Connor SINGS BALLADS OF THE SAD CAFE (1959).
Personnel: Conte Candoli (trumpet); Freddie Green, Kenny Burrell, Barry Galbraith (guitar); Leo Kruczek, George Ockner, Dave Mankovitz, Harry Melnikoff, Harry Urbont, Tosha Samaroff, Eugene Orloff, Sylvan Shulman, Mac Ceppos, Ray Free, Samuel Rand, Harry Katzman, Harry Lookofsky (violin); Isadore Zir (viola); Maurice Brown (cello); Bobby Jaspar (flute, saxophone); Frank Foster, Seldon Powell (flute, tenor saxophone); Jerry Sanfino, Stan Webb, Stephen Perlow (saxophone); Marshall Royal, Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Bill Holman (tenor saxophone); Charlie Fowlkes (baritone saxophone); Donald Byrd, Ernie Royal, Harry "Sweets" Edison , Joe Newman , Snooky Young (trumpet); Dick Hixon, Eddie Bert, Frank Rehak, Wayne Andre, Willie Dennis (trombone); Lou Levy, Stan Free (piano); Billy Exner, Larance Marable, Sonny Payne, Ed Shaughnessy (drums).
Liner Note Author: Bill Russo.
Arranger: Ralph Sharon.
This discount-priced two-fer combines two albums by different artists, first the 1957 collection West Coast Wailers by trumpeter Conte Candoli and pianist Lou Levy, then 1959's Chris Connor Sings Ballads of the Sad Caf‚. The obvious question is what these two albums have to do with each other, and the simple answer is nothing. The Candoli/Levy date is a West Coast bop session on which a quintet, filled out by Bill Holman (tenor sax), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), and Larance Marable (drums) wail on a collection of standards such as "Lover Come Back to Me" and "Lover Man" as well as some originals. Candoli and Levy are better known as side musicians; they led on very few albums, and this is their only one together. It is also their only recording for Atlantic Records, from which Collectables licensed it, and that begins to explain the pairing with the Connor album -- if it was going to be combined with anything, it would have to be a disc by some other performer. But why Connor? She had quite a few Atlantic albums, and Ballads of the Sad Caf‚, a set of torch songs sung in her careful, considered voice, is a far cry from the feel of West Coast Wailers. But then, maybe that's the idea. Think of this as a club set with deliberately contrasting performers. Get all worked up on the bop playing of Candoli, Levy, and friends, then take a break and come back after another drink for the dispassionate Connor and her songs about unhappy love. At the low price, either one of these albums would be worth the money on its own, so why kick that you get two for the price of less than one? ~ William Ruhlmann