Tiny Bradshaw & His Orchestra includes: Tiny Bradshaw (vocals); Russell Procope, Sonny Stitt (alto saxophone); Big Nick Nicholas (tenor saxophone);
Wild Bill Davis (piano).
Recorded in New York, New York between 1934 & 1947. Includes liner notes by Dave Penny.
In 2002 the Classics Chronological Blues and Rhythm series released its first volume devoted to the complete recorded works of Myron Carlton "Tiny" Bradshaw (1905-1958). This collection straddles more than a decade by presenting every title waxed at Bradshaw's early swing sessions (which were followed by a ten-year hiatus away from the recording studios) and 18 bop-inflected rhythm & blues recordings from 1944-1947. Bradshaw's extroverted showmanship as heard on the 1934 Decca sides (tracks one through eight) was clearly influenced by Cab Calloway and Baron Lee, frontman for the Mills Blue Rhythm Band. Bradshaw's first recording unit had an impressive lineup that included trumpet ace Shad Collins and reedman Happy Caldwell (listen for him on "The Sheik of Araby") as well as clarinetist and rising alto star Russell Procope, whose solos during "The Sheik of Araby" and "The Darktown Strutters' Ball" reveal a highly developed musical mind destined for great accomplishments with bands led by John Kirby and Duke Ellington. Bradshaw's next opportunities for studio work occurred in the mid-'40s, when he recorded for Irving Berman's Regis and Manor labels, and the collection closes with four selections cut in March 1947 for Savoy. Manor is mainly remembered for its groundbreaking releases by young innovators like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. The interwoven currents of bop and R&B are very much in evidence here, as Bradshaw's roster included trumpeter Talib Dawud, saxophonists Sonny Stitt and George "Big Nick" Nicholas, pianist Wild Bill Davis (soon to become virtually inseparable from the Hammond organ), and bassist Curly Russell. Vocals are by Bradshaw and a little-known character named Jack Wolf Fine. Tune for tune, this album is identical to the first half of Proper's Breaking Up the House, a comprehensive set that follows his career forward for another four years. Those who wish to stick with Classics will want to track down the next volume, which taps into the years 1949-1951. Beyond that, as the mid-'50s marked the peak of this artist's recording career, you'll be able to choose between several excellent collections. ~ arwulf arwulf