Joe Bushkin Quartet featuring Stuff Smith: Live Embers 1964 ~Plus Stuff Smith c. 1966 Copenhagen Solos. AB Fable ABCD1-022.
Let's Listen to Lucidin Presents: Stuff Smith And His Lucidin Orchestra featuring Ella Fitzgerald. AB Fable ABCD1-024. (Both available through North Country, Cadence Building, Redwood, NY 13679-3194. (www.cadencebuilding.com)
Anthony Barnett never ceases to amaze. Just when you think he could not possibly find any more previously unreleased recorded material by violinist Stuff Smith, he comes up with these two CDs. ABCD1-022 features Smith with pianist/trumpeter Joe Bushkin in a "live" 1964 performance from the Embers in NYC, and a tape from 1966 of solo violin, ABCD1-024 finds Smith leading a big hand in 1937 and taking part in a series of radio broadcasts hawking an eye lotion product.
The Embers was a nightclub on 54th Street in Manhattan. It flourished as a venue for soloists and small groups from the late 1940s into the 1960s. Bushkin was no stranger to the club, since he served as its house pianist in the early 1950s. The quartet of Smith, Bushkin, bassist Whitey Mitchell (subbing for Milt Hinton) and drummer Jo Jones was in residency in 1964. The sets consist of medleys and are showcases primarily for Bushkin's excellent piano work. In fact, you don't hear one note of Smith's violin until a little over 18 minutes into the CD, when...