TAD DAMERON Fontainebleau Recording Date: March 9, 1956
Personnel: Joe Alexander TS Henry Coker TB Tadd Dameron P Kenny Dorham TP Cecil Payne TS Sahib Shihab AS John Simmons B Shadow Wilson D
Review by Scott Yanow Pianist-composer-arranger Tadd Dameron led relatively few sessions in his career, making the half-hour of music on this CD reissue quite valuable. Dameron performs five of his originals (best-known are the complex "Fontainebleau" and "The Scene Is Clean") with an octet comprised of trumpeter Kenny Dorham, trombonist Henry Coker, altoist Sahib Shihab, tenor saxophonist Joe Alexander, baritonist Cecil Payne, bassist John Simmons, drummer Shadow Wilson and the leader's sparse piano. As is usual with most Dameron dates, the emphasis is on his inventive arrangements although there is space (most notably on the 11-minute blues "Bula-Beige") for individual solos. Recommended.