Thursday, 15 November 2012



I do love a bit of cake.

Strangely enough, our house has been “awash” with cake these past few weeks. Muckle big Christmas Cakes (3 off), big choclaty birthday cakes (2 off) and all manner of “other” cakes, tray bakes, cupcakes and whatnots (including one fairly large gingerbread house).

Only problem is …. Most of it is spoken for and ear marked for occasions and events, other than simply satisfying my immediate greed L.

But at least I’ve not been completely cake-less. Yes, the forthcoming festive season, Anne’s birthday and Pudsey Bear have a lot to answer for!! All that cake and none of it for me.

Not to worry. Came across a new album. Larry Vuckovich, “Something Special”. I’ll be honest and say I hadn’t heard of Larry before I got this, and it was the inclusion of “special guest” Scott Hamilton on tenor sax that drew me in. But I’m glad I saw it and I’m glad that it did draw me in.

A very, very fine pianist in the Horace Silver mode. The whole album has a distinctly 60’s Blue Note feel to it. No more so than their cover of the Dexter Gordon tune “Cheesecake”. A long time favourite of mine, this tune, that I first heard about 25 years ago (one of the last vinyl jazz records I ever had if I remember correctly). On this track Vuckovich has twice the topping on his cake, as he uses both Hamilton and his regular sax player Noel Jewkes. To be fair, bearing in mind I listen in mono, I don’t think having two saxes really adds anything (I’m not saying either that it detracts). Hamilton’s tone is so distinctive that it’s the dominant sound. On some tracks the two players trade solos and this works really well… but when they play duets Jewkes seems to float along just below the surface of the sound. Not really adding much. Anyway, despite that, it’s  very nice cheesecake indeed. And I can just keep going back for more and more without worrying about it.

Turns out Larry was born in Yugoslavia but his family moved to the States in the late 50’s as asylum seekers. Larry doesn’t have a massive discography in his own right but has been a sideman for many others. He toured with Dexter in the 60’s, but I don’t think they recorded together – might be wrong – hope I am (I’d like to hear it).

No comments: