Special Tap Dance
Four Dancing Masters
I found this CD years ago at Tower Records in Berkeley, CA. It's actually a French release, and the liner notes inside are written both in French and English by Bernard Niquet. I think this CD is becoming a nice collectible for tap and jazz lovers. You get to hear great tap sounds of 4 great American tap masters: Jimmy Slyde, Bunny Briggs, Chuck Green and Baby Laurence. Each dancer's recordings have different recording dates and though the liner notes don't offer a lot of information, this CD is certainly not an instructional recording. It is more like a jazz CD with tap sounds. The dancers are presented as musicians, adding percussion to the sessions. There are 17 numbers.
Jimmy Slyde dances with Milt Buckner on Piano, Major Holley on Bass, and Michael Silva on Drums. His session was recorded February 25th, 1974 at the famous Barclay Studios in Paris by Dominique Samarcq. Tracks: Love for Sale, Just in Time, I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles,Tangerine, I'll Be Seeing You, Out of Nowhere, Chloe.
Bunny Briggs performs with John Grimes on Trumpet, Heywood Henry and Jimmy Powell on Saxes, Dicky Harris on Trombone, Cliff Smalls on Piano, Leonard Gaskin on Bass, Oliver Jackson on Drums. Recorded in France at the Miraval Studio on February 7th, 1978 by Patrice Quef. Tracks: Poppycock, Oliver Twist, It Don't Mean a Thing(Here, Bunny sings, too.), Cute.
Chuck Green performs with Francis Williams and Irv Stokes on trumpet. Norris Turney, Howard Johnson and George Kelly on Saxes, Red Richard on piano, Bill Pemberton on Bass, John smith on Guitar, Panama Francis on Drums. Recorded on February 11th, 1979 at Barclay Studio by Gerhard Lehner. One track, Take the A Train.
Baby Laurence taps with Paul Quinchette on tenor Sax, Nat Pierce on Piano, Al Hall on Bass, Skeeter Best on Guitar, Osie Johnson on Drums. Recorded on July 1st, 1959 at Bell Sound Studio, New York. Tracks: Baby at Birdland, The Sand, Buck Dance, Mail March, Concerto in Taps.
The Web is full of information on these dancing masters and the musicians that appear on this CD. Here are a few quick reference pages.
- There's a nice snapshot of Dr. Jimmy Slyde at the American Tap Dance Foundation page.
- The American Vaudeville Museum offers a nice little page on Bunny Briggs.
- Tap Dance.org covers Chuck Green.
- The National Tap Ensemble page, usatap.org includes a intriguing reference to the Baby Laurence Legacy Project.
- Read more about the great Milt Buckner at Spaceagepop, one of my favorite web sites!
HEY!— This CD was released again as Tap Dance under the Black & Blue (Hepcat) label, along with many other Black & Blue recordings. It is once again available at Amazon.
— Shinichi Matsumoto