From the Record Shelves #88

Just You, Just Me

LP Dragon DRLP 29

Five minutes of bebop inspired jazz played in front of an enthusiastic audience in Hollywood.

The clarinetist that is the centerpiece in Arnold Ross Quartet is the young swede Stan Hasselgard (Åke Hasselgård) who had arrived in Hollywood the year before to play and to hopefully get a closer look at his idol Benny Goodman who was there at the time. Benny heard the rumors about the talented clarinet player and invited him home and a short friendship and collaboration began. Short, because Hasselgard’s life was tragically ended in a car crash at the end of the year when this was recorded in 1948. Eventually Goodman could learn or at least get inspiration from the 26-year-old young colleague’s bebop phrasing.

The leader Arnold Ross is at the piano and his quartet is joined by Billy Eckstine who for once refrains from singing and plays valve trombone. He had his own big band with musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Fats Navarro in its ranks, and he shows that he took impressions of those great early bebop soloists.

The bass player is probably Harry Babasin and on the drums is Frank Bode who was from Denmark and whose real name was Uffe Baadh. He reportedly went over the sea from Denmark to Sweden with his drums in a row boat to flee the Nazis during World War 2.

I give a thought to the producer of the album Lars Westin who recently left us.