February 08, 2002
Blue Note
Jazz, Bop, Jazz Instrument, Trumpet Jazz

Album Review

Picking up some of the slack from the first volume, The Fabulous Fats Navarro, Vol. 2 takes in two fine 1948 sessions featuring the bebop trumpeter. The first three cuts come from a Tadd Dameron-led date featuring top players like Dexter Gordon, Cecil Payne, Kai Winding, Sahib Shihab, and Kenny Clarke. The group avails itself nicely on Dameron originals like the mercurial Latin cut "Jahbero" (including congas and bongos), the classic "Lady Bird," and the predictably complex "Symphonette." Navarro runs the gamut here, turning in both high-flying solos and gracefully cool statements. And with enough in the way of engaging solo work, the alternate takes of all three of these tracks prove to be more than just filler. The remainder is culled from a session Navarro co-led with trumpeter Howard McGhee, and includes collaborative numbers like "The Skunk," "Boperation," and an alternate take of "Double Talk." The group also features Ernie Henry, Milt Jackson, Curly Russell, and Kenny Clarke. Now, plaudits aside, these two volumes of Blue Note Navarro recordings are not only hard to find (they've primarily been available only as an import), but seem to have come out with varying track listings over time. So, the best option is to pick up Blue Note's very welcome Fats Navarro and Tadd Dameron: The Complete Blue Note and Capitol Recordings, which not only has all the Fabulous material, but includes a Dameron date with Miles Davis, as well as a cover of Fats Waller's "Stealin' Apples" featuring Navarro, Benny Goodman, and Wardell Gray.
Stephen Cook, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Lady Bird
  2. Lady Bird [Alternate Take]
  3. Jahbero
  4. Jahbero [Alternate Take]
  5. Symphonette
  6. Symphonette [Alternate Take]
  7. Double Talk [Alternate Take]
  8. The Skunk
  9. Boperation