Sandy Mosse and The Chicago Scene – Relaxin’
Many musicians on the ‘50s Chicago scene felt that Sandy Mosse (1929-1983) was among the most eloquent tenor men in jazz. But recognition and opportunity were lacking until, finally, in 1956 he signed with Argo Records. The first product of this association was “Chicago Scene”, featuring sessions where Mosse joined such Chicago luminaires as Ira Shulman and Eddie Baker.
This reissue also includes “Relaxin’ with Mosse”, his only album as a leader, recorded in 1958. It gave him the chance to be heard with an accomplished young quartet that included pianist Junior Mance, and with a string section background. In both settings Mosse showed his considerable potential and forceful approach, and though he admired many musicians, one was his idol. “Al Cohn is the epitome of tenor players,” he said.
That same year, Mosse was also featured on “Touff Assigment”, a well-conceived session with arrangement and two originals from Al Cohn and Ernie Wilkins, led by another Chicago legend, the bass trumpeter Cy Touff (1927-2003). Mosse and the leader assert themselves well, while pianist Eddie Higgins is notable in a looselimbed rhythm section that contributed much to the session’s success.
1. Straight Life (Ira Schulman) - 4:11 2. Let’s Get Away from It All (Dennis-Adair) - 3:36 3. Clara’s Blues (Sandy Mosse) - 4:16 4. Dee’s Delight (Eddie Baker) - 2:40 5. Let’s Go (Ira Schulman) - 2:22 6. Fools Rush In (Rube Bloom) - 3:12 7. I’m Old Fashioned (Jerome Kern) - 4:33 8. Birks Works (Dizzy Gillespie) - 9:24 9. Soulsville (Al Cohn) - 3:15 10. Cyril’s Dream(Al Cohn) - 3:10 11. How Long Has This Been Going On (George Gershwin) - 3:38 12. Kissin’ Cousins (Ernie Wilkins) - 3:05 13. Keeping Out of Mischief Now (Waller-Razaf) - 3:51 14. I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (Ellington) - 3:41 15. Lamp Is Low (Ravel-Shefter-DeRose) - 2:40 16. Tough Touff (Ernie Wilkins) - 5:31 17. Stella by Starlight (Victor Young) - 1:54 18. Love Is for the Very Young (David Raksin) - 2:52 19. Speak Low (Kurt Weill) - 2:37 20. My Man’s Gone Now (George Gershwin) - 3:26 21. Cocoanut Sweet (Harold Arlen) - 3:02
Tracks #1-5, from the album “Chicago Scene” (Argo LP 609)
Tracks #6-8 & 17-21, from the album “Sandy Mosse - Relaxin’” (Argo LP 639)
Tracks #9-16, from the album “Cy Touff – Touff Assignment” (Argo LP 641)
Personnel on tracks #1-5: SANDY MOSSE and the CHICAGO SCENE
Sandy Mosse, tenor sax (#1-4); Eddie Baker, piano; Jimmy Gourley, guitar (out on #3); Leroy Jackson, bass; Dorrell Anderson, drums. Ira Schulman, tenor sax (second tenor solo #4) and Dave Mulholland (#4), trumpet, added
Universal Studios, Chicago, July 6, 1956
Personnel on tracks #6-8: SANDY MOSSE QUARTET
Sandy Mosse, tenor sax; Junior Mance, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Marty Clausen, drums.
Universal Studios, Chicago, September 5, 1958
Personnel on tracks #9-16: CY TOUFF QUINTET featuring SANDY MOSSE
Cy Touff, bass trumpet; Sandy Mosse, tenor sax; Eddie Higgins, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Marty Clausen, drums.
Universal Studios, Chicago, August 28 & 29, 1958
Personnel on tracks #17-21: SANDY MOSSE QUARTET & BILL McCREA’S STRINGS
Sandy Mosse, tenor sax; Eddie Higgins, piano; Art Tabachnik, Carl Racine, George Palermo, violins; Harold Kupper, viola; Harry Wagman, cello; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Marty Clausen, drums; Bill McRae, arranger & conductor.
Universal Studios, Chicago, October 13, 1958
Original recordings supervised by Joe Segal (#1-4) and Dave Usher
Sound engineers: Jack Weiner (#1-4) and Malcom Schisholm
Cover art: Don Bronstein
This compilation produced by Jordi Pujol
Note: From the album “Chicago Scene,” we have included all tracks featuring Sandy Mosse, but it also contains two tracks by Baker, Jackson, and Anderson (Outville and Fascinating Rhythm); another played by Schulman with rhythm (‘Tis Atumn); and one by Mulholland, Schulman and rhythm (Knickerbooper). They have not been included in this set because they would exceed the maximum playing time of a single CD.
"Sandy Mosse was one of the lesser known Lestorians but older readers may remember some fine recordings he made with Henri Renaud and Bobby Jaspar when he was living in France during the 50s. On his return to the US he worked briefly with Woody Herman but unfortunately he never recorded with the band. His long elegant lines on tenor - reminiscent of Bob Cooper and Richie Kamuca - are a delight throughout.
Ira Schulman’s Straight Life - not to be confused with an Art Pepper original of the same name - is a medium tempo swinger with Mosse and Jimmy Gourley’s guitar creating a decidedly Stan Getz-Jimmy Raney sound in the ensembles. I’m Old Fashioned taken a little faster than usual is a delight with Sandy at his most melodic. His tentative exploration of Birks Works aided and abetted by Junior Mance who was working with Dizzy Gillespie at the time is one of the album’s highlights.
The August session with Cy Touff was originally released with Cy as the leader. It is perhaps not quite as memorable as his 1955 date with Richie Kamuca which produced the classic Keester Parade (FSR 2237) but there is still much to enjoy. Touff had spent three years with Woody Herman’s Third Herd taking Frank Rehak’s place in the trombone section. The bass trumpet sounds like a valve-trombone but with a swifter articulation allowing him to be extremely quick on his feet. The ballad feature How Long Has This Been Going On Is notable for Touff’s immaculately controlled vibrato."
-Gordon Jack (Jazz Journal, March 2015)