Friday, June 02, 2006

WILTON 'BOGEY' GAYNAIR - Africa Calling (Candid)

A long-lost, hot and hard be-bop masterpiece from Jamaica’s legend of the tenor saxophone resurfaces to blow us back to the heady days of the 60s London jazz scene. Wilton Gaynair arrived in Europe from his native Jamaica in the late-fifties, and proceeded to set the thriving London jazz scene alight with his classic recording Blue Bogey. He disappeared to Germany and into relative obscurity soon afterwards, with the follow-up to his first album seemingly doomed to languish forever in the vaults of the defunct Tempo label. But it’s back in all its steamy, full-blooded glory thanks to Candid Records. Gaynair’s playing is reminiscent of Coleman Hawkins on five passionate, uncompromising originals shot through with the blues, plus an epic swinging take on Jerome Kern’s The Way You Look Tonight, featuring some stand-out groovy piano playing from Terry Shannon. Wilton ‘Bogey’ Gaynair died in Germany in 1995 leaving just three recordings to posterity - Blue Bogey, 1982’s Alpharian and now this welcome addition to the canon of a much-loved West Indian musician.

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