Monday, 15 March 2010

Sil Austin & Red Prysock - Battle Royal! (MG 20434)

Man oh man! This is the holy grail of honk. Sil Austin and Red Prysock, two of the all time great R&B tenor sax men, square off for a “battle royal” on this 1959 Mercury LP.

Thanks to sax fan Jeff who sent in these rips from vinyl, plus label and cover scans. One of the best things about music blogging is that fellow enthusiasts get in touch and send in contributions. This is an LP I’ve wanted to hear for some time now and it’s all due to Jeff that not only do I finally have the chance to hear these tracks, but so do you oh fellow boppers de wino.

Here’s some of Jeff’s thoughts on hearing this album -

“It is one of the most incredible sax records I have ever heard. A real joy, and I am so happy I saw it. The two of them were at the top of their form, and go at it like there is no tomorrow. It's actually just an unbelievable experience.

Incidentally, the record is heavily jazz with an R&B cornerstone. Both of them seemed like they were still into the 50s R&B but had recognized the death of the genre and were shifting into real jazz.

But then, of course, Sil went over to the ballad syndrome, and took a complete about face with his career. He was great in either genre, but what an absolute difference. I do feel we lost something in the transition. I'd love to know if he consciously went where the money was, or decided himself that R&B was dead, or lost his enthusiasm for uptempo honking.

And lastly incidentally, in case you aren't up on modern sax people, Sax Gordon has made a couple of CDs and truly is a throwback to the days of both Austin and Prysock. If you haven't heard him you should.

I sure hope you enjoy this one as much as I do. It just builds and builds and builds.

It is truly a shame that these two didn't get more popular acclaim. They are certainly way up there with the R&B afficionados, but they stand out so far from many of the other R&B sax men that more fame would have been warranted and well-deserved. This record is a gem.”


Recorded in New York, 1959. A stereo version, SR 60106, was also released on Mercury. A two part version of “Kenny’s Blues” was issued on a 45 rpm disc, Mercury 71683x45.

“No 1 Sil” and “Take The A Train” are extended frantic tenor sax duels. The shorter and slower “Kenny’s Blues” showcases the guitar of Kenny Burrell as well as the saxes of Austin and Prysock.

Personnel: Red Prysock, Sil Austin (ts) Dave Martin (p) Kenny Burrell, Everett Barksdale (g) Milt Hinton (b) Panama Francis (d)

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

http://www8.zippyshare.com/v/iAsYLY6f/file.html

1. No.1 Sil
2. Kenny's Blues
3. Take The 'A' Train

Thanks for this post, Jeff.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you so much
merci beaucoup

the jazzman said...

Thank you..........

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Thanks to both you and Jeff - d.

Otto Link said...

Jeeeezus!!!! This is amazing!!! best thing i've heard in ages, what a sound!!!
thanks for this and all the other hot sax on your blog

OldHippieRick said...

Thanks Jeff and Boogiewoody can you all Killer no Filler Hell yes indeed yuo can Sil vs Red + with a very youg Kenny bopping till they drop on #1 and 3 while Kenny blues was mellow-er still rocked.. :-)

OldHippieRick said...

Thanks Jeff and Boogiewoody can you all Killer no Filler Hell yes indeed yuo can Sil vs Red + with a very youg Kenny bopping till they drop on #1 and 3 while Kenny blues was mellow-er still rocked.. :-)