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Sunday 7 October 2012

South of the Orient / Later – Tiny Bradshaw, His Piano and Band (King 4664 Dee Jay Special)

Both sides were recorded in Cincinnati on July 29th, 1953. Personnel: Bill Hardman (tp); Andrew Penn (tb); Sil Austin, Rufus Gore (ts); Jimmy Robinson (p); Sam Jones (b); Philip Paul (d)

The record was released in October, 1953. Sil Austin made his recording debut for the Bradshaw band at this session, having replaced Red Prysock who left earlier in the year to start a successful solo career. Thanks are due to El Enmascarado for unearthing this 78 rpm disc.

El Enmascarado comments: “South Of The Orient/Later by Tiny Bradshaw is on a white label promo/DJ copy. Although it looked pristine and pretty much unplayed, it had more surface grit than I expected. That might possibly have something to do with the disc seeming to be made out of vinyl rather than shellac.

South Of The Orient is kind of Afro/Exotica with a mambo beat. It's mostly piano bass and drums, although the horns play quietly in a few spots.

Later is a more straight ahead jump number. The drummer plays brushes rather than sticks, which tend to give it a lighter feel.”

This disc was released after Tiny Bradshaw had enjoyed two substantial instrumental R&B chart hits in 1953 – “Soft” and “Heavy Juice.” Unfortunately “South Of The Orient” failed to live up to the success of the two preceding Bradshaw releases. It may be that “South Of The Orient” was a little too exotic and “jazzy” for the R&B crowd.

Billboard Magazine reviewed “South Of The Orient” thus: “This Oriental flavoured effort bears a close kinship to some of the work being turned out by the bopsters today, but the pulsating tempo and the bright drum work make it a listenable hunk of wax. Good for jazz jocks.”

As for “Later” Billboard commented: “The Tiny Bradshaw ork has a happy time with this riff instrumental that is more jazz than r&b. It swings and it should please a lot of the cats.”

Here’s your chance to hear the two numbers that made it big for Tiny Bradshaw in 1953. “Soft” was released in late 1952 and peaked at number 3 in the R&B charts, spending most of spring 1953 on the best selling list. “Heavy Juice” was a smaller hit, reaching number 9 in August 1953.


Mikel J said...

Thank You for this taste of Tiny Bradshaw! Very kuhl!

Anonymous said...

This came from the same batch of records that the mystery acetate of Big Fat Momma came from a while back. It all originated at a local radio station, I was told- The Masked One