Jack Sheldon – Playing For Change


Jack Sheldon-TV actor, antic vocalist and cut-up extraordinaire-also happens to be one hell of a trumpeter. Here, in a superb session from 1986, we get a telling reminder of just how compelling the Sheldon jazz persona is. It’s a no-nonsense date with a challengingly off-beat repertory (Curtis Fuller’s “Trane’s Strain,” Cecil Payne’s “Follow Me” and Tadd Dameron’s “The Chase,” for instance), and a solid supporting cast of altoist Jerry Dodgion, pianist Barry Harris, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Ben Riley. Whatever the tempo, and there are some scorchers, it’s Sheldon’s gorgeous tone and plucky melodism that impresses first, last and always. Sheldon, of course, is one of jazz’s most gifted balladeers, and in “Angel Eyes” we hear his great heart sing. Like Clark Terry, Sheldon is also a master of muted mid-tempo strolling, an appealing attribute brought to the fore in a bubbly take on “That Old Feeling.” Throughout, the band cooks at a simmer apropos to the session’s dialogic intimacy.  It’s serious fun at the mainstream summit. ~By Chuck Berg   |  1986 61:15

Jack Sheldon, trumpet Jerry Dodgion, alto sax Barry Harris, piano Rufus Reid, bass Ben Riley, drums
1. Angel Eyes 2. Along Came Betty 3. Ne Quittez Pas 4. You Better Go Now 5. The Chase 6. Dear Ann 7. Wait And See 8. That Old Feeling 9. Follow Me 10. Just For A Thrill 11. Trane’s Strain 12. No Trump 13. Nancy