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Chuck Folds and his Sweet Basil Friends Remember Doc Cheatham by Chuck Folds and his Sweet Basil Friends

Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham died of a stroke in 1997, just short of his 92nd birthday, while on an album tour with young lion Nicholas Payton. Doc started on sax in theatre bands, switching to trumpet after hearing Louis Armstrong . He then became a lead player because "no one wanted to play lead-so I did it and liked it. Later on he quit playing lead to concentrate on jazz solos. He was equally at home with swing and salsa.

Doc played brunches at Sweet Basil in NYC for almost seventeen years. This tribute by pianist Chuck Folds and Doc's other fellow players is in the spirit of a New Orleans funeral-more festive than sad. Two trumpeters are in the front line, Spanky Davis and Irvin Stokes. They were Doc's favorite subs and now alternate as the brunches continue.

You'll just know it's New Orleans when you hear stride master Folds, bassist Frank Tate, drummer Jackie Williams and the twin trumpets romp through the usually dirgelike "My Buddy." The same cast swings hard on four other cuts, including Armstrong's "Someday You'll Be Sorry." Davis is also featured on "I Want a Little Girl" (including a vocal) and "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me" while "Lover Man" is all Irvin's. in contrast, Folds is reflective, both in solo and trio settings. on a number of songs ranging from "The Man I Love" to the poignant closer, "I'll Guess I'll Get the Papers and Go Home."

All of the tunes are associated with Doc and many with Louis. Doc once said of Satchmo, "I was one of those who couldn't play like him but I tried like hell!" This CD is a love letter to Doc Cheatham, who at life's end was still trying.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Chuck Folds and his Sweet Basil Friends
  • CD Title: Chuck Folds and his Sweet Basil Friends Remember Doc Cheatham
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2000
  • Record Label: Arbors
  • Rating: Five Stars
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