PAUL COMBS: UNKNOWN DAMERON, from SUMMIT was selected in the top ten CDs of 2019 critic’s poll in Cadence Magazine. It also made Scott Yanow’s Top 25 list in LA Jazz Scene
9/22/19 – 7 weeks on the Jazz Week top 50!
Tadd Dameron (2/21/1917 – 3/8/1965) is a man relatively unknown to most jazz fans today. As an arranger and composer his work was largely in the background, and except for a few years in the late 1940’s, he was not a band leader or recording artist per se. However, the impact of those few years gives us some insight as to his importance. From 1947 to 1950, he recorded music that inspired, indeed showed the way, for Horace Silver, Benny Golson, Frank Foster, Gigi Gryce, and Quincy Jones, as well as several European musicians. He also had a direct personal influence on many younger musicians of the time, including Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, Charlie Rouse, and Benny Golson. He has contributed at least eight classics to the Jazz Canon: “Good Bait,” “Hot House,” “If You Could See Me Now,” “Lady Bird,” “On A Misty Night,” “Our Delight,” “Soultrane,” and “Tadd’s Delight,”
As a result of the research for my book on Dameron, Dameronia – the Life and Music of Tadd Dameron, I uncovered many more works by this important musician beyond the eight for which he is generally known; some on rare recordings, others in copyright deposits, and still others in scores tucked away in various libraries. It was my hope to share as much of this music as possible. To this end I organized a quintet devoted to playing the music I had found. In the end, the original idea of a two CD set had to be abandoned due to copyright complications, and a general lack of resources. Fortunately, after I moved to San Diego, Ken Poston, fellow researcher and now general manager of KSDS /Jazz 88.org – one of the world’s premier jazz radio stations – asked me if I would like to perform Tadd’s music on one of their live broadcast concerts. We settled on, as it turned out, Dameron’s 100th birthday, February 21, 2017. This garnered the interest and support of Summit Records, and made this recording possible.
By Yves Dorison – June 11, 2019
“Serait-ce le disque de jazz mainstream de cet Appeal du disque ? Oui. De qui parlons-nous donc ? De Tadley Ewing Peake Dameron, plus communément prénommé Tadd….De ces thèmes méconnus et toujours très mélodiques joués par le saxophoniste et différentes formations, on peut dire qu’ils portent indubitablement la patte de l’auteur et arrangeur brillant qu’il fut.” (Full review is 2nd article)
“Saxist and arranger Paul Combs brings out obscure and previously unrecorded Dameronia, and the result is a highly pleasing and wide ranging mix of clever melodies and grooves.” (Full review)
By September 2019,
“Combs chose a roster of top-notch musicians for this project, including pianist Bill Cunliffe. Their work on this recording is flawless.”
“Baritonist and altoist Paul Combs is the perfect person to perform a set of mostly unknown Tadd Dameron compositions. Combs is the author of the book Dameronia – the Life and Music of Tadd Dameron…. Anyone with even a slight interest in Tadd Dameron, bop or straight ahead jazz should pick up this significant release which is available from www.summitrecords.com.”
The New York City Jazz Record – Unknown Dameron, Paul Combs (Summit Records), by Ken Dreyden (separate links)
“Combs’ research and strong arrangements bear significant fruit throughout the CD and it is apparent that the musicians took time to get familiar with this forgotten music. Hopefully more Tadd Dameron gems will be revealed.”
“Here is a musician (Paul Combs) paying respects to an artist he considers to be highly influential and largely ignored by many in the jazz community. I am talking about Tadd Dameron, arranger/composer/pianist who sadly passed away from cancer in 1965. Combs, an exceptional musician in his own right, became very interested in the work of Dameron and researched the musician rigorously for this project.”