One night in early 1952, the violinist David Sarser, lugged one of the first Ampex reel-to-reel tape decks into a popular Manhattan nightclub on East 54th street called The Embers. His mission was to record some of the excellent music being served up nightly by four of the world’s top Jazz musicians at the top of their game.
Joe Bushkin, the leader, was a gifted pianist who emerged during the pioneer days of American Jazz, with a gregarious style containing hints of Art Tatum, glints of Teddy Wilson, and touches of Earl Hines. Joining him were Buck Clayton on trumpet, and “Papa” Jo Jones on drums, legendary veterans of Count Basie’s band. Rounding out the group was a young bassist from Chicago, Milt Hinton, whom Joe had summoned from the road with Cab Calloway’s band. Later nicknamed “The Judge” for his impeccable, swinging timekeeping, this engagement was Hinton’s first big break that brought him to New York.
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