Once more the Be Bop Army assembles in El Enmascarado's record room, where there are Joe Houston LP covers on the wall, several crates of 78 rpm discs, and a vintage Sparton radio / record player. The fridge is well stocked with beer and there's a disc on the turntable - and it sports a familiar red and black label. Yep, it's an early Atlantic record and oh joy, it's the Tiny Grimes band with Red Prysock on tenor sax.
These performances were recorded in New York on March 16th, 1949. The band consisted of: Tiny Grimes (guitar); Red Prysock (tenor sax); George Kelly (piano); Ike Isaacs (bass) and Sonny Payne (drums).
Tiny Grimes had been recording for Atlantic since the end of 1947, first with John Hardee on tenor sax and then in May 1948 with Wilbur "Red" Prysock taking over as axeman and occasional vocalist (in the style of his balladeer brother Arthur Prysock). The May 1948 session yielded a national R&B hit with "Midnight Special" which reached number 12 in November of that year.
|Red Prysock and Tiny Grimes|
The two sides on this disc predate that change of image. They are both "slow burners" - starting off as cool interpretations of old standards before the heated sax work of Red Prysock ups the ante.
With thanks to El Enmascarado for the rips from shellac and label scans.