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Let Me Tell You 'Bout It (1961)

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Leo Parker

This session (reissued on CD) was a comeback record of sorts for Leo Parker. Briefly one of the leading bebop baritone saxophonists (and an alumnus of Billy Eckstine's legendary orchestra), Parker shifted to rhythm and blues in the early 1950's and then mostly dropped out of sight until he recorded this set. After cutting a second album, he died of a heart attack at age 36 on Feb. 11, 1962. A guttural player who emphasized the lower register of the baritone and was influenced by Illinois Jacquet, Parker (who is joined by obscure sidemen) sounds in top form during his varied program which includes several hard swingers, the gospellish funk of the title cut and two selections not on the original LP: "The Lion's Roar" and a second version of "Low Brown." ~ Scott Yanow