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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Cat On A Hot Tin Horn - Cat Anderson

Blue Jean Beguine
Cat On A Hot Tin Horn
The "Cat" Anderson Orchestra
Recorded in New York City, Aug. 23, 1958
Supervision: Jack Tracy
The trumpet used on the cover courtesy of the Conn Band Instrument Corp.
Mercury Records SR 80008

Trumpets - Cat Anderson, Ernie Royal, Ray Copeland and Reunald Jones
Trombones - Jimmy Cleveland, Frank Rehak and Henderson Chambers
Saxes - Earle Warren, Alto; Ernie Wilkins and Jimmy Forrest, Tenors: Sahib Shihab, baritone; rhythm - Jimmy Jones
Piano - George Duvivier
Alto; Bass, Panama Franics
Drums - Clark Terry
Trumpet added on tracks 2, 6, 7, and 8.

From the back cover: Cat was born in Greenville, S. C., but was orphaned at the age of 7 and raised in the Jenkins Orphan Home at Charleston, S. C. "At the Jenkins Home school they taught a lot of trades if you wanted to learn any." Anderson recalls. "I heard Jabbo Smith and Peanuts Holland, who were there, and later a record by Louis Armstrong, Laughin' Louis and Basin Street Blues. I studied all the brass instruments I can still play them today, but I'd be afraid to. I carry around a trombone, but it's more for practice than for performance."

The education Anderson received at the Jenkins Home laid the groundwork for his career. He toured for three-years with the Carolina Cotton Pickers, four years with the Sunset Royal orchestra, and worked with the bands of Erskine Hawkins, Lionel Hampton, and Lucky Millinder before joining the Ellington band late in 1947 for a brief venture as a leader, but the times were bad for big bands and he rejoined Duke in 1950.

To keep himself at the required edge for his activities with Ellington's trumpet section, Cat practices about 2 1/2 hours a day. "I just have to do that to keep versatile in the things that I play," he says. "In the band, every member has to be versatile. I play exercises and practice according to a system I made up." He travels with two huge Connstellation trumpets, one for the job and the other for hotel room practicing.

Cat is a good-natured, barrel chested man who looks considerably less than his 42 years. He is the first to break into important contribution to the art to date has been his extension of the range of his horn. Until he bought his incredible upper register into the Ellinton band, there had been very few trumpeters on whom composers could count for the filling out of important chords, or around whom they could build the soaring, emotional brass climaxes so popular today.

With Cat in the section, Ellington and Billy Strayhorn could, and often did, write trumpet lines well above the staff with the assurance that they would be played cleanly, with superb articulation.

The sides included in this album were cut a continuous session. Anderson admits he was pleased on hearing the playbacks, and add, "I just can't say enough about Ernie Wilkins. He's just wonderful... a wonderful arranger. And I felt the guys on the band were so great. Technically, their playing was wonderful. This has been a new big band experience for me.

Little Man
Cat's In The Alley
Blue Jean Beguine
My Adorable "D"
June Bug
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Birth OF The Blues
You're The Cream In My Coffee

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