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Philly Gumbo

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Philly Gumbo album cover
01
Blues For Hicks
7:28
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02
Old Head
10:11  
03
Up Jumped Bootsie
5:57
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04
Soulful One
6:36
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05
John Wayne
7:00
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06
Better Late Than Never
6:49
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07
Sound For Sore Ears
7:19
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08
The Schuylkill Epressway
5:34
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09
Tot Ziens
3:39
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 9   Total Length: 60:33

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They Say All Music Guide

Trumpeter John Swana leads his Philly Gumbo session under the name “John Swana and the Philadelphians,” a knowing reference to a 1958 album by Benny Golson. Fittingly, the record showcases a number of excellent straight-ahead players who aren’t widely known outside of Philadelphia: tenor saxophonist Bootsie Barnes, pianist Sid Simmons, bassist Mike Boone, and drummer Byron Landham. The mostly original music is solidly within the hard bop tradition. Boone contributes a fine piece called “Old Head” and collaborates with Swana on the ballad “John Wayne,” which is named for John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. Other highlights include the medium-fast “Up Jumped Bootsie” (loosely based on Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring”) and the rubato finale, “Tot Ziens,” an out-of-character trio feature for the leader on flügelhorn. Swana’s frontline rapport with Barnes is exceptional, and his horn is consistently spry and insightful. – David R. Adler

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