Serge Chaloff "Blue Serge" (Capitol, US, 1956) NM/VG++
"Serge Chaloff was the first major bebop baritone saxophonist. He is all but forgotten today because he recorded so little material under his own name (he struggled with heroin, then after kicking the habit, developed cancer and died at age 34 in 1957). His tone is breathy, reminiscent of Lester Young, with occasional use of wide vibrato. Serge Chaloff's final recording as a leader is his best. Blue Serge is a quartet outing with pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Philly Joe Jones. Chaloff had already contracted the spinal paralysis that would kill him a year later but there is no hint of any weakness on this date. Whether it be "The Goof and I," "I've Got the World on a String" or a beautiful rendition of "Stairway to the Stars," this recording features Serge Chaloff at his best. This is a very nice set featuring an all-star ensemble."