Arnett Cobb

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The Fabulous Apollo Sessions

The ultimate tough Texan tenor in his prime. Arnett was one of the wild men of tenor saxophone, alongside the better known Illinois Jacquet; these guys weren’t wild in the extreme sense of the avant-garde, but within the confines of standard jazz harmony they were about as wild as you can get, with honks and screeches that were later taken up by cruder R&B saxophone players. Cobb has a huge, swaggering, macho sound, and these sessions, although they sound quite dated, and some of the tracks are a bit commercial, are about as exciting as pre-bebop swing gets: these guys were basically out of control!