Charlie Rouse “Yeah!” (1960)

Track Selection: You Don’t Know What Love Is


Charlie Rouse (ts), Billy Gardner (p), Peck Morrison (b), Dave Bailey (d) recorded December 20-1, 1960 New York City


The ever-eloquent “AllMusic” say: “Rouse is best known for his work with Thelonious Monk during his Columbia years from 1959 until 1970. Rouse’s sound with Monk was so fluid and smooth that’s it’s easy to forget how many eccentric, jagged turns he had to navigate night after night, and that Rouse did it with quiet, steady grace is a testament both to his sax playing and to the space Monk built into his puzzle box compositions“. Eloquent, that.

Rouse’s sax lines float effortlessly over the top of things, a fresh, modern, bluesy swing

Vinyl:  TFL. 5157 mono  Fontana, 1st UK release of US Epic LA 16012

Pressed in England by Philips, under their Fontana label. Epic is not noted for jazz releases, at least not by me, so the original engineering an unknown quantity. Sounds pretty good though. Philips pressing for their own label I have found sometimes  disappointing, Mingus Ah Um, as an example, but their Fontana pressings are always really solid. There is probably a reason for this, but finding out why might have to wait until the next life.No doubt there is a named model of microphone involved at some point.

Collector’s corner

I have liked Charlie Rouse’s tenor ever since I first noted him co-leading with Sahib Shihab on the rarest of rare “Soul Mates” album from 1988 – probably one of my most-played CDs as I can’t seem to find it for love nor money on vinyl. Yeah! is another. I have been chasing it for some time, but it seems to inhabit a price bracket much higher than its peers. A recent eBay search turned up 2 CDs and no original vinyl anywhere in the world, so I assume its price reflects relative scarcity. Eventually a copy turned up on a  ” buy now or make an offer”, however in a more sensible price range than  when last I saw it in a record shop at three figures.

The formula I use for “offers” seems to work well enough: 80% of the asking price, which has been accepted immediately on every occasion. May be one could go lower, but the last time I did that I got a counter-offer from the seller, and we ended up back in the same place. .”This is what I would like, but can you come up with something that would still interest me? ” It makes more sense to me than a fixed price “Buy Now” proposition

3 thoughts on “Charlie Rouse “Yeah!” (1960)

  1. Pingback: Charlie Rouse "Yeah" album cover | Typophonic

  2. Here I go again!!! This is another of my favorites, a monster of a record. It gets your toes tappin’, your fingers snappin’ and makes you wanna go and say Yeaaahhh!!!!

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