Cecil Young Quartet tonight. One of the sides he cut for King Records, shortly after being discovered by King’s venerable Sid Nathan, who signed Taylor after spotting him at a local Seattle club in 1951. Cecil Young was originally from New Haven Connecticut, but settled in Seattle and soon took residence at Seattle’s New Chinatown Club with a quartet he formed of local talent he ran into via the club circuit.
Shortly after signing, Nathan put together a group of live recordings Young had done at various venues in Seattle and released Cecil Young’s debut album, A Concert Of Cool Jazz, which became a regional hit for the group and soon was getting favorable responses as far south as San Francisco. He had also gotten some favorable reaction from Downbeat Magazine for what became his biggest record, Who Parked The Car?, a bop-tinged/scat masterpiece which succeeded in putting Cecil Young on the map for talent to be watched.
With all the buildup and the popular success of his album in the Seattle area, a subsequent U.S. tour was planned and that’s where things went south. The buildup didn’t equal the sales in other parts of the country and when the band arrived for a stint at Birdland opening for Sarah Vaughan, the disappointment and lack of recognition by the audience was clearly evident. And coupled with being sidelined by drugs, the Quartet soon dissolved, while Young opted to stay in New York and never returned to Seattle.
This single represents one of the few sides Cecil Young cut for King, and possibly cut for anyone. Reports via various websites say he continued to perform professionally until his death in 1975, but I am not sure if he recorded for other labels. There is a concert Young and his quartet performed at the Seattle Women’s Club in 1951 available via Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/uwlibraries/porter01001-9
In the meantime, here’s another one of our periodic sit downs-and listens-to a few of those round and scratchy things that spin rather quickly.