This music helped define one era and augur in the next. Buddy Tate was one of the “Texas Tenors”, players from the Lone Star State who share the trademark big, warm tenor sax sound drenched in the blues. From 1939-48 he was a featured soloist in the iconic Count Basie Orchestra, playing the riff-laden Kansas City swing style that presaged R&B, rock & roll, and bop. At the time of this 1970 recording, Tate’s band presided at NYC’s Celebrity Club, extending that KC tradition. Afro-American poet-writer Amiri Baraka marveled, “(they played) not just danceable music, but that heavy music people have to dance to…” 1930s swing classics Undecided, Airmail Special, and Tuxedo Junction, and the KC anthem Moten Swing define that last word’s meaning. Candy and Body and Soul feature Tate’s lyrical side and his debt to Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster. The boogie-woogie Ben’s Broken Saxophone boasts hip “head” arrangements, buttery trombone and soulful sax solos, while pianist Nat Pierce’s One for Johnny is a lushly orchestrated walking ballad. A tribute to an era, these are soulfully swinging pieces and a hell of a lot of fun.