Friday, February 13, 2015

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Don Friedman - Dreams & Explorations

Pianist Don Friedman first collaborated with Hungarian guitarist Attila Zoller as part of Herbie Mann's 1964-66 rhythm section. But the pair first explored the depths of their musical relationship in this excellent and aptly titled quartet session. Recorded in 1964, the same year Zoller won Down Beat's Talent Deserving Wider Recognition award, Dreams and Explorations is a challenging, evocative program of creative, improvised music that is never as predictable as traditional bop nor as ponderous, pretentious or piercing as free jazz.
There is an "open" quality to the music that allows for both interaction and exploration, yet the listener is never baffled by any journey any one musician takes. The three jazz standards ("Israel," "Darn That Dream" and "You Stepped Out of A Dream") are instructive of the quartet's investigative methodology (reminiscent of the boundaries from which Paul Bley was breaking free during the same period). But the real beauty lies in the less structured journeys the two leaders conceive. There is Friedman's 'unwritten' "Episodes" and the twelve tone rows of "Park Row. Then there's Zoller's freer "Exploration" and the intriguing freedom-in-a-foundation of "Blizzard." The thesis is movement, or the ability to inspire motion. It is about the musicians' ability to explore at will and the listener's intuition to be moved (physically or emotionally) by the sounds. A daunting concept. But it actually works. Zoller achieves a beautiful sound that is filled with fluid, always assured conceptions and Friedman glides so effortlessly over wide-reaching ideas, that you are dazzled by the sparkle of his imagination only after the fact.
Friedman and Zoller, having sensed such a powerful musical chemistry, recorded in more duo situations (until Zoller's death earlier this year). But this is the one to hear. It's perhaps one of the greatest, unsung achievements in jazz during the sixties. Essential jazz listening.
Douglas Payne

Source : http://www.allaboutjazz.com/dreams-and-explorations-don-friedman-fantasy-jazz-review-by-douglas-payne.php

Don Friedman
Quartet
Dreams And Explorations

Tracks

1 Episodes (Friedman)  5:36
2 Exploration (Zoller)  6:21
3 Park Row (Friedman)  5:30
4 Blizzard (Zoller)  5:22
6 Israel (Carisi)  6:46
7 Darn That Dream (VanHeusen, DeLange)  5:37
8 You Stepped Out of a Dream (Brown, Kahn)  6:25

*

Personnel
Don Friedman - p
Attila Zoller - g
Dick Kniss - b
Dick Berk - dr

Recorded in New York ; 1964

Friday, July 25, 2014

Teddy Wilson & the Girls (1935-1939)

During the 1990s the Masters of Jazz label devoted three compact discs to the recordings that pianist and bandleader Teddy Wilson made during the '30s with female vocalists other than Billie Holiday. The first volume in the mini-series entitled Teddy & the Girls compiled 21 sides cut between September 1935 and April 1937 with vocals by Ella Fitzgerald, Midge Williams, Mildred Bailey, and Helen Ward. Wilson's groups invariably included master improvisers — both leaders and sidemen — hot off of the swing scene of the '30s. Major talents heard in this collection are xylo-vibraphonists Red Norvo and Lionel Hampton ; trumpeters Bunny Berigan, Frankie Newton and Ziggy Elman ; saxophonists Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges, and Chu Berry, and clarinetists Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. With artists like these on board, it's no surprise that the music is uniformly wonderful and well worth hearing again and again.
arwulf arwulf

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/teddy-the-girls-vol-1-1935-1937-mw0000091482

Teddy Wilson
Teddy & the Girls

Cd. 1

(1935-1937)

Tracks

1 I'd Love to Take Orders from You (Dubin, Warren)  2:41
2 I'd Rather Listen to Your Eyes (Dubin, Warren)  3:06
3 Someday, Sweetheart (Spikes, Spikes)  3:30
4 When Day Is Done (DeSylva, Katscher)  3:29
5 Willow Tree (Razaf, Waller)  3:31
6 Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf, Waller)  3:07
7 Squeeze Me (Waller, Williams)  3:13
8 Downhearted Blues (Austin, Hunter)  3:35
9 My Melancholy Baby (Burnett, Norton)  3:01
10 All My Life (Mitchell, Stept)  3:13
11 You Came to My Rescue (Rainger, Robin)  3:01
12 Here's Love in Your Eyes (Rainger, Robin)  3:02
13 For Sentimental Reasons (Heyman, Sherman, Silver)  3:18
14 It's Love I'm After (Mitchell, Pollack)  3:20
15 'Long About Midnight (Hill, Mills)  3:08
16 More Than You Know (Eliscu, Rose, Youmans)  3:25
17 I'm with You Right or Wrong (Koehler, Stept)  3:23
18 Where the Lazy River Goes By (Adamson, McHugh)  2:50
19 There's a Lull in My Life (Gordon, Revel)  3:12
20 It's Swell of You (Gordon, Revel)  2:59
21 How Am I to Know ? (King, Parker)  3:17

*

Here's another Masters of Jazz collection devoted to the lesser-known works of pianist and bandleader Teddy Wilson. It's Vol. 2 in a miniseries entitled Teddy & the Girls. The women who sing on these records are Boots Castle, Frances Hunt, Martha Tilton, Sally Gooding and Mildred Bailey. Vibraphonist Lionel Hampton also sings, and other noteworthy instrumentalists are trumpeters Harry James, Hot Lips Page, and Ziggy Elman ; clarinetists Benny Goodman, Hank D'Amico, and Pee Wee Russell ; and tenor saxophonists Chu Berry and Vido Musso. How nice that the producers of this series conjured up 22 historic selections (including several alternate takes) involving Teddy Wilson with nice vocals by women other than his deservedly famous interpreter of songs, Billie Holiday.
arwulf arwulf

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/teddy-the-girls-vol-2-1937-1938-mw0000056675


Cd. 2
(1937-1938)

Tracks

1 You're My Desire (Hudson, Mills)  3:09
2 You're My Desire [mst take] (Hudson, Mills)  3:08
3 Remember Me ? [mst take] (Dubin, Warren)  2:47
4 Remember Me ? (Dubin, Warren)  2:50
5 The Hour of Parting [mst take] (Kahn, Spoliansky)  3:15
6 The Hour of Parting (Kahn, Spoliansky)  3:14
7 Big Apple [mst take] (David, Redmon)  2:56
8 Big Apple (David, Redmon)  2:57
9 If I Had You (Campbell, Connelly, Shapiro)  3:15
10 You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me (Fain, Kahal, Norman)  2:55
11 Silhouetted in the Moonlight (Mercer, Whiting)  2:59
12 My First Impression of You (Stept, Tobias)  2:53
13 With a Smile and a Song [take 1] (Churchill, Morey)  3:09
14 With a Smile and a Song [take 2] (Churchill, Morey)  3:01
15 Bei Mir Bist du Schön, Pt. 1 (Cahn, Chaplin, Jacobs, Secunda)  3:27
16 Bei Mir Bist du Schön, Pt. 2 (Cahn, Chaplin, Jacobs, Secunda)  3:28
17 I See Your Face Before Me (Dietz, Schwartz)  3:01
18 Thanks for the Memory (Rainger, Robin)  2:43
19 Thanks for the Memory [mst take] (Rainger, Robin)  2:37
20 From the Land of Sky Blue Water (Cadman, Eberhart)  2:48
21 Lover, Come Back to Me [mst take] (Hammerstein II, Romberg)  3:16
22 Lover, Come Back to Me (Hammerstein II, Romberg)  3:11 

*

Subtitled Teddy & the Girls, this leg of the Teddy Wilson story differs markedly from the meticulously chronological approach usually employed by the Masters of Jazz label, in that it does not sequentially present every single recording he made as sideman or leader between March 23, 1938 through August 10, 1939 ; instead, it skips over instrumentals and famous Billie Holiday sides to maintain its focus upon two female vocalists who have often been left on the sidelines by the prevailing if deservedly heavy emphasis upon Wilson's many collaborations with Lady Day. Tracks one through eighteen feature the voice of Nan Wynn while the last five songs are sung by Thelma Carpenter. As always, each and every edition of the Teddy Wilson Orchestra included some of the world's very best jazz musicians. The roster on this album includes Bobby Hackett, Pee Wee Russell, Ben Webster, Gene Sedric, Benny Carter, Johnny Hodges, Rudy Powell, Al Casey, and J.C. Heard. These comparatively uncommon Teddy Wilson recordings are well worth investigating in their own light and supplementally in order to fill in the gaps that still persist in Wilson's extensive discography. If you enjoy this, be sure and investigate the two previous volumes in the miniseries Teddy & the Girls.
arwulf arwulf

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/teddy-the-girls-vol-3-1938-1939-mw0000039069


Cd. 3
(1938-1939)

Tracks

1 Alone with You [take 1] (Wilson)  3:03
2 Alone with You [take 2] (Wilson)  3:21
3 Moments Like This (Lane, Loesser)  3:11
4 Moments Like This [mst take] (Lane, Loesser)  3:04
5 I Can't Face the Music (Bloom, Koehler)  2:56
6 I Can't Face the Music [mst take] (Bloom, Koehler)  2:57
7 If I Were You (Bernier, Emmerich)  2:59
8 If I Were You [mst take] (Bernier, Emmerich)  2:53
9 You Go to My Head (Coots, Gillespie)  3:13
10 I'll Dream Tonight [mst take] (Mercer, Whiting)  3:09
11 I'll Dream Tonight (Mercer, Whiting)  3:11
12 Now It Can Be Told [mst take] (Berlin)  3:10
13 Now It Can Be Told (Berlin)  3:00
14 Laugh and Call It Love (Burke, Monaco)  3:07
15 Laugh and Call It Love [mst take] (Burke, Monaco)  2:55
16 On the Bumpy Road to Love [mst take] (Hoffman, Lewis, Mencher)  2:42
17 On the Bumpy Road to Love (Hoffman, Lewis, Mencher)  2:43
18 A-Tisket, A-Tasket (Alexander, Fitzgerald )  2:46
19 Why Begin Again ? (Raye, Shavers, Shaw)  2:22
20 Love Grows on the White Oak Tree (Todd)  2:46
21 This Is the Moment (Mundy, Wilson)  3:00
22 Stairway to the Stars (Malneck, Parish, Signorelli)  3:02
23 Back to Back (Berlin)  1:53

*

Personnel
Featuring Helen Ward, Mildred Bailey, Chu Berry, Dick McDonough, Martha Tilton, Grachan Moncur, Ella Fitzgerald, Red Norvo, Teddy Wilson, Hank D'Amico, Thelma Carpenter, Bobby Hackett, Gene  Krupa, Pee Wee Russell, Tab Smith, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Dave Barbour, Gene Sedric, Allan Reuss, Al Hall, Johnny Blowers, Nan Wynn, Johnny Hodges, Jonah Jones, Benny Carter, Ben Webster, Cozy Cole, J.C. Heard, Albert Casey, Benny Morton, Vido Musso, Midge Williams, etc.

Recorded in New York and Los Angeles ; between September 20, 1935 & August 10, 1939

See the complete artwork

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Teddy Wilson and His All-Stars, Vol. 1

During the years 1935-1939 pianist Teddy Wilson led a series of small recording bands peppered with some of the world's most accomplished and influential jazz musicians. That's why Teddy Wilson & His All-Stars is an accurate heading for this collection of 16 tunes recorded between July 31, 1935 and November 1, 1937. Wilson's ability to summon many of the best improvisers of his generation yielded results that continue to delight and entertain those who take the time to savor the solos and marvel at the integrity of the ensembles. Collectively, Wilson's players as heard here included trumpeters Irving "Mouse" Randolph, Cootie Williams, Roy Eldridge, Buck Clayton and Jonah Jones, as well as trombonist Benny Morton. Among the reeds were Buster Bailey, Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster, Harry Carney, Chu Berry, Benny Goodman, Rudy Powell, Hilton Jefferson, Prince Robinson, and Vido Musso. Wilson also used bassists John Kirby, Israel Crosby, Milt Hinton, and Walter Page as well as drummers Sidney Catlett, Gene Krupa, and Cozy Cole. What all these names add up to is a roster of musicians who played crucial roles in helping to define and refine the style and methodology of swing music. There are five vocals by Wilson's brightest star Billie Holiday, and Roy Eldridge proves himself ready and willing to use his voice to transform anything and everything into real jazz you can shimmy to, even "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
arwulf arwulf

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/teddy-wilson-and-his-all-stars-vol-1-mw0001052209

Teddy Wilson
and
His All-Stars, Vol. 1

Tracks

1 I'll See You in My Dreams (Kahn, Jones)  2:40
2 Tea for Two (Caesar, Youmans)  3:11
3 Fine and Dandy (James, Swift)  2:36
4 Sweet Lorraine (Parish, Burwell)  3:04
5 Mary Had a Little Lamb (Malneck, Symes)  2:56
6 Too Good to Be True (Boland)  3:10
7 Blues in C# Minor (Wilson)  3:22
8 Warmin' Up (Wilson)  3:19
9 Who Loves You (Davis, Coots)  3:14
10 These N'That N'Those (Pascal, Fairchild)  3:14
11 Eeny Meeny Meiny Mo (Mercer, Malneck)  3:14
12 With Thee I Swing (Stillman, Hyde, Adlam)  3:17
13 Sugar Plum (Kahn, Johnson)  3:01
14 Things Are Looking Up (Gershwin, Gershwin)  3:22
15 Rythm in My Nursry Rhymes (Cahn, Raye, Lunceford, Chaplin)  3:02
16 Sailin' (Wilson)  2:50

*

Personnel
[# 1 & 2]
Irving Randolph - tp
Vido Musso - cl
Ben Webster - ts
Teddy Wilson - p
Allan Reuss - g
John Kirby - b
Cozy Cole - dr
Recorded in New York City ; December 16, 1936
[# 3]
Cootie Williams - tp
Harry Carney - cl & bs
Johnny Hodges - as
Teddy Wilson - p
Allan Reuss - g
John Kirby - b
Cozy Cole - dr
Recorded in New York City ; March 31, 1937
[# 4]
Roy Eldridge - tp
Cecil Scott - cl
Hilton Jefferson - as
Ben Webster - ts
Teddy Wilson - p
Lawrence Lucie - g
John Kirby - b
Cozy Cole - dr
Recorded in New York City ; July 31, 1935
[# 5-8]
Roy Eldridge - tp & vc [# 5]
Buster Bailey - cl
Chu Berry - ts
Teddy Wilson - p
Bob Lessey - g
Israel Crosby - b
Sidney Catlett - dr
Recorded in Chicago ; May 14, 1936
[# 9]
Same as [# 1 & 2], except
Milt Hinton - b, replaces Kirby
Gene Krupa - dr, replaces Cole
Billie Holiday - vc, is added
Recorded in New York City ; October 28, 1936
[# 10 & 13]
Billie Holiday - vc
Richard Clarke - tp
Tom Mace - cl
Johnny Hodges - as
Teddy Wilson - p
Dave Barbour - g
Grachan Moncur - b
Cozy Cole - dr
Recorded in New York City ; December 3, 1935
[# 11]
Billie Holiday - vc
Roy Eldridge - tp
Benny Morton - tb
Chu Berry - ts
Teddy Wilson - p
Dave Barbour - g
John Kirby - b
Cozy Cole - dr
Recorded in New York City ; October 25, 1935
[# 12]
Same as [# 9]
Recorded in New York City ; October 21, 1936
[# 14]
Billie Holiday - vc
Buck Clayton - tp
Prince Robinson - cl
Vido Musso - ts
Teddy Wilson - p
Allan Reuss - g
Walter Page - b
Cozy Cole as Swing Roo - dr
Recorded in New York City ; November 1, 1937
[# 15]
Chris Griffin - tp
Rudy Powell - cl
Ted McRae - ts
Teddy Wilson - p
John Trueheart - g
Grachan Moncur - b
Cozy Cole - dr
Recorded in New York City ; January 30, 1936
[# 16]
Jonah Jones - tp
Benny Goodman as John Jackson - cl
Ben Webster - ts
Teddy Wilson - p
Allan Reuss - g
John Kirby - b
Cozy Cole - dr
Recorded in New York City ; November 19, 1936

See also
http://www.jazzdisco.org/teddy-wilson/discography/

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Charlie Parker Plays Cole Porter

The "Songbook" concept in jazz has become a well known approach that has produced many classic albums of the genre. A cohesive theme is established troughout an LP by including a number of songs (or sometimes comprehensive anthologies) by one specific composer (or team of composers), such as George Gershwin, Lorenz & Hart, and Cole Porter. Jazz entrepreneur Norman Granz was one of the very first to put this concept on the market, and was certainly the one who made it popular and even a standard practice to be followed by other producers and musicians. His numerous Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald LPs devoted to songwriters are now justly considered classics
However, in 1954, Granz had attempted to make Charlie Parker record a songbook devoted to Cole Porter. Despite what the original liner notes state, it was almost certainly Granz's idea and not Parker's. Two sessions took place on March 31, 1954 and December 10, 1954. Why two sessions connected with the same project were recorded so far apart from one another can only be attributed to Bird's troubled life during the last year of his life (his health rapidly declined due to drug and alcohol abuse, and his fragile stability crumbled when his daughter Pree suddenly died, leading him to attempt suicide). It is likely that at least one more session had been planned by Granz to complete the normal length of the still novel 12" long plays. However, it would never take place as Bird died on March 12, 1955 at the age of 34. With the remaining recordings (the December 10 session was in fact Bird's final recording date ever, either live or in the studio), Granz released the LP presented here.
Anton Grover, 2012, from the booklet

Charlie Parker
Plays
Cole Porter

Tracks

1 I Get a Kick Out of You  3:34
2 I Get a Kick Out of You [alt.take]  4:56
3 Just one of Those Things  2:45
4 My Heart Belongs to Daddy  3:20
5 I've Got You Under My Skin  3:39
6 Love for Sale  5:35
7 Love for Sale [alt.take]  5:32
8 I Love Paris  5:07
9 I Love Paris [alt.take]  5:06
10 Easy to Love  3:29
11 Begin the Beguine  3:13
12 Night and Day  2:50
13 What is This Thing Called Love ?  2:36
14 In the Still of the Night  3:22
15 What is This Thing Called Love ? [Jam Session]  15:51
16 Love for Sale [alt. take # 2]  5:47

All Compositions by Cole Porter

*

Personnel
[# 1-5]
Charlie Parker - as
Walter Bishop, Jr. - p
Jerome Darr - g
Teddy Kotick - b
Roy Haynes - dr
Recorded in New York ; March 31, 1954
[# 6-9 & 16]
Same as above, except
Billy Bauer - g, replaces Darr
Art Taylor - dr, replaces Haynes
Recorded in New York ; December 10, 1954
[# 10]
Charlie Parker - as
Joseph Singer - flghr
Edwin C. Brown - ob
Bernie Leighton - p
Sam Caplan, Howard Kay, Harry Melnikoff, Sam Rand, Ziggy Smirnoff - vl
Isadore Zir - vla
Maurice Brown - cll
Verney Mills - hrp
Ray Brown - b
Buddy Rich - dr
Recorded in New York ; July 5, 1950
[# 11]
Charlie Parker - as
Walter Bishop, Jr. - p
Teddy Kotick - b
Max Roach - dr
Luis Miranda - cng
Joe Mangual - bng
Recorded in New York ; January 23, 1952
[#12 & 13]
Charlie Parker - as
Jimmy Maxwell, Carl Poole, Al Porcino, Bernie Privin - tp
Bill Harris, Lou McGarity, Bart Varsalona - tb
Harry Terrill, Murray Williams - as
Flip Phillips, Hank Ross - ts
Danny Bank - bs
Oscar Peterson - p
Freddie Green - g
Ray Brown - b
Don Lamond - dr
Recorded in New York ; March 25, 1952
[# 14]
Charlie Parker - as
Junior Collins - flghrn
Al Block - fl
Hal McKusick - cl
Tom Mace - ob
Mannie Thaler - bssn
Tony Aless - p
Charles Mingus - b
Max Roach - dr
Dave Lambert Singers - vcl, including
Annie Ross
Gil Evans - arr & cond.
Recorded in New York ; May 25, 1953
[# 15]
Charlie Parker - as
Charlie Shavers - tp
Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter - as
Flip Phillips, Ben Webster - ts
Oscar Peterson- p
Barney Kessel- g
Ray Brown - b
J.C. Heard - dr
Recorded in Hollywood, California ; June 17, 1952

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Way Out Wardell Gray

This album was recorded live in Los Angeles in 1948, and finds the great Wardell Gray amidst some of the finest musicians of the time. In the late 1940s, the West Coast jazz scene introduced the big band jazz concert idea to the public. At this time in his short career, Gray was starting his ascent and would achieve lasting fame in tenor sax history. The recorded sound on the album is tinny, given that it was recorded in a hall, and the echo is distracting. However, the compact disc cleaned much of this up, and the dueling between the two tenors shines right through. Vido Musso, the other fine tenor here, was with Stan Kenton for a time. His punchy style plays off the smoother swing of Gray. There's also some strong, bright soloing by Howard McGhee, Ernie Royal, Barney Kessel, and Red Callender. The rhythm section swings hard throughout the session, and Gray knows how to ride the wave with a vengeance. He had that effortless tone of Lester Young, and was full with the fire of bop at the same time. His improvisation was prodigious, and he could translate a landslide of ideas through his horn. The genius Erroll Garner, then only 35, renders a fine solo version of "Tenderly." The compact disc version adds the bonus cut "Sweet Georgia Brown." This is what ignited jazz at the summit sounded like in concert in the late 1940s. Recommended.
Mark Romano

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/way-out-wardell-mw0000234851 

Wardell Gray
Way Out Wardell

Tracks

1 Blue Lou (Mills, Sampson)  6:12
2 Sweet Georgia Brown (Bernie, Casey, Pinkard)  10:31
3 Tenderly (Gross, Lawrence)  3:04
4 Just You, Just Me (Greer, Klages)  10:25
5 One O'Clock Jump (Basie)  11:29

*

Personnel
[# 1]
Wardell Gray - ts
Erroll Garner - p
Irving Ashby - g
Red Callender - b
Jackie Mills - dr
Recorded at the Civic Auditorium, Pasadena ; April 29, 1947
 [# 5]
Same as above, except
Benny Carter - ts
Howard McGhee - tp
Vic Dickenson - tb
are added
Recorded same place and date as above
 [# 3]
Erroll Garner - p
Red Callender - b
Jackie Mills - dr
Recorded same place and date as above
[# 2 & 4]
Wardell Gray - ts
Howard McGhee - tp
Vido Musso - ts
Barney Kessel - g
Arnold Ross - p
Harold Babasin - b
Don Lamond - dr
Recorded at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles ; February 27, 1947

See also
http://wardellgray.org/discography.html

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bud Shank - Cool Fool

 
In 1954 and 1955, Bud Shank recorded two 10-inch albums for the Pacific Jazz label that teamed him with valve trombones. The LPs were Bud Shank and Three Trombones and Bud Shank and Bob Brookmeyer. These recordings remain potent early examples of West Coast optimism, technical prowess and a sound that still raises hairs. What you hear in these artists is a hunger and excitement for the new music as well as swinging personal ambition. After all, the West Coast studio scene in the mid-1950s was a club, and all of the players on these albums were members of the highest order.
The teaming of Bud's alto saxophone with valve trombonists was a brilliant concept. The horns on these dates were big band veterans, highly proficient readers of arrangements, and powerful, soulful soloists. Most of all, the sound of Bud's yearning alto and the warm, pecking of an insinuating valve trombone worked perfectly to produce a cool, elastic heat.
On Bud Shank with Three Trombones, Bud was paired with Bob Enevoldsen, Maynard Ferguson and Stu Williamson. The rhythm section featured Claude Williamson on piano, Joe Mondragon on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. The sextet's arrangements were written by Bob Cooper, whose Wailing Vessel is one of the album's most beautiful tunes.
Here you have Bud working with the trombones the way a sheep dog corrals its heard. On the arrangements, Bud circles, pushes, joins the pack and springs away. There's enormous independence in his phrasing even when pressed into the collective mix. The other standout tune on the album is Baby's Birthday Party, an obscurity written by Ann Ronnell, composer of Willow Weep for Me. But the album's song titles are almost irrelevant. In Bob Cooper's hands, the tunes all become something new with their interludes, tasty backgrounds and beautifully voiced harmonies.
Bud Shank and Bob Brookmeyer has a slightly different sound. Bob at the time was just coming into his own and was the hottest new valve trombonist on the scene. Supporting Bud and Bob were Claude Williamson on piano, Joe Mondragon on bass and Larry Bunker on drums. What makes this session particularly interesting is the string quartet that joined them (two violins, a viola and cello). Arrangements were by Russ Garcia, whose swinging tone-row writing and complex figures could only be mastered by exceptional, hip players. For example, dig Russ' innovative writing and the horns' rip-roaring treatment of There's a Small Hotel.
On both albums, Bud's edgy melodic phrasing was framed by the mellow, tap-dancing roundness of valve trombones. The result is quite something. On the former record, you hear Bud's sound jumping around on top of a bed of trombones. On the latter, Bud and Bob get it on, letting you hear the jousting and joining soothed only slightly by peacemaker strings.
All of these artists were just emerging as individuals in 1954 and 1955, vying for work in the LP and movie studios of Hollywood. All would succeed, of course, and all would become household jazz names. Interestingly, in the infancy of West Coast small-group jazz, Bud and Bob were already shaking off the laid-back, cool-school sound becoming popular in Southern California and creating a new one that was neither West nor East but something in between.
Marc Myers, JazzWax

Source : http://www.jazzwax.com/2010/04/bud-shank-and-valve-trombones.html

Bud Shank
Cool Fool

Tracks

1 Wailing Vessel (Cooper)  2:42
2 Baby's Birthday (Party Ronell)  2:48
3 You Don't Know What Love Is (DePaul, Raye)  4:16
4 Sing Something Simple (Hupfield)  2:36
5 Valve Head (Shank)  3:11
6 Cool Fool (Cooper)  3:21
7 Little Girl Blue (Hart, Rodgers)  3:17
8 Mobile (Cooper)  2:45
9 Wailing Vessel [alt. take] (Cooper)  2:39
10 Low Life (Mandel)  3:55
11 When Your Lover Has Gone (Swan)  2:56
12 Out of This World (Arlen, Mercer)  3:14
13 There's a Small Hotel (Hart, Rodgers)  2:38
14 Rustic Hop (Brookmeyer)  4:11
15 You Are Too Beautiful (Hart, Rodgers)  4:00
16 With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair (Edwards, Lawrence)  5:07
17 Low Life [alt. take] (Mandel)  3:54


*

Personnel
[# 1-9] Bud Shank and Three Trombones (Pacific Jazz 10" LP 14) ; the alt. take of "Wailing Vessel" was originally issued on Jazz West Coast (Pacific Jazz JWX 500)
Bud Shank - as
Bob Enevoldsen - tb
Maynard Ferguson - tb
Stu Williamson - tb
Claude Williamson - p
Joe Mondragon - b
Shelly Manne - dr
Bob Cooper - arr.
Recorded at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles ; April 3 [# 4, 6-8] ; & June 22, 1954 [# 1-3, 5 & 9]
[# 10-17] Bud Shank and Bob Brookmeyer (Pacific Jazz 10" LP 20) ; the alt. take of "Low Life" was originally issued on Jazz West Coast (Pacific Jazz JWX 500)
Bud Shank - as
Bob Brookmeyer - tb
Claude Williamson - p
Buddy Clarke - b
Larry Bunker - dr
String Quartet
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Los Angeles ; November 29, 1954 [# 11-13 & 15] & January 7 [# 10, 14, 16 & 17], 1955.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jim Hall & Geoffrey Keezer - Free Association

Jim Hall / Geoffrey Keezer: Free Association, the latest ArtistShare release from veteran guitarist Jim Hall — paired with a relative newcomer, pianist Geoffrey Keezer — offers music in a pure state. The duo creates a timeless, genre-less sound, a combination of virtuosic beauty and fluid give-and-take combined with a deft use of space.
Jim Hall has collaborated on records with drummer Chico Hamilton, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, and tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, all legends. A legend himself now, the guitarist has also explored the duo setting with Bill Evans and George Shearing, and most recently with Enrico Pieranzuni on Duologues.
Much is made of of the sympatico generated by "working groups," a product of the familiarity that breeds a seamless flow. Though the working group title may not apply to Hall and Keezer, they have played together extensively, in recordings and engagements at the Village Vanguard and Birdland. Keezer also joined Hall for a European quartet tour last summer.
Like fully engaged and adroit conversationalists, Hall and Keezer listen and respond to each other, making a luminous sound that seems to transcend style and — especially in Hall's case — his instrument. Lost in the purity of the music, the piquant notes, and shimmering chords, one can lose track of the fact that it's a guitar coming at you from the speakers.
It's all a vibration of strings, electric and accoustic — the sweet percussive ring of Keezer's piano versus the sustain and expansive tang of Hall's guitar — done with an innovative, free-flowing eloquence.
Dan McClenaghan

Source : http://www.allaboutjazz.com/free-association-jim-hall-artistshare-review-by-dan-mcclenaghan.php

Jim Hall
Geoffrey Keezer
Free Association

Tracks

1 End the Beguine (Hall, Keezer)  6:23
2 Bebo No Aozoa (Sakamoto)  5:53
3 A Merry Chase (Hall, Keezer)  3:50
4 Free Association (Hall, Keezer)  4:36
5 Furnished Flats (Hall, Keezer)  5:01
6 Counter Transference (Hall, Keezer)  2:59
7 Ouagadoudou (Hall, Keezer)  7:42
8 October Song (Hall, Keezer)  2:36

*

Personnel
Jim Hall - g
Geoffrey Keezer - p

Recorded at the New School Performance Space, New York City ; June 13 & 14, 2005

Friday, July 11, 2014

Toshiko Akiyoshi - Her Trio, Her Quartet

Toshiko Akiyoshi was still rather new on the American jazz scene when she recorded Her Trio, Her Quartet for the Storyville label in the mid-'50s. On five of the eight selections, she leads a quartet with alto saxophonist Boots Mussilli, former Dave Brubeck sideman Wyatt Reuther on bass, and drummer Ed Thigpen. Akiyoshi is still heavily influenced by Bud Powell at this point in her career, though she is no mere mimic of the great bop pianist. She navigates J.J. Johnson's challenging "Kelo" with finesse, while offering a fresh treatment of "All the Things You Are" that omits the introductory tag added by Dizzy Gillespie which became mandatory for nearly all bop interpreters of the standard. She gallops through "I Remember April," with Mussilli sounding very modern and not like a typical Charlie Parker clone in that era.
For the trio numbers, she utilizes Oscar Pettiford and Roy Haynes. Oddly enough, her "Pea, Bee and Lee" is based upon the chord changes to "All the Things You Are," while "Thou Swell" is easily the most conservative arrangement of the session. The Japanese CD reissue released by Tokuma in 1997 sounds as if it was dubbed from an LP rather than the original masters, as surface noise is briefly audible in spots. These are strong performances by Toshiko Akiyoshi made long before she earned widespread fame, but even this import CD has lapsed from print, making it a rather difficult release to acquire in any format.
Ken Dryden

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/toshiko-akiyoshi-her-trio-her-quartet-mw0000901398

Toshiko Akiyoshi
Her Trio
Her Quartet

Tracks

1 Kelo (Johnson)  4:20
2 Salute to Shorty (Akiyoshi)  3:06
3 Pea, Bee and Lee (Akiyoshi)  3:15
4 Taking a Chance on Love (LaTouche, Fetter, Duke)  4:34
5 All the Things You Are (Hammerstein, Kern)  4:32
6 No Mon at All (Mann, Evans)  4:52
7 I'll Remember April (Raye, DePaul, Johnston)  5:30
8 Thou Swell (Rodgers, Hart)  4:55

*


Personnel
[# 1, 2, 4, 5 & 7] 
Boots Mussulli - as
Toshiko Akiyoshi - p
Wyatt Reuther - b
Edmund Thigpen - dr 
[# 3, 6 & 8] 
Toshiko Akiyoshi - p
Oscar Pettiford - b
Roy Haynes - dr
Recorded in New York ; 1956

Joe Pass - Sounds of Synanon/Richard Holmes - After Hours

"I was part of a group of young musicians who were among the earliest supporters of a place called Synanon", wrote jazz journalist and musician Steven A. Cerra. "Founded in Santa Monica, California in 1958 by Chuck Dederich, Synanon was a residential treatment center that existed for the expressed purpose of helping drug and alcohol addicted musicians and other artists. Synanon was located in an old brick building situated a few yards from the beach and the ocean on the Pacific Coast Highway. We would drive to it along Santa Monica Blvd. [no freeways, yet] bringing bags of used clothes, groceries and a few schimolies to donate to the musicians and artists in residence at Synanon. Sometimes we'd participate in jam sessions while we were visiting. One of Synanon's most famous 'graduates' was none other than jazz guitarist Joe Pass who was just concluding his residence there during my initial visits. Like so many of his contemporaries from the jazz world of the 1940s and '50s, Joe had gotten lost in the 'world' of heroin addiction. Fortunatly, for all jazz fans, Joe found his way again, and a big "Thank You" is owed to Chuck Dederich and the folks at Synanon for saving his life and to Richard Bock of Pacific Jazz records for help in re-lauching Joe's career. Dick Bock's first association with Joe dated back to the Pacific Jazz recording The Sounds of Synanon. He recruited John Tynan to write the liner notes for the album. At the time, John was the West Coast editor of Down Beat magazine."
Joe Pass would never record again with any of the other musicians from the Synanon LP, none of whom, apart Arnold Ross, would continue recording regulary. In fact, this album is the only recorded testimony of the playing of drummer Bill Crawford, conga player Candy Latson, trumpeter Dave Allan, bassist Ronald Clark, and baritone horn player Greg Dykes listed in discographies.
By the mid-1960s, Synanon had become an alternative community, attracting people with its emphasis on living a slef-examinated life, as aided by group truth-telling sessions that came to be known as the Church of Synanon in the 1970s, and disbanded permanently in 1989 due to many alleged criminal activities, including Federal tax-evasion problems with the Internal Revenue Service. Dederich died in 1997. 
As a bonus to this long out of print album, we present a complete trio session made by Joe Pass for Richard Bock shortly after, which finds him playing in the company of organist Richard "Groove" Holmes, and drummer Lawrence Marable (with whom the guitarist would never record again). Pass and Holmes would participate on two more sessions together, that same year, one issued under Holmes' name (Something Special, in a quintet format), and the other with singer and guitarist Bumble Bee Slim (aka Amos Easton) as the leader. Their next and final collaboration would be three sessions backing alto saxophonist Earl Bostic made for the King label in 1963 and 1964. 
Lawrence Steel (2014), from the booklet

Joe Pass
Sounds of Synanon

Tracks

1 C.E.D (Pass, Ross)  3:17
2 Aaron`S Song (Allan)  4:32
3 Stay Loose (Ross)  4:25
4 Projections (Dykes)  5:12
5 Hang Tough (Pass)  6:32
6 Self-Image (Allan)  9:09
7 Last Call For Coffee (Ross)  4:43
8 Sweatin' (Holmes)  4:37
9 Jeannine (Pearson)  2:58
10 Minor Surgery (Holmes)  4:15
11 This Here (Timmons)  4:10
12 It Might As Well Be Spring (Rodgers, Hammerstein)  5:18
13 Moose The Mooche (Parker)  5:23
14 Groove`S Bag (Holmes)  6:46


*


Personnel
[# 1-7]
Joe Pass - g
Dave Allan - tp
Greg Dykes - bs
Arnold Ross - p
Ronald Clark - b
Bill Crawford - dr
Candy Latson - bng
Recorded at Pacific Jazz Studios, Los Angeles ; July 1, 1962
[# 8-14]
Joe Pass - g
Richard "Groove" Holmes - org
Lawrence Marable - dr
Recorded same place as above ; 1962