Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Gerry Mulligan & the Concert Jazz Band

Anyone who's ever complained that so-called "cool jazz" artists don't know how to swing should check out this one from Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. The 13-piece group was sure swinging hard one Sunday afternoon at the Village Vanguard in December 1960.


What sets this ensemble apart isn't so much the compositions (though they're a fine mix of standards and originals) or even the star quality of the soloists (though Mulligan, Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer and others provide some memorable solo moments). The key is the cohesiveness of the band as a unit and the crisp, tight arrangements and orchestrations by Mulligan, Brookmeyer and Al Cohn. The bouncy, vibrant tone and sheer big band power on up-tempo numbers like Johnny Mandel's "Black Nightgown" and Cohn's "Lady Chatterly's Mother" evoke, perhaps oddly, the great Basie bands. Mulligan even takes an impressive turn at the piano to lead the group through the Basie-esque "Let My People Be". And familar ballads, like "Body and Soul" and "Come Rain or Come Shine", are given fresh treatments that evoke moods of tenderness and romance without being syrupy. Mulligan was no avant gardist, but he knew how to push the limits while working within a straight-ahead context, and he knew how to make a band swing.
Joel Roberts

Source : http://www.allaboutjazz.com/gerry-mulligan-at-the-village-vanguard-gerry-mulligan-verve-music-group-review-by-joel-roberts.php#.VEqH_BaTBK0

Gerry Mulligan 
Concert Jazz Band
At the Village Vanguard


1 Blueport (Farmer)  11:05
2 Body and Soul (Eyton, Green, Heyman, Sour)  5:43
3 Black Nightgown (Mandel)  4:06
4 Come Rain or Come Shine (Arlen, Mercer)  5:33
5 Lady's Chatterley's Mother (Cohn)  6:12
6 Let My People Be (Mulligan)  7:59


Gerry Mulligan - bs, p & arr [# 4]
Don Ferrara, Clark Terry, Nick Travis - tp
Bob Brookmeyer - tb & arr [# 2]
Willie Dennis, Alan Ralph - tb
Gene Quill - cl & as
Bob Donovan - as
Jim Reider - ts
Gene Allen - bs & b cl
Bill Crow - b
Mel Lewis - dr
Al Cohn - arr [# 1]
Johnny Mandel - arr. [# 3]

Recorded live at the Village Vanguard, New York City ; December 1960

Sonny Meets Hawk !

Throughout a career that spanned more than 40 years, Coleman Hawkins consistently maintained a progressive attitude, operating at or near the cutting edge of developments in jazz. If Hawk's versatility came in handy when he backed Abbey Lincoln during Max Roach's 1960 We Insist! Freedom Now Suite, he took on an assignment of challenging dimensions when in 1963 he cut an entire album with Sonny Rollins in the company of pianist Paul Bley, bassists Bob Cranshaw and Henry Grimes, and drummer Roy McCurdy. Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins each virtually defined the tenor saxophone for his respective generation. To hear the two of them interacting freely is a deliciously exciting experience. Hawkins is able to cut loose like never before. Sometimes the two collide, locking horns and wrestling happily without holding back. For this reason one might detect just a whiff of Albert Ayler's good-natured punchiness, particularly in the basement of both horns ; such energies were very much in the air during the first half of the 1960s. Rather than comparing this date with the albums Hawkins shared with Ben Webster (1957), Henry "Red" Allen (1957), Pee Wee Russell (1961), or Duke Ellington (1962), one might refer instead to Hawk's wild adventures in Brussels during 1962 (see Stash CD 538, Dali) or Rollins' recordings from around this time period, particularly his Impulse! East Broadway Run Down album of 1965. Check out how the Hawk interacts with Rollins' drawn-out high-pitched squeaking during the last minute of "Lover Man." On Sonny Meets Hawk !, possibly more than at any other point in his long professional evolution, Hawkins was able to attain heights of unfettered creativity that must have felt bracing, even exhilarating. He obviously relished the opportunity to improvise intuitively in the company of a tenor saxophonist every bit as accomplished, resourceful, and inventive as he was.
arwulf arwulf

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:difwxqljld6e

Sonny Rollins 
Coleman Hawkins
Sonny Meets Hawk !
(RCA Victor Gold Series)


1 Yesterdays (Harbach, Kern)  5:13
2 All the Things You Are (Hammerstein, Kern)  9:31
3 Summertime (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward)  5:59
4 Just Friends (Klenner, Lewis)  4:39
5 Lover Man (Davis, Ramirez, Sherman)  8:52
6 At McKie's (Rollins)  7:01


Coleman Hawkins & Sonny Rollins - ts
Paul Bley - p
Bob Cranshaw - b [# 1, 2, & 5]
Henry Grimes - b [# 3, 4, & 6]
Roy McCurdy - dr

Recorded at RCA-Victor Studio "B", New York City  ; July 15 [# 1, 2, & 5] & July 18 [# 3, 4 & 6], 1963

Frivolous Sal Salvador

Misleadingly titled Frivolous Sal, this is a remarkably good album by the ex-Stan Kenton guitarist. Although the personnels are similar, this is a far better record than Sal's earlier LP on Capitol. The Quartet swings in a loose, relaxed way aided by Jimmy Campbell's crisp drumming. Eddie Costa shares the honours with Salvador and is revealed as a versatile musician capable of playing excellent vibes (which he does on "All The Things You Are", "Salaman", "Stars", "I Love You" and "April") as well as Johnny Williams-style piano. Bill Holman's Frivolous Sal was written as a feature for Salvador during his Kenton band days, although it was never recorded in orchestral form. It uses the chord sequence of Ray Noble's "Cherokee". The remainder of the programme consists of pleasant ballads and up-tempo showcases for Sal and Eddie Costa. In these days of skiffie rock'n'roll, etc., it is satisfying to have proof that the guitar is still a musical instrument.

Source : http://www.gramophone.net/Issue/Page/May%201957/84/763897/

Sal Salvador
Frivolous Sal


1 Frivolous Sal (Holman)  3:16
2 Tangerine (Mercer, Shertzinger)  3:10
3 I Cover the Waterfront (Green, Heyman)  3:41
4 You Stepped out of a Dream (Brown, Kahn)  3:29
5 You Could Swing for That (Salvador)  2:39
6 All the Things You Are (Hammerstein II, Kern)  4:05
7 Salaman (Albam, Salvador)  4:21
8 Handful of Stars (Lawrence, Shapiro)  3:40
9 I Love You (Porter)  3:12
10 I'll Remember April (DePaul, Johnston, Raye)  4:53


Sal Salvador - g
Eddie Costa - p & vb
George Roumanis - b
Jimmy Campbell - dr

Recorded in New York City ; February 1956

Friday, October 21, 2016

Emil Gilels - The Seattle Recital

During the course of 28 years beginning in 1955, the great Soviet pianist Emil Gilels toured North America 12 times. We now have a previously unreleased live recording of his recital at the Seattle Opera House in 1964 that provides a vivid snapshot of his unique, ever-evolving artistry.
Gilels tended to be a big-picture player, objective, not given to lingering over details and generally preferring very quick tempi. Few pianists would risk opening a recital with the "Waldstein", and Gilels’s performance suffers from such a daring gesture. It takes a few measures for the recording engineer to adjust for a more focused sound, but essentially nothing is lost. Tempi throughout tend to be pressured. Notes are dropped and occasionally automatic pilot takes over. The prevailing overdrive weakens the emotional contrast between the "Rondo"’s moderate allegretto and the "prestissimo" coda, which could scarcely go faster and remain audible. But this is the weakest element of an otherwise intriguing programme.
Chopin’s ‘Là ci darem la mano’ Variations are both virtuoso and beguiling. Gilels captures the whimsy of the introduction, exploiting its mercurial mood shifts to make arrival at Mozart’s duet like stepping into the sunshine. Each of the five variations is imbued with a distinct character, building to a polonaise finale of extraordinary brilliance. It is a perfect showcase for Gilel’s justly admired pianistic finesse.
The transition from young Chopin’s Warsaw to Prokofiev’s St Petersburg in 1917 is abrupt, surely as Gilels intended. Here speed has a salutary effect, pointing up the Third Sonata’s larger shapes and overall structure to fine advantage while rendering the lyricism of more moderate sections all the more poignant. Following this surge of burgeoning energy, the first book of Debussy’s Images looms like an oasis. The guileless simplicity of ‘Hommage à Rameau’ achieves a touching eloquence. A return to Prokofiev, with six of the Visions fugitives, serves as a palate-cleanser. A bracingly piquant ‘Alborada del gracioso’ concludes the formal programme. Decidedly more Russian than French, the vibrant colours of Benois and Bakst nevertheless suit the piece well.
If posterity has favoured Richter over Gilels, that doesn’t diminish the pleasure of revisiting the unique strengths and versatility of this impressive pianist.
Patrick Rucker

Source : http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/emil-gilels-the-seattle-recital

Emil Gilels
The Seattle Recital


Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonata n° 21 in C Major "Waldstein", Op. 53
1 I. Allegro con brio  10:53
2 II. Introduzione. Adagio molto  3:20
3 III. Rondo. Allegretto moderato - Prestissimo  9:02

Frédéric Chopin

4 Variations on 'Là ci darem la mano", Op. 2  15:08
(from Mozart's Don Giovanni)

Sergei Prokofiev

5 Piano Sonata n° 3 in A Minor, Op. 28  6:53
Allegro tempestoso - Moderato - Allegro tempestoso
Moderato - Più lento - Più animato - Allegro I
Poco più mosso

Claude Debussy

Images I
6 I. Reflets dans l'eau. Andantino molto  4:13
7 II. Hommage à Rameau. Lent et grave  5:13
8 III. Mouvement. Animé  3:19

Sergei Prokofiev

Visions fugitives
9 I. Lentamente  1:02
10 III. Allegretto  0:53
11 V. Molto giocoso  0:20
12 XI. Con vivacità  1:00
13 X. Ridicolosamente  0:47
14 XVII. Poetico  1:29

Maurice Ravel

15 Alborada del gracioso (from Miroirs, n° 4)  5:48

Igor Stravinsky

16 Danse russe (from Trois mouvements de "Petrouchka", n° 1)  2:37

Johann Sebastian Bach

17 Prelude in B Minor, BWV 855a  3:09
(arr. Siloti)


Emil Gilels - p

Recorded live at Opera House, Seattle ; December 6, 1964

Benno Moiseiwitsch - Great Pianists, vol. 7

Sergei Rachmaninov adored how Benno Moiseiwitsch played his music, and the recordings that lead off this reissue tell you why. Moiseiwitsch had it all : a gorgeous, perpetually singing tone, a supple, effortless technique, and most of all, a genuine affinity for Rachmaninov’s idiom and a sixth sense for organzing the music’s swirling polyphony into clear, logical, and flowing patterns. Many of today’s pianists milk the C-sharp minor Prelude for profundities, exaggerating the dynamics and distorting the rhythms in the name of interpretation. Or they similarly pockmark the G minor Prelude’s basic march rhythm with little rubatos and mannered pauses. Moiseiwitsch was too secure and natural a musician to partake in that kind of nonesense. He also understands how Medtner’s elusive melodies ebb and flow, and he plays his G minor Sonata plus two of the Fairy Tales with minimum fuss and maximum expression. The composer (no mean piano player himself) joins Moiseiwitsch in the Round Dance for Two Pianos.

Comparing Moiseiwitsch in Kabalevsky’s derivative yet effective Third Sonata is a matter of apples and oranges. Moiseiwitsch opts for quicker basic tempos in all three movements and plays down the music’s angular bite in favor of long-lined elegance. Horowitz, by contrast, employs a wider dynamic range and more cutting, propulsive articulation. Similarly, Moiseiwitsch takes Prokofiev’s Suggestion Diabolique at a soaring clip, removing the percussive edge from the music’s piston-like rhythmic patterns. The same holds true for Khachaturian’s Toccata and Oscar Levant’s deliciously unsubtle transcription of the notorious "Sabre Dance". While Ward Marston’s transfers are clear and honest, I notice a higher than usual degree of source-material wear and tear. That said, Moiseiwitsch lovers who’ve collected previous volumes in this series need not hesitate, especially at Naxos’ budget price.
Jef Distler

Source : http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-9923/

Benno Moiseiwitsch
Great Pianists, vol. 7


Serguei Rachmaninov

1 Moment musical n° 4 in E Minor, Op. 16  2:55
2 Prelude n° 1 in C-Sharp minor ('The Bells: of Moscow'), Op. 3 n° 2  3:46
3 Prelude n° 6 in G minor, Op. 23 n° 5  3:43
4 Prelude n° 21 in B minor, Op. 32  n° 10  4:44
5 Prelude  n° 21 in B minor, Op. 32  n° 10  4:47
6 Prelude  n° 16 in G major, Op. 32  n° 5  2:15
7 Prelude  n° 23 in G-Sharp minor, Op. 32  n° 12  2:06
8 Lilacs, Op. 21  n° 5  2:35

Nikolai Medtner

Piano Sonata  n° 3 in G minor, Op. 22
9 I. Tenebroso, sempre affrettando - Allegro assai  6:25
10 II. Interludium (Andante lugubre)  4:06
11 III. Allegro assai  4:58

12 Fairy Tale in E minor, Op. 34  n°  2  2:15
13 Fairy Tale in F minor ('Russian Fairy Tales'), Op. 42 n° 1  4:55
14 Russian Round Dance ('A Tale'), Op. 58 n° 1  5:52

Dmitry Kabalevsky

Piano Sonata n° 3 in F major, Op. 46
15 I. Allegro con moto  5:54
16 II. Andante cantabile  4:07
17 III. Allegro giocoso  4:41

Serge Prokofiev

18 Suggestion diabolique (from 4 Pieces, Op. 4 n° 4)  2:36

Aram Khachaturian

19 Toccata in B-Flat Minor  4:13
20 Sabre Dance (from Gayaneh, ballet)  2:18
(arr. Levant)


Benno Moiseiwitsch - p

Recorded between March 1, 1928 & October 5, 1948

See the complete artwork

Chico Hamilton Quintet feat. Eric Dolphy

This CD features an early incarnation of Chico Hamilton’s band featuring a then unknown Eric Dolphy. Utilizing cello and guitar in the front line along with Dolphy’s multiple instrumental prowess lends an unusual air to the proceedings. Recorded just before Dolphy’s Prestige debut, one can hear his sound already fully formed. In addition to Gershman’s cello stylings, there is an ambience of familiarity for those who’ve admired Dolphy’s recordings with Ron Carter on said instrument. Nowhere near as challenging as Dolphy’s later recordings, this Hamilton led date is still a joy to hear, with its swinging West Coast vibe and almost chamber-esque feel. “Pretty Little Theme,” “Little Lost Bear,” and “Lullaby for Dreamers” are short pieces that exemplify the pseudo-classical aspect of the band. In contrast “Opening” features blistering Bop tempos while “Cawn Pawn” is a deliciously slinky Blues groove. This short but sweet set is a welcome discovery and a boon to Dolphy collectors.
Troy Collins

Source : http://www.freshsoundrecords.com/truth_-_featuring_eric_dolphy-cd-3563.html

Chico Hamilton
Featuring Eric Dolphy


1 Fat Mouth (Vance)  3:01
2 Theme for a Starlet (Keller)  2:46
3 Little Lost Bear (Krevit)  1:48
4 Champs-Elysées (Wiggins)  2:32
5 Pretty Little Theme (Hamilton)  1:51
6 Lost in the Night (Maltby)  3:18
7 Frou Frou (Young)  3:19
8 Cawn Pawn (Smith)  2:31
9 Lullaby for Dreamers (Vance)  2:59
10 Opening (Hamilton)  1:39
11 Lady E (Dolphy)  2:40
12 Truth (Drucker)  3:08


Eric Dolphy - reeds
Dennis Budimir - g
Nathan Gershman - cel
Wyatt Ruther or Ralph Peña - b
Chico Hamilton - dr

Recorded in Hollywood, California ; May 19 & 20, 1959
The material selected for these sides is a strong representation of that premise, since it is graded from Chico's jet propelled "Opening", to the moody harmonics of "Lady E". As the artistic history of jazz is written, and its components placed in perspective, the distinctive Chico Hamilton quintet will one day mark a turning point in ensemble creativity.

A Message from Richie Dick Garcia

Electric guitarist Dick Garcia taught himself the instrument at the age of nine before ever taking any lessons. He played with Tony Scott's quartet in 1950, then worked until the mid-'50s with Charlie Parker, George Shearing and Joe Roland. Garcia again played and recorded with Scott in 1955, also recording with Milt Buckner, Lenny Hambro and his own bands, while also recording with Johnny Glasel and Bobby Scott. Garcia continued into the '60s touring and recording with Shearing and Kai Winding.

Source : http://www.freshsoundrecords.com/record.php?record_id=2965

Richie "Dick" Garcia
Message from Garcia


1 Have You Met Miss Jones ? (Rodgers, Hart)  2:51
2 If I'm Lucky (Darwin, Girard)  3:58
3 Kimona My House (Garcia)  3:41
4 I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire (Durbam, Sciler, Marcus, Benjamin)  3:28
5 The Deacon (Garcia)  2:47
6 Stompin' at the Savoy (Sampson, Goodman, Webb, Razaf)  2:13
7 Like Someone in Love (Burke, VanHeusen)  5:21
8 Potatoes (Garcia)  3:18
9 It Could Happen to You (Burke, VanHeusen)  5:21
10 Ev'ry Night About This Time (Koehler, Monaco)  2:51


[# 1, 4 & 8]
Dick Garcia - g
Tony Scott - cl
John Drew - b
Camille Morin - dr
[# 2, 5, 6 & 9]
Dick Garcia - g
Gene Quill - as
Terry Pollard - p
Bill Anthony - b
Frank Isola - dr
[# 3, 7 & 10]
Dick Garcia - g
Bill Evans - p
Jerry Bruno - b
Camille Morin - dr

Recorded in New York City, 1956

Dick Garcia (1931) started playing the guitar at age 9 and by age 19 recorded with Tony Scott. Between the years 1950 and 1955 he recorded with Lenny Hambro, Joe Roland, Johnny Glasel and Milt Buckner. In 1955 he recorded his only album as leader A Message from Garcia. In 1956 Garcia made a series of sides with Joe Puma, which can be found on the ABC release, Four Most Guitars. The Garcia/Puma collaboration on I’m Old Fashioned from this record ranks with the very best of guitar duet performances. Garcia came to national prominence while playing with the George Shearing Quintet and he appeared on several Shearing recordings. Whether playing duets, leading his own small groups or playing in ensembles, Dick Garcia demonstrated enormous facility on the guitar. His work with Hambro and Glasel stood out as excellent examples of his work, from tight unison playing with Hambro to his exceptional rhythm, comping and solos.
© Copyright 2005 Classic Jazz Guitar

Source : http://classicjazzguitar.com/artists/artists_page.jsp?artist=36

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Sultry Serenade by Herbie Mann

For five of the eight cuts here, Mann has a sextet that sports an intriguing sonority — his flute stands alongside such underappreciated masters as the baritone saxophonist/bass clarinetist Jack Nimitz, trombonist Urbie Green and guitarist Joe Puma. No less a great bassist than Oscar Pettiford lays down the low-end law, while drummer Charlie Smith proves an expert with brushes on drums and cymbals. There are also three quartet dates sans Green and Nimitz. This is most definitely very fine post-bop modern jazz, with a harmonic twist or turn here and there. Mann has a pied-piper-like approach during his lone composition "Let Me Tell You," a head-nodding swing over an easy tempo. On Mann's spooky arrangement for the standard ballad "When the Sun Comes Out," the bass clarinet of Nimitz cues Smith's cymbal washes, with Green's trombone and Mann's whooshy flute making inquiring statements as the guitar embellishes with slightly wrought chords. Mann switches to bass clarinet on "Lazy Bones," paced as its title says. Nimitz is on a throaty Gerry Mulligan-esque bari with Green, collectively attaining a low-end growl, sounding like they're all ready to pounce, as Puma's snappy solo grounds the strike force. Mann (on flute) and Puma lead the easygoing Tyree Glenn-penned title track, with Nimitz's bass clarinet traipsing on eggshells for this dainty melody. The quartet tracks include "Swingin' 'Til the Girls Come Home," which proves the ultimate vehicle for Mann's lyricism, Puma's improvisational expertise, and those typical tall round notes from genius Pettiford. This date should not be forgotten as one of Herbie Mann's best.
Michael G. Nastos

Source : http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1036598&style=music&fulldesc=T

Herbie Mann
Sultry Serenade


1 Let Me Tell You (Mann)  4:25
2 When the Sun Comes Out (Arlen, Koehler)  4:55
3 Professor* (Puma)  3:43
4 Lazy Bones (Carmichael, Mercer)  7:02
5 Sultry Serenade (Tyree)  5:01
6 Little Man* (You've Had a Busy Day) (Hoffman, Sigler, Wayne)  5:10
7 One Morning in May (Carmichael)  4:03
8 Swing Till the Girls Come Home* (Pettiford)  4:52

Herbie Mann - fl, alt. fl & b cl
Jack Nimitz - b cl & bs
Urbie Green - tb
Joe Puma - g
Oscar Pettiford - b
Charlie Smith - dr
Herbie Mann - fl & alt. fl
Joe Puma - g
Oscar Pettiford - b
Charlie Smith - dr

Recorded in New York City ; April 1 & 8, 1957.

John Lewis with Gary McFarland's Orchestra - Essence

John Lewis is the creator of sounds. His aural sensitivity, wich reaches us through The Modern Jazz Quartet of wich he is musical director, may be likened to the personalized sound of the inimitable Duke Ellington orchestra. Just as Ellington utilizes the colorful sonorities of Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges and other distinguished jazzmen, John Lewis weaves the MJQ's unique sound around the genius of Milt Jackson, Percy Heath and Connie Kay. Today, the unmistakable timbre of the MJQ is a household word in jazz, and pianist-composer John Lewis is responsible for his remarkable aural refinement. Lewis' musical activities are not confined to the MJQ alone. Besides making numerous recordings, composing for films and the ballet, and founding "Orchestra USA", whose repertoire ranges from the blues and baroque music to avant-garde jazz and serial music, John Lewis alson encourages talent. When Gary McFarland was a newcomer to the jazz world in 1959, one of the few people who encouraged him was John Lewis...
From the booklet

John Lewis
Gary McFarland's Orchestra


2 Notions  4:01
6 Wish Me Well  7:46
1 Hopeful Encounter  4:41
2 Tillamook  7:12
5 Another Encounter  5:11
3 Night Float  4:20

All Compositions by Gary McFarland


[# 1, 4 & 6]
John Lewis - p
Nick Travis, Louis Mucci, Freddie Hubbard - tp
Mike Zwerin - tb
Bob Swisshelm, Bob Northern - fr hrn
Don Butterfield - tub
Billy Bean - g
Richard Davis - b
Connie Kay - dr
Recorded in New York City ; May 25, 1962
[# 2 & 5]
John Lewis - p
Harold Jones - fl
Eric Dolphy - alt fl
Phil Woods - cl
William Arrowsmith - ob
Loren Glickman - bassoon
Don Stewart - bsst hrn
Gene Allen - bar s
Jim Hall - g
Richard Davis - b
Connie Kay - dr
Recorded in New York City ; October 5, 1962
[# 3]
John Lewis - p
Eric Dolphy - as
Benny Golson - ts
Jimmy Giuffre - bar s
Herb Pomeroy - tp
Gunther Schuller - fr hrn
Jim Hall - g
George Duvivier - b
Connie Kay - dr
Recorded in New York City ; September 9, 1962

See also

Lloyd Ellis - The Fastest Guitar in the World

Lloyd Hastings Ellis was a native of Pensacola, Florida. He started his musical career in the 1930s, continued even during his service in the U.S. Navy. His guitar playing style was admired by fans and musicians alike. As a youngster, he was fascinated by the music by Django Reinhardt that he discovered on the 78rpm records. He started off on the acoustic guitar and took up the electric guitar in 1940 or so. In the late 1930s, Lloyd had a trio that was entertaining audiences in Mobile, Alabama. Another musician in that trio went on to some acclaim later in his career also - Tiny Moore. He also went on to play for Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. During World War II, he played with George Liberace's band, "Music Under The Stars". That band entertained over 500,000 troops in the Pacific. After the war was over, he settled down in Los Angeles for a while and became active in studio and club work. In 1947, he appears in Jimmie Davis' movie, "Louisiana" as part of the Sunshine Serenaders. One can see him playing his distinctive jazz guitar in a country music setting in the movie, complete with a cigarette dangling from his lips as his fingers did their magic on the guitar. He also apparently did some songwriting while he was with Jimmie Davis. He is listed as co-writer on the tune, "You Won't Be Satisfied This Way." Jimmie recorded the tune on Decca 46066. The song was also recorded by legendary Bluegrass singer, Bill Monroe.
Deciding it was time to try a different scene, Lloyd moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and hooked up with the Red Norvo Trio that also included Monk Montgomery at the Tropican Hotel on the famed Strip for about three years. After leaving the trio, he found work as a member of various hotel house bands and backed such artists as Liza Minnelli, Ann-Margaret, Barbara McNair, Eydie Gorme, Mitzi Gaynor, Vic Damone, Steve Lawrence, Robert Goulet, Page Cavanaugh, Roger Williams, PHil Harris,Don Rickles and Shecky Green. Lloyd Ellis — Four Deals He found time to record for the Capitol, Decca, Mercury, RCA, Carlton and Trey record labels.
In 1960, he recorded the album So Tall, So Cool, So There for the Trey record label (TLP 902). In 1963, he recorded with Bill Cyrils as part of his quartet that did an album for a private label, Fairmont (LP 3830) called Anytime.. Anyplace and included a line at the bottom, "Insured by Lloyds of Ellis". That group included Bill Cyrils on vibes, Lloyd Ellis on guitar and arrangements, Dan Shannon on the bass and Jimmy Kaye playing drums.
Lloyd Ellis — Bill Cyrils Around 1974, he was a member of Pete Fountain's Jazz Group where they played at the Hilton Hotel in New Orleans. During the fourteen years with Pete's group, they played at such venues as the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan; Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ; Chautaugua Institute in Chautagua, New York ; Saratoga, New York and the Blossom Music Center in Cleveland, Ohio...

Source : http://www.hillbilly-music.com/artists/story/index.php?id=14216

Lloyd Ellis
The Fastest Guitar in the World


1 Crazy Rhythm (Caesar, Kahn, Meyer)  2:06
2 Patsy (Ellis)  2:49
3 Stuffy (Hawkins)  4:06
4 Stompin' a t the Savoy (Goodman, Sampson, Webb, Razaf)  2:08
5 The Man I Love (Gershwin, Gershwin)  7:02
6 Hot Rod (Jacquet)  2:55
7 Gully Jumper (Ellis)  2:44
8 Nite Cap (Ellis)  2:55
9 Topsy (Battle, Durham)  2:56
10 When It's Sleepy Time Down South (Musi, Rene)  6:43


Lloyd Ellis - g
Tony Morell - as & fl
Jerry Christy - b
Bennie Steele - dr

Recorded early 50's

”Lloyd Ellis is something else, man. The things he does are unbelievable. Lloyd, Red Norvo, and Monk Montgomery had a drumless trio, but Lloyd's rhythum playing was so full that you'd swear you heard a drummer in there, too.” B.B. King 1975 Guitar Player Magazine Cover Story. ”Lloyd Ellis's lifelong attachment to the guitar is best put into perspective when one realizes that not only has the instrument been his sole occupation since adolescence, but that precious few guitarists alive today have been playing as long. Moreover, Ellis's playing is as vibrant today as ever.” Dan Forte - Assistant Editor Guitar Player Magazine 1986. ”Norvo is perfectly complimented by Lloyd Ellis, a fluently swinging guitarist.” Leonard Feather, Los Angeles Times. ”Lloyd Ellis is one of the tastiest soloists around, very much in the George Barnes tradition, very fleet of finger with big fat round tones and chords popping in unexpectedly but most appropriately in the course of a solo. Rhodes Spedal, Jr. “A Guide To Jazz in New Orleans

Source : http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/musician.php?id=13519

Ortega for Old Buzzards, too !

Here is a man who has played with Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Paul Bley, Quincy Jones, Don Ellis, Dinah Washington, and Ella Fitzgerald. Here is a man whose alto saxophone playing has been compared to Charlie Parker's and Ornette Coleman's — both with just cause. Here is a man whose Sixties sessions, long out of print for the most part, are revered by collectors, who hunt them down assiduously — because there have been a few people all these years who knew what Anthony Ortega was doing, and couldn't stand the idea of missing him as he did it.
He was born in 1928 : before Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman (John Coltrane and Miles Davis were two). He joined Earle Spencer's Orchestra in 1947, and Hamp's in 1951. He led his own group. He went to Europe. He gigged in New York with some of the biggest names in the business. Recognition came to them, but not to him. Only they — Dizzy, Hamp, Maynard — knew he was in their league.
He kept working, along with his wife Mona Orbeck Ortega : composing and interpreting standards as only he can : approaching them lovingly and caressing them with care, and occasionally adding the hotfoot to the mix that makes his playing so outstandingly original and unexpected. He has a beautiful tone that serves as the foundation for his outrageous versatility and ability to invest an improvisation with firepower far beyond the ordinary. He bridges the "avant garde" and the "mainstream" : he plays melodies, gorgeously, but he finds possibilities in them that lesser players overlook, or don't dare to explore.
In the Fifties and Sixties he recorded as a leader : a string of legendary and elusive discs. Best known is New Dance ! (1966), which was re-released on CD in the Nineties on hat ART and will soon appear again, to hosannas from those who have waited this long, on hatOLOGY. But it remains to be seen whether these ever reappear : modest masterpieces like Anthony Ortega (1954), Jazz for Young Moderns (1958), Man and His Horn (1961), Permutations (1966), and the later Rain Dance (1978). On the French Evidence label there are a couple of Nineties-vintage easier-to-track-down discs : On Evidence and Neuf.
Through it all, the recognition that should have been his eluded him. Was it just ? Try this : get hold of an Ortega disc and play it right after a recent recording by any contemporary alto saxophonist you care to name. That's right : any one. See who comes out with more to say with his horn. (My money's on Anthony !)
Now there is Anthony's new Hat: Scattered Clouds. It's a welcome return to the scene for a man who has in fact never been away. It's not too late to make the acquaintance of this supreme altoman.
Robert Spencer

Source : http://www.allaboutjazz.com/artists/AOrtega.htm

Anthony Ortega
Jazz for Young Moderns
(And Old Buzzards, Too)


1 Just One of Those Things (Porter)  2:53
2 Bat Man's Blues (Ortega)  4:40
3 These Foolish Things (Link, Marvell, Strachey)  4:11
4 Tune for Mona (Ortega)  3:48
5 No Fi (Ortega)  3:36
6 Four to Four (Zieff)  3:18
7 I Can't Get Started (Duke, Gershwin)  2:59
8 Cinderella's Curfew (Zieff)  6:03
9 I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You (Crosby, Washington, Young)  3:37
10 Patting (Zieff)  5:43


[# 1-5] 
Anthony Ortega - as, ts, cl & fl
John Hafer - ts
Jay Cameron - bs
Jimmy Cleveland - tb
Ray Starling - tp & mel 
Bobby Timmons - p
Ed Thigpen - d
Nat Pierce - arr.
[# 6/10] 
Anthony Ortega - as, cl & fl
Art Farmer - tp
Jim Buffington - frh
Ray Tricarico - basn
John Hafer - bcl
Dick Wetmore - vln
Ahmed Abdul-Malik - b
Bob Zieff - arr.
Recorded in New York City ; 1958/59

See also

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bruce Forman - Dedication

This disc is a culmination of a concept that I've been working on for years. It is compilation of tunes-both original and reworked standards-that exemplify some of the qualities of the great masters who have been such a profound effect on me and have guided my path throughout my years of playing. Because these artists had so much to offer, in so many ways, I found myself zeroing in on a particular aspect of their style and then added my signature to the mix. In many cases-even in the context of an original by that artist-I may have made changes that I felt best suited my style, that of the band, and strengthened what I wanted to bring forth in our evocation and respect of that person's artistry. I hope that through our efforts you will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of these talented American originals and that you enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed playing it.
"Dedication" is a tune that combines many of my favorite elements of various Strayhorn and Ellington compositions. Did anyone contribute to the wealth and direction of American music as much as these two ? Not only the breadth of their compositional genius, but Duke's ability to create pieces that brought out the most of the people he had in mind to play them. This piece's atypical yet sensible harmony and asymmetric architecture lend it an almost lopsided quality that impels it towards the climatic statement at the end of each chorus, something found throughout the music of these two geniuses. I believe that Duke Ellington is one of the people credited as saying, "Good composers borrow, great composers steal." I hope that upon listening to this, you consider me guilty of grand theft...
Bruce Forman, from the "booklet"

Source : http://www.bruceforman.com/media.html

Bruce Freeman
(Bootleg, vol. I)


1 Dedication (Strayhorn, Ellington)  5:53
2 Easy to Remember (Rodgers, Hart)  6:06
3 Caribe (Montgomery)  7:17
4 Mobile One (Forman)  6:39
5 Sweet and Lovely (Arnheim, Daniels, Tobias)  6:46
6 Visitation (Chambers)  6:27
7 Carousel (Forman)  4:57
8 Cheryl (Parker)  6:30


Bruce Forman - g
John Wiitala - b
Vince Lateano - dr

Recorded at Bellboy Studios, Richmond, CA ; November 10, 1999

Joe Newman & the Happy Cats

The title says it all. Soft Swinging Jazz pairs Joe Newman with organist Shirley Scott, bassist Eddie Jones, and Charlie Persip for a mellow, lovely session unique within the trumpeter's catalog. For starters, Newman assumes vocal duties on a handful of cuts, proving himself a fine crooner. Moreover, the spacious, nuanced arrangements afford him the room to summon some of his most intimate but impassioned solos. Not to mention that Scott's an uncommonly sympathetic collaborator, shaping and underlining the melodies to create rolling, contoured grooves with the texture of velvet. The album was reissued in 2007 on the Lonehill label alongside the subsequent The Happy Cats.
Jason Ankeny

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/soft-swinging-jazz-r144712

Joe Newman
Soft Swinging Jazz
by The Happy Cats


1 Makin' Whoopee (Donaldson, Kahn)  3:18
2 Three Little Words (Kalmar, Ruby)  2:38
3 Scotty (Scott)  4:28
4 There's a Small Hotel (Hart, Rodgers)  2:37
5 I Let a Song Go out of My Heart (Ellington, Mills, Nemo, Redmond)  3:19
6 Moonglow (DeLange, Hudson, Mills)  3:39
7 Organ Grinder's Song (Hudson, Mills, Parish)  3:01
8 Rosetta (Hines, Woods)  3:35
9 Too Marvelous for Words (Mercer, Whiting)  3:07
10 The Farmer's Daughter (Arlen, Harburg)  2:59
11 Save Your Love for Me (Johnson)  3:56
12 The Happy Cats (Newman)  3:08
13 Cocktails for Two (Coslow, Johnston)  2:53
14 Later for the Happenings (Acea)  3:39
15 Buttercup (Powell)  4:04
16 Robbin's Nest (Jacquet, Thompson)  4:25
17 They Can't Take That Away from Me (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:18
18 Feather's Nest (Wilkins)  3:46
19 Mean to Me (Ahlert, Turk)  3:00
20 Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Arlen, Koehler)  3:34
21 Joe's Tune (Newman)  3:19
22 I Never Knew (Fio, Rito)  3:31


[# 1-11] Joe Newman Quartet feat. Shirley Scott
Joe Newman - tp & voc [# 1, 4, 5 & 10]
Shirley Scott - org
Ernie Wilkins - p [# 11 only]
Eddie Jones - b
Charlie Persip - dr
Recorded in New York ; January 13 [#1, 3, 8 & 9] & 17 [# 4-7], 1958
[# 12-22] Joe Newmann Sextet
Joe Newman - tp
Frank Rehak - tb
Frank Wess - ts & fl
Adriano "Johnny" Acea - p
Eddie Jones - b
Conrad "Connie" Kay - dr
Recorded in New York ; January 7 [# 13, 16, 18 & 22] & 8 [# 12, 14, 15, 17, 19-21], 1957

Contains two complete 1957 and 1958 Coral albums :
Soft Swingin' Jazz
The Happy Cats
Both albums never previously released on CD !
This issue reunites two excellent discs recorded in 1957 and 1958, respectively, by the versatile and swinging trumpeter Joe Newman.
The first album present an unusual and stimulating quartet directed by Newman and featuring the excellent and forceful organist Shirley Scott, with bassist Eddie Jones, drummer Charlie Persip and in one title Ernie Wilkins on piano.
The other album offer a sextet date with two guests of honor — saxophonist and flautist Frank Wess and trombonist Frank Rehak — and a great rhythm section — Johnny Acea on piano, Eddie Jones on bass, and Connie Kay on drums — interpreting magnificent arrangements by Ernie Wilkins, Al Cohn and Quincy Jones.

Source : http://www.freshsoundrecords.com/soft_swingino_jazz_by_the_happy_cats-cd-4249.html

Alfred Cortot - The Complete Acoustic HMV Recordings (1923)

As to his records, many have likened Cortot’s mastery of Chopin and Schumann to Schnabel’s of Beethoven and Schubert. He set down the Chopin Préludes four times, the Ballades three times, and the Etudes, Sonatas (N° 2 & 3) and Waltzes twice. There is a post-war set of the complete Mazurkas that only ever appeared in a limited cassette edition, Scherzos that never saw the light of day beyond the borders of japan, and three versions each of Schumann’s Carnaval, Piano Concerto and Debussy’s Children’s Corner Suite. Works recorded (mostly) once include concertos by Chopin, Saint-Saéns, Bach, Ravel and Brahms (the last as conductor) ; sonatas by Liszt and Weber ; miscellaneous pieces by Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, Handel, Bach, Scriabin and others ; piano trios by Schubert, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Haydn; Beethoven Variations with Pablo Casals ; violin sonatas by Fauré, Franck, Debussy and Beethoven with Jacques Thibaud, and Debussy songs with Maggie Teyte. And although Cortot’s reluctance to practice resulted in countless minor technical slip-ups (nearly always in fairly undemanding passages), his bounding spontaneity provided immeasurable compensation for those not pre-occupied with surface perfection. Cortot’s elegant phrasing, his bell-like tone, lively approach to rhythm and unique rubato make his records — or most of them — indelibly memorable and immediately recognizable. In his hands, Children’s Corner has irrepressible élan (especially in this, his very first recording of the Suite), the Serenade for the Doll, an excitable address rather than the intimate exchange implied by, say, Horowitz. Then there’s Camaval, a dazzling side-show splashed with colour, even though this, Cortot’s earliest and most overtly brilliant recorded performance of the score, omits both "Répliques" and "Sphinxs". The Concerto is again ebullient and stylishly phrased, although reference back to Cortot’s second recording (also under Landon Ronald, 1927 — on Biddulph LHW 003) reminds us of an even finer "Intermezzo". Both versions feature an explosive transition from the second to third movements, wild and wilful but endearingly individual — the sort of gesture that makes even the dustiest of Cortot’s 78s sound freshly improvised, and a welcome contrast to the sanitized perfection of so many modern recordings. Long may his artistry survive.
Robert Cowan, from the booklet

Alfred Cortot
The Complete Acoustic
HMV Recordings


Robert Schumann

Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
1 I. Allegro affettuoso  14:08
2 II. Intermezzo. Andantino grazioso  4:45
3 III. Allegro vivace  9:55

Carnaval, Op. 9
4 Préambule. Quasi maestoso  2:12
5 Pierrot. Moderato  1:10
6 Arlequin. Vivo  1:01
7 Valse noble. Un poco maestoso  1:14
8 Eusebius. Adagio  1:24
9 Florestan. Passionato  0:45
10 Coquette. Vivo  0:39
11 Papillons. Prestissimo  0:42
12 A.S.C.H.-S.C.H.A. (Lettres dansantes). Presto  0:31
13 Chiarina. Passionato  0:43
14 Chopin. Agitato  1:15
15 Estrella. Con affetto  0:24
16 Reconnaissance. Animato  1:39
17 Pantalon et Colombine. Presto  0:47
18 Valse allemande. Molto vivace  0:32
19 Paganini (Intermezzo). Presto  1:05
20 Aveu. Passionato  0:57
21 Promenade. Con moto  2:23
22 Pause. Vivo  0:14
23 Marche des Davidsbündler contre les Philistins. Non allegro  3:16

Claude Debussy

Children's Corner
petite suite pour piano seul
24 Doctor Gradus ad parnassum  1:54
25 Jimbo's lullaby  2:36
26 Serenade of the Doll  1:51
27 The Snow is dancing  2:30
28 The Little Shepherd  2:06
29 Golliwoog's Cake Walk  2:40

30 La Cathédrale engloutie. Profondément calme  4:52
(Préludes, book 1, n° 10)


Alfred Cortot - p
Albert Hall Orchestra/Landon Ronald - dir. [# 1-3]

Recorded at Hayes, (UK) ; November 1 & December 3, 1923 ; [# 1-3] ; London ; May 12, 1923 [# 4-23] ; & May 12 (or December 18), 1923 [# 24-30]

The Guitars Unlimited Play with Django Reinhardt

Some wise cats will probably be surprised by the release of a new recording by the French gypsy guitarist who passes away some twenty years ago and was buried in Fontainebleau, France, in May 1953. Unless you believe in ghosts, this requires some explanation.
In fact, this album must be considered as a delayed tribute by two admirers of the late guitarist and the mixture of genuine guitar solos recorded two months before he died, plus a new musical background recorded by the Guitars Unlimited, a French experimental guitar quintet featuring some of the best local instrumentalists who usually play band arrangements such as did the once famous Lambert-Hendricks-Ross vocal trio in America.
Purists might object and consider such an experience as iconoclastic. I personally would be pretty reluctant to admit such attempts which are open to the most disgraceful extravaganzas. But in this particular case — how good or bad you will discover for yourself — the experience was worth trying, because those who have tried it were all Django's devotees who, at one time or another, where related to Django, and because their final goal was to pay him a respectful and admiring tribute.
Thanks to this, the arrangements played by the Guitars Unlimited, recorded in 1968, never interfere with Reinhardt's solo work, and blend as well as if they all played together...
Charles Delaunay, sleeves notes from Django Reinhardt, Swing it Ligtly (Columbia C 31479)

Django Reinhardt
Joue avec les
Guitars unlimited


1 Nuages (Reinhardt)  3:16
2 Night and Day (Porter)  2:50
3 September Song (Weill)  2:33
4 Confessin' (Neilburg, Dougherty, Reynolds)  3:49
5 Testament (Reinhardt)  1:48
6 Brazil (Barroso)  2:31
7 Manoir de mes Rêves (Reinhardt)  2:38
8 Blues for Ike (Reinhardt)  3:15
9 Insensiblement (Misraki)  3:03
10 Gipsy with a Song (Reinhardt)  2:27


Original sessions
[# 1-4 & 6-9] Clef/Blue Star Sessions
Django Reinhardt - g
Maurice Vander - p
Pierre Michelot - b
Jean-Louis Viale - dr
Recorded at Studio "B" Pathé-Marconi Magellan, Paris VIIIe ; March 10, 1953
[# 10] Blue Star Sessions
Hubert Rostaing - cl
Django Reinhardt - g
Joseph Reinhardt - g
Emmanuel Soudieux - b
André Jourdan - dr
Recorded at Studio Lutetia, Paris XVIIe ; October 4, 1947
The Guitars Unlimited
Francis Le Maguer - g
Pierre Cullaz - g
Raymond Gimenes - g
Paul Piguillem - g
Tony Rallo - g
Rhythm Section
[# 1 & 4]
Raymond Le Sénéchal - p
Pierre Michelot - b
André Arpino - dr
[# 3]
Maurice Vander - p
Paul Rovère - b
André Arpino - dr
[# 2, 5 & 10]
Same as above, except
Raymond Le Sénéchal - p, replaces Vander
[# 6, 7 & 8]
Same as above
[# 9]
Same as above, except
Jean-Louis Viale - dr, replaces Arpino
Recorded at Studio Hoche, Paris ; between April 25 & October 7, 1968