Thursday, September 7, 2017

Jess Stacy - Chronological Classics (1951-1956)

The third installment in the Classics chronological overview of recordings issued under the name of pianist Jess Stacy traces a time line from March 16, 1951, to March 3, 1956, with recordings made exclusively in Los Angeles, CA. It opens with eight titles recorded for Brunswick by Stacy, guitarist George Van Eps, bassist Morty Corb, and drummer Nick Fatool. This quartet's marvelous integrity is strongly in evidence on Rodgers & Hart's "You Took Advantage of Me" and endures throughout each of the ensemble members' subsequent collaborations. Tracks nine through 18 were recorded for Atlantic during April 1954 by two different nine-piece Benny Goodman reunion bands under the leadership of Jess Stacy. With all due respect to tenor saxophonists Babe Russin and Vido Musso, the real star of these swinging sessions was front-line trumpeter Ziggy Elman. According to Classics producer Anatol Schenker, these miniature big-band recordings (including a rendition of Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye" lasting 50 seconds and a tiny take of "Let's Dance" that clocks out at less than half a minute) were only released to the public following the success of the sentimentalist motion picture The Benny Goodman Story. Stacy recorded four more titles (including a blues dedicated to jazz critic Otis Ferguson) for Atlantic on October 6, 1955, this time with bassist Artie Shapiro and drummer Nick Fatool. Stacy and Fatool also recorded four duets (on themes composed by Stacy) for Brunswick on March 3, 1956. This all adds up to one of the most enjoyable Jess Stacy compilations ever assembled by anyone, especially as the range of instrumentation — duet, trio, quartet, and nonet — illuminates him as a wonderfully adaptable improviser.
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Source :

Jess Stacy
Chronological Classics


1 You Took Advantage of Me (Hart, Rodgers)  2:35
2 Fascinating Rhythm (Gershwin)  2:12
3 I Can't Get Started (Duke, Gershwin)  2:55
4 I Want to Be Happy (Caesar, Youmans)  2:45
5 Indiana (Hanley, MacDonald)  2:34
6 Stars Fell on Alabama (Parish, Perkins)  2:57
7 If I Could Be with You (Creamer, Johnson)  2:29
8 Oh, Baby (Murphy)  2:49
9 Roll 'Em (Williams)  4:00
10 Where or When (Hart, Rodgers)  2:56
11 Sing, Sing, Sing (Prima)  3:17
12 Let's Dance (Baldridge, Bonime, Stone)  0:25
13 Goodbye (Jenkins)  0:52
14 King Porter Stomp (Morton)  4:27
15 Don't Be That Way (Goodman, Parish, Sampson)  3:16
16 Sometimes I'm Happy (Caesar, Grey, Youman)  3:21
17 When Buddha Smiles (Brown, Freed, Zany)  2:34
18 Down South Camp Meeting (Henderson)  3:04
19 You Turned the Tables on Me (Alter, Mitchell)  2:53
20 I Must Have That Man (DeRose)  3:18
21 Gee, Ain't I Good to You (Redman)  2:31
22 Blues for Otis Ferguson (Stacy)  3:44
23 Boo-Boos for Bob (Stacy)  3:17
24 Ec-Stacy (Stacy)  3:08
25 Complainin' (Stacy)  2:20
26 Ain't Goin' Nowhere (Stacy)  2:37


[# 1-8]
Jess Stacy - p
George Van Eps - g
Morty Corb - b
Nick Fatool - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; March 16 & April 10, 1951 [# 5-8]
[# 9-14]
Ziggy Elman - tp
Murray McEachern - tb
Heinie Beau - as & cl
Vido Musso - ts
Chuck Gentry - bs
Jess Stacy - p
Allan Reuss - g
Artie Shapiro - b
Nick Fatool - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; April 15, 1954
[# 15-18]
Ziggy Elman - tp
Ted Vasely - tb
Heinie Beau - as & cl
Babe Russin - ts
Joe Koch - bs
Al Hendrickson - g
Jess Stacy - p
Artie Shapiro - b
Nick Fatool - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; April 28, 1954
[# 19-26]
Jess Stacy - p
Artie Shapiro - b [out # 23-26]
Nick Fatool - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; October 6, 1955 & March 3, 1956 [# 23-26]


zero said...

Great to top off the Stacy CC's. Thanks a lot!

Rick said...

Hi Mel. Thanks for this. I'm looking forward to hearing Van Eps in a group, especially with another chord instrument (piano) to find out how he plays.

DEEP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rm said...

merci beaucoup

Foth said...

Thank-you...I'd never heard of Jess Stacey before but really enjoyed your earlier post of his work. You never fail to amaze me with your treasures!

duck said...

what a great selection of musicians, especially George Van Eps, always one of my favourite guitarists, thanks again Mel

Kovina Kris said...

Thank you Mel for the introduction to this pianist!

greenishthing said...

"piano solo with rhythm accompaniment" says the cover... that's a novelty?

glinka21 said...

Thanks for this. As always, rare and insightful.

deGallo said...

Really nice! Thank you,

Mike said...

Once again in your debt! Thanks for this.

steve said...

Awesome Mel . . . Thanks for this listen!

Melanchthon said...

slr in tx said...

A thousand thanks for the Stacy sides, Mel! Your site is, head and shoulders, the best of its kind on the whole bleedin' internet, (but that's just stating the obvious).