Sunday, March 3, 2013

Red Norvo Trio (feat. Tal Farlow) - The Savoy Sessions

One of the first great improvisers on the xylophone and marimba, Red Norvo was also one of the few swing-era stars to make a successful transition to the harmonic and rhythmic challenges of bebop (he recorded with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie in 1945). By that time he had switched up to a vibraphone--a more versatile instrument with its amplified sound and sustain pedal--but his steely rhythmic articulation always reflected his experiences as an acoustic mallet player.
THE RED NORVO TRIO WITH TAL FARLOW AND CHARLES MINGUS chronicles his 1950-51 recordings with the innovative guitarist and bass player, and are among the most influential examples of what has come to be known as chamber jazz. When economic conditions made touring with a sextet impossible, Norvo decided to dispense with a rhythm section. In Farlow and Mingus he found players who shared his fascination with sophisticated harmonies, and were able to hang with him at the brisk tempos he favored.
Thanks to their elaborately crafted arrangements, the trio created a full orchestral dimension and a powerful rhythmic thrust. On "Prelude To A Kiss," Mingus' rich arco work triggers several cunning thematic variations, while Norvo's tart dissonances behind Farlow's solo create a harmonic tension which is only resolved during his own improvisation--together, they create a series of fanciful motifs behind Mingus' solo. Denzel Best's "Move" is driven along by Mingus' articulate, up-tempo melodic variations, as Norvo and Farlow navigate his equestrian changes with imperturbable refinement. Farlow's witty percussive effects on "Night And Day" and Mingus' flamboyant bowing on "Time And Tide" make it seem as if the musicians are playing with roses between their teeth. From the classical grandeur of "I'll Remember April" to the boppish drive "Godchild" and "Swedish Pastry," the wit and technical range of this band is phenomenal.

Source :

Red Norvo Trio
Tal Farlow
The Savoy Sessions


1 I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me (Gaskill, McHugh)  2:50
2 Time and Tide (Bilder)  2:32
3 Little White Lies (Donaldson, Jones, Kempster, Myer, Ray)  3:43
4 Prelude to a Kiss (Ellington, Gordon, Mills)  4:01
5 Move (Best)  2:35
6 September Song (Anderson, Weill)  3:26
7 I'm Yours (Blair, Green, Harburg, Robertson)  4:01
8 I Get a Kick Out of You (Porter)  2:24
9 Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart (Hanley)  3:25
10 Cheek to Cheek (Berlin)  2:40
11 Night and Day (Porter)  4:01
12 Godchild (Wallington)  4:02
13 Mood Indigo (Bigard, Ellington, Mills)  3:28
14 If I Had You (Campbell, Connelly, Shapiro)  4:05
15 'Deed I Do (Hirsch / Fred Rose)  1:50
16 I'll Remember April (DePaul, Johnston, Johnsto, Raye)  3:18
17 This Can't Be Love (Hart, Rodgers)  2:24
18 I've Got You Under My Skin (Porter)  2:21
19 Swedish Pastry (Kessel)  2:26
20 Have You Met Miss Jones ? (Hart, Rodgers)  2:58


[# 2, 10 & 11]
Red Norvo - vb
Tal Farlow - g
Charles Mingus - b
Recorded in Los Angeles, California ; May 3, 1950
[# 1, 3-6, 8, 9, 16-20]
Same as above
Recorded in Chicago ; October, 31, 1960
[# 7, 12 & 14]
Same as above
Recorded in Los Angeles, California ; April 13, 1951
[# 4, 13 & 15]
Same as above
Date and location unknown


Melanchthon said...

danair said...

Thanks Mel not heard this for a while.

marcusr said...

Thank You very-very much!

reindeer man said...

Mingus and Farlow backing up! Something special. Thanks for this post!

CrunchyFrog said...

never heard this before - thanks for the opportunity!

Andy said...

Paul Rogers speaks highly of this so I must check it out. Thanks very much for the chance to.