Friday, January 15, 2016

Red Norvo Trio - Complete Recordings (Tal Farlow & Red Mitchell)

At first glance, the album cover may be misleading. You may think it means that the CD contains the complete recordings of the Red Norvo Trio. But in fact this is only a slice (albeit a very good one) from the work of various trios that Red Norvo led in the 1950s. The most famous trio included Charlie Mingus as bassist, who was with the group in 1950 and 1951. An LP by that trio called "Move" has been one of my cherished possessions for many years.
These recordings come from 1952 and 1955, when the bassist was Red Mitchell — a virtuoso on the double bass. He is an integral part of the trio, where the three musicians carried equal weight. Red Norvo had an interesting career : starting on marimba and xylophone and only moving to the vibraphone in the forties. He led many bands of his own but this group (in its various manifestations) was probably the highspot of his whole career.
This CD contains all the music from the LP Red Norvo with Strings (1955) as well as four tracks recorded at that session but never released, and another three 1952 tracks. Thus the album includes all the recordings by this particular line-up of the trio, making a total of 72 minutes of fascinating music. By the way, the title Red Norvo with Strings is a parody of the jazz albums with strings that were around at the time. The only strings on this album are those on the guitar and bass.
Brian Priestley compares Norvo's trio to the piano/guitar/bass trios led by such people as Nat Cole and Art Tatum. And indeed this trio has the integration and interplay characteristic of those groups. For example, in the opening track, "Who Cares ?", note how the guitar and vibes run down the scale together at the end of the tune. Red Norvo contributes a swinging solo on this track, but the most remarkable thing is the arrangement, which makes subtle use of all three musicians, both as soloists and accompanists. Similarly, listen to the counterpoint between the three instruments that introduces Sweet Georgia Brown.
The theme of "Let's Fall in Love" is stated by Tal Farlow at the top of the guitar's range and he adds a gentle solo. The trio often plays quietly, with due respect for dynamics, turning up the volume (but never to excess) for the more extrovert bits. In fact this is a sort of chamber jazz, which anticipates the subtlety of the Modern Jazz Quartet. The guitar accompanies the vibes solos and vice versa, while Red Mitchell lays down a solid foundation for all the music, as well as supplying cogent solos of his own. Most tracks include clever counter-melodies behind the main tunes. And Tal Farlow fills in for the missing drummer by beating on the body of his guitar in "How Am I To Know ?" and "What Is This Thing Called Love ?"
This is an album that is worth at least three listens : to hear what each musician is doing. But first just listen to the whole group and rejoice in its gloriously pure cohesion, its ability to swing with such minimal resources, and the vital contributions of all three members. Who said that the Bill Evans Trio was the first where the bassist was an equal partner ? 
Tony Augarde

Source : http://www.musicweb-international.com/jazz/2012/Red_Norvo_99039.htm

Red Norvo
Trio
Complete Recordings
with
Tal Farlow & Red Mitchell

Tracks

1 Whos Cares ? (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:34
2 Let's fall in Love (Arlen, Koehler)  5:48
3 Old Devil Moon (Lane, Harburg)  4:57
4 Cabin in the Sky (LaTouche, Duke)  3:38
5 How Am I to Know ? (Parker, King)  4:40
6 That Old Black Magic (Arlen, Mercer)  4:27
7 What is this Thing Called Love ? (Porter)  5:00
8 I Brung You Finjans for Your Zarf (Norvo, Farlow)  2:33
9 My Funny Valentine (Rodgers, Hart)  5:16
10 Lullaby of Birdland (Shearing)  4:17
11 Farewell to Alms (Farlow)  5:23
12 Rea for Two (Youmans, Caesar)  5:07
13 Lullaby of the Leaves (Petkere)  5:25
14 Sweet Georgia Brown (Bernie, Casey, Pinkard)  3:55
15 Tenderly (Gross, Lawrence)  2:51
16 I Remember You (Schertzinger, Mercer)  3:25
17 Skylark (Carmichael, Mercer)  3:18

*

Personnel
Red Norvo - vb
Tal Farlow - g
Red Mitchell - b

Recorded in Hollywood, California ; October 6 [# 3, 7, 9-10 & 12-14] ; & October 7 [# 1-2, 4-6, 8 & 11], 1955. Recorded in Los Angeles, California, July 1 [# 15] ; & October 16 [# 16-17], 1952

33 comments:

L.O.L. said...

Thanks. ;)

jazzfriend said...

Thanks Melanchthon for this great album.

Saludos desde Chile.

deGallo said...

Thank you for Norvo-Farlow. Very nice!

ita diegues said...

Thank you Melanchthon.

zero said...

Cool. Not much overlap with the Prestige release. Thanks!

Orbyt said...

Thanks for the 'Complete Recordings.'

boro boy said...

Great CD. Saw Norvo and Farlow in concert in the UK many years ago - a memorable performance with incredible interplay. Your upload will enable me to recall the pleasure of that concert. Many thanks.

moha said...

It fixes a hole in my discography, thanks Mel!

stringbender said...

Hi Mel. Thank you very much for posting this sensational Red Norvo side. I had the LP many moons ago but lost it. Its great to hear this again!

marcusr said...

Thank you very much for this delicious album, Melanchthon.

Murilo said...

Thanks man, i've just added this site to my blogroll at www.etcjazz.blogspot.com.

neil said...

Nice one, mel; great gap-filler...

Grover Gardner said...

What a great find, thank you! Is there a password needed for the compressed file?

L.O.L. said...

pass is on the top corner of this site. you must download de word PW ;)

SlimStew said...

thanks M!-'specially for the fabulous Red Mitchell.

Blue Eyes said...

Farlowlipopette! thank you for this complete session Mel!

Zape said...

Big thank you Mel!

Rick said...

Red Norvo Trio - Complete Recordings (Tal Farlow & Red Mitchell)
Thanks Mel for the Tal. Time to listen to him making guitar percussion.

jazztap said...

merci

Adrian said...

Thanks a lot for the fine collection.
Please consider in using in embedupload also the most reliable zyppyshare.
Thank you.

xaver said...

thanks! wonderfull album.

Boletus Joe said...

I'll take Tal Farlow anyway I can.... Thanks for this

glinka21 said...

I've had the Savoy Sessions since they first appeared on LP, but not this. Thanks very much!

jazzcat1228 said...

I look forward to hearing this version of the trio. The trio with Mingus Savoy Sessions you have up are a great listen. It will be interesting to see how Red Mitchell is vs. Mingus. Thank you, Mel for this great share.

Melanchthon said...

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musician3 said...

AMAZING.....................THANK YOU FOR ALL

francisco santos said...

BIG THX !...

ProfessorCalculus said...

Fantastic...many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks, Mel! Anything with Red Mitchell is worth hearing.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

Otis Foster said...

Nice to have a second chance to grab the brass ring. Thnx mel.

Fred Archtop said...

Thanks Mel !

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks Mel!