Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The First Esquire Concert (1944)

The First Esquire Jazz Concert was an all-star event held in 1944 at the Metropolitan Opera House to honor winners (including first and second place honorees) in the magazine's jazz poll. In addition to being broadcast, it was preserved on transcription discs and reissued many times over the years with different excerpts of the evening's program. Some of the highlights include "Sweet Lorraine" (Art Tatum with Al Casey, Oscar Pettiford, and Sid Catlett), "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me" and "Billie's Blues" (Billie Holiday), and a lengthy jam on "I Got Rhythm" featuring Red Norvo (on xylophone), Coleman Hawkins, Louis Armstrong, Barney Bigard, Jack Teagarden, and Roy Eldridge with the rhythm section. At times the piano is not clearly heard and there are brief interruptions by the broadcast host to introduce some of the soloists, but the sound quality is quite remarkable for the period.
Ken Dryden

Source :

The First


Cd. 1

1 Esquire Blues (Feather) 5:06
2 Mop Mop (Hawkins) 4:51
3 Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me (Ellington, Russell) 3:46
4 I Love My Man (Holiday) 4:18
5 I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Fileds, McHugh) 3:41
6 I Got A Right to Sing the Blues (Koehler, Arlen) 3:52
7 Sweet Lorraine (Parish, Burwell) 3:37
8 I Got Rhythm (Gershwin) 9:08
9 The Blues (Feather) 3:09
10 We All Drink "Coca Cola" (Joy) 1:26
11 Esquire Bounce (Feather) 2:00
12 Rockin' Chair (Carmichael) 3:30
13 Basin Street Blues (Williams) 4:44
14 I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You) (Turk, Ahlert) 1:44
15 Tea for Two (Youmans, Caesar) 4:19


Cd. 2

1 Back o' Town Blues (Armstrong, Russell) 3:37
2 Muskrat Ramble (Ory) 2:45
3 Buck Jumpin' (Casey, Waller) 3:00
4 Stompin' at the Savoy (Sampson) 3:24
5 For Bass Faces Only (Pettiford) 5:31
6 My Ideal (Robin, Whiting, Chase) 3:26
7 Rose Room (Hickman, Williams) 5:35
8 I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling (Faller, Link, Rose) 3:24
9 More Than You Know (Youmans, Rose, Eliscu) 3:58
10 Squeeze Me (Waller) 2:50
11 Honeysuckle Rose (Waller, Razaf) 1:51
12 Flying Home (Hampton) 12:26
13 Jamming the Vibes (?) 4:37
14 The Star Spangled Banner (Smith, Key) 1:41

Featuring Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard, Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum, Teddy Wilson, Al Casey, Oscar Pettiford, Sid Catlett, Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Billie Holiday, Mildred Bailey.

Recorded in Performance at Metropolitan Opera House, New York ; January 18, 1944
Esquire magazine sponsored its first jazz concert at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1944 to honor first- and second-place winners in its newly established annual jazz poll, though the concert was used as a fund-raiser to sell war bonds, with excerpts eventually ending up on V-Discs. It was recorded onto transcription discs and broadcast, and has been issued on various albums and CDs with different combinations of songs. This second volume issued by Jazz Unlimited has many highlights, including a romp through "Stompin' at the Savoy" in which Art Tatum's genius at the piano steals the show; bassist Oscar Pettiford's blues "For Bass Faces Only" (also featuring Roy Eldridge and Coleman Hawkins); and a lengthy jam of "Flying Home" that showcases Louis Armstrong, Eldridge, Lionel Hampton, and Tatum. This essential all-star live recording from 1944 is of important historical significance and should be considered essential for swing fans, in spite of some occasional spots where the rhythm section isn't as audible as it should be.
Ken Dryden

Source :


OldHippieRick said...

gee whiz another gem Thanks as always

deGallo said...

Thank you. Historic indeed!

Rio Veneno said...

Hi, the files needs a pasword. Can you provide? Thanks in advance!!!

Melanchthon said...

ita diegues said...

Gracias Melanchthon.

AmyBRAINS said...

I love this Great Concert!!
Many, many thanks, Melanchthon.

jazzcat1228 said...

Thank you, Mel!

brian said...

maybe some reup!