Friday, March 14, 2014

John Benson Brooks - Alabama Concerto

Musical survival depending upon stylistic idiosyncrasies and economic tradewinds, cats who'd found their own were making it. Yet it wasn't until the middle Fifties when Barry Galbraith got Jack Lewis at RCA/Victor to listen to some of my stuff that we cut Folk Jazz, USA (with Zoot Sims on alto and Al Cohn on nari - quelle suprise !) I'd come to the studio in a cold sweat but left in a seraphic swoon and soon as I got my hot hands on the actual album laid it on Keepnews at Riverside (Down by the Riverside, right ?) who 'lowed as how it was clear there was no fortne to be made on my piano playing - but the dug the guys and the music and did I have any more ?
Well I'd benn working on a transcribing black folk music from tapes made on a filed trip by Harold Courlander. His anthropological hunch that there existed a community in west central Alabama that still had its oral music traditions intact was beautifully confirmed by these tapes and academic reviewers were writring about this music being the first "microscopic" collection of rural American music, of its relations to slavery and the prewar platation system, etc., but to me (a songwriter, piano player, arranger, and would-be jazz composer) they were the most heavenly and hilarious Tall Tales, Sermons, Spirituals, Work Songs, Children's Game Songs, Lullabies, Chants, Moans, and Blues that I'd never believed existed - and they deserved a New Wolrd Symphony...
However, that would have had to come someone other than myself. Where music was really at for me was best said by George Russell (on the back of his first album in 1956) : "Either refine and reshape traditionally learned techniques or construct new techniques to capture and enhance the vital improvisational forces." Such was the way in that day and as I emerged with the Alabama Concerto after six months in solitary. O. Keepnews upped the vital improvisational force potential by introducing Cannonball, whom he was about to put on the moon...
Some new comments by John Benson Brooks, from the booklet

John Benson Brooks
Alabama Concerto


First Movement
1 Themes :
The Henry John Story - Green, Green Rocky Road  4:49
Job's Red Wagon
2 The Henry John Story (return) - Green, Green Rocky Road (return)  3:17
3 Job's Red Wagon (return)  3:07

Second Movement
4 Themes : Trampin' - The Loop / Trampin' (return)  7:54
5 The Loop (return)  2:25

Third Movement
6 Theme : Little John Shoes  3:09
7 Theme : Milord's Callin ' - Little John Shoes (return)  5:06
Milord's Callin' (return)

Fourth Movement
8 Themes :
Blues for Christmas - Rufus Playboy  7:33
Grandma's Coffin - Blues for Christmas (return)
9 Grandma's Coffin (return) - Rufus Playboy (return)  5:07
Grandma's Coffin (2nd return)

All compositions by John Benson Brooks


Julian "Cannonball" Adderley - as
Art Farmer - tp
John Benson Brooks - p [# 6]
Barry Galbraith - g
Milt Hinton - b

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York ; July 28 & 31, & August 25, 1958


Melanchthon said...

Eric said...

When you went private my heart broke, but now that you have let me back in I am happy.

This is an interesting album. Thank you

AmyBRAINS said...

A gem!!
Many thanks, Melanchthon.


thanks alot mate

steve said...

I thought I had seen all of Farmers 50's production. Thanks for this listen Mel.

rowland said...

Thanks very much for the post..

Luis said...

Many thanks, Mel.

reincidente said...

Mel, your uploaded music always amazing as you know! Thanks a lot for all...

jose arboleda said...

Muchas gracias.

jazzcat1228 said...

This looks interesting. Thank you, Mel!

Jonah Anderson said...

Howdy there! I would love to be able to open the file and listen to this album. Been looking for it a for a goodly long while. How can I prove my worth to have the password?

Guitarradeplastico your favorite musician said...

please re-up