Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Eddie Thompson, Dave Lee, Dennis Wilson Dill Jones Piano Moods

I am so old that I can remember the EP - a form of extended-play record which was around from the 1950s for several decades, and was like a single (with a diameter of seven inches) but usually contained four tracks instead of two. It virtually disappeared when the compact disc arrived, but it was a useful type of record as it offered the chance to sample an artist's work without making musicians feel that they had to produce enough tracks to fill a CD.
In the 1950s, quite a number of EPs were issued under the title Piano Moods, and this CD assembles several of them to remind us about four of the top British pianists of that period.
First up is Eddie Thompson, who studied the piano at the same time and at the same schools as George Shearing (the Lindon Lodge School for the Blind in Wandsworth and later in Swiss Cottage). Like Shearing, he emigrated to the USA, but for a shorter period : from 1962 to 1972. He became well-loved as a resourceful pianist who (like George Shearing) had a likeable sense of humour. This humour is evident in several tracks here - most notably in "Body and Soul", which includes references to Barwick Green (the theme tune for the radio serial The Archers), "Yes", "We Have No Bananas", "How Much is That Doggie in the Window ?" and a famous newsreel signature tune. Eddie's passion for quotations leads him astray in "Perdido", where a quote from Pretty Baby is fumbled. But these tracks illustrate not only his playfulness but also his expert technique.
Dave Lee is a pianist who possibly became better known as a composer and arranger, writing music for films, TV and revues (including Goodness Gracious Me for Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren !). His two mid-tempo tracks here betray the strong influence of Erroll Garner. Dennis Wilson contributes a medley of four tunes associated with the Duke Ellington band. He performs them with a certain amount of elaboration, but the presence of guitarist Jack Llewellyn adds some welcome variety after continuous trios of piano, bass and drums.
More than half the album's 21 tracks are devoted to Dill Jones, another British pianist who emigrated to the States (he lived in New York from 1961 until his death in 1984). The first four tracks from Dill are by his trio and exemplify his wide range of tastes and styles: a tune by Al Haig ("Opus Caprice"), a standard (Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays"), a classic from the 1920s (Bix Beiderbecke's "In a Mist") and an original composition (Rufus). Dill takes In a Mist at a more measured pace than Bix's original, with some different flourishes.
More variety is provided by the addition of extra members to Dill Jones's trio for tracks 15 to 18. The main attractions in this line-up are the glorious tenor sax of Duncan Lamont and the trombone-like bass trumpet of Ray Premru. Paul's Pal is a tune by Sonny Rollins which sounds strangely familiar to me, although I can't place why. Perhaps it's just from hearing it on Sonny's album Tenor Madness ; it is certainly a memorable piece. The quintet's version of "Jordu" hasn't quite got the bite of the classic interpretation by Max Roach and Clifford Brown. The drums here and elsewhere tend to be recorded very low in the mix, which dulls the impact of some tracks.
The album finishes with three more tunes by the Dill Jones Trio, including a comparatively fast version of "Moonglow", which demonstrates the drive and imagination of Dill's piano playing. And "Viper's Drag" proves his facility in stride piano.
This album is a salutary reminder of the talent among British pianists of the 1950s - a talent which is often overlooked.
Tony Augarde

Source : http://www.musicweb-international.com/jazz/2010/Eddie_Thompson_CDNJT5311.htm

Eddie Thompson
Dave Lee
Dennis Wilson
Dill Jones
Piano Moods


Eddie Thompson Trio
1 Body and Soul (Green)  6:45
2 Perdido (Tizol)  3:54
3 Rose Room (Williams, Hickman)  3:24
4 I’ve Got a Pocketful of Dreams (Monaco, Burke)  3:03
5 Lever’s Leap (Thompson)  2:11
6 Mobile (Wells, Holt)  3:26
7 Everything Happens to Me (Adair, Dennis)  3:58

Dave Lee Trio
8 Excuse for the Blues (Lee)  3:38
9 On the Alamo (Kahn, Jones)  3:45

Dennis Wilson Trio
10 Ellington Medley (Ellington - Strayhorn - Ellington, Kelly - Ellington, Russell)  7:27
"C" Jam Blues - Take the "A" Train - Drop Me Off in Harlem
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

Dill Jones Trio
11 Opus Caprice (Haig)  3:50
12 Yesterdays (Kern, Harbach)  2:39
13 In a Mist (Beiderbecke)  2:35
14 Rufus (Jones)  2:35
Dill Jones Quintet
15 Easy (Lamont)  2:23
16 Paul’s Pal (Rollins)  3:50
17 Ray’s Blues (Premru)  3:56
18 Jordu (Jordan)  2:50

Dill Jones Trio
19 Moonglow (Hudson, Mills, DeLange)  3:06
20 ’Deed I Do (Rose, Hirsch)  3:14
21 Viper’s Drag (Waller)  4:53


[# 1] Eddie Thompson Trio (EP Piano Moods, vol. 1")
Eddie Thompson - p
Barry Hamilton - b
Benny Goodman - dr
Recorded February 3, 1955
[# 2 & 3] Eddie Thompson Trio (EP Piano Moods, vol. 1")
Eddie Thompson - p
Bill Sutcliffe - b
Allan Ganley - dr
Recorded March 17, 1955
[# 4-7] Eddie Thomspon Trio (EP "Piano Moods, vol. 6)
Eddie Thompson - p
Cedric West - g
Jack Fallon - b
Recorded November 29, 1957
[# 8 & 9] Dave Lee Trio (from the EP "Piano Moods") 1958
Dave Lee - p
Lennie Bush - b
Allan Ganley - dr
Recorded 1959 ?
[# 10] Dennis Wilson Trio (from the EP "Piano Moods") 1958
Dennis Wilson - p
Jack Llewellyn - g
Frank Clarke - b
Recorded in 1958 ?
[# 11-14] Dill Jones Trio (EP "Top of the Poll !") 1958
Dill Jones - p
Frank Clarke - b
Eddie Taylor - dr
Recorded 1959 ?
[# 15-18] Dill Jones Quintet (EP "Dill Jones Plus Four") 1959
Dill Jones - p
Ray Premru - b tp
Duncan Lamont - ts
Spike Heatley - b
Don Lawson - dr
Recorded March 18, 1959
[# 19-21] Dill Jones Trio (from the EP "Piano Moods, vol. 5") 1956
Dill Jones - p
Major Holley - b
Phil Seamen - dr
Recorded September 7, 1956


Melanchthon said...


danair said...

Great post Mel,some of these tracks have eluded me for years.Thanks very much.

Prof. Yaffle said...

Many thanks

lucky5 said...

Great music! Thank you very much, Mel!

rebf942 said...

Good to hear some Dill Jones, and the others too. Many thanks.

Otis Foster said...

I'll confess my ignorance - Dill Jones is the only name I know, so I look forward to hearing the others.
Thnx as always.

joao maximo said...

hi mel
never heard about these guys, look forward checking them out
keep well

zero said...

Super post! Based on what I've heard from Thompson and Jones, I'm eager to hear the other two.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank you

ProfessorCalculus said...

Thanks Mel

adakun said...

Muchas gracias Mel

rm said...

merci beaucoup

Bhowani said...

Thank you, Mel, for dennis wilson, unknown to me.

Alberto Varela said...

Muchas gracias Mel.

duck said...

Another very interesting set, Mel, keep up the surprises please.
Thanks as usual.

rubberduck said...

many thanks Mel.

Never seen before, and really interesting

k8track said...

Hi Mel! I missed this the first time around. Unfortunately, the links have expired. Is there any chance for an update? Thanks so much!

Jakartass said...


Can I echo k8track ,,, I've just discovered that my Dill Jones recordings have 'disappeared' and would love to hear then again: they were part of my childhood back in the 50's.

Many thanks.


Michel Sosnin said...

Mel! Please, update the links