Saturday, July 19, 2014

Way Out Wardell Gray

This album was recorded live in Los Angeles in 1948, and finds the great Wardell Gray amidst some of the finest musicians of the time. In the late 1940s, the West Coast jazz scene introduced the big band jazz concert idea to the public. At this time in his short career, Gray was starting his ascent and would achieve lasting fame in tenor sax history. The recorded sound on the album is tinny, given that it was recorded in a hall, and the echo is distracting. However, the compact disc cleaned much of this up, and the dueling between the two tenors shines right through. Vido Musso, the other fine tenor here, was with Stan Kenton for a time. His punchy style plays off the smoother swing of Gray. There's also some strong, bright soloing by Howard McGhee, Ernie Royal, Barney Kessel, and Red Callender. The rhythm section swings hard throughout the session, and Gray knows how to ride the wave with a vengeance. He had that effortless tone of Lester Young, and was full with the fire of bop at the same time. His improvisation was prodigious, and he could translate a landslide of ideas through his horn. The genius Erroll Garner, then only 35, renders a fine solo version of "Tenderly." The compact disc version adds the bonus cut "Sweet Georgia Brown." This is what ignited jazz at the summit sounded like in concert in the late 1940s. Recommended.
Mark Romano

Source : 

Wardell Gray
Way Out Wardell


1 Blue Lou (Mills, Sampson)  6:12
2 Sweet Georgia Brown (Bernie, Casey, Pinkard)  10:31
3 Tenderly (Gross, Lawrence)  3:04
4 Just You, Just Me (Greer, Klages)  10:25
5 One O'Clock Jump (Basie)  11:29


[# 1]
Wardell Gray - ts
Erroll Garner - p
Irving Ashby - g
Red Callender - b
Jackie Mills - dr
Recorded at the Civic Auditorium, Pasadena ; April 29, 1947
 [# 5]
Same as above, except
Benny Carter - ts
Howard McGhee - tp
Vic Dickenson - tb
are added
Recorded same place and date as above
 [# 3]
Erroll Garner - p
Red Callender - b
Jackie Mills - dr
Recorded same place and date as above
[# 2 & 4]
Wardell Gray - ts
Howard McGhee - tp
Vido Musso - ts
Barney Kessel - g
Arnold Ross - p
Harold Babasin - b
Don Lamond - dr
Recorded at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles ; February 27, 1947

See also


Melanchthon said...

stringbender said...

This looks fabulous. many thanks!

James Harrod said...

Background and history:

deGallo said...

Nice! Thank you.

Melanchthon said...

Thanks for the link, James...

Paco's brother said...

Mille fois merci pour cette excellente musique.

Blue Eyes said...

Super! merci à toi, Melanchthon!

Lou Vascek said...

A great , hot swinging record !
thank you very much for posting this.

musician3 said...

Amazing................Thank You

Greeny said...

Thanks, Mel, great post!
Special thanks to James for providing detailed background information on that record.

neil said...

Time to upgrade from my mp3s; many thanks, mel...

steve said...

Nice Mel . . . many thanks for this listen!

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You so much

Prof. Yaffle said...

Many thanks.

FrankDell said...

Great post Mel & incredible info James.

roberth said...

mel, any chance of a re up on this one? i am in a wardell phase now.
i got the rare dawn one. thanks

Dirk Bill said...

Also would love a re-up, do not have this one

Tiny Iota said...

Yeah, would love a re-up, really into Wardell right now.

brian said...