Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Music of Elliot Lawrence

The Swinging Seven that Elliot Lawrence brought into the Columbia Studios on October 8, 1956 was quite a unit. Its members represented a large chunk of jazz history through their various associations, and you can hear glimpses of it on every performance. Tyree Glenn and Mary Osborne especially deserve much more recognition than they have received for their lifelong dedication to the music.
Tyree Glenn was a triple-threat-an original stylist on the trombone, a competent vibraphonist and an engaging comedic actor when given the opportunity. Originally from Corsicana, Texas, Glenn picked the vibes while a member of the (pre-Benny Goodman) 1936 Lionel Hampton band in Los Angeles. From there he went to trumpeter Eddie Mallory’s band, which was the accompanying unit for Mallory’s wife, Ethel Waters. Glenn recorded his first great solo on Waters’ 1938 jeepers Creepers. It is a masterpiece of melodic construction and garnered him much acclaim. After a brief spell with Benny Carter’s band in 1939 he joined Cab Calloway and stayed there for six years. This was one of the most sought-after jobs in the black entertainment world. Cab paid well, his band travelled first class in their own railroad car (which was a relief in the still-segregated South) and the band was packed with great players including Milt Hinton, Chu Berry, Cozy Cole and Dizzy Gillespie. Calloway also placed a high premium on showmanship and Glenn became a main attraction of the band....
Mary Osborne was the only female guitarist to achieve prominence for the first several decades of the music’s history. Born in North Dakota, the daughter of a band leader, she began on the mandolin and banjo and switched to guitar by the time she was nine. As was the case with so many musicians of her generation, she became an ardent scanner of the radio airwaves, always on the lookout for good music. She found it at the age of sixteen in 1937 when the Red Norvo band, with the vocals of Mildred Bailey and the arrangements of Eddie Sauter, came to her from Chicago. As she told Sally Placksin (in American Women in jazz, Wideview Books, 1982), “I thought, ‘That’s great!’ I didn’t know what it was, didn’t even know the word jazz. I just knew that I liked what they did.” Osborne joined the all-woman Winifred McDonnell Trio and became a full-time professional. Around the same time a friend told her about another guitarist playing in Bismark that night. She was astonished at what she heard ; “There was a sixteen-piece band up there, Alphonso Trent’s, and I hear this great jazz and I kept waiting to hear the guitar player, the pre-Benny Goodman Charlie Christian. They said, ‘That is the guitar player.’ I thought it was a tenor saxophone.... I’ve never forgotten the sound and the impact that Charlie had on me.” Shortly thereafter Osborne switched to the electric guitar and eventually wound up sitting in on Christian gigs, exchanging notes about Django Reinhardt....
Loren Schoenberg, May 3, 1995 (from the booklet)

The Music of
Elliot Lawrence


1 Short'nin' Bread  2:01
2 I Found The One I Love  2:08
3 Reminiscing  2:10
4 How Dear My Love ?  2:06
5 Anna  1:55
6 Groovin' In The A. M.  2:11
7 Love Me Baby  1:44
8 Pavane (Ravel, arr. Elliot)  2:33
9 Sweet Magnolia Rose  1:52
10 On Montego Bay  2:00
11 The Shrine Of St. Cecilia  2:07
12 Gone  2:10
13 Did You Say Dixie ?  2:27
14 Alto Lament  3:04
15 We'll Love Again  2:15
16 Pebbles  2:43
17 We Can't Go On  2:29
18 Sioux City  2:51
19 Autumn Time  2:30
20 Blue Cha-Cha  2:46
21 Dancing The Shadow Waltz  2:34
22 Paradise Rock  2:21

All Compositions by Elliot Lawrence
except as indicated


[# 1-12] The Swinging Seven
Tyree Glenn - tb &vb
Andy Fitzgerald - cl & s
Mary Osborne - g
Elliot Lawrence or Tony Aless - p
Buddy Jones - b
Sol Gubin - dr
Recorded at Columbia Studios ; October 8, 1956
[# 13-22] Big Band
Charles O'Kane - bs
Gene Quill - as & cl
Morty Lewis, Al Cohn, Sam Marowitz - as
Bernie Glow, Don Stratton, Burt Collins, Stanley Fishelson - tp
Jim Dahl, Eddie Bert, William Elton - tb
James Buffington - fr hrn
Elliot Lawrence - p & arr.
Russ Savakus - b
Sol Gubin - dr
Danny Ricardo - vcl [# 15 only]
Recording date 1957 ?

This release is comprised of 22 brief performances (generally 2-2 1/2 minutes apiece) that were originally recorded as radio transcriptions (rather than commercial records). Altoist Gene Quill and tenorman Al Cohn (one of the main arrangers) are the main soloists on the big-band selections while Lawrence (on piano) is also featured in a sextet with guitarist Mary Osborne and Tyree Glenn (who doubles on trombone and vibes). The music ranges from middle-of-the-road instrumental pop and swing to hints of bop and dixieland.
Scott Yanow

Source :


Melanchthon said...

roberth said...

thanks. i am loving your new use of mega by the way. zippy is ok. but so many pop ups.
as always the info you offer is deep. thank u. and for the great music.

deGallo said...

Nice! and with Mary Osborne!! Thank you.

elprotector7797 said...

Thanks...I'm glad your using the way it's so much easier...Thanks again and keep the great albums coming...

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you very much Mel.
Great music (as always)

zoot said...

many thanks as ever mel

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this music genius with his versatile and multifunctional competence and abilities, very much appreciated!

blbs said...

Thank you very much, Mel!

Historicus said...

Thanks a lot dear friend!

Alex said...

Thanks again for an original upload. I've learnt and heard more about different sorts of jazz and jazz players from this site for which I am very grateful.

AmyBRAINS said...

It's a very nice album.
Thanks a lot, Melanchthon.

Scoredaddy said...

this looks great! thanks

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

Kovina Kris said...

Wow. Who is Elliot Lawrence? I guess I'm gonna find out! Thank you Mel!

Paul Roark said...

If you are taking requests for reposts...