Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pacific Jazz Piano Trios - Mosaic Select 19

Despite degrees of separation and musical style, Mosaic's throwing together of these pianists affiliated with West Coast jazz of the 1950s and early '60s makes sense, largely because each has too little or too much to fill one disc alone. This three-CD set, available only from, is the perfect solution.
Russ Freeman's name usually comes in the same breath as Chet Baker, since the pianist served as a member and musical director of Baker's first quartet. By the time Freeman recorded as a leader in 1952 and 1953, he proved that Bud Powell's influence had already resonated across the country. Most of these 14 tracks appeared on Pacific Jazz 10-inch records, with Shelly Manne drumming on all but one session and Joe Mondragon or Red Mitchell playing bass. Freeman brings a funky lilt to Charlie Parker's "Steeplechase" and several standards, but most significant are his inventive originals like "Laugh Cry" and "Bock's Tops," which evoke Horace Silver.

Richard Twardzik's output as a leader amounts to a mere seven songs. A Boston native, he fell in with the Pacific Jazz camp when he replaced Freeman for a Baker tour of Paris, where he overdosed in 1955 at age 24. Rarely do "What if ?" questions seem so appropriate. His "Albuquerque Social Swim" is the most schizophrenic original this side of "Glass Enclosure," where heavy block chords get interrupted by the opening phrase of "Joy to the World" and a stop-start bridge. "Bess, You Is My Woman" and a theme-only reading of "'Round Midnight" reveal greater musical depth.
Jimmy Rowles liked ballads and "easy jump tunes," and it shows on Rare--But Well Done. His ballads get a little twinkly, revealing West Coast jazz's lounge tendencies. But patience is rewarded, since Rowles almost always comes through with lyrical solos. Two songs from later sessions are tacked onto his set, including a more authoritative "Sonny Speaks" with Ben Tucker and Mel Lewis on bass and drums, respectively.
Clare Fischer gets the most space in the set : five tracks on disc two and all of disc three. And there's no questioning it : Teamed with future free jazz bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Gene Stone on First Time Out, they stick mainly to originals that have plenty of kick. Surging Ahead includes the dark blue homage "Strayhorn" and 12/8 treatment of "Davenport Blues."
Of Fischer's three previously unreleased tracks, most interesting is "Lennie's Pennies," wherein he, bassist Albert Stinson and drummer Colin Bailey put Professor Tristano's influence to good use.
Mike Shanley

Source :

Pacific Jazz Piano Trios
Mosaic Select - (MS 019)


Cd. 1

1 You Stepped Out Of A Dream (Brown, Kahn)  2:43
2 Don't Worry 'Bout Me (Bloom, Koehler)  3:06
3 Bock's Tops (Freeman)  2:49
4 Yesterday's Gardenias (Robertson, Mysels, Cogane)  2:36
5 At Last (Gordon, Warren)  2:43
6 Backfield In Motion (Freeman)  2:52
7 Laugh Cry (Freeman)  2:57
8 The Eye Opener (Freeman)  3:00
9 Lullaby In Rhythm (Sampson, Profit, Hirsch)  2:19
10 East Of The Sun (Bowman)  4:10
11 Steeplechase (Parker)  3:23
12 The Party's Over (Comden, Green, Styne)  2:58
13 Joey, Joey, Joey (Loesser)  3:40
14 Woody's Dot (Freeman)  5:05
15 Alberquerque Social Swim (Twardzik)  3:03
16 Bess, You Is My Woman (Gershwin, Heyward, Gershwin)  3:24
17 Yellow Tango (Richard Twardzik)  5:22
18 'Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk)  3:46
19 I'll Remember April (Raye, DePaul, Johnston)  4:07
20 A Crutch For The Crab (Twardzik)  3:26
21 Just One Of Those Things (Porter)  3:10


Cd. 2

1 The Day You Came Along (Coslow, Johnston)  3:46
2 So Far So Good (Lawrence, Mundy, White)  3:02
3 Medley   5:45
a. I Wouldn't Change You For The World (Jones, Newman)
b. You Are Too Beautiful (Rodgers, Hart)
4 Serenade in Blue (Gordon, Warren)  3:12
5 Let's Fall In Love (Arlen, Koehler)  4:31
6 Medley  4:22
a. Remember Me (Dubin, Warren)
b. There Goes My Heart (Silver, Davis)
7 Lady Be Good (Gershwin, Gershwin)  4:40
8 Chloe (Daniels, Kahn)  4:29
9 Topsy (Durham, Battle)  6:03
10 Sonny Speaks (Sonny Berman)  3:46
11 We'll Be Together Again (Fischer, Laine)  3:34
12 Strayhorn (Clare Fischer)  5:33
13 Things Ain't What They Used To Be (Mercer Ellington)  4:25
14 Davenport Blues (Beiderbecke)  5:04
15 The Thrill Is Gone (Brown, Henderson)  4:07
16 Without A Song (Youmans, Rose, Eliscu)  5:04


Cd. 3

1 Nigerian Walk (Shaughnessy)  7:09
2 Toddler (Fischer)  4:42
3 Stranger (Peacock)  4:03
4 Afterfact (Fischer)  4:07
5 Free Too Long (Fischer)  7:27
6 Piece For Scotty (Fischer)  3:10
7 Blues For Home (Fischer)  5:11
8 I Love You (Porter)  5:15
9 Billie's Bounce (Parker)  6:14
10 Way Down East (Adler)  2:32
11 Satin Doll (Ellington)  7:16
12 This Can't Be Love (Rodgers, Hart)  3:59
13 Lennie's Pennies (Tristano)  6:36
14 All The Things You Are (Kern, Hammerstein)  7:56


Featuring Russ Freeman, Clare Fischer, Red Mitchell, Richard Twardzik, Joe Mondragon, Jimmy Rowles, Colin Bailey, Gary Peacock, Larry Bunker, Carson Smith, Art Mardigan, Mel Lewis, Nick Fatool, Art Mardigan, Shelly Manne, Peter Littman, Gene Stone, Ralph Peña, Ben Tucker, Al Hendrickson, etc...

Recorded between December 15, 1952 & March 13, 1963
"I think you will find it advantageous to give these performances repeated listening. His facile imagination demands close attention. Dick Twardzik said of his own playing: 'Development is not my primary consideration. The ability to project ever-changing emotions or moods, plus rhythmic freedom, is far more important to me.'”
Russ Freeman, 1956, original liner notes

This set reinstates a number of important piano recordings made for Pacific Jazz (and in the case of Jimmy Rowles Liberty). Russ Freeman and Rowles were seminal to so much of the important music that emanated from Los Angeles in the '50s and '60s that their achievements would be far too many to list here. Freeman's hard swinging style is featured on 14 tracks made between 1952 and '57. Rowles, an encyclopedic piano maestro, is represented by his rare Liberty album Rare - But Well Done and two Pacific Jazz tracks, made the end of sessions by others.
Richard Twardzik was a startlingly original pianist/composer on the Boston scene in the early '50s. Russ Freeman heard him there and convinced Pacific Jazz to record him. Ironically when he died of an overdose in Paris on October 21, 1955, he was Russ's replacement in the Chet Baker quartet. These seven trio selections represent the only music he recorded professionally as a leader.
Clare Fischer, the only living pianist represented on this set, is best known for his brilliant writing. His abilities as a commanding, inventive jazz pianist have taken a back seat to other achievements. His first two albums, included here, are marvelous trio sessions that feature three of the greatest bassists on the LA scene at the time : Gary Peacock, Ralph Peña and Albert Stinson. Clare consented to the release of three unreleased tunes from these sessions.

Source :


Pippo said...

This is really great Mel, thank you.

Foth said...

Fabulous music and quite rare too, especially the Richard Twardzik.
Thanks so much Mel,

rm said...

merci beaucoup

duck said...

Mel, more great music, thanks, it is appreciated.

neil said...

Just been listening to 'Trio Russ Freeman-Richard Twardzik' on Pacific; you're on the money. This is a VIP (Very Importnat Post)...

Kovina Kris said...

Thank you very much Mel! This is quite intriguing.

Orbyt said...

A fantastic set! Thank you Mel. Appreciate the original artwork, too.

roberto t. said...

Wonderful post, thank you!!!

PlantDoctor53 said...

Thank you, Mel.

Anonymous said...

Muito obrigado!

Frank said...

An interesting period in the development of jazz piano. Thanks!

Zoot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Davidscott789 said...

amazing. thanks.

Adrian said...

Thanks a lot for another beautiful post. I just wish that the piano jazz will be more visible in your wonderful blog.
Thanks again Melanchthon!

Jazz Messenger said...

Thank you Mel, gret post!

slovenlyeric said...

Thanks. This music comes from a time and place a less known to me than others. I look forward to hearing this.

Mike said...

Great stuff, and hard to find otherwise. Thanks so much!

Melanchthon said...

cd. 1
cd. 2
cd. 3

deGallo said...

Marvelous! Thank you.

sep troelstra said...

Many thanks!!

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you very much Mel!!

musician3 said...

AMAZING..........................THANK YOU FOR ALL

Mikel Hal said...

Mpltes Gracies

ProfessorCalculus said...

Thanks Mel.

i12rok said...

Thanks-some great music!

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks again Mel!

Axel.T. said...

Pacific Jazz was such a great record company. They really knew how to get the pllayers out for us to hear, see and buy their albums.
Thanks, Mel,

John Pickworth said...

Many thanks !

Charco74 said...

Merci beaucoup Mel, your impeccable musical taste greatly appreciated as always!

Scoredaddy said...

thank you

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

Jehan said...

Thanks for all your sharing.

Milner said...

Thank you very much!