Sunday, October 9, 2016

Billy Bean - The Trio Rediscovered

Though born and raised in Philadelphia, home of many jazz greats, Billy Bean moved to New York in 1958 where he worked with Bud Shank, Red Callender, Fred Katz and Charlie Ventura. Despite his talent, he made relatively few recordings. There are no listings for Bean in Tom Lord's Jazz Discography. His recorded output has been as a sideman, albeit a prominent one, on sessions lead by others. He made his first recordings with Red Callender around the mid-fifties and then two albums with Charlie Ventura around 1957. It was around that same time that he teamed up with another "newcomer" to jazz guitar, Johnny Pisano, to make two of the incredible guitar recordings to come out of that period, Take Your Pick and Makin' It. After making these albums and still in his prime, Billy Bean disappeared from jazz. The liner notes ,which were written in January 2000, state that bass player Gaylor has been in touch with Bean. But there is no indication whether he has resumed performing in public. The trio on this album recorded twice for Riverside Records in 1961. The first session was reissued by the Fantasy Group in 1999. Now comes England-based String Jazz label releasing the second album, The Trio Rediscovered. String Jazz, by the way, devotes its energies to recording guitar players, as the name implies. Billy Bean is clearly the leading player on this set. His harp like sound is clean and untrammeled with pings and other extraneous noises one often hears from those less expert on that instrument. The play list is a mix of originals by jazz performers of the day combined with standards by Porter, Gershwin, Strayhorn and Rodgers and Hart. In the case of Horace Silver's "Safari" written when he was with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, there's hard bop with a bit of the funk thrown in. In contrast the standards are played in a straight ahead fashion and on the "Porgy and Bess Medley". This track is a highlight of the album and is not matched elsewhere on the set for its intensity. "Have You Met Miss Jones" out and out swings while "Lush Life" compares favorably with recordings by Joe Pass and Bucky Pizzarelli. While Bean is the musical, if not the group, leader the other players are by no means insignificant. Quite the contrary, Walter Norris' piano comps mightily in support of Bean and shines on several solo opportunities as on "Motivation". It seems that Norris has permanently made his home in Germany. Our loss. Without drums, Gaylor's bass is alone in making sure matters stay on course when it comes to the beat, a responsibility he meets with ease. This reissue is a fine addition to any jazz fan's collection and is recommended.
Dave Nathan

Source : http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=7054

Billy Bean
Hal Gaylor
 Walter Norris

The Trio
Rediscovered

Tracks

1 Motivation (Bean)  2:43
2 Lush Life (Strayhorn)  3:49
3 All of You (Porter)  3:59
4 Porgy and Bess [medley] (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward)  10:20
5 Land's End (Land)  7:34
6 Have You Met Miss Jones ? (Hart, Rodgers)  4:15
7 Groove Yard (Perkins)  6:29
8 Che-Low (Gaylor)  3:12
9 Safari (Silver)  4:24

*

Personnel
Billy Bean - g
Walter Norris - p
Hal Gaylor - b & cel

Recorded at Greenwood Lake, New York City [# 1, 5 & 9] ; & Columbia's 30th Street Studios, Manhattan, New York City [other selections], 1961

31 comments:

mel said...

In his review, Dave Nathan bemoans the fact that Billy Bean is not mentioned in Tom Lord. Better he should have consulted the Walter Bruyninckx Jazz Discography.

salience said...

This one'll be heard immediately the download finishes, tx!

dreadco said...

Heavenly music. Thank you very much.

portraitinjazz said...

Great post!

Thank you!!!

Bill said...

Billy Bean
Hal Gaylor & Walter Norris
The Trio - Rediscovered

The Link is broken. Would it be possible to fix it?

And thanks for everything. This blog is unbelievably good.

Anonymous said...

links offline. Appreciated if re-up.

Rick said...

Bean's chord melody solo on "Lush Life" is very good. I have transcribed it.

deGallo said...

Billy Bean.....thank you for this rare album. I certainly appreciate it.

Orbyt said...

A sensational post, thank you Mel!

mybonnie77 said...

Thank you very much.

Davidscott789 said...

thank you, thank you

imacodfish said...

Rats! :-(

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The Jackal said...

Dear Mel, wonderful album and reference. The Harold Land legacy and influence on Pat Martino, here I go down another trail.

duck said...

At last I can throw out my very worn out album. thanks Mel

John Pickworth said...

Many thanks !

Mike said...

Excellent choice! Gracias.

AmyBRAINS said...


Many thanks, Melanchthon.

jose arboleda said...

Muchas gracias.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

glinka21 said...

Listened to this in the car with my wife today. Bean's fantastic, but I was blown away by Norris in the Gerhswin medley. There's this series of modal progressions about 4 minutes in; and then later, he just subtly inflects the harmonies through small but important changes. It's great stuff.

chuchuni said...

Many thanks Mel!

Wade Cottingham said...

thank you Mel, !!!

The Jackal said...

Dear Mel,

Merci toujours, Grooveyard will be my point of reference here.

Looking forward to it

ProfessorCalculus said...

Thanks and MORE Thanks

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks Mel!

Melanchthon said...

http://www85.zippyshare.com/v/yhpXkXvx/file.html
http://www85.zippyshare.com/v/07gtuwUG/file.html

neil said...

Many thanks for the opportunity to upgrade from my mp3s, mel...

Isidoro Macarena said...

muchas gracias

musician3 said...

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

dantzig65 said...

Thanks Mel.

Prof. Yaffle said...

Many thanks