Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Birdlanders, vol. 1

In 1954, Henri Renaud was highly regarded in jazz circles. The French pianist/producer had played with his share of American heavyweights, who ranged from Lester Young to Clifford Brown to Sarah Vaughan. So when Renaud visited New York in 1954 and launched an all-star project that he called the Birdlanders, he had no problem attracting a lot of first-class beboppers. In order to be a Birdlander, one needed to be a regular at Birdland — thus, what you hear on The Birdlanders, vol. 1 (one of the two Birdlanders CDs that Fantasy assembled in 2000) isn't unlike what was being played at Birdland in 1954 (although all of the material was recorded in a New York studio). This 77-minute reissue focuses on two of the Birdlanders' sessions that Renaud produced in 1954. The first took place on January 28, when pianist Duke Jordan formed a trio with bassist Gene Ramey and drummer Lee Abrams. The piano trio is as engaging on a ballad (the Gershwin standard "Embraceable You") as it is on Jordan's "Jordu" and Charlie Parker's "Confirmation." The other session is from March 7 and has different personnel ; this time, Renaud himself is on piano, and he is joined by an impressive cast that includes vibist Milt Jackson, trombonists J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding, tenor saxman Al Cohn, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Charlie Smith. Not surprisingly, plenty of inspired soloing takes place on familiar standards like "I'll Remember April" and "If I Had You." An interesting surprise comes on "Lullaby of the Leaves," which finds Renaud laying out and letting Jackson make a rare appearance on piano. Bebop enthusiasts should make a point of obtaining this excellent reissue.
Alex Henderson

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:kbfqxqykldde

The Birdlanders
vol. 1


1 I'll Remember April (DePaul, Johnston, Johnston)  8:55
2 Jerry's Old Man (Renaud)  5:48
3 Jay Jay's Blues (Johnson)  7:57
4 There's No You (Adair, Hopper)  8:35
5 Out of Nowhere (Green, Heyman)  8:37
6 Lullaby of the Leaves (Petkere, Young)  2:52
7 If I Had You (Campbell, Connelly, Shapiro)  10:18
8 (Back Home Again In) Indiana (Hanley, MacDonald)  3:51
9 Just One of Those Things (Porter)  3:53
10 Embraceable You (Gershwin, Gershwin)  5:01
11 Minor Escamp (Jordu) (Jordan)  4:46
12 Scotch Blues (Jordan)  3:42
13 Confirmation (Parker)  3:16


[# 1-8]
Milt Jackson - vb & p [# 6 only]
J. J. Johnson - tb
Kai Winding - tb
Al Cohn - ts [# 1, 3, 5 & 7]
Henri Renaud - p
Percy Heath - b
Charlie Smith - dr
[# 9-13]
Duke Jordan - p
Gene Ramey - b
Lee Abrams - dr

Recorded in New York City ; March 7 [# 1-8] & January 28 [# 9-13], 1954


Kneigh said...

Ah, simply awesome, Melanchthon!!

Thank you so much for posting this Volume 1 of the Birdlanders!! Volume 2 is just as awesome, and has been getting loads of play.

Thank you too for all your great posts and the hard work that goes into them. I wish I had the talent to do more than just listen!!


srimira2000 said...

Volume 1 of the Birdlanders is a succulent surprise!!! Thanks, Mel.

yewsta said...

Thank you, mel.

Orbyt said...

Thank you very much for these two sets Mel - always looking for sessions with Henri Renaud. Mllle mercis.

the doc said...

:-) thanx

Kovina Kris said...

Really nice to get the other volume of this set. Thank you!

Philo said...

Birdlanders, vol. 1 (1954)

Wonderful music! I'm really enjoying it.

However, I do notice that the piano seems just the slightest bit out of tune. (Most apparent on tracks 9-13). This seems to be common in jazz recordings from the 50s.

Ahmad Jamal is one of the few artists whose studio recordings from that era always had pianos that sounded very well maintained and completely in tune.

reindeer man said...

Nice! Looking forward to Volume 2. Thank you.

EfKa said...

thaks a lot

05. Out Of Nowhere - Error has occured

there is something wrong!

reindeer man said...

Yes, track 5 Out Of Nowhere appears to have a glitch, preventing it from being converted to another format. I tried XLD (my default), Switch, etc., attempting to convert into various formats (aiff, ALAC, m4a, wav, etc.) but no dice. Perhaps a re-up of just #5?

I was able to 'preview' the track in its glitched flac state, and it's a neat little tune. Rest of the record is great too! Again, thanks for the post.

reindeer man said...

Hi Mel - alas, the glitch is still there (there appears to be some sort of a break at the 4:00 minute mark), so no go for conversions. I attempted to burn it to disc using XLD, but again it failed. So, unless someone knows how to fix damaged files, don't eat up Mel's public traffic d/l-ing this. It was a noble effort, though.

Thanks again.

EfKa said...

Thanks … but
the same error, the same file

thanks for u do for us …

reindeer man said...

Victory! Track 05. Out Of Nowhere is glitch-free. Thanks for the follow-up, and for all the great things you do.

rog said...

Mel.. Your efforts for us are awesome ! However, when #5 old and new were converted via ALL2MP3 on a Mac, both versions are FINE. Also, Duke's piano sounds FINE to my "can hear a cricket fart" ears in all octaves... just saying... Thank You !

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

deGallo said...

Nice! This is a great album. Thank you.

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks again Mel. These Birdlander sets look great.

klf said...

I had trouble with tracks 7, 9, 10, & 11 on vol 2 and track 5 on vol 1. Did anyone else experience this? Old comments for vol 1 mention trouble with track 5, and the fixed track is no longer available.

AmyBRAINS said...

Excellent post.
Thanks a lot Melanchthon.

sikes said...

Hi Mel, please could you re-up track 5 new rip again, thanks again

Melanchthon said...


musician3 said...

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

Fred Archtop said...

Great post. Thanks a lot Mel.

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you very much Mel

WOODY said...

Another gem I found here, what a treasure you share here with us, so THANKS again.

sandor essedy said...

the vol.2 was amazing; glad to have the vol.1! many thanks.

Carlos Tibau said...

Thank you Mel