Friday, May 26, 2017

Herb Ellis - Midnight Roll (Complete Sessions)

Herb Ellis is known primarily for playing with small ensembles, so this recording as part of an octet is a departure for the great guitarist. This "all-star" combo includes trumpeter Roy Eldridge in a sublimated role, while tenor saxophonist Buddy Tate is featured a bit more, and pianist Ray Bryant solidifies the nucleus of a very talented band of old pros and unsung heroes. The fare is split between standards, originals, and favorites, including Duke Ellington's rousing "It Don't Mean a Thing" with the jamming Eldridge leading the charge. The classic "Gravy Waltz" of Ray Brown is done here, as Bryant's deft chords with the sax and trumpets form a strolling, impenetrable front line — one of the very best, fully formed and realized versions of this great song. Ellis contributed the folkish "Poor Darlin' Nellie," derived from the story of banished African-American slave Nellie Gray, a light rural swing with no horns save Assunto's muted trumpet solo. "Roy Showed" is a bouncy bop blues punctuated by Tate's tenor as Ellis further accents with sharp strumming chords. Everybody plays together in sweet agreement on "Broadway," a stock jam tune that shows the band has no issues with grandstanding, egos, or finding enough space to play. The band strips down to a trio on the pristine ballad "Willow Weep for Me" and Tate presents a spare, spacious melody line during "It Makes No Difference Now." The balance of this group should duly receive high marks (especially since it was a one-shot). EU-only release containing the complete sessions from the outstanding album The Midnight Roll, featuring two All-Star small group formations. Included are Roy Eldridge or Dukes of Dixieland's Frank Assunto on trumpet, Buddy Tate on tenor sax, Ray Bryant on piano, and on some tracks, the ill-fated bassist Israel Crosby, who is best known for his work with the Ahmad Jamal Trio. Crosby died of a heart attack on August 11, 1962, less than two months after recording this date. All existing tracks from the sessions that were not included on the original LP have been added here as a bonus, as well as an earlier version of 'Gravy Waltz' taped by Ellis in a quartet format the previous year.

 Source :

Herb Ellis
The Midnight Roll
(Complete Sessions)


1 Broadway (Bird, McRae, Woode)  4:20
2 Gravy Waltz (Brown)  3:09
3 Poor Darlin’ Nellie (Ellis)  3:43
4 Old Folks (Hill, Robison)  3:35
5 Roy Showed (Ellis)  4:48
6 Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (Ellington, Parsons)  3:59
7 Willow Weep For Me (Ronell)  3:57
8 Symphony (Alstone)  3:23
9 It Make No Difference Now (Davis, Tillman)  4:02
10 It Don’t Mean A Thing (Ellington, Mills)  5:58
11 Harper’s Ferry [John Brown’s Body]* (Trad.)  5:08
12 Herb’s Here* (Ellis)  4:57
13 I Won’t Love You* (Unknown)  8:16
14 You’d Better Know It* (Unknown)  4:52
15 Too Bad* (Ellis, Assunto)  3:45
16 Alicia* (Ellis, Herbert)  4:40
17 Gravy Waltz [1961 Quartet Version] (Brown)  5:08

* From the same sessions, but not included on the original LP.


[# 3-4, 6-9 & 11-15]
Frank Assunto - tp
Buddy Tate - ts
Ray Bryant - p
Herb Ellis - g
Jimmy Rowser - b
Gus Johnson - dr
Recorded in New York ; June 12 & 13, 1962.
[# 1-2, 5, 10 & 16]
Roy Eldridge - tp
Buddy Tate - ts
Ray Bryant - p
Herb Ellis - g
Israel Crosby - b
Gus Johnson - dr
Recorded in New York ; June 14, 1962
[# 17] Bonus Track
Victor Feldman - vb
Herb Ellis - g
Leroy Vinnegar - b
Ronnie Zito - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; October 12, 1961.


deGallo said...

Great! Thank you for this upgrade

stringbender said...

Many thanks for posting this superb Herb Ellis side.

lucky5 said...

Thank you very much Mel, for sharing your great Jazz Music collection with us.

LaroSwing said...

Thank you for this hard to find Ellis record.

jose arboleda said...

Muchas Gracias.

rm said...

merci beaucoup

jbl said...

Wonderful album and I am a sucker for all music which has Buddy Tate on it! Thanks Mel for another fabulous item.

Fernando said...

Thank you very much for this one.


fcapeau said...

Really gorgious music !A big thank you, Mel, for this Big fun moment.

Prof. Yaffle said...

Thank you

jose arboleda said...

Muchas gracias.

AmyBRAINS said...

Nice post Melanchthon.
Thanks a lot.

daniel genovese said...

Thank you.

chuchuni said...

Thanks for the 2nd chance, Mel!

poppachubby said...


Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks for another great looking Ellis Mel!

VoWaMa said...

Thanx a lot!

jazzcat1228 said...

Thank you, Mel!

desperado said...

hi mel
would you be so kind to re up this one . thanks

Melanchthon said...

sep troelstra said...

Thanks a lot!!

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Hi Mel,
Fantastic post
Than you very much

Anonymous said...

Fantastic, thank you! Been groovin' lately on the duets Herb Ellis did with Remo Palmier.

Kovina Kris said...

Very nice to get the complete version of this album. Thank you very much!

slr in tx said...

thanks, Mel!

desperado said...

Thanks so much Mel!

velobrewer said...

I am certainly glad to catch your re-post. Thank you Mel.