Sunday, March 13, 2016

Kenny Clarke - Telefunken Blues

Everyone's in good form on these two sessions from the mid-'50s. The earlier 1954 set, though, is the more interesting. It teams Modern Jazz Quartet alumni Kenny Clarke, Milt Jackson, and Percy Heath with West Coast beboppers Frank Morgan, Walter Benton, and Gerald Wiggins. Jackson's spirited solos and strong presence in the ensembles make clear he is enjoying a change of pace from the austere formalism of the MJQ. Altoist Frank Morgan, too, comes to play, tempering tart Parker-isms with sounds that Jackie McLean, a Morgan contemporary, was also exploring at this time. Section partner Walter Benton counters with a rich, sonorous Websterian fog, rounding out a horn section that has range, depth, ideas, and chops. Wiggins, a commanding, understated presence, is in a role that would probably have gone to Wynton Kelly or Red Garland if the casting had not been for a West Coaster. Between them, Wiggins, Morgan, and Benton further undermine the artificial and meaningless dichotomy of West Coast cool versus New York City heat.
The four tracks from the later 1955 date feature a familiar Savoy grouping of Count Basie band members : Frank Wess, Henry Coker, Charlie Fowlkes, and Eddie Jones, with Jackson, and Clarke. In the company of the Count's men, Clarke and Jackson create a successful hybrid of bop and Basie-style swing. Frank Wess' tenor and flute playing, both on form, is most at home with the Jackson and Clarke direction. Bassist Jones and Clarke are an effective study in contrasts, with Jones walks his bass unperturbedly as Clarke throws curves and change-ups to his cohorts. Telefunken Blues is recommended for the set with Morgan, Benton, and Wiggins, although the session with the Count's men does offer several pleasures, notably, the work of the rhythm section, Wess' flute, and Ernie Wilkins' arrangements.
Jim Todd

Source :

Kenny Clarke
Telefunken Blues


1 Strollin' (Clarke)  4:21
2 Sonor (Clarke, Wiggins)  4:50
3 Blue's Mood (Clarke)  4:17
4 Skoot (Beal, Garner)  3:48
5 Telefunken Blues (Wilkins)  5:50
6 Klook's Nook (Wilkins)  5:09
7 Baggin' the Blues (Wilkins)  5:40
8 Inhibitions (Wilkins)  3:52


[# 1-4]
Frank Morgan - as
Walter Benton - ts
Milt Jackson - vb & voc
Gerald Wiggins - p
Percy Heath - b
Kenny Clarke - dr
Recorded in Hollywood, California ; November 1, 1954
[# 5-8]
Henry Coker - tb
Frank Wess - ts & fl
Charlie Fowlkes - vb & p
Eddie Jones - b
Kenny Clarke - dr
Ernie Wilkins - arr.
Recorded in  Hackensack, New Jersey ; February 7, 1955


Orbyt said...

Thank you Mel. I'm a big Frank Wess fan and he's in great company here.

dreadco said...

Thank you for another Savoy Jazz.
Can I ask you whether you have Klook's Clique by Kenny Clarke?
It's almost impossible to spot one even on the eBay.
Thank you again!

Philo said...

Kenny Clarke - Telefunken Blues (1955)

An obscure album with enjoyable music. A classic post.

saphek said...

Pass required...
Is possible to obtain then?

greenishthing said...

many thanks!!

Pernath said...

Thanks Baruch!

rog said...

Very enjoyable.. Thanks Baruch !

squalo said...

thank you

squalo said...

thank you

Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

Nice! Thank you for this fairly rare album.

Anonymous said...

Very very grateful for all these great albums.

Historicus said...


AmyBRAINS said...

Thanks a lot, Melanchthon.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

Kovina Kris said...

Really glad that this one is still alive. Thank you Mel!

Starchild said...

Same here! Many thanks Mel.