Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Charlie Ventura Quintet

A fine swing-oriented tenor saxophonist, Ventura is best-remembered for his attempt at popularizing bebop during the tail end of the music's mid- to late-'40s heyday. Born Charles Venturo, he came from a large, musically inclined family. His first instrument was C-melody sax. He switched to alto before eventually settling on tenor. Ventura left his day job at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1942 to join Gene Krupa's band. He became a featured soloist with Krupa, playing with the drummer from 1942-1943 and 1944-1946 (working in the interim with guitarist/bandleader Teddy Powell). Ventura achieved considerable popularity while with Krupa, winning a Down Beat magazine award as best tenor saxophonist in 1945. He started his own big band in 1946 with middling results. He had more success fronting a small band, one version of which included trumpeter Conte Candoli, trombonist Bennie Green, alto saxophonist Boots Mussulli, drummer Ed Shaughnessy, and vocalists Jackie Cain and Roy Kral. Ventura recorded for small labels before getting signed to RCA Victor, which at the time wanted to capitalize on the emergence of bebop. An RCA executive purportedly told him that they wanted the word "bop" in the band's name. Ventura came up with the phrase "Bop for the People," which implied an accessible form of the music. Ventura formed a big band in 1948, but soon cut it down to eight members, retaining Cain and Kral, who were crucial components of the band's sound. The Bop for the People band worked through 1949 (during which time Ventura employed modern jazz's greatest saxophonist, Charlie Parker, on a record date), but in the end Ventura's stab at making a commercial success of bop failed. Indeed, as fine a player as he was, Ventura himself was never really a bopper. During the early '50s Ventura led another big band ; formed a highly acclaimed group called the Big Four with bassist Chubby Jackson, drummer Buddy Rich, and pianist Marty Napoleon ; briefly ran his own night club in Philadelphia ; and also worked again with Cain and Kral. Ventura's health was not the best, yet he continued to work with Krupa into the '60s. After the '50s, Ventura recorded commercially only once (in 1977, with pianist John Bunch for the Famous Door label). Still, he remained active. He worked in Las Vegas (with comedian Jackie Gleason), and fronted various groups in the '70s and '80s, before dying of lung cancer in 1992.
Chris Kelsey

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fifrxqy5ldde~T1

Charlie Ventura
High On An Open Mike


1 Intro-High On An Open Mike (Ventura, Sandole)  4:27
2 Charlie's Ant (Ventura, Hildinger)  3:15
3 Cry Me A River (Hamilton)  3:45
4 Love And The Weather (Berlin)  2:53
5 Euphoria (Ventura, Kral)  3:29
6 Parlay 2 (Ventura, Niehaus)  3:26
7 Jazz Roost (Ventura, Cohn)  3:05
8 Sleep Till Noon (Ventura, Hildinger)  2:40
9 East Of Suez (Ventura, Stein)  3:27
10 Bernie's Tune-1 (Miller)  4:16
11 Bernie's Tune-2 (Ad lib) (Miller)  3:42
12 Runnin' Wild (Harrington, Grey, Wood)  2:41
13 Honeysuckle Rose (Waller, Razaf)  2:24
14 When The Saints Go Marching In (Trad.)  3:14
15 It's Only A Paper Moon (Arlen, Harburg, Rose)  2:49
16 Sweet Sue, Just You (Young, Harris)  3:00
17 Dark Eyes (Trad.)  2:08
18 Bill Bailley, Won't You Please Come Home ? (Trad.)  2:27
19 Star Dust (Carmichael, Parish)  3:24
20 Sweet Lorraine (Burwell, Parish)  2:28
21 Harvest Moon (unknow)  2:40
22 Exactly Like You (McHugh, Fields)  3:21
23 I've Got You Under My Skin (Porter)  3:06


[#1-11] The New Charlie Ventura in Hi Fi (Baton BL 1202)
Charlie Ventura - as, ts & bs
Billy Bean - g
Dave Hildinger - p
Richard Davis - b
Elmer "Mousey" Alexander - dr
[#12-23] Charlie Ventura Plays Hi Fi Jazz (Tops L 1528)
Same as above, except Dave McKenna replaces Hildinger - p

Recorded in 1956 & 1957 ?

By 1956 tenor-saxophonist Charlie Ventura no longer had a regular band and was drifting into semi-retirement. In fact, other than an album for King the following year and a set for Famous Door in 1977, this Lp was his final recording. Teamed with the then-unknown pianist Dave McKenna, guitarist Billy Bean, bassist Richard Davis (at the beginning of his career) and drummer Mousey Alexander, Ventura switches between tenor, alto, baritone and bass saxophones. The repertoire is filled with swing and dixieland standards including such unlikely songs as "When The Saints Go Marching In," "Bill Bailey" and "Sweet Sue" (in addition to a remake of Ventura's old hit with Gene Krupa "Dark Eyes") but the interpretations are full of spirit and swing. Although it may not look too promising, this budget Lp (which is long out of print but may be found at a cheap price) is actually well worth picking up.
Scott Yanow

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

See also : http://www.daremusic.com/jazz.htm
For the Tops label


the jazzman said...

I have Plays Hi_Fi Jazz but not the other so thanks very much.

MrBill said...

Thank you - Ventura is great, and I'm especially happy to hear more from the underrecorded Billy Bean.

Jaffa said...

I have the TOPS-LP but not the Baton... Thanks a lot for this Chas. Venura !

jazzmaniac said...

Thanks a lot for the New Charlie
Ventura. Great Music

Luis said...

Thanks for this post. As usual in your blog, the quality is fine.

the doc said...

nice!! More Bean is also welcomed!

swingingduck said...

This is wonderful music.
Thank you Mel.

cvllos said...

Thanks, Melanchthon for this one, unknown to me.

jazzjose said...

Gracias. Me incorporo a tu blog

jazzfriend said...

Melanchthon, como siempre me impresionas con tus subidas, Gracias a ti se me ha abierto un mundo al JAZZ que me faltaba por conocer.

Saludos desde Chile.

Carl said...

Wow, another path to follow..How impressive Charlie Ventura is. Thank you for everything. What an education.

stublag said...

This is worth getting for only one reason-Billy Bean!!!
Vebturas playing is horribly vulgar but bean is amazing

jazzlover said...

I never heard Charlie Ventura, seams great, many thx !

FKL said...

Hi Melanchthon,
Could you repost the links as they are not working anymore or empty ;-(

FKL said...

Txs a lot ;-)

rm said...

merci beaucoup

LaroSwing said...

Encore un artiste à découvrir... Merci infiniment Melanchthon!

Blue Eyes said...

Wow! thank you very much Melanchthon for this album!

Gyges said...

HI !

Thanks again Melanchthon. Great jazz , as always... !

But CAN someone say me what is the PASSWORD for Leopold, PLEASE !!!!!!!

Melanchthon said...

Leopold = Bloom

Gyges said...

Thanks a lot melanchthon ! You're perfect !!

I ve ever thanked you before, but I must say I do LOVE you for what you done.

This is really amazing and great.

Prof. Yaffle said...

Thank you

Zebb said...

Un autre petit up fonctionnel serait apprécié merci

deGallo said...

Outstanding! Thank you.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

ProfessorCalculus said...

Wonderful post, Thanks

Historicus said...

Hi, can you please upload this record again. Links are expired.
Thanks a lot!

francisco santos said...

re post, please!...

Melanchthon said...


Historicus said...

Great swinger, thanks a lot for this rebirth!

francisco santos said...

Merci Bien!...vous etes tres gentis....

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Mel, you're great!

Otis Foster said...

Greatly appreciated - thnx melanchthon

Philo said...

Fun music! I'm really enjoying this. Thanks Mel.

Anonymous said...

Any chance of new links for this one? A guitarist I work with is desperate for more Billy Bean and would love to have this set!