When you get up in the morning, you must have a song - Ray Charles

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Count Basie Live - 1958

With the turntable down for now, I thought I might offer my first cd recordings. These discs are by what was soon to be known as "The Atomic Band". To me these recordings are a bit reserved but that is not to say they don't swing. I think the venue must have been small and the band played to the space. And I'm simply not a fan of the flute which has NO place in a big band setting.
On the goofy little Laserlight label, these were originally released on 2 discs in an attempt to cash in on your nickels and dimes. Both discs together come in at barely 70 minutes so I have placed them together here for your enjoyment.

Please ignore my cranky attitude and enjoy these records.
Together LS 15 789 and 15 797.

1. Spring Is Here
2. Fantail
3. Teddy the Toad
4. Pensive Miss
5. Corner pocket
6. Scoot
7. Sweety Cake
8. Cute
9. Li'l Darling
10. Low Life
11. Blues
12. Indian Summer
13. Who, Me?
14. Jumpin' At The Woodside
15. Baby All The Time
16. Little Pony
17. Ol' Man River
18. One O'Clock Jump
19. Untitled

Count Basie - piano
Thad Jones, Snooky Young,Wedell Culley, Joe Newman - trumpets
Henry Coker, Al Grey, Benny Powell - trombones
Marshall Royal - alto sax
Frank Wess - alto sax, flute
Billy Mitchell, Frank Foster - tenor sax
Charlie Fowles - baritone sax
Freddie Green - guitar
Eddie Jones - bass
Sonny Payne - drums

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Miles Davis & John Coltrane - Stockholm 1960

I had intended on getting this up Monday for Miles' birthday but pure laziness took over and I'm just now getting to it.
i guess partly because as i was listening to it, it ocuured to me, as it does everytime I listen, that maybe this should have the headliners reversed. Not that Miles playing isn't incredible because it is but Trane's playing was just about starting to his real creative peak.
This is the point where Trane had already announced that he would departing the quartet and striking out on his own full time, having already recorded Giant Steps. I sure I read somewhere that Miles was getting increasingly upset at the length of Trane's solos.
These recordings were culled from two sets that night so "So What" is repeated twice. I'm not sure why as there surely must have been more material to choose from. If I recall there has been a multiple disc set released from this date so obviously there was additional material. Oddly enough is that one version - the later one, is clearly superior.
Anyway I never saw this lkp for many years after I bought and have never stumbled across a vinyl copy since so here ya go. Part one concludes with a on air interview with Trane at a Swedish radio station.

Part One

Part Two

1. So What
2. On Green Dolphin Street
3. All Blues/The Theme
4. Coltrane Interview
5. So What
6. Fran-Dance
7. Walkin'/The Theme

Miles Davis trumpet
John Coltrane tenor sax
Wynton Kelly piano
Paul Chambers bass
Jimmy Cobb drums

Recorded at Konserthuset, Stockholm on the evening of 3/22/60.
Interviewer is Carl Erik Lindgren who also made this private recording of the concert.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Earl Hines/Paul Gonsalves - It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing

Here's a gem I don't play enough. A straight forward session with half of the tunes being Ellington compositions, I doubt you'll find much in the way of surprises. Yet the whole session exudes that joie de vivre that separates off the cuff recordings from the completely structured recordings we most often hear these days. It had to be quite something to arrive at a studio and hear two masters just go on without any preconceived arrangements, just a handful of songs they wanted to record together.
I always perceive Hines in a solo format. I'm not sure he always plays well with others but this session belays those fears.

My cover is different that the one pictured above and is as credited in this post.
Here is BL-306

1. It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing
2. Over The Rainbow
3. What Am I Here For?
4. Moten Swing
5. Blues Sands
6. I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good

Paul Gonsalves - tenor sax
Earl Hines - piano
Al Hall - bass
Jo Jones - drums

produced by Stanley Dance and Michael James
Recorded in NYC 12/15/70
Blues Sands was recorded 11/29/72 and is an unaccompanied piano solo.

1974 Black Lion Records

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dizzy Gillespie with The Mitchell-Ruff Duo - Live

I am constantly amazed at the records that I discover that I have never heard or heard of even, that I find to be absolutely incredible pieces of work. I guess one of the joys of being a jazz fan is that as my listening habits evolve and change, there will be no shortage of these discoveries. When I bought this, oh 6, 7 years ago, I thought it would probably turn out to be a novelty piece at best. I played and found I loved it but yet it languished in a closet with a bunch of other box sets for several years only getting played on the rare occasion. Yet each and everytime I dragged it out and swore I would listen to it more often. Well now it has been converted to digital and put where it can be accessed much easier. I have also placed here to it to share with my friends. I am surprised I have never even seen these records mentioned anywhere although I can't believe they would be difficult to locate.
What I have is a box set put out by The Book Of The Month club of a couple of shows across a space of 10 years.
The music runs from the sublime to the firey. At one point during the first set you can actually hear the piano strings buzzing as Mitchell holds the sustain pedal down during Diz' solo. Diz also plays what must be the first jazz solo on Jew's Harp. Once again it is from vinyl and I apologize for the disturbance during the first track. We do what we can.

Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet
Dwike Mitchell - piano
Willie Ruff - bass and french horn

Dartmouth Concert, 1970
1. Con Alma
2. Dartmouth Duet
3. Woody 'n You
4. Blues People
5. Bella, Bella

Yale Concert, 1974 (excerpts)
1. Yale Blue Blues
2. My Man
3. Lover Man
4. Jew's Harp

Town Hall Concert, NYC, 1980
1. Untitled
2. Autumn Leaves
3. Lush Life
4. Blue 'n Boogie
5. I Remember Clifford
6. Chou - Chou
7. Mood Indigo
8. All The Things You Are
9. Ow
10. Conception
11. Whisper Not
12. D.G. Blues

Monday, May 11, 2009

Joni Mitchell - Mingus

So today brings us something different, but not as much as you might think. I was going to dig out Hejira when it dawned on me that I hadn't listened to this record in years. Shame on me. As tributes go, they don't get much finer than this. Mitchell's love and appreciation shine on this record.
This record has actually been known to cause tears to well up in my eyes. Mitchell was wise enough to hire Pastorius, while not exactly Mingus' successor, he was the coolest bass player to come along in some time, and unfortunately also met his end as a overlooked genius.
After not hearing this record for years, I found it as profound and soul shattering as I left it.
I can't image not carrying this record in my collection until I can no longer transport a couple of crates of records. I can only hope that the sound of this vinyl recording does it justice.
1. Happy Birthday 1975
2. God Must Be A Boogie Man
3. Funeral
4. A Chair In The Sky
5. The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey
6. I's A Muggin'
7. Sweet Sucker Dance
8. Coin In the Pocket
9. The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines
10. Lucky
11. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Joni Mitchell - Guitars and vocals
Jaco Pastorius - Bass (horn arr. on Dry Cleaner)
Wayne Shorter - Soprano Sax
Herbie Hancock - Piano
Peter Erskine - Drums
Don Alias - Congas
Emil Richards - percussion
This record does not have specific producer's credits. It has a release date of 1979. I had been out of high school for 3 years by this time and while I was more into jazz than most of my friends, this record never even crossed my radar.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bill Dixon / Archie Shepp - Consequences

A record like this is often overlooked by folks who don't like "free" jazz. I used to be in that same category. I kept telling myself I didn't understand it but eventually I realized I don't understand any music, I just need to feel it. That said, there is still some jazz that is too free for my tastes yet, but this is not one.

This record comes from the now legendary pile that I digitized for a friend. Even when recording these records I wasn't sure I liked all of them but over a year later. they have become some of my most treasured recordings.

Here we have two seperate bands, each taking their own side to an lp. And two very different styles within the same genre. I know nothing of Bill Dixon and I know only a smattering of sidemen on both dates. In doing a little research for this post I see that some of the dates, etc., I found do not match up to the info I copied off the back of the lp, either through my own haste or just bad info supplied to the french label or posted online.

On the lp, the sprawling opening track, Winter Song 64 is actually divided into several small movements. I did not do this but kept it as all one consistent track (sorta). Perhaps I would do it differently now but I no longer have the lp to work from. Caveat emptor.

As such, here is Consequences BYG 529 001. from vinyl.
And the facts...
Side A...

1/2. Winter Song 1964
3. The 12th December
Bill Dixon - trumpet Ken McIntyre - alto, flute George Barrow - tenor
Howard Johnson - baritone, tuba David Izenon, Hal Dodson - basses
Howard McRea - percussion
recorded NYC Dec 1963
Side B...

4. Where Poppies Bloom
5. Like A Blessed Baby Lamb
6. Consequences*
Archie Shepp - tenor John Tchicci - alto Ted Cursor - trumpet
Don Cherry - trumpet* Ronnie Boykins - double bass Sunny Murray - percussion
recorded NYC Jan 1964
produced by Dixon/Shepp

Friday, May 8, 2009

Art Pepper - New York Album

A posthumously released record with previously unreleased tracks from the recent Artist House record I posted. No slack here, Pepper laid down some great stuff at the end. If you are lucky enough to own the Complete Galaxy recordings, you already have this. Otherwise from vinyl...Galaxy 5154.
It would seem that these were from the NY sessions, but included is a stunning solo recording from the the LA session. Bastards tried to lead you down a false path, didn't they. Never trust a record company.

1. A Night In Tunisia
2. Lover man
3. Straight, No Chaser (alt. version)
4. Duo Blues
5. My Friend John
A.P. - alto sax
Hank Jones - piano except on Duo Blues
Ron Carter - bass except on Lover Man
Al Foster - drums except on Duo Blues and Lover Man
recorded 2/23/79 NYC except Lover Man , which is an unaccompanied sax solo, recorded 5/26/79 in Burbank CA.
produced by John Snyder and Laurie Pepper, 1985

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Count Basie Trio - For The First Time

I would have bet I had some older Basie Trio stuff than this but apparently I would have been wrong.

I also think sometimes these Pablo records get overloked as it is assumed that damn near everything from the '70s sucked. But ol' Norman actually coaxed out a handful of interesting, and even great, records from some leaders whose careers could have easily coasted from there on out.

But these guys wouldn't have been leaders if they given up so easily, would they?

This record definately shows there was more to Basie's playing than the stride handle that was hung on him. One of the most interesting things on this record is the two completely different treatments he gives to Gershwin's Lady Be Good. There are also quite surprisingly a pair of tunes performed as an organ trio.
So for something a little different here is Pablo 2310 712 once again from my vinyl.

1. Baby Lawrence
2. Pres
3. I'll Always Be In Love With You
4. Blues In The Church
5. Lady Be Good (Concept I)
6. Laby Be Good (Concept II)
7. Blues In The Alley
8. As Long As I Live
9. Song Of The Island
10. Royal Garden Blues
11. (Un)Easy Does It
12. O.P.
Count Basie - piano and organ
Ray Brown - bass
Louie Bellson - drums
recorded May 22, 1974
produced by Norman Granz

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mc Coy Tyner Quartets - 4 X 4

When I first started actually listening to jazz, I thought that the cool shit had wrapped up in the late '50s, maybe an occasional 60's record. I was in high school, what did I know? My only hope was to move backwards and so I did. And that story will be told elsewhere... but my love of jazz never waned and my ears became more acceptable of new sounds...and lo and behold I found that there were records from almost every decade that I loved. But the 80's??? The 80's ???
I have since seen the error of my ways. I heard cuts from this while living outside of Chicago (on WDCB, DeKalb University station, Bruce Oscar, host). This is one of the records that rekindled my interest in jazz as the indie pop scene was waning and my net was thrown far and wide. I didn't lay my hands on a copy of this for a helluva long time. My copy has a different cover than pictured above - no cover blurbs.
While it's status as a milestone is still being debated, for me this record was a lifesaver.

This record features McCoy Tyner's Trio with additional guest stars for each side.
So not only on this Saturday night do you get a bonus lp but you get a double one.

Mc Coy Tyner Quartets- 4 X 4

Mc Coy Tyner - Piano
Al Foster - Drums
Cecil McBee - Bass
with guest artists...
Freddie Hubbard... trumpet
1.Inner Glimpse
2. Manha De Carnival
3. Paradox
John Amercrombie - electric mandolin
4. Backward Glance
5. Forbiddden Land
Bobby Hutcherson - vibes
6. Pannonica
7. I Wanna Stand Over There
8. The Seeker
Arthur Blythe - alto sax
9. Blues In The Minor
10. Stay As Sweet As You Are
11. It's You Or No One
The whole record was produced by Orrin Keepnews and engineered by RVG.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Art Pepper - So In Love

Now that we have finished our Duke tribute, it is time to turn our atention to some other fine lps that you don't see often.

I am very fond of Art Pepper's works and wonder why he doesn't seem to garner nearly the acclaim he should. This set is one that really seems overlooked perhaps because the label quickly folded. A standard quartet date with later period Pepper in fine form. I always seem to feel a joyful exuberence about his later playing. He seems to have rediscovered whatever it was that brought him so much joy in the first place. This would almost be attributted to his cleaner status but his autobiography belays that fact. These five tunes we recorded at two separate dates in 79 with two different quartets. I give a slight nod to the later performance but perhaps it is because I enjoy his interaction with Cables so much or perhaps because the Porter and Charmichael tunes are two of my all time favorite standards.
Here you have it Artists House 9412.

1. Straight, No Chaser
2. Blues For Blanche*
3. So In Love*
4. Diane
5. Stardust*
Recorded 2-23-79 NYC and * 5-26-79 Burbank
Art Pepper - alto sax
Hank Jones - Piano
George Cables - Piano*
Ron Carter - Bass
Charlie Haden - Bass*
Al Foster - Drums
Billy Higgins - Drums*
produced by John Snyder