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

Friday, October 30, 2009

Art Tatum - Memories of You

Well I hope Monk's piano and the Black Lion sound got you sufficiently prepared for post number 100!

With it I want to share this awesome Art Tatum box set. 3 discs on Black Lion records!!! Close to 60 tracks of Tatum genius.

The 1st disc is V-discs, those elusive records you could not spin even if you could lay your hands on one. These are trio tracks.

Disc 2 is a solo discs of Standards. Does Art Tatum have extra fingers? It may seem so at times.

Disc 3 is also solo but for a couple of tracks. What this disc does is fill in some blanks spots with some real rarities, if you are so lucky to actually be a Tatum completist. For me, these are great tracks that I know I won't accidentally run across elsewhere. Especially when I get around to uploading more Tatum eventually.

Once again, what can be said about the genius of such a piano player? Goddamn, sometimes this stuff just turns me inside out! It is what the kids refer to as old school jazz. Be it roots jazz, 2nd generation, whatever, this is the shit. Once you understand that you will realize how awesome this stuff is.

Art Tatum
Memories of You

Disc One - The V-discs
1. Sweet Lorraine*
2. Cocktails For Two+
3. Liza+
4. She's Funny That Way
5. Gershwin Medley;
The Man I Love / Summertime / I've Got Plenty Of Nothin' / It Ain't Necessarily So
6. Body and Soul
7. Lover
8. Begin The Beguine
9. Indiana
10. Poor Butterfly
11. Where Or When
12. Song of the Vagabond
13. I'm Beginning To See The Light
14. 9:20 Special

Disc Two - Standards
1. I'll Get By ( As Long As I Have You)
2. Sweet Lorraine
3. Can't we Be Friends
4. I'll Never Be The Same
5. Make Believe
6. Judy
7. Body and Soul
8. Elegy
9. Happy Feet
10. Royal Garden Blues
11. Ain't Misbehavin'
12. Stardust
13. In A Sentimental Mood
14. The Man I Love
15. Running Wild
16. I Can't Get Started
17. Get Happy
18. Begin The Beguine
19. It Had To Be You
20. Humoresque
21. Hallelujah
22. Lullaby In Rhythm
23. Over The Rainbow

Disc Three - Tea For Two
1. Tea For Two+
2. Poor Butterfly
3. I've Got a Right To Sing The Blues
4. Tabu
5. Ain't Misbehavin'
6. Royal Garden Blues~
7. I Got Rhythm
8. Hallelujah
9. Hallelujah
10. Poor Butterfly
11. Song Of The Vagabonds
12. Lover
13. memories Of you
14. Running Wild
15. Yesterdays
16. Kerry Dance
17. Crystal Clear
18. Gang O'Notes
19. Between Midnight and Dawn
20. Apollo Boogie

Art Tatum - piano
Oscar Pettiford - bass*
Sid Catlett - drums*, ~
Tiny Grimes - guitar+
Slam Stewart - bass+, ~
Roy Eldridge - trumpet~
Charlie Shavers - trumpet~
Vic Dickerson - trombone~
Benny Morton - trombone~
Ben Webster - tenor sax~
Edmond Hall - clarinet~

The Standards disc was recorded between '38-'39
All others were recorded between '40 - '46

BL 7608-2
disc 1
disc 2
disc 3

Well there you have it... a minor milestone, but I hope you have enjoyed the ride so far and I hope you will all stick around for more.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thelonious Monk - the man i love

What can possibly said about a Monk record that hasn't been said already. This one is another in a long line of classics. I was really surprised when I didn't find it uploaded all over the place, and even more surprised when I didn't find it readily available on disc. So this truly a pleasure to share.

But a little back story... I had heard Monks's version of The Man I Love on some cheap lp of Gerswhin covers but never knew where it came from. Not surprisingly, when I ran across this Black lion lp of monks, I snapped it up. It was one I was unfamiliar with and given Black Lions reputation, I was sure not to be disappointed.

During the first spin though was when I realized I had located that Gershwin cover that I loved so much. I'm sure I came as close to dancing as I ever do. Add to it one of the most balls out versions of Misterioso I have heard, and you end up with one first class lp.

Thelonious monk
the man i love

1. I Mean You
2. The Man I Love
3. Ruby My Dear
4. Little Rootie Tootie
5. Misterioso
6. Trinkle Trinkle
7. Crepescule With Nellie

Thelonious Monk - piano
Al McKibbon - bass
Art Blakey - drums

recorded at Chappell Studios, London, 11/15/71


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Phil Woods Quintet - Heaven

A sorely underrated lp, not that it will set the world on fire, but still...I wonder why I have never seen this around. Phil Woods is like Dexter Gordon in that these later lps ares filled with brilliance as opposed to fire. Each has its place.

Woods worked with this quartet for many years with splendid results, but adding the additional horn was really what makes the difference on this lp.

Not to be missed is the exceptional covering of two of Duke's over looked as well classics, in the title tune and Azure, which I have mistakenly always credited to Strayhorn.

Like I said in the previous post - part of the joy of doing this is finding these gems buried right under my nose.

The Phil Woods Quintet

1. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
2. Heaven
3. The Duke
4. Azure
5. 222
6. Occurrence

Phil Woods - alto sax, clarinet
Tom Harrell - trumpet, flugelhorn
Hal Galper - piano
Steve Gilmore - bass
Bill Goodwin - drums

Blackhawk Records BKH 50401-1 D

Headed towards 100

As I head for post 100, I want to share a few thoughts. This blog did not start out as a jazz blog but quickly moved in that direction. And I could not be happier. Through this blog and my love of jazz I have made some pretty cool connections out in blogland. I have gotten and shared many a wonderful records that might have just fallen by the wayside. Who knows maybe to disappear forever. (Yeah, right!)

Anyway, I have every intention on keeping Hook's Hidden Gems focused on jazz but the title (hopefully) will be changed to simply Hook's Gems. Since my hidden stash is running relatively low.

I also want to focus in several different directions that I have only maybe touched on. More vocalists, some cassette copies that need to be transferred, a handful of 7"ers. And last but not least some compilations I have put together exclusive to this blog.

I also want to take some time to work on my most neglected first love - Malathion Risk. What was once a simple paper fanzine, it now languishes in cyberspace.

I may even occasionally share stories of some of my jazz related travels. Like the time I had to ask several people in the little town of Richmond, IN where the Starr Piano Factory was, only to be greeted with blank stares.

I would encourage anyone to share their stories here as well.

But mostly I want to thank everyone who visits here with any regularity, especially the 9 who have opted to "follow me". I especially want to thank those who have linked me to their sites, a greater compliment I cannot think of. And most especially a small few who wish to remain unnamed but are my greatest asset.

The thing I have loved the most about doing this has been the joy in rediscovering records that were right under my very nose. It has been a very pleasant awakening. Unfortunately you can't take it with you when you go - so after transferring many of these records to a format more easily transportable - many lps will go up for sale. Stay tuned for further developments.

In the mean time - enjoy the next couple of posts. I am looking forward to #100. It will be a killer!

Oh and all you lurkers and grabbers, a thank you once in awhile wouldn't hurt. Where are your manners?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gil Evans - Live at the Public Theater

I've been playing it safe the last few posts it seems. Time to offer something different again.

This record is something I picked up on a whim once, and it took many many years of barely occasional listening for it to click. Eventually it did.

Gil's electric piano is sometimes distracting as are the blips and beeps from a couple of synths, but on the whole this record is what jazz can be when we don't limit ourselves to conventional thinking.

One thing I did notice when ripping this record is that two of the ensemble players that I was sadly unaware of are now to be listed among my favorites. A situation that i can credit directly to my involvement with CIA, and those are Arthur Blythe and Hamiet Bluiett.

While this records is purported to be a live recording, the audience noise is kept to a bare minimum until near the close of the show. And of course there is the inclusion of a Hendrix track as we have come to expect from Evans.

Settle back and see if the genius of Gil Evans doesn't show through for you, as it finally did for me.

Gil Evans
Live at the Public Theater

1. Anita's Dance
2. Jelly Rolls
3. Alyrio
4. Variations On The Misery
5. Gone, Gone, Gone
6. Up From The Skies

Gil Evans - Electric Grand Piano
Masabumi Kikuchi - organ, synthesizers
Pete Levin - clavinet, synthesizers
Tim Landers - electric bass
Billy Cobham - drums
Alyrio Lima - percussion
Arthur Blythe - alto and soprano saxes
Hamiet Bluiett - baritone sax, tenor flute
John Clark - french horn
Lou Soloff - trumpet
John Faddis - trumpet
Hannibal Marvin Peterson - trumpet
George Lewis - trombone
Dave Bargeron - trombone, tuba

recorded 2/8-9/80

Trio records PAP-9233

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Art Pepper with The Sonny Clark Trio

Early, early Art Pepper from 1953. You can see the guy emerging easily here. What a sax player he would become!
I know very little about this date. My cover is a black and white affair in a ridiculous checkerboard format. This rip is taken from a Straight-Ahead Jazz records reissue, date unknown.
The original recording was done in Pepper's stomping ground of Hermosa Beach, CA. and I suspect was nothing more than a pick up date that someone recorded.

Art Pepper with the Sonny Clark Trio
1. Brown Gold
2. These Foolish Things
3. Tickle Toe
4. Tenderly
5. Strike Up The Band
6. Night and Day

Art Pepper - alto sax
Sonny Clark - piano
Harry Babasin - bass
Bobby White - drums

recorded May 31. 1953 @ The Lighthouse, Hermosa Beach.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Dexter Gordon - Blues a' la Suisse

I have a weird relationship with Dexter Gordon's records. Not necessarily a love/hate thing because I don't ever really hate them. His earliest stuff is entertaining but not necessary. A single Bethlehem compilation will suffice. The Blue Note post bop dates are excellent and essential to any decent jazz collection, but more often than not, they are not the records I quickly reach for.
What I have really come to appreciate is his later period stuff where he feels like he has settled into his older, wiser statesman status. He was rarely boring and he played with an ease that seemed to just settle my nerves.
Sure there were a few clunkers that occasionally, on paper should have been better, but I find myself more accepting of even those lately.

This one has always felt like a gem to me, and I don't see it around much, so here it 'tis.

Dexter Gordon
Blues a la Suisse

1. Gingerbread Boy
2. Blues a la Suisse
3. Some other Spring
4. Secret Love

Dexer Gordon - tenor sax
Hampton Hawes - electric and acoustic piano
Bob Cranshaw - electric bass
Kenny Clarke - drums

recorded live @ Montreaux Jass festival, 7/7/73

Prestige P-10079

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Art Farmer Quartet - A Work Of Art

Not to be confused with Farmer's very first session as a leader. That was titled Work of Art. This much later session later session finds Farmer working exclusively with the flugelhorn. I generally shy away from the flugelhorn as it always seems to lack the fire, the sharpness I have come to associate with the trumpet. As I have grown older I have come to appreciate the fluidness and lyrical nature that the masters coax out of this horn.

This session from 1982, is on a label that I usually connected with an almost third stream sensibility. That and the completely horrid cover caused me to pass this record over several times.

I know now that Concord has a nice reputation and has released many fine records, but no one is getting let off the hook for that cover.

The Art Farmer Quartet
A Work Of Art

1. Red Cross
2. You Know I Care
3. (I Got A Woman Crazy For Me) She's Funny That Way
4. Change Partners
5. Summersong
6. Love Walked In
7. One For Sam

Art Farmer - flugelhorn
Fred Hersch - piano
Bob Bodley - bass
Billy Hart - drums

recorded Sept. 1981, NYC


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Art Pepper - Among Friends

I had never heard of Art Pepper when I was in high school. Hell, I was just learning to dig Miles and Trane. Couple of years later, it was Monk, Mingus and Duke. But never Art Pepper. Shame really as he was going to be turning out some exceptional records over the next few years. Completely oblivious.

Lets hope these posts can save some poor soul from the same fate.

This a great Pepper date where he hooks up with a few former compatriots. No matter how fucked up he must have been at the time, he rarely laid down a bad track.

You may notice that the sidemen on this date have already worked with Pepper on previous dates. Apparently he (or somebody) gathered them together for this session. It seems to have worked out well.

You don't see this one around much.

Art Pepper - Among Friends

1. Among Friends
2. 'Round About Midnight
3. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
4. Blue Bossa
5. What Is This Thing Called Love?
6. What's New?
7. Besame Mucho
8. I'll Remember April

Art Pepper - alto sax
Russ Freeman - piano
Bob Magnusson - bass
Frank Butler - drums

Recorded from Discovery lp DS-837

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dizzy Gillespie - Have Trumpet.../ The Ebulliant...

Tonight, a pair of overlooked Dizzy lps on the Verve label.
The first one is covers, mostly standards, with the exception of his own Woody'n You which has found its way into the bop standards in it's own right. Full of grace and lyricism and no less tha a dash of humor and you'll find this recording can hold its own against any middle period Gillespie lp. Upon archiving these, the one thing that took me by surprise was Les Spann's flute and guitar work. I have long considered those to be some of my least favorite instruments in the jazz idiom. The guitar I had come to accept as a necessary evil but the flute I still avoided like the plague. Turns out the flute is like cold beets. I don't mind at all, and even enjoy them in medium doses. Surely wouldn't want a steady diet of beets (or flute, for that matter) but damn if I didn't find myself digging it way beyond what I had ever thought I would. I guess growing older does open the possibilities for new things. Who knew?

The second lp, finds Dizzy sporting the same band but with the inclusion of Chino Pozo on congas, it takes a decidedly more percussive flair. While nothing will top the Cole Porter cover on the last record, over all I find this lp more interesting.
Since he takes great liberties with Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac; Always, and Willow Weep For Me are the only straight forward standards on this lp.

As Dizzy had been working this combo in the clubs for awhile, I'm assuming these songs were comfortable for all, and so the recording sessions were very relaxed and highly entertaining.

For the record, Chino Pozo was said to be the nephew of the more famous Chano Pozo.

I have not been able to listen to one of these records without pulling out the other immediately for many years now. I hope you enjoy this pair together as I have.

Dizzy Gillespie
Have Trumpet, Will Excite

1. My Heart Belongs To Daddy
2. My Man
3. Moonglow
4. St. Louis Blues
5. Woody'n You
6. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
7. There Is No Greater Love
8. I Found A Million Dollar Baby In The Five And Ten Cent Store

Dizzy Gillespie
The Ebullient Mr. Gillespie

1. Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac
2. Always
3. Willow Weep For Me
4. Ungawa
5. Lorraine
6. Girl Of My Dreams
7. Constantinople
8. The Umbrella Man

Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet. vocals
Junior Mance - piano
Les Spann - flute, guitar
Sam Jones - bass
Lex Humphries - drums
Francisco "Chino" Pozo - conga drums

MG V-8313

MG V-8328

Once again - my apologies as these were taken from my less than perfect vinyl copies.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sonicphonics - Exploded Views

And now for something completely different....

This is just about the farthest reaches of jazz I can go. Not really free jazz, but a eclectic cross of jazz, electronica and no wave, as the label implies.

This disc is mesmerizing in places and damn near danceable in others. The fact that this was performed live only adds to my fascination.

It was Bang's presence that drew me to this record. His contributions are in no small part why I dig it. But truly his is but one facet of one of these recordings where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

C'mon, give it a try, I dare you!

Exploded Views

  1. Off Land
  2. Freight Connections
  3. Thin Ice
  4. Altered State Transmission
  5. Cryptics
  6. Exploded Views
  7. Deranger
  8. Data Change
  9. Mesmerize
Geoff Serle - drums, programming, keyboards, congas
Jon Dobie - guitars, saxophones
Adrian Northover - saxophones, wind synthesizer, theremin
Billy Bang - violin
Colin McLean - dub effects

all compositions by Sonicphonics
produced by Geoff Serle & Sonicphonics
live sound mix by Gunter Seiser (Salzburg) & Colin McLean (Poitiers)
recorded live at Jazz im Theatre Festival, Salzburg, February 1999 & Confort Moderne, Poitiers, February 1997

This time it was taken from disc...NMCD10

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tommy Flanagan - It's Magic

As promised, here is a nice recording by Tommy Flanagan. This dude was a workhorse playing om some of the finest lps ever recorded by many many artists. But he didn't really come into his won as a leader until later into his career. I really wish I would have held onto some of those later Muse lps i had at one time. I bet I would appreciate them much more now.

This is a pretty straight ahead bop session from 57. The standards medley may be the highlight.

Flanagan may not have set the world on fire but he certainly should be remembered. I am glad to contribute one of his own efforts here.

Of course, not to be missed is his work on the previous post of Wilbur Harden Quartet's "King and I" set.

Tommy Flanagan
It's Magic

1. Two Ton
2. Medley:
It's Magic
My One and Only Love
They Didn't Believe me
3. Soul Station
4. Club Car
5. Upper Berth

Tommy Flanagan - piano
Sonny Redd - alto sax
Curtis Fuller - trombone
George Tucker - bass
Louis Hayes - drums

recorded 9/5/57 at Van Gelder studios

Savoy 12209

the usual disclaimer of late; recorded from a vinyl version of SJL 1158

Wilbur Harden - The King and I

Somehow I have always been a sucker for this musical, and these takes on the songs are some of my favorite versions. Wilbur Harden is always so lyrical in his playing so this rendition of the soundtrack seems natural.

Later on this was to be credited often to Tommy Flanagan who seems to have claimed larger fame than Harden, although mostly through longevity. Not to say Flanagan was a slouch, far from it as my next post will show.

There is such a joyful quality about this whole lp that it always leaves me smiling at the end. And generally befuddled as what to play next. Later versions of the lp included alternate versions of "Getting To Know You" and "Something Wonderful". Very nice recordings that languished in the Savoy faults for 30 years but unessiantal and therefore left off of this post. I can provide them upon request.

And once again, a great record to play just after an intimate dinner, but before dessert. Who can resist the charms of a beautiful companion and the wonderful strains of "Shall We Dance"? Not me.

The Wilbur Harden Quartet
Plays the Music of Rogers and Hammerstein

1. Getting To Know You
2. My Lord and Master
3. Shall we Dance
4. We Kiss In A Shadow
5. I Have Dreamed
6. I Whistle A Happy Tune
6. Hello Young Lovers
7. Something Wonderful

Wilbur Harden - trumpet, flugelhorn
Tommy Flanagan - piano, celeste
George Duvivier - bass
Granville T. Hogan - drums

recorded 9/23 and 9/30, 1958 at Van Gelder studios.

Savoy 12134

disclaimer: recorded from a vinyl copy of SJL 1189

Friday, October 9, 2009

Shirley Horn Trio - A Lazy Afternoon

Ah, absolutely one of my favorite overlooked lps. What a perfect way to end summer. Sure lounging in a hammock on a hot Sunday mid afternoon may have been more appropriate but this unusually warm night, the roar of stock cars faintly in the distance, and this record have me fondly reminiscing of the the last few months gone by.

Shirley Horn's voice is an instrument unto itself and reminiscent of the best horn players. Never overshadowing her piano work, there are few who can who mesh so completely.

Her piano work is perfect for this low key outing, as is the accompaniment by a couple of Muse regulars.

This record was made for relaxing not dancing. Pour an after dinner single malt, and cue this up, await sparks.

The Shirley Horn Trio
A Lazy Afternoon

1. I'm Old Fashioned
2. There's No You
3. New York's My Home
4. Why Did I Choose You
5. Take A Little Time To Smile
6. Lazy Afternoon
7. Gentle Rain
8. Gra'ma's Hands
9. I'll Go My Way By Myself

Shirley Horn - vocal, piano
Buster Williams - bass
Billy Hart - drums

Recorded July9, 1978

Steeplechase SCS-1111

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Elmo Hope - Trio

Once again an image of my actual lp escapes me, so the photo of Mr Hope at the piano will have to suffice. (edit: Thanks to farlac for the cover and stating the obvious.)

Elmo Hope seems to some how have slipped into a position slightly behind Monk and Powell and just ahead of Herbie Nichols. In other words, everyone I know has at least heard of Monk, and quite a few more may be aware of Bud Powell, but only my friends who are at least somewhat involved with jazz have heard of Elmo Hope. 'Tis a shame.

I have always perceived Elmo Hope as a leader, not a sideman even though he has appeared on many records in that role. It is on his own songs that Hope really tends to shine. This record splits the songs evenly between his own and covers. Of course Night In Tunisia is familiar to most but he really brings it on the introspective I Love You by Porter, and again on the final Gershwin cover.

The songs on this lp are some of his last, I suspect, as he ODed early the next year. But these recordings are far from a man that is wasting away. I have always found these songs full of joy, an artist at his peak. Of course I may be wrong, what do I know? But this is a record have chosen not to part with over the years, and I am happy to share it here.

Undoubtedly these songs have appeared elsewhere but here they are, from a vinyl lp (again) that appears to be a Japanese issue of earlier release under the RCA imprint.

Elmo Hope Trio

1. Night In Tunisia
2. Stellations
3. Elmo's Blues
4. I Love You
5. Bertha, My Dear*
6. Somebody Loves Me*

Elmo Hope - piano
John Orr - bass
Philly Joe Jones - drums
Clifford Jarvis - drums*

Recorded march 8/may 9*-1966


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shirley Scott / Stanley Turrentine

Another absolute classic. Unfortunately short as hell also.

Clocking in at less than 35 minutes, this lp smolders like its name and front cover imply. Sadly it also leaves you wanting more.

In keeping with that theme (or maybe not , depending on how you enjoy my reviews), I'm gonna just bow out and let this record speak for itself.

Shirley Scott and Stanley Turrentine - Blue Flames
1. The Funky Fox
2. Hip Knees an' Legs
3. Five Spot After dark
4. Grand Street
5. Flamingo

Shirley Scott - organ
Stanley Turrentine - tenor sax
Bob Cranshaw - bass
Otis Finch - drums

Prestige P-7338

disclaimer - recorded from OJC-328

Friday, October 2, 2009

Coleman Hawkins - hawk in germany

Although Hawk gets top billing on this lp, he only appears on half of the program. And so it is when you have successfully made the transition from big band to bop.

This session features four ex-pats, all incredible in their own right. And sadly for 3 of them, recording would end shortly.

Hawk and Powell were far from their peak, but somehow this recording of old friends seems to generate a spark. Pettiford would have passed within 6 mos., Powell within 3 years, which is also when Hawkins quit recording and just took to the bottle. He hung on for another 3 years. Only Klook managed to survive the ravages of fame, quietly passing at 81.

But so much for back story, the lp is classic Black Lion production. Lots of standards, with the Powell Trio taking the mostly upbeat tracks with Bean joining for the second half, mostly ballads.

I often wonder if this has not been released as the Essen Concert.

Anyway for your enjoyment, another vinyl rip...

Coleman Hawkins/Bud Powell - hawk in germany
1. Shaw Nuff
2. Blues In The Closet
3. Willow Weep For Me
4. John's Abbey
5. Salt Peanuts
6. All The Things You Are
7. Yesterdays
8. Stuffy
9. Just You, Just Me

Coleman Hawkins - tenor sax
Bud Powell - piano
Oscar Pettiford - bass
Kenny Clarke - drums

recorded April 2, 1960

BL - 159