From the monthly archives: "May 2013"

EricDolphyAtTheFiveSpot2Cover

Here’s and outstanding 1961 live album that I will be featuring and exclusively for the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners. It’s actually a double treat because it has two bonus songs (track 3 and 4) from another album, “Eric Dolphy & Booker Little Memorial Album” and was released after Eric Dolphy’s unfortunate death in Germany in 1964. I’m not sure why the original released on Prestige (7294) did not include all the songs because they were recorded on the same night. I can only guess because of the length of the record but they will be featured here together and for a week or so. The name of the album is “Eric Dolphy at The Five Spot 2”, check the schedule link for play times, ENJOY!

About the album:

Recorded live at The Five Spot, New York, New York on July 16, 1961. Originally released on Prestige (7294). The 2009 reissue of Eric Dolphy’s landmark AT THE FIVE SPOT VOL. 2 includes two bonus tracks, “Number Eight (Potsa Lotsa)” and “Booker’s Waltz,” which originally comprised the Eric Dolphy-Booker Little MEMORIAL ALBUM, released posthumously in 1964. Reed player/composer/arranger Eric Dolphy was, in the early ’60s, in the vanguard of the free jazz movement, yet his music was not as avant-garde as some of his contemporaries’. Dolphy played with a freer, more vocalized approach, yet he did this over more or less standard chord changes. Recorded in 1961, the AT THE FIVE SPOT series of albums documents what may have been Dolphy’s finest group ever, as well as one of that era’s best working bands. This quintet plays beautifully as a unit in extended performances of originals and standards, making tunes such as “Like Someone in Love” their own. Dolphy’s flute is exquisitely lyrical, and Booker Little’s trumpet is crisp and brassy, full of….Read More

EricDolphy&BookerLittleMemorialAlbumCover

About the “Eric Dolphy & Booker Little Memorial Album”:

The late Eric Dolphy is one of the most pivotal figures in jazz, a fiercely lyrical player and imaginative composer at the forefront of the changes the music underwent in the 1960s. Dolphy, unlike some of his contemporaries, didn’t totally abandon the bebop approach–though his solos could be wild (Dolphy played alto sax and bass clarinet with an extremely energetic and vocal presence), his rhythm section kept things grounded. In the early ’60s, he had a quintet with Booker Little, one of the greatest trumpet voices of that time, and a flexible, forward-looking rhythm team (especially the fine drummer Ed Blackwell, who had played with Ornette Coleman). This disc captures that group live in New York City in 1961, stretching out at length on two originals: the bittersweet, slightly melancholy “Number Eight,” and the jaunty, fluid “Booker’s Waltz.” Both pieces are filled with nimble, thoughtful, and…..Read More

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Biography of Booker Little:

Booker Little, Jr. (trumpeter) was born on April 2, 1938 in Memphis, Tennessee and passed away on October 5, 1961 in New York City at the age of 23.

Little was born in Memphis, Tennessee to a trombonist father and piano playing mother. Both of his parents played in church groups, and his sister Vera later sang with the London Opera Company. At first, the boy attempted to learn trombone, then switched to clarinet at age twelve.

At fourteen, urged by his Manassas High School band director, Little switched to the trumpet for good. Memphis was a fertile musical city the boy grew up jamming with many future jazz notables, including pianist Phineas Newborn, Jr. and his guitar playing brother Calvin, trumpeter Louis Smith, who was also a cousin, pianist Harold Mabern, and saxophonists George Coleman, Charles Lloyd, and Frank Strozier.

In 1954, Little left Memphis to study trumpet and composition at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, where he earned a Bachelors of Music degree in trumpet. While in Chicago, he spent time jamming around the city with the likes of tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, as well as drummer Walter Perkins and bassist Bob Cranshaw, better known as the Modern Jazz Two (MJT).

While he was a sophomore at the Conservatory, Little roomed for nine months at the YMCA with saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Rollins exerted a strong influence on Little’s musical conception, encouraging the young trumpeter to form a distinct voice on his horn. “[Sonny] cautioned me about allowing myself to become overly influenced by other players,” Little told Nat Hentoff. “{He told me not to listen to too many records, because he felt I was listening to them mainly to emulate what the soloists were playing. “You’ve got to be you,” he told me, “whether that’s bad or good.}”

Rollins also introduced Little to drummer Max Roach in 1955, while Clifford Brown still held the trumpet chair in Roach’s group. Brown died the next year, and Roach approached Little to replace him in the group. Still in school at the time, however, Little declined and the seat was filled by Kenny Dorham. Upon graduating in June 1958, Little almost immediately flew to St. Louis to replace Dorham in Roach’s pianoless quartet – which also featured his old friend from Memphis, George Coleman……Learn More

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TodayAndNowCover

The Jazz Con Class listeners will enjoy this 1963 album by well known Jazz pianist McCoy Tyner and considered to be the best of his Impulse recordings the “experts” say. In my opinion, McCoy Tyner’s impulse recordings are all fantastic but there’s less popularity on trio recordings and 3 of the 6 were and not appreciated as much. Of the remaining three, you have a Live in Newport, a tribute album to Duke Ellington and this one which will be featured here. There are actually two versions of “Today and Tomorrow“, this one is the original one (Remastered) and has 6 songs. The second version was released later (Remastered also) has 3 additional songs, making it 9 altogether. I read about it here but still cannot find the 2nd version or those 3 additional songs anywhere. “Today and Tomorrow” will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times.

About the album:

The great pianist McCoy Tyner teams up with trumpeter Thad Jones, altoist Frank Strozier, tenor saxophonist John Gilmore (on vacation from Sun Ra), bassist Butch Warren, and drummer Elvin Jones on the first three selections of this reissue CD; it is a pity that the potentially exciting group did not have more of an opportunity to play together, for these three numbers are excellent…….Read More

MccoyTyner

McCoy Tyner Biography:

Tyner’s blues-based piano style, replete with sophisticated chords and an explosively percussive left hand has transcended conventional styles to become one of the most identifiable sounds in improvised music. His harmonic contributions and dramatic rhythmic devices form the vocabulary of a majority of jazz pianists.

Born in 1938 in Philadelphia, he became a part of the fertile jazz and R&B scene of the early ’50s. His parents imbued him with a love for music from an early age. His mother encouraged him to explore his musical interests through formal training.

At 17 he began a career-changing relationship with Miles Davis’ sideman saxophonist John Coltrane. Tyner joined Coltrane for the classic album My Favorite Things (1960), and remained at the core of what became one of the most seminal groups in jazz history, The John Coltrane Quartet. The band, which also included drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Jimmy Garrison, had an extraordinary chemistry, fostered in part by Tyner’s almost familial relationship with Coltrane.

From 1960 through 1965, Tyner’s name was propelled to international renown, as he developed a new vocabulary that transcended the piano styles of the time, providing a unique harmonic underpinning and rhythmic charge essential to the group’s sound. He performed on Coltrane’s classic recordings such as Live at the Village Vanguard, Impressions and Coltrane’s signature suite, A Love Supreme.

In 1965, after over five years with Coltrane’s quartet, Tyner left the group to explore his destiny as a composer and bandleader. Among his major projects is a 1967 album entitled The Real McCoy, on which he was joined by saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Ron Carter and fellow Coltrane alumnus Elvin Jones. His 1972 Grammy-award nomination album Sahara, broke new ground by the sounds and rhythms of Africa. Since 1980, he has…..Read More

TheSoothsayerCover

Its been for some time that a Wayne Shorter album was featured on Jazz Con Class, so I picked a real classic, “The Soothsayer.” Well, anything of Wayne Shorter is basically a masterpiece but this one in particular is considered to be one of the very first Avant-Garde albums recorded, 1965. Wayne Shorter is surrounded by musicians that had their own impact on the Avant-Garde era in the coming years and had already left an impression at a young ripe age during the Hard Bop era. I’m talking about Wayne Shorter (Tenor), Freddie Hubbard (Trumpet), McCoy Tyner (Piano), Ron Carter (Bass) and Tony Williams(Drums). I can go on adding more about this album but I’ll let it do the talking for me. There aren’t really any words to totally describe how good this album is. Soothsayer will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times.

About the album:

With THE SOOTHSAYER, Wayne Shorter fronts a large ensemble for the first time in his solo endeavors. Like his previous sessions, Shorter’s assorted guests are drawn from the most notable groups of the time. McCoy Tyner from Coltrane’s quartet, rhythm-mates Ron Carter and Tony Williams from Shorter’s employer Miles Davis, and Freddie Hubbard who shared horn duties with the saxophonist in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers are all present, producing a huge sound lead by Shorter’s artistic vision. Also on board is alto saxophonist James Spaulding who is the perfect compliment to Shorter’s eclectic tenor. SOOTHSAYER is the fourth Blue Note…..Read More

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JazzConClassradioIOSapp

Yes, finally the Jazz Con Class listeners can download the iOS app from Apple to their iPhone and/or iPad. So now the listening experience of Jazz Con Class Radio has reached full circle and can be enjoyed on a Windows PC, a Mac Computer, an Android device and a Apple iOS device. Both apps are totally FREE and are presently in their debut version. As time goes on I will update these versions to make it even easier to enjoy.  Here’s the link to the Apple app on iTunes and the Android app on Google Play. For more information and the latest, check the “Latest App News” link, enjoy!

McLeanAndColtrane

This Super Tuesday Jazz presentation will feature the Saxophone. From right in-tune, to slightly out-of tune to way out-of-tune saxophone masterpieces. These will be predominantly sax lead tunes that will basically drown-out the rest of the instruments in the band. Of course, the existence of the other band members is of great importance. In order for these saxophone geniuses to succeed in achieving their dominance, they need to be showcased by the rest of the band. Jazz musicians are helping/aiding each other constantly, there is never any sign of selfishness present. Jazz musicians respect each other to the maximum and are the best of friends. They feed off each other because of the improvisational nature that helps it evolve further. This leads to a very big question and one that I feel is starring into the faces of all present day Jazz musicians. Has Jazz reached a point where improvising cannot be achieved any further without surpassing the borders it has established throughout its history?? Check the schedule link and Tuesday in particular, for play times, enjoy!

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BluesToColtraneCover

Who is Cal Massey, well let me tell you how I found out. I was sitting back/relaxing and listening to one of my favorite albums of Lee Morgan, “Lee-Way” and was looking through all the credits to see if Lee Morgan had composed any of the songs. I noticed that he had composed one of the songs, “The Lion and the Wolf” and Jackie McLean had also, “Midtown Blues” but the other two, “These Are Soulful Days” and “Nakatini Suite” had the name “Massey” listed beside them. For curiosity sake, I did a quick search on Cal Massey and learned about a very underrated and rarely mentioned trumpet player who only recorded one album as a leader but more importantly, I found out that he was a great composer of Jazz songs. I will be featuring this standalone masterpiece which was recorded in 1961, “Blues to Coltrane.” Unfortunately for all Jazz fans, this album was not released until 1987! I personally consider this to be a crime and you will probably feel the same when you hear it for yourself. I’m glad that I was able to find out more about Cal Massey and will be more than honored to share this album play with the Jazz Con Class listeners. Check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the album:

Recorded in 1961, but not released until 1987, BLUES TO COLTRANE was the only recording session Massey led. Cal was one of the unsung heroes of jazz, not even rating a mention in “All Music Guide,” but recognized by connoisseurs as a master of beautiful, melodic and soulful trumpet playing. This belated first release of an album recorded almost half a century All songs written by Cal Massey. Recorded at Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, New York on January 13, 1961…..Read More

Biography of Cal Massey:

There’s some doubt about the birth date of composer and trumpeter Cal Massey, with some accounts having him born on January 11, 1928. But there’s no question about his ability as a composer; Massey wrote some poignant and compelling material, and had works recorded by John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, Lee Morgan, Philly Joe Jones, and Archie Shepp, among others. Some Massey numbers that were cut included “Bakai” by Coltrane, “Fiesta” by Jones, “Assunta, Father and Son” by Hubbard, “Message from Trane” by McLean, and “Cry of My People” by Shepp. Massey studied trumpet with Freddie Webster and worked in big bands led by Jay McShann, Jimmy Heath, and Billie Holiday….Learn More

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TheBlackAngelCover

Here’s a sort of introduction/debut album of Freddie Hubbard in accordance to the new wave type of Jazz started by Miles Davis. Hubbard only displays his contribution on the first track named “Spacetrack” and as you will read below on the album description the rest of the tracks fall back to a more Hard Bopish style. Freddie Hubbard eventually created his own style of Jazz from there on and didn’t really follow the path Miles set. Miles’ style was very sophisticated and did over-improvise in a avant-garde manner but was organized and followed its own unique format, he kept it real and understandable. And although he toyed with it, Miles never did enter that Free Jazz zone. Hubbard improvised plenty in his future recordings, he was certainly avant-garde(ish) but he added the “Soul” factor to his songs. His Jazz focused more on the urban youth movement adding that electronic funky beat and in the process did not exclude the Latin presence/influence which was also very strong in the late 60’s. For me in particular, I like Hubbard’s style more than Miles. The Jazz Con Class listeners here should understand that I personally identify with it more because I grew up in the New York City metropolitan area. Also and very important to me, Hubbard didn’t abandon the Hard Bop style, he was more “old school” you could say. He eventually stayed away from the Jazzfusion movement that started afterwards, in the early to mid 70’s. Hubbard continued on with his style and came out with four popular recording after this album, they were Red Clay, First Light, Straight Life, and Sky Dive. The Black Angel” will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the Album:

Digitally remastered by Gene Paul (DB Plus, New York, New York). Freddie Hubbard released The Black Angel in the same year as the landmark Miles Davis album Bitches Brew. Its obvious Hubbard wanted to appeal to the emerging crossover rock/jazz crowd of the era. The presence of bop, however, still permeated Hubbard’s playing, unlike Miles who had long since dropped the form. The opening Hubbard composition “Spacetrack” contains fiery avant garde interplay between Hubbard, James Spaulding on alto and Kenny Barron’s electric piano. Thanks to Spaulding and bassist Reggie Workman, much of the playing here maintains intensity. The other Hubbard penned originals, “Gittin Down” is an urgent hard swinging boogaloo and the ballad “Eclipse” features Spaulding on flute and Barron on piano. “Coral Keys” written by Walter Bishop, Jr. and Barron’s “Black Angel have a Latin tinge highlighted by Spaulding’s soaring flute…..Read More

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TuesdayLoveJazzPresentation

This Jazz presentation will concentrate on “Love” and songs that have word “Love” in its title. And of course, relate to love and the meaning it truly has. All the ups and downs, all the real love and the pretended love. All the joys of being in Love and all the heartbreaks of feeling it will never work. From “What is this thing called love” to “The Look of love” to “Star-Crossed lovers” to “Perpetual Love” to “Almost like being in love” to “Falling in love with love” to “What now my Love?” to “The End of a love affair” to “What Love?”  All sorts of situations concerning love that we have all experienced or are experiencing at the present moment. Songs that can help us all understand love and its importance. Songs that can help us cope with a Love affair and songs that can prepare us in case we never been in love. Songs that can be very therapeutic for many listeners and songs that will be a reality check for others. Everyone feels love differently and adopts to it in their own way but it must be mutual for both to work. Yes, Love can be complicated but who said it was ever going to be easy? Check the schedule link for play times, ENJOY!

MilesSmilesCover

Yes its all smiles when listening to this album, “Miles Smiles.” So is that familiar constant cymbal beat of Tony Williams on the drums, as he works that forward march, along with Wayne Shorter,  Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter. A true advance Avant-Garde sound of  integrated instrumentation, acoustically brilliant! This album will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times.

About the album:

With their second album, Miles Smiles, the second Miles Davis Quintet really began to hit their stride, delving deeper into the more adventurous, exploratory side of their signature sound. This is clear as soon as “Orbits” comes crashing out the gate, but it’s not just the fast, manic material that has an edge — slower, quieter numbers are mercurial, not just in how they shift melodies and chords, but how the voicing and phrasing never settles into a comfortable groove. This is music that demands attention, never taking predictable paths or easy choices. Its greatest triumph is that it masks this adventurousness within music that is warm and accessible — it just never acts that way……Read More

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RedGarlanSuperTuesdayImage

Last week the Super Tuesday Jazz Presentation concentrated on Jazz tunes that started with the word “Blue” and this week’s presentation will be concentrate with songs that start with the word “Blues.” It’s amazing how many Jazz songs have the word “Blue” and “Blues but it shouldn’t be surprising because Jazz derives from the Blues. It is structured in format differently but contains the Blues. Like I did last week, I only placed the songs that start with the word “Blues” not including those that don’t necessarily contain the word “Blues” in it. The Jazz Con Class listeners will enjoy this presentation also, every song is handpicked and are great. But this is not so difficult for Jazz fans to judge, every traditional/classic Jazz tune is extraordinary, my goal is to place them in an order where it will flow best. Check the Schedule Link for play times. ENJOY!

Note: Please excuse the introduction, this Jazz Presentation will be 3 Hours and Half.

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DearOldStockholmCover

Here’s another great album from Coltrane where he teams up with McCoy Tyner and create a great foundation. The lively relentless drum work of Roy Haynes moves it to right direction and Garrison on Bass fills in all the gaps. This album is very similar in character as the “Crescent” album as they are only a year apart but much, more improvising by Coltrane. “Dear Old Stockholm” will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times, ENJOY!

Note: To complete the hour I added the song “Crescent” from the “Crescent” Album after the album feature completes.

About the album:

DEAR OLD STOCKHOLM gathers together studio sessions the Coltrane Quartet made with the great drummer Roy Haynes who was filling in for the remarkable Elvin Jones. “I always tried to get him when Elvin Jones wasn’t able to make it,” Coltrane explained. The resulting studio sessions, now gathered together on one disc for the first time, paint an intriguing sonic alternative to the great Coltrane Quartet of the ’60s. Where Elvin Jones’ is all rolling thunder and elemental energy, Haynes’ polyrhythmic style is more stacatto and jagged. What both drummers had in common was an uncanny intuition for orchestrating Coltrane’s epic melodic inventions, and setting up a freewheeling rhythmic counterpoint to his most complex…..Read More

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More on Roy Haynes:

A veteran drummer long overshadowed by others, but finally in the 1990s gaining recognition for his talents and versatility, Roy Haynes has been a major player for half a century. He worked early on with the Sabby Lewis big band, Frankie Newton, Luis Russell (1945-1947), and Lester Young (1947-1949). After some engagements with Kai Winding, Haynes was a member of the Charlie Parker Quintet (1949-1952); he also recorded during this era with Bud Powell, Wardell Gray, and Stan Getz. Haynes toured the world with Sarah Vaughan (1953-1958); played with Thelonious Monk in 1958; led his own group; and gigged with George Shearing, Lennie Tristano, Eric Dolphy, and Getz (1961). He was Elvin Jones’ occasional substitute with John Coltrane’s classic quartet during 1961-1965, toured with Getz (1965-1967), and was with Gary Burton (1967-1968). In addition to touring with Chick Corea (1981 and 1984) and Pat Metheny (1989-1990), Haynes has led his own Hip Ensemble on and off during the past several decades. When one considers that he has also gigged with Miles Davis, Art Pepper, Horace Tapscott, and Dizzy Gillespie, it is fair to say that Haynes has played with about everyone. He led dates for EmArcy and Swing (both in 1954), New Jazz (1958 and 1960), Impulse (a 1962 quartet album with Roland Kirk), Pacific Jazz, Mainstream, Galaxy, Dreyfus, Evidence, and Storyville…….Learn More

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JustWailinCover

Another great album comprised of superstars but what makes it even more interesting, is the combination of Herbie Mann and Charlie Rouse. They compliment each other very well, taking turns and advancing the song forward in a sweet fashion. This album, “Just Wailin’” was released in 1958 and sounds like something from the mid 60’s. Everyone does get a piece of the action but what glues it all together is when Mann and Rouse join in, outstanding! The listeners here at Jazz Con Class will have a blast with this album feature, check the schedule link for play times.

About the album:

This CD reissue of an earlier Prestige LP emphasizes (but does not stick exclusively to) the blues. The sextet has impressive players in flutist Herbie Mann, Charlie Rouse on tenor, guitarist Kenny Burrell, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist George Joyner and drummer Art Taylor. The material (originals by Waldron, Burrell and Calvin Massey, in addition to a brief “Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid”) is reasonably challenging…The straight-ahead jam session has its strong moments, and as long as one doesn’t let their expectations get out of hand, the music…..Read More

HerbieMannBioImage

More on Herbie Mann (Biography):

Herbie Mann played a wide variety of music throughout his career. He became quite popular in the 1960s, but in the ’70s became so immersed in pop and various types of world music that he seemed lost to jazz. However, Mann never lost his ability to improvise creatively as his later recordings attest. Herbie Mann began on clarinet when he was nine but was soon also playing flute and tenor. After serving in the Army, he was with Mat Mathews’ Quintet (1953-1954) and then started working and recording as a leader. During 1954-1958 Mann stuck mostly to playing bop, sometimes collaborating with such players as Phil Woods, Buddy Collette, Sam Most, Bobby Jaspar, and Charlie Rouse. He doubled on cool-toned tenor and was one of the few jazz musicians in the ’50s who recorded on bass clarinet; he also recorded a full album in 1957 (for Savoy) of unaccompanied flute. After spending time playing and writing music for television, Mann formed his Afro-Jazz Sextet, in 1959, a group using several percussionists, vibes (either Johnny Rae, Hagood Hardy, or Dave Pike) and the leader’s flute. He toured Africa (1960) and Brazil (1961), had a hit with “Comin’ Home Baby,” and recorded with Bill Evans. The most popular jazz flutist during the era, Mann explored bossa nova (even recording in Brazil in 1962), incorporated music from many cultures (plus current pop tunes) into his repertoire, and had among his sidemen such top young musicians as Willie Bobo, Chick Corea (1965), Attila Zoller, and Roy Ayers; at the 1972 Newport Festival his sextet included David Newman and Sonny Sharrock. By then Mann had been a producer at Embroyo (a subsidiary of Atlantic) for three years and was frequently stretching his music outside of jazz. As the ’70s advanced, Mann became much more involved in rock, pop, reggae, and even disco. After leaving Atlantic at the end of the ’70s, Mann had his own label for awhile and gradually came back to jazz……Learn More

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