From the monthly archives: "July 2013"

InPursuitOfBlackness

Joe Henderson was quite aware of his so-called “blackness” and really didn’t need to pursue it any further. He used this particular title with reflection of the times the record was recorded (Read below for details). This album is almost impossible to purchase by itself, it is bundled with either “Black is the Color” or “Tetragon, either way you win! I don’t understand why the CD version for this album by itself is not available but these two combinations seem to be the best way to buy it. If you are interested in the Vinyl version, get it used and/or in 8 Track. For more background information of this particular album, go here. The Jazz Con Class Radio listeners will enjoy this excellently improvised album with 2 tracks from a live appearance at the Lighthouse Cafe’ in Hermosa Beach, California on September of 70 with Curtis Fuller on the trombone and the other three songs were recorded in NYC in 1971. Great album to own especially if you are a Joe Henderson fan, that’s why its in my personal library. It will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the album:

Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews, Mitchell Feldman and Joe Henderson. Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (1998, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). This two-albums-on-one-CD set captures the tenor master at an interesting juncture, both in his own artistic development and jazz in general. The collection draws from three recording sessions, spanning 1970-72. Henderson’s music honestly reflected what was happening with the different factions shaping jazz in that era: the avant garde, the blossoming of fusion and the influence of the post-bop mainstream. He also synthesizes an awareness of jazz’s African roots and the growing use of electric and electronic instruments and overdubbing (which most of the mainstream jazz audience of the time thought was heresy). The music on this album ranges from straight-ahead standards (“Invitation,” with fine playing from Shaw) and driving, quirky hard bop…..Read More

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There are some people who have asked me that famous question, What is Jazz? They could be new to it or they simply do not understand it. Louis Armstrong’s famous answer/quote was “Man, if you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know.” That could be true for some but could also be cruel for many others who simply never had the chance/opportunity to listen to Jazz. The constant bombardment of so-called “Pop” music on the radio dial has not allowed many to learn Jazz in the past but now with internet radio, it is available. There are many who are intrigued by Jazz and are genuinely interested in finding out more. For this reason Jazz Con Class Radio was started, the outlet is there and the listeners do have that choice now. Make a project of it and learn more about Jazz and its origins. Begin by conducting your own online search, type the question “What is Jazz?.” The results will expose many explanations and theories that will set a good foundation to further understand. I suggest to pay more attention to the explanations from Jazz musicians themselves.

I personally fell in love with Jazz the very first time I heard it and understood it immediately. I had the advantage of growing up in an era where music in general was rebellious and “Popular” music was not as infectious. There are many who did not grow up during the 60’s like I did and/or were blocked from listening to all types of music in their household. That’s alright with me because I have two great presentations that will definitely help everyone who is having trouble understanding what Jazz is.

The first one is an audio of Leonard Bernstein named What is Jazz and recorded in 1956:

Part One:

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Part Two:

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The second would be documentary: Jazz: A Film By Ken Burns 

You can purchase it here or if you have Netflix, you can watch it there.

Here’s the intro:

EllingtoniaMoodsAndBluesCover

Paul Gonsalves became well known and recognized as a great Jazz tenor in 1956 (You will read below) while playing in Duke’s big band. This 1960 album sounds like a big band and is classified in that genre, it is a septet. And to make it more special, Johnny Hodges is there on the alto sax switching lead with Gonsalves, a great combo! It seems that Hodges and Gonsalves take their respected turns in creating the mood and playing the blues. Don’t forget the contributions from the talented Ray Nance on the trumpet, who really gets down and dirty in some spots. “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues” is a very enjoyable album that will help relax the Jazz Con Class Radio after a hard day’s work.  Check the schedule link for

About the album:

Paul Gonsalves was considered some kind of new genius of the tenor saxophone after he blew an astounding 27 choruses with Duke Ellington’s Orchestra on the Duke’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival. As part of RCA’s reissue series to celebrate Ellington’s 100th birthday, Ellingtonia Moods & Blues brings back a 1960 date featuring Gonsalves and other Ellington soloists. Although nominally credited to Gonsalves, this, in fact, is a co-chaired date with Johnny Hodges. Hodges shares the composing, arranging and — as always — swinging soloing. Add the fine trumpet work of Ray Nance and the swinging trombone work of Booty Wood — both contributing just the right blend to offset the two saxophonists — and this makes for one potent date. The rhythm section is solid and supportive, with great playing from Jimmy Jones on piano, Al Hall on bass, and Oliver Jackson on drums. Gonsalves plays his usual breathy tenor, full of warmth and depth, caressing his notes in much the same time-honored manner as Hodges, making their solos……..Read More

BIG BONUS TRACKS: I added “Low Gravy” from the “Gettin’ Together!” album and “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” (Live from Newport 1956) to complete the hour!

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TheoryOfArtCover

What else can I say of Art Blakey that hasn’t already been said. By far, the most influential musician in the Hard Bop era. His “Jazz Messengers” ensembles were the largest contributions to the musical art form of Jazz. With each album he recorded, Blakey introduced new talent by showcasing them to the world. The exact number of musicians he directly affected will never be known, it seems that every great Jazz musician recorded with him some time in their career. Many people do not associate Jackie McLean with the Jazz Messengers but he recorded 5 other great albums (“Hard Bop”, “Originally”, “Drum Suite”, “Ritual” and “Tough!”)  with them besides this one. The  “Theory of Art“, another perfect example of Hard Bop Jazz, will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times, ENJOY!

About the Album:

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers Plus Four: Art Blakey (drums); Sahib Shihab (alto saxophone); Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone); Cecil Payne (baritone saxophone); Lee Morgan, Bill Hardman (trumpet); Melba Liston (trombone); Wynton Kelly (piano); Jimmy “Spanky” DeBrest (bass). This CD contains two unique sessions in the history of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Five numbers feature a sextet that includes both altoist Jackie McLean, who had recently left the band, and his replacement, tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin along with trumpeter Bill Hardman; “A Night in Tunisia” best shows off this short-lived group. The remaining two numbers were unissued until this CD came out and feature Blakey heading a nonet that included future Messenger Lee Morgan, trombonist Melba Liston and Griffin. The music is consistently excellent……..Read More

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JackiesPalCover

Here’s another excellent Jackie McLean album recorded in 1956. This one is different, in the sense that McLean is supporting a young talented trumpet player, Bill Hardman. This is actually Hardman’s debut recording and a few months before joining Art Blakey and the Messengers. Jackie McLean and his talented quintet helped Hardman get recognized. Jazz musicians do not compete, they work together and always help a new talent by featuring them with their band. And because its his debut, Hardman is allowed equal control of the music played. His skipping/tampering trumpet style will catch the attention of all the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners. Not to mention, the heavy duty Hard Bop lovers will appreciate the overall quality of this album and will most likely add it to their collection soon after, what a treat! “Jackie’s Pal” will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times. Have fun with this one!

About the album:

Jackie’s Pal album for sale by Bill Hardman / Jackie McLean Quintet was released Jun 25, 2013 on the Analogue Productions label. The perennially underrated Bill Hardman (1932-90) was one of the unsung trumpet heroes of the modern era. His raw sound and tense, “running” attack……Read More

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Bill Hardman Biography (AllMusic.com):

A reliable hard bop-oriented trumpeter, Bill Hardman never became famous, but he helped out on many sessions. While a teenager, Hardman gigged with Tadd Dameron, and after graduating high school he was with Tiny Bradshaw (1953-1955). He debuted on record with Jackie McLean (1955), played with Charles Mingus (1956), and gained recognition for his work with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (1956-1958). Hardman worked with Horace Silver (1958), Lou Donaldson (on and off during 1959-1966), re-joined Blakey twice (1966-1969 and in the late ’70s), was with Mingus again during parts of 1969-1972, and led a group with Junior Cook (1979-1981). Bill Hardman had an appealing style in the Clifford Brown tradition and recorded as a leader for Savoy (1961) and Muse.

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HeresLeeMorganCover

This 1960 album was Lee Morgan’s 8th album and he was only 21 years of age at the time. “Here’s Lee Morgan” can also be considered one of the best Jazz album ever and definitely one of Lee Morgan’s best. But then again, every album he recorded or was part of, was great. This album had an unusual combination, not particularly on drums (Art Blakey) and bass (Paul Chambers) but with the Clifford Jordan (Tenor Sax) and Wynton Kelly. Morgan worked with Kelly and Jordan on a few albums in the late 50’s and very early 60’s. In conjunction with a 3 Hour special (3PM to 6PM N.Y. Time) celebrating Lee Morgan’s 75th Birthday Anniversary this album will be featured. It will continue to be featured for week or so, check the schedule link for all play times. Enjoy!

Please Note: The description below probably is referring to his debut with Vee-Jay records, I think? I’m clearing it up here for the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners, for more accurate information concerning Lee Morgan’s discography and/or any other Jazz artist the listeners should check Jazzdisco.org or even Wikipedia, they do a great when it comes to music.

About the album:

This is a “reissue-plus” of the 1960 debut album (originally on Vee-Jay Records) by jazz trumpet great Lee Morgan. Morgan had one of the sharpest, brashest modern trumpet sounds in the ’60s, right up there with contemporaries Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. On his debut he was in great company: hard bop drum legend Art Blakey (whose Jazz Messengers Morgan was a member of), ’50s Miles and Coltrane pianist Wynton Kelly, bass ace Paul Chambers, and the fine, underrated tenor sax of Clifford Jordan. The program is the usual mix of standards and originals, with a fine-and-mellow version of Frank Sinatra’s ballad “I’m A Fool To Want You.” Wayne Shorter’s sturdy “Running Brook” pointed towards the moody, thoughtful hard bop of the Blue Note era. On his debut, Morgan was still heavily under the sway of Miles and Kenny Dorham…..Read More

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IdleMomentsCover

Here’s an exquisite album from Grant Green that will fill the Jazz Con Class Radio listener’s minds with soothing positivity. Considered one of the best Jazz album ever recorded (1965), “Idle Moments” can be used as a perfect example of the mid 60’s cool movement. Grant Green opens a brand new creative avenue for future Jazz guitarists to adventure on. Its the perfectness in timing by Green and his co-musicians Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone), Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone), Duke Pearson (piano), Bob Cranshaw (bass), Al Harewood (drums) that allow them to pull off the perfect caper. Outstanding album and one that you will immediately purchase after hearing, it’s a no-brainer, WOW! I will feature it as usual, for a week and then drop it into the rotation. Check the schedule link for play times.

About the album:

The Rudy Van Gelder Edition of IDLE MOMENTS includes an essay by Bob Blumenthal. Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Rudy Van Gelder (Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey). This is part of the Blue Note Rudy Van Gelder Editions series. It was always a part of Blue Note’s development and marketing to introduce new artists as sidemen on more well-known leaders’ projects before giving them dates of their own. The system worked pretty well, and the irony is that a release like 1963’s IDLE MOMENTS looks likes more of an all-star session in retrospect. Sure, we get to hear Grant Green stretching out. But we also get Bobby Hutcherson and Joe Henderson, who were just winning their first Downbeat polls at the time. Green himself had come through this system, appearing with organ combos and on other hard bop sessions, before graduating to his own Blue Note dates. IDLE MOMENTS may be one of his finest…..Read More

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LeeMorgan75thBirthdayAnniversarySOMGallery

Lena Sherrod spearheads the SOM Gallery in Harlem and dedicates herself to preserving the legacy of my favorite Jazz trumpet player Lee Morgan. In my behalf I will be dedicating three hours of Lee Morgan, from 3PM to 6PM (Hours of Celebration) for those who cannot make it. Thank you Lena!!

Check schedule link

NOTE: Although this post is late to confirm your attendance, try the contact Email and number, there might still be some room available.

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OutwardBoundCover

This is an excellent album that will further rectify the genius of Eric Dolphy. It was recorded in 1960 and like all of Eric Dolphy’s albums, it is reinforced with an all star cast that can keep up with him. There’s Freddie Hubbard on the trumpet, Jaki Byard on piano, George Tucker on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. As usual and absolutely not out of the ordinary, Dolphy plays three separate instruments throughout the album, the flute, the baritone sax and the alto saxophone. Many who are not familiar with his exceptional musicianship, mistakenly characterize his work as too far “out of the box.” Dolphy was actually a true hard bopper at heart but he knew how to disguise is very well. Oh yes, Dolphy would go out on a tangent, that’s for sure but it was because he could! He was so talented that he had to and what many failed to recognize, he was very discipline. Thanks to the accepted improvised nature of Jazz, he was allowed the freedom to express himself to the fullest. This is the beauty of Jazz and what separates it from almost any other form of musical art. The more you listen to Eric Dolphy and realize the impact he had on those who performed with him, the more you will understand him. “Outward Bound” will be featured for about a week, check the schedule link for play times.

About the album:

Digitally remastered using 20-bit technology by Shigeo Miyamoto (JVC Studios). Digitally remastered using 20-bit K2 Super Coding System technology. This is part of the Prestige Records 50th Anniversary Commemorative Special Edition series. The late multi-reed player/composer Eric Dolphy, one of the most pivotal figures in jazz, was a fiercely lyrical imaginative musician at the forefront of the changes the music underwent in the 1960s. Dolphy, unlike some of his contemporaries, never totally abandoned the bebop approach of soloing over chord changes, but instead took his solos to fresh, expressive heights. OUTWARD BOUND, a quintet session from 1960, shows Dolphy in a somewhat transitional phase, his music closer to the hard bop of the late ’50s than the free jazz of the ’60s. “245” is a late night blues on which Dolphy, on alto, testifies his feeling and loyalty to the form. The standard “Glad to Be Unhappy” is given a lovely, lively reading on flute……..Read More

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AllTheGinIsGoneCover

This 1959 recording is not just about tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest, there’s an amazing band backing him up and it makes up for a special album. “All the Gin is Gone” as you will read below featured Grant Green, pianist Harold Mabern and a great bass-drummer combination of Gene Ramsey-Elvin Jones. Their version of “Caravan” is one of the best I’ve heard. This album will be featured for a week or so and then placed in the Hard Bop playlist, check the schedule link for play times.

About the album:

This was the first album that tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest made after his R&B phase ended. Particularly notable is that the set served as the recording debut of guitarist Grant Green; completing the band are pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Gene Ramey and drummer Elvin Jones. The top-notch group performs two ballads, “Caravan” and three basic Forrest originals, including the title cut. The music is essentially melodic and blues-based hard bop that looks toward soul-jazz. Everyone sounds in fine form. ~ Scott Yanow tenor sax player’s 1959 session features the very first recording of Grant Green & young Elvin Jones on drums, also Harold Mabern-pno……Read More

JimmyForrestImageBio

Jimmy Forrest Biography:

Jimmy Robert Forrest Jr. (saxophonist) was born on January 24, 1920 in St. Louis, Missouri and passed away on August 26, 1980.

Big-toned tenor saxophonists were nurtured, as a rule, in the big bands of the Thirties and Forties. Jimmy Forrest, known for his huge hit “Night Train,” (which reached #1 on the Billboard R&B Chart in March 1952) was featured in the orchestras of Andy Kirk and Duke Ellington, and then struck out as prolific bandleader. He was a popular performer in the R&B circuit throughout the 1950s.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Forrest worked in the Midwest with pianist Eddie Johnson, Fate Marable, the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra, and Don Albert. Respected for his tone and his swinging style, Forrest worked with the Jay McShann Orchestra and the Andy Kirk big band (1942-1948). He had a stint with Duke Ellington in 1949 and two years later recorded “Night Train.” The success of that hit allowed Forrest to lead his own band for several years, recording other similar r&b-oriented material.

During the 1950s, Forrest was recorded live in St. Louis with Miles Davis and in the studio on dates led by Cat Anderson. Forrest’s heart was always in swinging jazz and he enjoyed his association with trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison during 1958-1963….Read More

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