From the monthly archives: "October 2013"

ChicagoAllThatJazzAndDixieSoundOfJackTeagardenCover

Here’s a great double album CD of two 5-star performances. If you would search for these albums separately they would be found under “Chicago and all that Jazz” and “The Dixie Sound Of Jack Teagarden.” It’s better to just purchase both together and it’s worth it! I am also going to announce here in this post that I have added Dixie Jazz bands to the “Big Band” playlist, so the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners can get the full effect of big band Jazz. Enjoy!

About the Double Album CD:

“In 1961, shortly after filming the television special Chicago and All That Jazz (hosted by Gary Moore and featuring brief appearances by many of the alumni of the 1920s Chicago jazz scene); Eddie Condon had a special reunion that resulted in this LP. He gathered together six of the eight original members of the McKenzie-Condon Chicagoans of 1927 (himself on rhythm guitar, tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, trumpeter Jimmy McPartland, pianist Joe Sullivan, bassist Bob Haggart and drummer Gene Krupa); had clarinetist Pee Wee Russell take the late Frankie Teschemacher’s spot, got bassist Bob Haggart to fill in for the retired Jim Lannigan and added trombonist Jack Teagarden. This LP finds the all-star band performing seven numbers, including three (“China Boy,” “Nobody’s Sweetheart Now” and “Sugar”) of the four originally cut in 1927………Read More

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Biography of Jack Teagarden:

Among the many landmarks of the jazz scene is one that seems destined to last forever.

It’s the trombone artistry of Jack Teagarden. An honest kind of artistry, Teagardens tromboning is generally credited with having advanced the instrument to the high level of technical achievement it enjoys among today’s modern musicians, and, at the same time, has stated a case for the lyrical quality in jazz for the nearly forty years he has been playing professionally.

Although he once sang a blues line that testified he was born in Texas and raised in Tennessee. Weldon Leo Teagarden was born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma. His birthplace was Vernon, Texas, and the date was August 20, 1905. While still in his childhood he moved to Oklahoma. His mother gave him early piano lessons, and his father, a bit of a musician himself, presented Jack with a trombone on his seventh Christmas.

His brothers, Trumpeter Charlie and drummer Clois, have played on stand with him, off and on during the decades Jack has been blowing jazz. Jack spent considerable time as a youth listening to the music and the hymn singing at Negro religious meetings. Out of this, it’s surmised, he drew his earliest feeling for the blues.

He joined the Peck Kelly band in 1921, when he was sixteen years old, and hasn’t been off the scene since. He has played with Paul Whiteman’s big band, Benny Goodman’s recording groups, Louis Armstrong’s All Stars, Ben Pollock’s band, countless groups and orchestras, many of them under his own leadership. These days, he leads his own combo, one he has traveled successfully with to the Far East for the U.S. State Department.

Of this venture, nothing but praise—-both musical and personal—-rang from every port of the band’s call. The trip covered a grueling eighteen weeks and as many countries. It was studded with many highlights. For instance, Jack and crew jammed with the King of Cambodia who as clarinetist had jammed with his idol, Benny Goodman, when Benny had toured that area few years earlier.

Also Teagarden tuned the two available pianos in the remote city of Kabul, Afghanistan, where most of the populace had never seen brass musical instruments before.

Playing under adverse conditions of weather and health. Teagarden became ill in Japan, and returned after the tour a very weak and very sick man. He played the last six weeks of the tour with a serious hernia, but refused to undergo surgery until the commitments had been filled and all his dates had been played. He went, it appears, to superhuman lengths to live up to what he has stated to nearly interviewer: “I try to play what people like.” Generally, what people seem to like is Teagarden…….Read More

IntroducingRolandKirkCover

Roland Kirk or Rahsaan Roland Kirk was a truly blessed musician that could play multiple instruments. But more extraordinary, he could play them together by jumping from one to the other and/or he could play them simultaneously, as you can see in the album cover above. And to make it even more hard to believe, he was blind! (Read more below in his biography) This 1960 album, “Introducing Roland Kirk” was his 2nd and is categorized as Hard Bop. It is very entertaining and sometimes borders Avant-Garde in the improvising. Kirk plays the tenor saxophone, the manzello, the whistle and the stritch. The album features trumpet player Ira Sullivan, who happens to play the tenor sax in this album also. Great album, buy it! Enjoy!

About the album:

Despite the title, this is not Roland (he added the Rahsaan in 1969) Kirk’s earliest session as a leader, that being the 1956 release TRIPLE THREAT. However, this classic 1960 session, originally released on Chess’s jazz label Argo, was the first that most heard of the gifted multi-instrumentalist. At the time often dismissed as a novelty for reviving the old vaudeville trick of playing up to three reeds at once, Kirk quickly silenced his critics with his impressive soloing on this record, making it patently obvious that the only answer to the question “How does he play three saxes at once?” was “Extremely well.” Undeniably modern in his tone and playing style, Kirk also exhibits an impressive knowledge of jazz roots and history, covering the standard…….Read More

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Biography of Rahsaan Roland Kirk (Wikipedia):

Kirk was born Ronald Theodore Kirk[2] in Columbus, Ohio, but felt compelled by a dream to transpose two letters in his first name to make Roland. He became blind at an early age as a result of poor medical treatment.[3] In 1970, Kirk added “Rahsaan” to his name after hearing it in a dream.

Preferring to lead his own bands, Kirk rarely performed as a sideman, although he did record with arranger Quincy Jones and drummer Roy Haynes and had notable stints with bassist Charles Mingus. One of his best-known recorded performances is the lead flute and solo on Jones’ “Soul Bossa Nova”, a 1964 hit song repopularized in the Austin Powers films (Jones 1964; McLeod et al. 1997).

His playing was generally rooted in soul jazz or hard bop, but Kirk’s knowledge of jazz history allowed him to draw on many elements of the music’s past, from ragtime to swing and free jazz. Kirk also absorbed classical influences, and his artistry reflected elements of pop music by composers such as Smokey Robinson and Burt Bacharach, as well as Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and other jazz musicians. The live album Bright Moments (1973) is an example of one of his shows. His main instrument was the tenor saxophone, supplemented by other saxes….Read More

BouncinWithDexCover

Dextor Gordon was a real warrior and very loyal to all Hard Bop loving fans. He never really adopted to new Jazz sound, he simply felt it was not necessary. This album was his last to final recording in Europe before his triumphant return to the states in 1976. He was the most busy Jazz ambassador in Europe from 1960 to 1975 and where he recorded countless masterpieces with either Jazz musicians that resided in Europe or with Americans Jazz musicians that were touring (Check his discography here). “Bouncin’ with Dex” is an excellent album that all Jazz fans must have in their personal library and of course, the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners could enjoy it here too.

About the album:

Dexter Gordon thrived on the attention of European jazz fans while living there during the 1960s and early ’70s, while he also had a wealth of opportunities to record for labels on the continent. This 1975 session for Steeplechase, one of a dozen he made as a leader for the label in the mid-’70s, finds him in top form, accompanied by pianist Tete Montoliu, along with frequent collaborators Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen on bass and drummer Billy Higgins. Gordon’s big tone carries the brisk treatment of Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce,” though he inserts a few humorous quotes into his solo as well………Read More

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Biography of Tete Montoliu:

Vicente Montoliu Massana, was born in Barcelona Spain in 1933.The son of a Barcelona symphony woodwinds player, he was born sightless. When he was seven, there were two events that shaped his life: he learned to read music in Braille and he heard recordings by Duke Ellington. Montoliu studied classical piano at the Barcelona Conservatory, and was known as a local piano sensation.

His early interest in jazz was further stimulated when the great saxophonist Don Byas lived for a time in the Montoliu home. By age 17, Montoliu was leading jam sessions at a Barcelona theater.

He made his international debut when he was invited on a European tour by Lionel Hampton in 1955, and in 1956 he recorded with the band. The possessor of astonishing technique, Montoliu exhibited warmth, deep feeling, and humor in his playing. In the 1960s and ’70s, he worked with an array of leading jazzmen including Roland Kirk, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Dorham, Archie Shepp, and Ben Webster. By the early 1960’s, he was recognized as one of Europe’s top jazz musicians. He traveled around Europe, and landed the house pianist job at the Café Montmartre in Copenhagen. Upon his return to Spain he began to perform and record prolifically mainly for the Steeplechase label. He garnered quite a reputation as a reliable jazz virtuoso, and his services were repeatedly called upon by visiting American jazzmen.

He recorded abundantly alone and with trios, almost always for European companies. “Lunch in L.A.,” his only album for an American label, found him in 1979 in great form playing solo on standards and originals. He created a prodigious body of work and amassed an impressive catalog of close to sixty records as a leader alone. He was also featured pianist on hundreds of European dates with scores of musicians……Read More

 

Coltrane1957PrestigeCover

“Coltrane” is how everyone refers to John Coltrane, there’s no need to mention his first name. It’s unnecessary when you are a living legend in the Jazz world and your last name is not as common as others. This was the case for John Coltrane throughout his career but not until this recording, was he ever mentioned as just “Coltrane.” He was not exactly a well established Jazz musician but Jazz lovers recognized him and knew his potential. This 1957 album was his breakthrough album, his very first as a leader. It was appropriately named “Coltrane” and as they say, “The rest is history.” The album cover picture used was absolutely perfect, there’s no better look of confidence along with total preparedness, than this. No question about it, you knew it was going to be a totally new experience before you played it on your phonograph. When I first heard this album decades after, I was amazed. Not because it was the first I heard of Coltrane but by imagining the impact it would have had on a young teenager in 1957, wow! Jazz is always amazing me and on a everyday basis but at the same time, saddens me because of its unpopularity now. Just another reason why I chose to broadcast it on a 24/7 basis. It must be kept alive and I am confident that it will triumph again, its inevitable! ENJOY!

About the album:

Coltrane is the debut album by jazz musician John Coltrane, released in 1957 on Prestige Records, catalogue 7105. The recordings took place at the studio of Rudy Van Gelder in Hackensack, New Jersey, and document Coltrane’s first session as a leader. It has been reissued at times under the title of First Trane.

As a result of his exposure as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, Prestige Records owner and producer Bob Weinstock offered Coltrane a recording contract. Dated April 9, 1957, it stipulated three albums per year at $300 per album.[2] Coltrane had previously recorded as a sideman, and had co-led a session with Paul Quinichette released in 1959 as Cattin’ with Coltrane and Quinichette, but never as sole bandleader.[3]

Coltrane had actually just been fired by Davis in April 1957 for drug abuse, but retreated home to Philadelphia to clean himself out.[4] He returned to New York City for mid-May sessions with Prestige, this one taking place the day after Memorial Day. By the summer, Coltrane would be recording with Thelonious Monk and playing as a member of his quartet for the rest of the year……Read More

 

TogetherAgainMcGheeTeddyEdwardsCover

It was a few posts back where I mentioned Teddy Edwards and since then I been searching for more of his stuff. I found another classic that he recorded in 1961 with Trumpeter Howard McGhee, the name of this album is “Together Again.” Not very appealing at all and by no means catchy either. These albums with insignificant, unimaginable names can be easily overlooked and that’s a big shame! This album is packed with 78 minutes (13 Songs) of high quality Jazz with two masters blowing away fast pace solos and sweet soulful ballads, including my favorite version of “Misty” and an equal version of “Lover Come Back To Me.” All made possible with the help of Phineas Newborn Jr. A must have and of course, all here and exclusively for the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners!

About the album:

Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). Tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards and trumpeter Howard McGhee had played together regularly from 1945 to 1947. For their recorded reunion, they are assisted by the masterful pianist Phineas Newborn, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen. Edwards, McGhee, and Brown contributed one new song apiece which alternates with a trio of standards (“You Stepped Out of a Dream,” “Misty” and Charlie Parker’s “Perhaps”). The trumpeter was having a short-lived comeback…….Read More

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Biography Phineas Newborn JR:

Phineas Newborn Jr. (Pianist) born on December 14, 1931 in Whiteville, Tennessee and passed on May 26, 1989 in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 57.

Newborn came from a musical family with his father, Phineas Newborn, Sr., being a blues musician and his younger brother, Calvin, a jazz guitarist. Phineas studied piano as well as trumpet, and tenor and baritone saxophone.

Newborn first played in an R&B band led by his father on drums, Tuff Green on bass and his brother Calvin on guitar. The group recorded as B. B. King’s band on his first recordings in 1949 and also the Sun Records sessions in 1950. The group would leave West Memphis in 1951 to tour with Jackie Brenston as the “Delta Cats” in support of the record “Rocket 88″. Rocket 88 is considered by many to be the first rock & roll record ever recorded (recorded by Sam Phillips) and was the first Billboard #1 record for Chess Records. Among his earliest recordings, from the early 1950s, are those for Sun Records with blues harmonica player Big Walter Horton, We Three (a trio date led by drummer Roy Haynes along with bassist Paul Chambers), and his debut as a solo artist on RCA Victor, Phineas’ Rainbow.

In 1950, Newborn Jr. enrolled as a music major at the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State University in Nashville. While there, he worked tirelessly on his classical repertoire and technique, developing a particular affinity for Franz Liszt, whose double and triple octave approach to linear melodies became characteristic of Newborn’s spontaneous improvisations……Read More

TheRayDraperQuintetJohnColtraneCover

Who said that a Tuba player cannot play as a soloist in a Hard Bop environment? It took a little more focusing and adjusting for the Jazz fan to realize and accept Ray Draper and his Tuba. Its not easy to accept the role of a Tuba after growing up and being accustomed to either watching a college marching band at halftime and/or watching a Dixie band marching down Bourbon Street. The Tuba has a certain distinctive low sounding dull tone that seems impossible to improvise but Ray Draper was determined to break the mold and he was successful. He managed, at the age of 17, to lead a Hard Bop quintet and convince the critics by effectively improvising with a Tuba. This particular Ray Draper quintet was catapulted further with the addition of John Coltrane and his unique Tenor sound. “The Ray Draper Quintet Featuring John Coltraneis a breakthrough album that all Jazz fans should own. All the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners will have the opportunity to hear it by tuning into the 24/7 broadcast, enjoy!

About the album:

Ray Draper was only 17 when he led this date (all four of his sessions as a leader were made before he turned 20) and was brave (or foolhardy) enough to team up with tenor saxophonist John Coltrane (who was 14 years older and already a major name) in a quintet also including pianist Gil Coggins, bassist Spanky DeBrest, and drummer Larry Ritchie. Draper had ambitious dreams of making the tuba a major jazz solo…….Read More

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Ray Draper Biography:

Draper attended the Manhattan School of Music in the mid-1950s. As a leader, he recorded his first album, Tuba Sounds (Prestige Records 1957), at the age of 16, with a quintet.[2] His second album was recorded at the age of 17 with slight changes in his quintet, including John Coltrane.[3]

After his release from prison in the late sixties due to drug use, Draper formed the first jazz rock fusion band composed of established jazz musicians of the day. This preceded Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew, which is normally recognized as the first jazz rock fusion group and recording by two years. Original band members included George Bohannon on trombone, Hadley Caliman on tenor sax, John Duke on upright bass, Paul Lagos on drums and Tom Trujillo on guitar. This band, after its first live performance at Hollywood’s Whisky a Go Go-where it shared the bill with Nazz-was offered numerous record deals and booked solid at rock venues for the rest of the year.

Ray Draper began using heroin again, whereupon the more experienced band members quit, except for the youngest member, guitarist Tom Trujillo and his landlord, Chuck Goodn. This led to a search for new members and hirings that included New York trumpeter Don Sleet and Ernie Watts. After two years of searching and many personnel changes, including getting clean from drugs, Draper brought drummer Paul Lagos back, along with saxophonist Richard Aplan, trumpeter Phil Wood, and bassist Ron Johnson. This new group was eventually named Red Beans and Rice, named after their favorite meal cooked by Ray’s wife, Sandy. This group…..Read More

Cu-BopCover

This was a hard find this CD which traveled from Switzerland and took a whole month for me to obtain. The name of this 1957 recording is “Cu-Bop” and features Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers along with Sabu and a Bongo. This album was an individual goal for me because of my Cuban heritage and intimate love of Cuban music that per-dates the 70’s. I’m even more interested when American Jazz musicians work together with Afro-Cuban musicians from the late 40’s to mid 60’s. The result of these two exquisite musical art forms working in conjunction, always renders a masterpiece!. The main reason why is because of the superior level of musicianship that both American Jazz and Afro-Cuban Music have in common, both the Afro-Cuban musicians and Jazz musicians studied/learned classical music beforehand and where they mastered their instruments. The Afro-American Jazz musicians mastered the Blues but were interested in the heavy African beat that Afro-Cuban music offered, so they managed to put it all together and worked hand in hand, feeding from each other. Dizzy Gillespie was the pioneer and the main communicator/connection between Jazz and Afro-Cuban musicians. It was Dizzy in the late 40’s along with Machito, Chico O’Farrill and Mario Bauza that brought it all together. Then came all the other Jazz greats following and taking place in special historical collaborations. You have Charlie Parker, Flip Phillips, Kenny Dorham, Cannonball Adderley, Cal Tjader, just to name a few. Here you have Art Blakey and another all star group of messengers, including Bill Hardman (Trumpet), Johnny Griffin (Tenor Sax), Sam Dockery (Piano), Spanky DeBreast (Bass) and of course, Sabu Martinez (Congas, Bongos). This album is basically all Jazz/Blues based  and Mambo absent but still with the strong African rhythm that Blakey added with Sabu Martinez. This was Blakey’s goal and Sabu gets him there. They compliment each other to the maximum and make it very educationally entertaining, enjoy!

About the album:

Art Blakey’s bristling Jazz Messengers consists of Johnny Griffin, tenor; Bill Hardman, trumpet; Sam Dockery, piano; “Spanky” DeBrest, bass. The addition, conga drummer “Sabu” Martinez, like Blakey, has the molten soul of a dedicated percussionist. Like Blakey, he is wholly intense; and when he begins to play, he projects a fire that at times threatens to consume his instrument and himself.

Like Blakey, Sabu too is a jazz drummer.

He is very insistent on this point. “You can’t play Latin conga to jazz,” he declares. “At least, you shouldn’t. I play the conga drum as a jazz instrument, not as a Latin addition. Using the conga drum this way is still relatively new, and very few conga drummers can express themselves as jazz musicians yet.”

Sabu was asked the primary differences between the way he plays jazz conga drum and the way he might play Latin conga drum. “I often leave more spaces in jazz, and I put more pressure on two and four. Actually, I feel jazz in two while in Latin music I have to feel the beat on all four beats pretty evenly. Another thing I do in jazz conga is to stretch my notes. I can deepen and stretch the beat by placing my hand heavier on the skin.”

Sabu is proud of a recent Art Blakey award of merit and valor. “Art said that I’m the only conga drummer who doesn’t interfere with his drumming and who doesn’t get in the way of the musicians when they’re taking solos.”

This fervent conga drummer emphasizes another important aspect of his philosophy of jazz conga blowing. “You can express yourself on the conga drum in jazz as you would on a horn. I feel it as part of the group, like any other instrument, not as just a time-keeper.”

Howard McGhee, the renowned trumpet player who was listening to this conversation, included his view: ‘”The conga drum can be like any other instrument, like another saxophone or trumpet. It adds more color, in a way, than another horn, so that it not only boosts the rhythm but colors the whole band.”

Sabu is capable of becoming Toynbeeish about his beloved conga drum. “The conga drum,” he assures those who will listen “is perhaps the first instrument in the world. Before the conga drum was a drum, it was a log, and logs were used to send messages.” The subject has many ramifications through the eons, and we shall pursue it for the moment no farther.

Sabu does not read music. “I feel the beat. I have been in jazz since 1947 and consider myself a jazz musician so I have no problem in feeling the rhythm and knowing what to do to express what I feel and to blend with the group.”

The first major influence on Sabu was the inflammatory Chano Pozo, the Cuban bongo and conga drummer who toured with the Dizzy Gillespie big band in 1948 and electrified musicians and audiences until he was cut down by a bullet that same year in a night club brawl. “Chano, whom I knew very well,” Sabu remembers, “was happy he was part of jazz and happy that he was the one to introduce into jazz the real jazz possibilities of his instruments.”

Three days after Chano died, Sabu took his place with Dizzy. He has also worked with Charlie Parker, Mary Lou Williams, Blakey, Lionel Hampton, J. J. Johnson, Buddy De Franco, Benny Goodman, Thelonious Monk, Randy Weston, and other jazzmen. He would like to make his future in jazz, and has a quintet of trumpet, piano, bass, drums and conga drum. “I want to let people see and hear more of the conga drum as a jazz instrument.”….Read More

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About Louis “Sabu” Martinez:

Louis “Sabu” Martinez was one of the most prolific conga players in the history of Afro-Cuban music. In addition to his own albums, Martinez recorded with such influential jazz musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Buddy DeFranco, J.J. Johnson, Louis Bellson, Art Farmer, and Art Blakey, and jazz vocalists including Tony Bennett and Sammy Davis, Jr. Emigrating to Sweden in 1967, he continued to apply his highly melodic rhythms to a lengthy list of recordings by top-notch Swedish performers.

A native of New York’s Spanish Harlem, Martinez spent his childhood beating rhythms on tin cans on 111th Street. By the age of 11, he was performing every third night on 125th Street for 25 cents a night. He was still in his early teens when he began playing with Latin bands including those led by Marcelino Guerra and Catalino Rolón. In 1944, he spent an extended period living in Puerto Rico.

After serving a year in the military, at the age of 17, Martinez resumed his musical career as a member of mambo originator Joe Loco’s trio. Within a few months, his playing attracted the attention of jazz musicians. In 1946, he began a long association with drummer Art Blakey. Martinez and Blakey continued to periodically work together until 1959. In addition to leading the rhythm section on Blakey’s groundbreaking album Orgy in Rhythm in 1954, he was featured on the Jazz Messengers albums Cu-Bop and Messages in 1957.

Martinez continued to be a much-in-demand session player. In addition to playing traditional Latin music with the Lecuono Cuban Boys, he collaborated with Charlie Parker and Max Roach during a 13-week stint at the New York club the Three Deuces. In April, 1949, he performed with swing clarinetist Benny Goodman.

The high point of Martinez’s career came in 1948 when he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s band, following the murder of influential conga player Chano Pozo. During the nine months that he performed with the group, he played on five albums: Dizzy, Dizzier and Dizzier, 16 Rare Performances, When Be-Bop Met the Big Band, and Diz. In return, Gillespie nicknamed Martinez “Sabu” when he noticed a resemblance to popular Indian actor Sabu, the “Elephant Boy.”…..Read More

Pre-BirdCover

Mingus again? Yes, the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners must be saying. I know, I have featured and written many posts on Mingus because of the improvising approach to every song he records. Not to mention, their uniqueness and this album proves it over and over, what a gem! Mingus was greatest for me, as I have mentioned before and perfectly expresses the “Meaning of Jazz.” His music explains Jazz through its complexities and separates it from any other style because of its freedom. He never forgets the roots of Jazz and at the same time, creates a future path for it so it can live forever. Jazz is limitless because of Mingus, it will never die!

Never a dull moment with “Charlie” as his first name is written on the cover of this 1960 release named “Pre-Bird.” The description below describes the reason why Charles Mingus chose this particular title for the album. It is important to note, this same album was reissued later on with a different title, “Mingus Revisited.” I will place all the songs from this album in the G4 Playlist because its a special unique collaboration of Jazz musicians and Pre-Bird acheives this in a big manner with 25 musicians in total. Mingus splits them up in different combinations resulting in different ensembles, depending on the song. As the listeners will read below, these songs were all either composed and/or rearranged by Mingus before the Bebop era.

About the album:

Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Kevin Reeves (Polygram Studios). Charles Mingus was and remains one of American music’s most colorful figures. A volatile personality, dynamic bandleader, influential composer–Mingus was all these and more. Drawing upon the blues and gospel roots of jazz, Duke Ellington and early 20th century classical music, Mingus’ compositions are among the most distinctive and passionate in jazz. PRE-BIRD, recorded in 1960, is a set of music that Mingus composed in the 1940s, before the ascendance of Charlie “Bird” Parker to the jazz pantheon. This collection includes a couple of Ellington covers, and music that sounds like the Duke’s influence filtered through Igor Stravinsky and Charles Ives (“Half-Mast Inhibition,” “Eclipse”). The tunes surge with emotion and power that will be felt long after the disc ends. Mingus assembled a big band (conducted by Gunther Schuler) to give….Read More

ListenLiveForPosts

HistoricMaxRoach-Clifford BrownCaliforniaConcerts1954Cover

This was a great find for me and the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners will love it! It’s Completely “Live” and taken from two separate 1954 concerts from the “California Club” in Los Angeles, on April and August (See here on JazzDisco.org). Max Roach and Clifford Brown recorded quite a bit in California and in turn, helped established the bluesy East Coast style of Hard Bop to the West Coast. Their interpretation of “Jordu” is outstanding! All the selections do praise Clifford Brown but Teddy Edwards on the tenor, who is unknown to many, is incredible as well. No need to tell anyone about Max Roach’s performance in this recording, they know the answer already! “The Historic California Concerts 1954” recording will be added to the G4 Playlist because it’s live. I must have heard this album about 10 times already and it only gets better every time, enjoy!

About the album:

Jazz historian Robert Gordon in his book Jazz West Coast writes that there was considerable editing on the two 1954 California Concerts when they were released on record on the GNP label. This editing refers mainly to the tenor saxophone and piano solos. On comparing the original releases, we have also found an additional 35 seconds of Clifford Brown’s trumpet solo on “Tenderly”, which has been included here. We are also pleased to present the spoken introductions by Gene Norman and Max Roach from the first date.

Regrettably, the solos of both Teddy Edwards and Carl Perkins on “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm” were.originally edited to one chorus each. This is the only available example of this recording. The full version has not been located and, half a century later, may be considered lost…….Read More

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Teddy Edwards Biography:

THEODORE MARCUS “TEDDY” EDWARDS was born on April 26, 1924 in Jackson, Mississippi to a musical family. His grandfather, Henry C. Reed, played the bass and his father, Bruce Edwards, trombone, violin and reed instruments. Under these circumstances it was quite obvious that Teddy started to play very young, at first alto saxophone and later clarinet.

Being talented as he was, he was able to play his first professional job at the age of twelve with Doc Parmley and his “Royal Mississippians.” Later he played with the Don Dunbar Orchestra and The Paul Gayten Sizzling Six.

His uncle, Frenod Reed, sent for him to come to Detroit to live because he felt he would have better opportunities to develop his talents. Immediately he began working up and down the ill-famed Hastings Street and played with musicians such as the legendary George E. Lee, Hank Jones, Wardell Grey, Big Nick Nicholas and the great alto saxophone player, Teddy Buckner, of Jimmy Lunceford fame and many others.

Due to illness in the family, he went back to Jackson and ventured to Alexandria, Louisiana with Bolden Townsends’ group. After Bolden was drafted for the army the rest of the group agreed Teddy should be the leader. With this group he went to Tampa, Florida to work at the Watts Saunders Blue Room. Some of the members of the Ernie Fields Orchestra heard him play there and went back to the hotel where Ernie Fields Orchestra was stopping and insisted that he come over to hear Teddy play and try to persuade him to join them. Teddy had plans to go to New York after completing the Blue Room engagement. Ernie suggested that Teddy join them because there were due to play Washington, D.C. soon and he could work that far with them and then he could leave from there to New York. But instead, he ended up at the Club Alabam on Central Avenue in Los Angeles, which later became his residence…..Learn More

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