From the monthly archives: "January 2014"

ZootSimsTheLostTapesCover

Zoot Sims was part of the west coast jazz movement and maybe why many jazz fans have not paid enough attention to him. This album. Zoot Sims Baden-Baden was recorded live on June 23, 1958 as the cover states and as mentioned below, is part of the “Lost Tapes” recording offered by a new label named Arthaus Musik. All these recordings are very memorable, very rare and most importantly available at great prices, so take advantage immediately! Zoot Sims was one of the best jazz saxophonist players ever and this album makes it very clear, enjoy!

About the album:

In 1958 Sims played with Benny Goodman at Expo ‘58 in Brussels, where he met the Viennese-born Hans Koller, then Europe’s coolest tenor sax. Two years earlier Sims had made a Blue Note recording with the German pianist Jutta Hipp and he was keen to meet other European jazz musicians. So Jo Berendt, head of the jazz department at the then SWF, invited the two to a studio concert, supplementing the horn section with Adi Feuerstein and Gerd Husemann (fl, ts), Willie Dennis (tb) and Helmut Brandt (bs).; The ensemble also featured Hans Hammerschmid on piano, Peter Trunk on bass….Read More

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Biography of Zoot Sims:

John Haley “Zoot” Sims (saxophonist) was born on October 29, 1925 in Inglewood, California and passed away on March 23, 1985 in New York City at the age of 59.

Zoot grew up in California as the youngest child in a family of vaudeville performers. Before long, Sims took up the only instrument left in the house, a curved clarinet. His interest in jazz was sparked when he explored his older brother’s record collection, which included recordings featuring Ben Webster and Lester Young. The recordings had such an impact that within two years Zoot hit the road, performing with the big bands of Bobby Sherwood and Ken Baker.

Sims’ signature sound formed in the early 1940s, when he surfaced in Los Angeles’ fertile Central Avenue scene. Clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman discovered him and immediately recruited him for his band. In 1947 Sims landed an even higher profile gig when he joined Woody Herman’s famed Second Herd, along with fellow saxophonists Stan Getz, Herbie Steward……Learn more

TheHappyHornsOfClarkTerry

Clark Terry sure knows how to have fun when he records an album, he has that big smile on his face at all times. Jazz fans don’t seem to really take him as serious as other legendary jazz musicians. Maybe its the instrument he’s mostly identified by (played the trumpet also) and pioneered, the flugelhorn. Or maybe because he didn’t record with the more famous jazz musician, like Blakey, Miles and Coltrane. Well, with those particular greats he didn’t but he did perform with Dizzy, the Duke, Clifford Brown, Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Oliver Nelson and even Charlie Parker, just to name only a few. The list is endless, he was involved in the Bebop, Hard Bop and Avant-Garde eras. He continued recording until 2005 but has made various guest performances since then. He is now 93 years old, check his website and learn more. In this particular album “The Happy Horns of Clark Terry” Clark Terry plays both the Trumpet and the Flugelhorn, as the album cover displays. He is joined by Phil Woods on the alto and Ben Webster on the tenor. Excellent album, enjoy!

About the album:

This all-star CD has plenty of memorable moments. Flugelhornist Clark Terry teams up with altoist Phil Woods (who doubles on clarinet), tenor great Ben Webster, pianist Roger Kellaway, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Walter Perkins for a varied program that includes a rollicking version of “Rockin’ in Rhythm,” Bix Beiderbecke’s “In a Mist,” a Duke Ellington medley and “Return to Swahili” which is mostly a flugelhorn-drums duet. The lively music is quite enjoyable. ~ Scott Yanow Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey in 1964…….Read More

HankMobleyQuintetCover

Hank Mobley has a very interesting start to his career as a premiere jazz saxophonist, it goes like this:

Mobley was born in Eastman, Georgia, but was raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey, near Newark. When he was 16, an illness kept him in the house for several months. His uncle thought of buying a saxophone to help him occupy his time, and it was then that Mobley began to play. He tried to enter a music school in Newark, but couldn’t, since he was not a resident, so he kept studying through books at home. At 19, he started to play with local bands and, months later, worked for the first time with musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach…..Learn more

As you can see in his discography on the link above, this 1957 album, “Hank Mobley Quintet” was already his 8th as a leader in a span of two years (1955-57). That’s an incredible feat and each one of those recordings are gems. His success at such an early age was aided by the company he kept which comprised of legendary elite jazz musicians, this helped his effort, but it was possible because he was that talented. If not, he would never have the opportunity to play with these all stars. Here, he was accompanied by Art Blakey on drums, Doug Watkins on bass, Horace Silver on piano and Art Farmer on flugelhorn. Great album, a must have, enjoy!

About the album:

With all the tenor sax titans prevalent in the late ’50s and early ’60s, including Rollins, Coltrane, Getz, and Shorter, Hank Mobley nearly got lost in the shuffle. While not as edgy as the above, Mobley had a uniquely bittersweet, not-hard-yet-not-soft tone, and his reputation has grown after his passing. QUINTET is a 1957 Blue Note session featuring almost the entire early edition of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, except with Mobley the leader (and Art Farmer instead of Donald Byrd). Like Blakey’s recordings of this period, QUINTET includes overtones of the then-developing soul-jazz sound……..Read More

TeddyCharlesTentetCover

This 1956 recording goes under the heading of advanced jazz and early avant-garde. to achieve this vibraphonist Teddy Charles had to gather up a great ensemble and he sure did. The improvising is very revealing and very exciting with all sorts of well combinations of bebop, hard bop and trading back and forth between these two premiere saxophone players (Gigi Gryce and J.R. Monterose). Teddy Charles and drummer Joe Harris work together along with bass player (Teddy Kotick) in directing this train to sudden twists while guitarist Jimmy Raney adds an emotional perspective to help validate the changes. And there’s additional improvising, as one would expect when Art Farmer is part of the action. Let’s not forget the Tuba, the French Horn, the Baritone Sax and pianist Mal Waldron. Those musicians are in the the first 7 tracks and which were recorded on January. Songs 8, 9 and 10 feature other artists and recoreded later on in the year (October and November), check lists of musicians here. “The Teddy Charles Tentet” is a jazz collector’s dream, enjoy!

About the album:

Most of this CD features vibraphonist Teddy Charles heading an advanced tentet in 1956, a unit including the likes of trumpeter Art Farmer, altoist Gigi Gryce, tenor saxophonist J.R. Monterose, pianist Mal Waldron, and guitarist Jimmy Raney. The arrangements of George Russell (“Lydian M-1”), Gil Evans (a year before Miles Ahead), Jimmy Giuffre, Mal Waldron, and Charles are quite advanced but often leave room for some swinging spots. The final three selections……Read More

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About Teddy Charles:

Teddy Charles Cohen (1928), a white vibraphonist (mainly known as “Teddy Charles”), debuted as a leader in a bebop trio with a guitarist and a bassist, The Teddy Cohen Trio (november 1951). The EP New Directions (december 1952) documented a quartet that added drummer Ed Shaughnessy (Edging Out), while the EP New Directions Vol 2 (january 1953) featured a trio with piano and drums (Metalizing). A sextet with altoist Frank Morgan and tenorist Wardell Gray was documented on the EP West Coasters (february 1953). Charles’ music was moving out of bebop, with loose concept of tempo and harmonies that bordered on dissonance. If the material of these early recordings was mostly covers, four original……Read More

JazzMoodsCover

This album is another classic jazz album and that will only open your eyes even further concerning Yusef Lateef’s abilities. Although it was recorded in 1957, it hangs right there and very comfortably with Mingus’ early avant-garde jazz works. The addition of Curtis Fuller adds the extra layer that helps it cross over from just being straight forward hard bop, but it stays right on that line as if it were walking on a tight wire. Lateef is a true artist in “Jazz Moods” as he composed every song also. Amazing music, very inventive, a must have, enjoy!

Note: Yusef Lateef recently passed away at the age of 93 on last December 23, 2013.

About the Album:

Yusef Lateef, who is still active today at age 90, is a quiet innovator. Although he first emerged as a tenor-saxophonist with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band in the late 1940s, his musical interests have long stretched beyond both jazz and the tenor. Lateef grew up in Detroit and, after his stint with Gillespie, he stayed there until 1959, studying music and becoming a major part of the local scene. By the time he began recording as a leader in 1955, Lateef had developed into a masterful flute player and he would soon add oboe while stretching from jazz into what would be called World Music (particularly the folk music of the Mideast), while never losing his ability to swing hard. While Lateef had stints with Charles Mingus……Read More

ArtBlakeyBigBandCover

The name of this 1957 album is “Art Blakey Big Band” and it is a killer! All these legends playing together but not in a familiar manner. It’s very elegant and perfectly executed but not what you would expect from these hard boppers. So don’t get your hopes high unless you treat it solely as a big band album. You will hear Coltrane, Donald Byrd, Bill Hardman, Idrees Sulieman and many more but not with much improvisation as normal. Art Blakey takes it another notch with his signature rumblings and Coltrane toils a little but again he’s limited with time, his so-called solos are just miniature teasers. Now if you are a big band fan, then you have yourself a collectible album, enjoy!

About the album (From London Jazz Collector):

This astonishing line-up is fired at you from your speakers in what Bethlehem modestly call “Micro Cosmic Sound”. Put on your Sun Ra glasses and cosmic ray-deflecting tinfoil hat! Astonishing articulate physically electrifying sound. Probably one of the best if not THE best pressing I have ever heard. Since the last time I wrote that, about Tempo as I recall.

I knew of the name Bethlehem, held in reverence by old codgers from US Jazz Collector – chaps  who seem to have been collecting jazz since the Founding Fathers disembarked the Mayflower and headed straight for Fred Cohen’s New York Jazz Centre, King James Bible and Fred’s Guide under arm.

“Gadzooks!  Goody Cohen, what is this ear I see?”

“Tis no “ear” Sire, tis the symbol of the Plaftylite Company, purveyors of fine music. When someone invents the hi fidelity gramophone……Read More

 

GuitarGrooveCover

This is exactly what the album name implies, a guitar groove and one that you will love! René Thomas truly leads and the rest of the band follows right behind with perfect improvised timing. Great work by “Tootie” Heath as he keeps that groove going in the fast paced tunes. A great rendition of Monk’s “Ruby, my dear” as J.R. Monterose plays his heart out (Like always) and Thomas mixes and matches up in the most complimenting manner. This very rare album “Guitar Groove” radiates a great amount of soul, it will help relax your mind and relieve all your daily tensions. Jazz is great medicine for the mind because it is so pure and real. These master musicians are simply conveying “human” feelings to the listeners but they have the special ability to present it as an art form and by way sound waves, not an easy task to do. For this reason, they are so special, enjoy!

About the album:

European guitarist Rene Thomas made his debut as a leader with this 1960 date for the Jazzland label. Residing in Quebec at the time, Thomas is joined by an American cast of characters on Guitar Groove. In the bass chair is Teddy Kotick, one-time member of the Horace Silver and Bill Evans groups. Tenor saxophonist J.R. Monterose joins the quintet, fresh from the dates for his own The Message. Albert “Tootie” Heath, then in between stints with J.J. Johnson and the Jazztet, lends his drum work, and Hod O’Brien fills in the gaps on piano. These are session musicians of the highest order: skilled improvisers who always know……Read More

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About René Thomas:

One of the finest European jazz guitarists to emerge during the 1950s, René Thomas appeared on many sessions with Americans during the next few decades. Influenced as one might expect by Django Reinhardt, Thomas was mostly self-taught and by the 1950s he was a greatly in-demand cool-toned guitarist, playing in a style similar to Jimmy Raney’s. In addition to performing with the top European jazz musicians, Thomas worked with Chet Baker (1955), lived in Montreal during 1958-1963, played with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Sonny Rollins, was back in Europe by 1963, and during the next few years….Read More

SonnyRollinsWithTheModernJazzQuartetCover

This album was released in 1956 but amazingly contains recordings from 1951 and 1953. It is considered to be Sonny Rollins debut album as a leader. As you will read below in the description, he was only 21 years old (Recordings with the Modern Jazz Quartet Tracks 1-4) but with plenty of experience. This album would not really be possible without the sturdy support of the Modern Jazz Quartet, a group which flourished together for countless years afterwards. There were others who made this album possible also and they were Miles Davis, Art Blakey, just to name a few. This explains the other 9 tracks, since 1 through 4 were with MJQ (Recorded with the complete band). “Sonny Rollins with the Modern Jazz Quartet” was also released as Sonny & the Stars.” Overall, it’s a straight forward Bebop/Hard Bop album with very short songs. Interesting enough, 1951 was when Bebop was converting into Hard Bop and this album helps the listeners distinguish the difference between both. Sonny Rollins makes the difference!

Track Info: Recorded January 17, 1951 (#13), Recorded December 17, 1951 (#5-12), Recorded October 7, 1953 (#1-4)

About the album:

Always gifted with a big band sound and a pure sense of swing, Sonny Rollins did not emerge full-blown from the foam like Venus. He gained polish and experience with Bud Powell, J.J. Johnson, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, before making his Prestige debut as a leader at the tender age of 21. WITH THE MODERN JAZZ QUARTET celebrates the tenor saxophonist’s first three 10-inch LPs–MAMBO JAZZ, SONNY ROLLINS QUARTET, and SONNY ROLLINS WITH MILT JACKSON–and is culled from sessions in December of 1951 and October of 1953. There is much joy and rhythmic elation in Rollins’ early vamp figures such as “Shadrack” and “Scoops,” where he preaches with a stomping fervor that anticipates the hard bop movement. On “Newk’s Fadeaway,” he hints at the harmonic freedom and plasticity of line that would distinguish his early triumphs, while….Read More

HappyFrameOfMindCover

The listeners will only be in a “Happy Frame of Mind” when listening to this bona fide classic 1963 album by a bunch of colorful creative jazz musicians, a great combinations! Horace Parlan leads the band on piano and as the album cover exhibits, you have Johnny Coles (Trumpet), Booker Ervin (Tenor), Grant Green (Guitar), Butch Warren (Bass) and my favorite drummer jazz drummer Billy Higgins. “Happy Frame of Mind” is guaranteed to pick your spirits up and make your day, enjoy!

About the album:

Wicked work by pianist Horace Parlan — and one of his most stunning Blue Note sessions ever!  The album was first recorded in 1963, but then kept on the shelf for years — seeing only brief release as part of a Booker Ervin package in the late 70s, and finally coming out with the proper cover and lineup at some point in the 80s!  Why Blue Note waited so long is a mystery, because the album’s a gem throughout — almost more important, and more starkly modern than any of Parlan’s other work for the label.  Booker Ervin leads the frontline on tenor, alongside Johnny Coles on trumpet, Grant Green on guitar, and the rhythm section of Butch Warren and Billy Higgins.  Parlan’s choice of material is fantastic….Read More

BodyAndSoulMontroseCover

This hard to find 1970 album is from tenor saxophonist J.R. Monterose, a great talent and with an intriguing career. I’m talking about a premiere jazz musician that was right in the thick of it in the mid-50’s. Playing live and recording with the best of them (Kenny Dorham and Charles Mingus) and then simply vanishing from the scene altogether, very interesting. I featured his excellent debut album as a leader, here on Jazz Con Class Radio and now its his 4th album, “Body and Soul.” It’s not easy finding liner notes about his albums, the descriptions are very short or nothing is written at all. This is the best description out there and all you will learn is where it was recorded and the members of the group.The album is ranked 5 stars by all reviewers, that’s for sure, enjoy!

This Youtube (audio only) is from an duo album he recorded in 1981 with the great Tommy Flanagan:

HappyNewYearListeners2014

Happy New Year to all the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners and their families! I would also like to thank you all for your participation and your loyalty to the station. Without all of you this station would simply not survive! This new year will bring many more listening experiences since I will be continuously adding more music. I am going to be improving the website/blog with more features too. So again, all good things for you all to enjoy. Happy New Year!

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