From the monthly archives: "August 2014"

CompleteRegentSessionsCover

The multiple techniques that Pepper Adams possessed when playing the baritone sax is what made him different than the others and why he is considered to be the best for jazz fans. From Wikipedia under “Style”:

Pepper Adams was in many ways the antithesis of contemporary baritone players Gerry Mulligan and Serge Chaloff, who favored melodic cool jazz. In contrast, Adams managed to bring the cumbersome baritone into the blisteringly fast speeds of hard bop like no others had before.[13] Gary Carner, Adams’s biographer, described his style as having “very long, tumbling, double-time melodic lines. And that raw, piercing, bark-like timbre.”[7] Adams “succeeded in elevating [the baritone saxophone] to the level of all other solo instruments [with] blinding speed, penetrating timbre, distinctive sound, harmonic ingenuity, precise articulation, confident time-feel, and use of melodic paraphrase”.[14] Throughout his career, Adams consistently chose musical expression over large paychecks, as “[he] repeatedly recalled with great satisfaction his decision to play [in groups focused on musical expression] rather than to change his style to secure better paying jobs with now little-known white musicians”.[6] A large part of Adams’ appeal was that “[he] had the remarkable ability to blow low with enormous power and swing, becoming a hefty addition to big band reed sections. He also was an equally dominant voice in small groups, adding ferocious excitement and stamina”.[15]

The Complete Regent Sessions” is an amazing album that all jazz enthusiasts should own. To learn more about Pepper Adams, go to this website created and maintained by Gary Carner, author of  “Pepper Adams’ Joy Road” :

PepperAdamsJoyRoad

Pepper Adams’ Joy Road is more than a compendium of sessions and gigs done by the greatest baritone saxophone soloist in history. It’s a fascinating overview of Adams’ life and times, thanks to colorful interview vignettes, drawn from the author’s unpublished conversations with Adams and other musicians. These candid observations from jazz greats about Adams and his colleagues reveal previously unknown, behind-the-scenes drama about legendary recordings made by John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Pearson, Thad Jones, David Amram, Elvin Jones, and many others.

All types of sound material—studio recordings, private tapes and broadcasts, film scores, audience tapes, and even jingles—are listed, and Adams’ oeuvre is pushed back from 1956 to 1947, when Adams was 16 years old, before he played baritone saxophone. Because of Carner’s access to Adams’ estate, just prior to its disposition in 1987, much new discographical material is included, now verified by Adams’ date books and correspondence……..Read More

About the album:

A self-styled pre-bop era player, Pepper Adams, a product of the Motor City scene, was keenly aware of the importance of having musical roots in the past. He confessed to the influence of Harry Carney, “in the way I wanted to play the horn. See, no baritone player should be afraid of the noise it makes. Carney isn’t. He gets right down into it, inside it”. Adams made these recordings in 1957, the year Down Beat jazz critics chose him……Read More

ElectricBathCover

Here’s a big band album by the very innovative Don Ellis, which introduced an array of electric instruments. The result was a funky avant-garde styled masterpiece. “Electric Bath” was recorded in 1967 and when Jazz musicians were developing new sounds that would interest the new demanding generation of the late 60’s. This album is very unique in so many ways because it has so many cultural influences associated with it. If you happened to be in your late teens in the late 60’s, then this album will be very well appreciated, as it reflects everything that was occurring around the world at the moment. If you are not from that generation, it doesn’t matter at all, because it is super charged with that certain optimistic effect of “discovery.” Another words, this album never gets old! ENJOY!

About the album:

The 1998 reissue of ELECTRIC BATH contains two bonus tracks that did not appear on the original release. All tracks have been digitally remastered using 20-bit technology. Years before the advent of jazz-rock, when BITCHES BREW was just a gleam in Miles Davis’s eye, young trumpet sensation Don Ellis was combining jazz with electric, rock-identified elements in an amalgam that somehow managed to be both adventurous and popular. Listening to ELECTRIC BATH today, some of the ’60s go-go-dance beats Ellis added to his forward-looking big band compositions sound a bit dated……Read More

DonEllisBiography

Don Ellis biography:

Born. 25 July 1934, Los Angeles, California, USA, d. 17 December 1978, Hollywood, California, USA. Appreciation of Ellis’ work has increased since his death and he is now regarded by many as an important figure in jazz. From childhood he was fascinated with brass instruments and received a trumpet at the age of two. At junior high school he had his own quartet and at Boston university he was a member of the band. His first professional work was as a member of Ray McKinley’s Glenn Miller Orchestra. After his national service, Ellis formed a small group, playing coffee-houses in New York’s Greenwich Village. By the late 50s he was playing with many name bands including those of Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus and Maynard Ferguson. Ellis also worked in small groups, enjoying the greater freedom of expression this allowed. In 1961/2 he was a member of George Russell’s sextet.

In Atlantic City, Ellis took up a teaching fellowship and it was there that he developed and explored his interest in the complexities of Indian rhythm patterns. Ellis made a triumphant appearance at the 1966 Monterey Jazz festival with his 23-piece band. His completely original themes were scored using unbelievably complex notation. Customarily, most big band music was played at four beats to the bar but Ellis confidently and successfully experimented with 5-beat bars, then 9-, 11-, 14-, 17-, 19- and even 27-beat bars. Mixing metres created difficulties for his rhythm sections so he taught himself to play drums in order that he might properly instruct his drummers. He also experimented with brass instruments, introducing the four-valve flügelhorn and superbone.

During the late 60s the Don Ellis Orchestra was promoted as part of the great CBS Records progressive music campaign and he found himself performing at rock festivals and concerts. His music found favour with the Woodstock generation, who could also recognize him as an exciting pioneer. His CBS albums were all successful, his work being produced by both John Hammond and Al Kooper. Dubbed the ‘Father of the Time Revolution’ in jazz, Ellis’ music was much more than complex. It was also undeniably joyous. Tunes like the 7/4 romp ‘Pussy Wiggle Stomp’, ‘Barnum’s Revenge’ (a reworking of ‘Bill Bailey’) and ‘Scratt And Fluggs’ (a passing nod to country music’s Flatt And Scruggs), are played with zesty enthusiasm, extraordinary skill and enormous good humour. Ellis’ trumpet playing was remarkable, combining dazzling…….Read More

Check Wikipedia also, right HERE

New Music Podcasts with Classic Jazz Talk on BlogTalkRadio

This was the 4th talk show on Classic Jazz Talk and it featured jazz historian and author Cary Ginell. It was an interview that almost didn’t take place. I was basically hampered without a co-host to assist in the questioning process and fill in the gaps that naturally take place when interviewing someone live. I was prepared with a list of questions but that doesn’t cut it, the interview takes unexpected turns and the interviewer has to make adjustments. It takes plenty of experience and many hours interviewing guests to master this. I have done interviews before but nothing at all close to conducting one by my lonesome self. I mentioned this to Cary ahead of time in case he would choose to cancel and he reassured me that everything would be alright, the show must go on! He could have simply told me that he wasn’t comfortable doing an interview in this manner but he instead offered his TOTAL support. Another words, he offered to be the guest and help me conduct the interview like he was a co-host also. Well thanks to Mr. Ginell and the great job of being my “wing man,” this interview was a great success. Cary has done so much for Jazz Music with all the projects he has lead and been part of. I’m so honored to have the opportunity to interview him, this experience was truly an educational one for me and you will fully understand after listening to it, enjoy!

OriginJazzLibrary

Origin Jazz Library was founded in 1960 by Bill Givens (photo at left) and Pete Whelan, two friends who had gone to boarding school together at Soleburh School in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Their idea was to reissue classic blues recordings of the 1920s and 1930s, which at that time were generally not considered to be of interest, even to those whose primary interest was roots music of that period. The first issue was “The Immortal Charlie Patton,” which was received with considerable interest by the emerging “folk revival” community.

The label soon established itself as the vanguard of a host of independent labels which helped bring about the traditional blues revival of the 1960s, and added immensely to the body of influences which helped shape rock music. In 1967, Whelan turned over his share of the company to Bill Givens, who continued to put out new releases through the late 1960s, and well into the 1970s, by which time many other labels, such as Yazoo, had reissued the bulk of the worthwhile pre-WWII blues material, so the flow of new OJL issues slowed to a trickle. By the mid-90s, despite most of the tracks Bill issued being available…..Learn More

Shop for restored Classic Jazz albums here

All books by Cary Ginell are located here

KeepSwinginCover

This album was recorded in 1960 and is jazz trombonist Julian Priester’s debut album as a leader. It is a straight mellow hard bop album with a plenty of character. There aren’t many long solos and that explains why the whole album is only 36 minutes long. But by no means, does it reflect to be a short lived recording. “Keep Swingin‘” is straight to the point but with plenty of feeling behind it and with great cast supporting him, as you will read in the short description below. Julian Priester was a real master and has an incredible resume, you can will find that below in his biography. Finally, there’s an interesting profile article below also, concerning his retirement from Cornish College, where he taught music, learn more, enjoy!

About the album:

Trombonist Julian Priester sounds very much under the influence of J.J. Johnson during his debut as a leader, a Riverside date reissued on CD in the Original Jazz Classics series. The repertoire is comprised of four Priester originals, one apiece by Jimmy Heath (whose tenor makes the group a quintet on five of the eight songs) and baritonist Charles Davis, and two standards.…..Read More

JulianPriesterProfile

Photo of Julian Priester by Daniel Sheehan

Great profile article by Steve Griggs (Earshot.org):

Outside room 209, on the second floor of Kerry Hall at Cornish College, flattened cardboard boxes and a hand cart lean against the wall. They await Julian Priester, professor of trombone and jazz history. He retired on May 14 this year with an honorary doctorate of fine arts after thirty-two years of service. With the help of a student, the boxes will transport Priester’s teaching materials from his studio back to his south Seattle home.

Inside the studio, nine boxes full of scores, books, recordings, and trombone mutes clump in the far corner. Sun filters through two tall south facing windows that gaze over the corner of Roy and Boylston streets. Cracked and chipped white paint ornament the stark walls, high ceiling, and radiator. A crisp black Kawai baby grand piano rests atop utilitarian grey industrial carpet.

Silence hangs in the air. On a small chalk board, neatly written scales and rhythms hint at the sounds that filled this studio. Here, and in nearby rehearsal rooms, Priester shared his skills, stories, and studies. A quiet end to this chapter in his career belies the length of experience, depth of artistry, and breadth of creativity Priester carries forward into every situation.

Humility gained from Captain Walter Dyett at Chicago’s DuSable High School, the pit orchestra of New York’s Schubert Theater, and work as an on-call studio musician sets a positive model for students. Practical experience gleaned from Priester’s world travels with Sun Ra, Lionel Hampton, Dinah Washington, Max Roach, Thad Jones, Art Blakey, Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, and Dave Holland adds depth to his lessons. Recordings of his compositions by Ray Charles, Maria Muldaur, Patrice Rushen, Abbey Lincoln, Eddie Henderson, Philly Joe Jones, Sam Rivers, Reggie Workman, Stanley Turrentine, Bobby Timmons, Clifford Jordan, and Lee Morgan testify to the significance of studying his written music. An extensive discography……Read More

JulianPriesterProfile

Julian Priester’s biography (AllMusic.com):

Julian Priester was a versatile and highly advanced trombonist capable of playing hard bop, post-bop, R&B, fusion, or full-on avant-garde jazz; however, he remains under-appreciated due to the paucity of sessions he recorded under his own name. Priester was born in Chicago on June 29, 1935, and started out on the city’s thriving blues and R&B scene, playing with artists like Muddy Waters, Dinah Washington, and Bo Diddley; he also worked with Sun Ra’s early progressive big band outfits during the mid-’50s. In 1958, Priester moved to New York and joined Max Roach’s band, appearing on classics like Freedom Now Suite. In 1960, Priester also recorded two hard bop sessions as a leader, Keep Swingin’ and Spiritsville. After leaving Roach in 1961, Priester appeared often as a sideman on Blue Note dates, recording with the likes of……Learn More

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