From the monthly archives: "September 2014"

ShellyManneCompleteLiveAtTheBlackHawkCover

This album is a collection of all the live performances (4 CD Box Set) of Shelly Manne and his very talented band, consisting of Bass on Monty Budwig, Piano on Victor Feldman, Tenor Saxophone on Richie Kamuca, Trumpet on Joe Gordon, here’s the discography for this Box-Set. All the information needed  for the Jazz Con Class Radio to learn more about “Shelly Manne and His Men Complete Live at the Black Hawk” and about Shelly Manne himself, is found further down on this post. Enjoy!

About the album, article from Marc Myers (JazzWax):

When Shelly Manne agreed to play San Francisco’s Black  Hawk club in September 1959, he viewed the gig as a working vacation. For months, the West Coast drummer had endured a grueling schedule, spending days in Hollywood’s movie and TV studios and nights at Los Angeles-area clubs. Taking on the extended San Francisco engagement with his newly formed quintet meant a return to bop without the commercial distractions. No insistent studio contractors. No time-crazed producers. And no stress of first-take film dates.

But just a week after the Black Hawk engagement began, Manne picked up the phone and called Lester Koenig, the founder of Contemporary Records. Manne and Koenig had been close since Manne began recording extensively for the label in 1952. “I’ve never asked this before,” Manne reportedly said to Koenig during the call, “but we all feel you should come up and record the group at the club.” The next day, September 22d, Koenig arrived with recording equipment and remained at the club for three successive nights…..Read More

ShellyManneBioImage

About Shelly Manne (Wikipedia):

Shelly Manne (June 11, 1920 – September 26, 1984), born Sheldon Manne in New York City, was an American jazz drummer. Most frequently associated with West Coast jazz, he was known for his versatility and also played in a number of other styles, including Dixieland, swing, bebop, avant-garde jazz and fusion, as well as contributing to the musical background of hundreds of Hollywood films and television programs.

Family and origins:

Manne’s father and uncles were drummers. In his youth he admired many of the leading swing drummers of the day, especially Jo Jones and Dave Tough.[1] Billy Gladstone, a colleague of Manne’s father and the most admired percussionist on the New York theatrical scene, offered the teenage Shelly tips and encouragement.[2] From that time, Manne rapidly developed his style in the clubs of 52nd Street in New York in the late 1930s and 1940s.[3] His first professional job with a known big band was with the Bobby Byrne Orchestra in 1940.[4] In those years, as he became known, he recorded with jazz stars like Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Shavers, and Don Byas. He also worked with a number of musicians mainly associated with Duke Ellington, like Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Lawrence Brown, and Rex Stewart.[5]……Learn More

 

JazzALaBohemiaCover

And yet another recording from the famous Cafe Bohemia, a night club that only lasted two years but hosted an extraordinary amount of legendary jazz musicians. I have written posts for each of the “live” recordings that took place there, like Kenny Dorham’s “Round About Midnight at the Cafe Bohemia,” “Mingus at the Bohemia,” The Jazz Messengers at the Café Bohemia, Volume 1-2,” “George Wallington Quintet at the Bohemia,” andBohemia After Dark.This live recorded album here is “Jazz A La Bohemia” with the Randy Weston Trio (Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass, drummer Wilbert Hogan) and features baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne. The Jazz Con Class Radio listeners should take a look at the links I provided above and learn more about Cafe’ Bohemia. I gathered as much information that I could get a hold of online, enjoy!

About the album:

Digitally remastered by Gary Hobish (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley). This is a live set recorded at New York City’s Cafe Bohemia in 1956. As on Randy Weston’s WITH THESE HANDS album, baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne makes a guest appearance, augmenting the rhythm section of bass player Ahmed Abdul-Malik and drummer Al Dreares. While lacking the dimension of a controlled studio session, the interplay here is warm and genuine and the audience justifiably captivated. “You Go to My Head” shows the clear influence of Thelonious Monk (an influence that shares space with Weston’s lifelong interest in African…..Read More

SonnyRollinsPlus4Cover

There’s no better general description and anything more that I could add about this album, “Sonny Rollins Plus 4” than this one from Wikipedia. All I can write here is that if by some freak mistake, you don’t have this album, please get it and enjoy!

From Wikipedia:

Sonny Rollins Plus 4 (also released as 3 Giants!) is a jazz album by Sonny Rollins, released in 1956 on Prestige Records. On this album Rollins plays with the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet, of which he was a member at the time. The album was the last full recording including pianist Richie Powell and trumpeter Clifford Brown, as both died in a car accident three months later. The material from this album was later also re-released as 3 Giants and is part of the seven CD set with Rollins’ Complete Prestige Recordings.

History:

Rollins had written his two original compositions (“Pent-Up House” and “Valse Hot”) while a sideman in the Max Roach/Clifford Brown Quintet. It was more common in the 50s for a sideman recording his own work to record with either the rhythm section or leader; thus it was unusual when Rollins recorded with the same musicians that he played with in the Quintet. Rollins had just joined the Quintet five months beforehand, replacing Harold Land, who had left New York to care for his sick wife in California…..Learn More

Rollins had been working as a janitor in Chicago at the time, spending most of his time practicing and rethinking his life (a smaller sabbatical compared to the later ones he would take). The Quintet was in Chicago as well in November 1955, and were playing at the Bee Hive Club in Hyde Park. After sitting in with the Brown/Roach Quintet at the Bee Hive, Rollins was added as the tenor saxophonist.

About the album:

Richie Powell (piano); George Morrow (bass); Max Roach (drums). 1956, Sonny Rollins was spiritually and physically rejuvenated. And on Sonny Rollins Plus 4, he’s clearly inspired by Max Roach and Clifford Brown’s depth of spirit. Multi-dimensional re-arrangements of popular songs were a Brown-Roach trademark. “Kiss and Run” is treated to a stop-and-go intro, then settles into a brisk 4/4, as Rollins, Brown, and the perennially underrated Richie Powell fashion long dancing lines. “I Feel a Song Coming On” creates tension by alternating a vamp figure with a swinging release. Rollins takes an immense solo, contrasting chanting figures and foghorn-like long tones with Parker-ish elisions, and Brown answers with buzzing figures and daring harmonic extensions. Then Roach takes things out with sweeping melodic choruses and polyrhythmic fanfares, setting the stage for a torrid tenor-trumpet duel. On “Valse Hot,” there’s an early example of a successful jazz waltz as Rollins offers up one of his most charming themes. Max Roach treats the European three with the dancing elan of an American four, and Rollins responds by floating in between the beat, syncopating in Monk-ish stabs and thrusts, as Brown answers with the kind of rhythmically complex, sweetly articulated melodic lines that have inspired every modern trumpeter……Read More

RadioNightsCover

Here’s a very unknown Cannonball Adderley “Live” album that somehow managed to be undetected. Maybe it could be the tacky album cover or maybe it just was not represented properly. This is not the first and by no means, the last unappreciated jazz album that I will learn about. Just like many others I have posted here on Jazz Con Class Radio, this album seemed to have some issues behind it, it seems that the record companies involved in its production, collectively misjudged its value and its importance. This could be one of Cannonball’s finest! “Radio Nights” was recorded in 1967/68 but unfortunately released in 1991 and that’s 16 years after Cannonball passed away, very sad indeed.

Here’s a little more about it (Wikipedia): Radio Nights is an album released in 1991 featuring previously unreleased live radio broadcasts by the Cannonball Adderley Quartet, Quintet and Sextet from New York City’s Half Note Club jazz club. They were recorded by Alan Grant and broadcast live on radio in the last week of 1967 and the first week of 1968. The montage of Adderley’s monologues are taken from a recording made at the Keystone Korner jazz club, San Francisco. At the time of the recordings, Adderley was under contract to Capitol.

Again, I hate to repeat myself over and over concerning these albums features that I post but there’s a reason. This “LIVE” album is a real classic, look more into it and listen/buy it, you’ll never regret it!

About the album:

Radio broadcasts from The Half Note in New York during the last week of 1967 and the first week of 1968 make up the set of distinctive material on Radio Nights. The live audience reaction puts the listener right there, to share in each exciting moment. Cannonball Adderley was at his best, and the ensembles remained loose. Microphone placement does considerable damage to the balance: Joe Zawinul and Nat Adderley are, at times, in the far-off distance. The leader, however, remains at the forefront and full of life. His alto soared through these classic songs night after night. Roy McCurdy and Louis Hayes propelled the unit. The Adderley brothers’ saxophone and cornet front line was always on target. Together, they made hot, straight-ahead magic. Cannonball is at his best soaring through ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ with complete freedom. Charles Lloyd joins the ensemble for ‘Work Song,’ ‘The Song My Lady Sings’ and ‘Unit Seven.’ Unfortunately, the balance prevents him from being……Read More

 

CliffordBrownParisSession

The article below is so informative that there is no reason to add anything else. I don’t know why Volume One and Volume Two are reasonably valued but Volume Three is so expensive and almost impossible to find. As Marc Myers mentions, this can be the official beginning of “Hard Bop”and he could possibly right.

About all three volumes (Marc Myers (Jazz Wax):

Trumpeter Clifford Brown is best remembered for the groundbreaking hard-bop albums he made with Max Roach for EmArcy Records starting in August 1954 and ending with his tragic death in June 1956.

Often overlooked, however, are the recordings Brown made as a sideman during the summer and fall of 1953. Like the EmArcy dates, these sessions are dynamic and cutting-edge—but for very different reasons.

Over the course of nine days—between June 11 and October 15, 1953—Brown recorded with different bands under the direction or influence of Tadd Dameron, Gigi Gryce and Quincy Jones (the photo on the right is of Brown and Gryce in Paris in 1953).

At the time, all three jazz musicians—Dameron, Gryce and Jones—were pioneering a new sophisticated harmonic sound influenced by Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool” recordings. But their version of cool was much tougher than the laid-back, West Coast interpretation being advanced by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker.

The East Coast leveraging of cool was more melodically complex and musically urgent than the Hollywood approach, which relied on contrapuntal minimalism. All you have to do is listen to Gigi Gryce’s staggeringly pretty Keeping Up With Jonesy from 1953 to hear the sizable changes taking place. In Brown’s hands, East Coast cool would become hard bop within a year.

In the summer of 1953, Brownie was at the right place at the right time after extensive healing following a horrible college auto accident in 1950. The crash left Brown with two broken legs, and he was in a full-body cast for months while undergoing skin and bone grafts. Released in May 1951, Brown spent the next year trying to regain his trumpet playing skills.

In 1953 Brown joined Tadd Dameron’s group, which featured  Idrees Sulieman on trumpet, Herb Mullins on trombone, Gigi Gryce on alto saxophone, Benny Golson on tenor, Oscar Estelle on baritone,  Dameron on piano, Percy Heath on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums. The band recorded four beautiful Dameron originals for Prestige on June 11—Philly J.J., Choose Now, Dial B for Beauty and Theme of No Repeat.…..Learn More

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