From the monthly archives: "March 2015"

ShellyManne234Cover

This is an outstanding 1962 album consisting of two separate recordings and  put together by great Jazz drummer Shelly Manne. “2 – 3 – 4 is very rare in that it features the legendary tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins in 5 of the 6 tunes, There is a 7th and 8th tune on the reissue CD version . They are joined by Hank Jones and Eddie Costa on piano, depending on the tune. George

 

About the album:

This unusual set has five selections from a date featuring the great tenor Coleman Hawkins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Shelly Manne. 2-3-4 songs Both “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Cherokee” find the group at times playing two tempos at once (Manne sticks to double-time throughout “Cherokee”), and showing that they’d heard some of the avant-garde players. 2-3-4 album for sale The most swinging piece, “Avalon,” was previously available only on a sampler…..Read More

ColtraneJazzCover

Here’s a not so mentioned recording sessions from 1959-60 and which took place in March 26, November 24, December 2nd of 1959 and October of 1960. “Coltrane Jazz” was released in 1961, learn more about the album and the reissues here. This album is a must-have and which contains many tunes that were not duplicated and/or improvised differently on other records. A great collection of outstanding classic songs that are, may I say, “leftovers” from other albums. Now there is no excuse, that the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners/readers know about it and are sort of forced to listen to it. Great album, buy it, you have to!

About the album:

Released shortly after the groundbreaking Giant Steps, Coltrane Jazz features a number of takes from the ‘Naima’ session, with Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb, as well as a track with Cedar Walton and Lex Humphries and an early outing by his newly formed quartet featuring pianist McCoy Tyner, Steve Davis and Elvin Jones. While lacking the conceptual strength of many of Coltrane’s greatest works, Coltrane Jazz captures the saxophonist during one of his interesting periods of change, and includes some memorable original tunes. Particularly worth investigating…..Read More

SoulStirrinCover

“Soul Stirrin'” is a great album from a great trombone player, Bennie Green. It was recorded in 1958 and when hundreds of legendary Jazz recordings were being produced. Unfortunately because of this, he was not mentioned as much as he should have. He produced a smooth and clear rounded sound and with no effort involved. Not to mention, he could sing as well and does on this particular album. Great album, take a good look at the recordings he made as a leader and was a major part of as a sideman here. and find out more. ENJOY!

About the album:

Soul Stirrin’ is an invigorating, exciting date from trombonist Bennie Green, showcasing his wide range of skills. His tone is alternately boisterous and reflective — the juxtaposition of the wildly swinging “We Wanna Cook” (complete with shouted vocals) and the gentle “That’s All” is startling, demonstrating that Green can vary his robust sound according to the occasion. Green’s fluid trombone is at the center stage throughout most of Soul Stirrin’, but he also steps aside to shine some light on his extraordinary support group — saxophonists Gene Ammons and Billy Root, pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Ike Isaacs and drummer Elvin Jones. Each musician plays….Read More

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Biography of Bennie Green (Jazz.com):

Trombonist Bennie Green kept pace with the innovations of bebop while maintaining a deep closeness to the blues and popular song. His style combines a bright, full sound with sharp articulation and clarity in the upper register, reminiscent of his idol, Trummy Young, with the bebop phrasing and chromaticism later perfected by J.J. Johnson.

As his style matured, Green strayed from his fellow beboppers in that his repertoire maintained a relative harmonic simplicity, considered by some to be closer to rhythm ‘n’ blues than the modern jazz played by many of his contemporaries in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Green was at his most effective playing medium and up-tempo pieces, where his bright sound and fluid articulation, always “in the pocket,” contributed to an infectious, hard-driving swing.

Bernard Green was born on April 16, 1923 in Chicago, to a family of musicians. His older brother Elbert had played with trumpeter Roy Eldridge in the local Chicago scene, and both attended DuSable High School, a hotspot for music education at the time. It was under the direction of his music teacher at DuSable where Bennie began to study trombone.

Green augmented what he learned in the school band by copying Trummy Young and Lawrence Brown and solos off of Jimmy Lunceford and Duke Ellington records. He later stated that in his formative years, “Trummy is one of the guys that used to impress me the most. He and Lawrence Brown and J. C. Higginbotham.”

Upon graduating from DuSable in 1941, Green made a name for himself playing locally in Chicago before Budd Freeman recommended him to fill a vacancy in the Earl Hines band in the summer of 1942. His arrival preceded that of two other important members, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker, by only a few months.

Sitting directly in front of Gillespie on the bandstand, Green couldn’t help but listen to the musical innovations Dizzy was working on at the time. Although he didn’t understand all of Dizzy’s new musical ideas, Green enjoyed listening to them and befriended Gillespie…Read More

HopeMeetsFosterCover

Yes, this is truly a classic album featuring the great Jazz pianist Elmo Hope and the great tenor saxophonist Frank Foster. They are joined by John Ore on bass, Art Taylor on drums and Charles Freeman Lee on trumpet for only tracks 2, 3 & 5. “Hope Meets Foster” can cost a bit, but its sure worth it! You’ll find it to be one of your favorites in no time! This is a real classic, so get it and enjoy it!

About the album:

Hope Meets Foster album for sale by Elmo Hope was released Jul 16, 2013 on the Universal Japan label. Elmo Hope Quartet/Quintet: Elmo Hope (piano); Frank Foster (tenor saxophone); Freeman Lee (trumpet); John Ore (bass); Arthur Taylor (drums). Hope Meets Foster CD music contains a single disc.
Digitally remastered by Gary Hobish (1991, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).

This decent bop session features tenor-saxophonist Frank Foster and pianist Elmo Hope in a quintet with the forgotten trumpeter Freeman Lee (who is on three of the six songs), bassist John Ore and drummer Art Taylor Hope Meets Foster songs. They perform three of Hope’s originals, two by Foster and an uptempo version of “Georgia on My Mind.”….Read More

FrankFosterBiography

Frank Foster biography:

“Although jazz has been officially declared a national treasure in recent years, far too few of its representative artists ever receive sufficient acknowledgement in the mass media.  In view of this unfortunate reality, it’s quite fitting and honorable that a prestigious entity such as the National Endowment for the Arts recognizes the artistic, aesthetic and spiritual value of this home-grown music through the American Jazz Masters Fellowship. Therefore, it is with extreme happiness and gratitude that I accept the fellowship award for the year 2002.”

Although best known for his work in the Count Basie Orchestra (and as the composer of the Count Basie hit, “Shiny Stockings”), Frank Foster’s saxophone playing owed more to the bebop of Charlie Parker and Sonny Stitt than the swing of Basie.

Foster began playing clarinet at 11 years old before taking up the alto saxophone and eventually the tenor. By the time he was a senior in high school, he was leading and writing the arrangements for a 12-piece band. Foster studied at Wilberforce University in Ohio before heading to Detroit in 1949 with trumpeter Snooky Young for six weeks, becoming captivated by its burgeoning music scene. Drafted into the Army, Foster left Detroit and headed off to basic training near San Francisco, where he would jam in the evenings at Jimbo’s Bop City.

After being discharged in 1953, two life-changing events happened to Foster: he sat in with Charlie Parker at Birdland and he was asked to join Count Basie’s band, where he stayed until 1964. Foster’s fiery solos contrasted nicely with Frank Wess‘ ballad work, providing Basie with an interesting saxophone combination. Foster, already an accomplished composer by this time, learned from Basie how to simplify….Learn More

Great article on Frank Foster (Marc Meyers of JazzWax):

Frank Foster, whose pouncing tenor sax and swinging arranging style helped update Count Basie’s New Testament Band with a seemingly endless stream of blues surprises from 1953 onward, died on July 26 in Chesapeake, VA. He was 82.

In a band crowded with saxophone talent, Foster and Frank Wess anchored the reed section like a pair of library lions, roaring with a sound so confident, moody and wily that no other orchestra could duplicate its natural feel and collective phrasing.

Foster’s great skill as an arranger rested with his ability to weave a call and response technique throughout entire pieces without ever seeming dull or repetitive. In many cases, Foster’s charts would have the saxes introduce and carry the melody line, while the trombones muttered or sneezed replies and the trumpets high-fived them for good measure.

The result was a modern conversational arranging technique that emulated banter heard in black barbershops rather than the church. With Foster, this salon was always humming, with roaring horns tempered by suede-smooth reeds and the sound of Basie’s “scissors” always snipping away. Foster’s arrangements didn’t sound complex but they were deceptive, requiring precise and emotional playing that seemed to hurtle forward, even when taken at mid-tempo.

When Foster soloed, he could charge ahead, drag a note or hit a high wail while producing miraculous ideas at high speed. In some ways, his solos sounded like he was making an elaborate sandwich while standing in the aisle of a fast moving train, without losing his balance or dropping a thing.

On his arrangement, while the reeds ran their lines, other instruments uttered their own blues statements that were variations on the melody line. What’s more, his charts always could be counted on to end with a big build up and a walloping crescendo, producing an emotional thrill for the listener…..Read more

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