Currently viewing the tag: "Beginnings of Avant-Garde era"

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

The album “Evolution” is another great album and example of the beginnings of Avant-Garde. This album and the previous one that I featured, “Point of Departure” are very similar in their presentation but with more hard bop involved since Jackie McLean and Lee Morgan were involved. Check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

Album Detail:

Grachan Moncur III was (along with Roswell Rudd) the premier trombonist in the American 1960’s jazz avant-garde. Moncur’s style was of the times–gruff, mercurial, and urgent. Yet 1964’s EVOLUTION is one of those Blue Note albums where hard bop and the avant scene overlap. The lineup is a who’s-who of the label’s best: drummer Tony Williams, altoist Jackie McLean, and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, performers mostly known for straight-ahead styles but who also dipped into freer waters when called upon. EVOLUTION is all original Moncur compositions, which inspires these players to really push the envelope (especially McLean who always shone with the trombonist).

Biography of Grachan Moncur III:

Grachan Moncur III was born in New York City at Sydenham Hospital on June 3, 1937 into a musical family that included his Uncle Al Cooper, leader of the Savoy Sultans, and Grachan’s father, Grachan Brother Moncur II who played bass as a member of Savoy Sultans. His father also played with such notables as Billie Holiday, Diana Washington, and pianist Teddy Wilson among others.

Grachan’s early musical studies started at Laurinburg Institute under the musical direction of Frank H. McDuffie Jr. and Phillip Hilton, a very advanced trombonist and student. His trombone playing began with the all-state marching band and he eventually became a member of the jazz combo. He rapidly moved forward to become leader of the Laurinburg Jazz Septet, and musical director of Laurinburg’s traveling musical revue that included singers, dancers and a variety of talented performers.

After graduating from Laurinburg Institute he attended the Manhattan School of Music and the Juillard School of Music. While achieving academic training he also performed as leader and co-leader with various groups that included such stars Wayne Shorter, Gary Bartz, and Blue Mitchell along with jamming at jazz spots such as Birland, the Open Door; The Five spot; Turbo Billage; Cafe Bohemia and Count Basies. Grachan continued his career with fabulous Ray Charles Orchestra. He worked with the group from 1959 until 1961. At a Ray Charles show at the Apollo Theatre which included the Jazztet, Grachan’s outstanding solo performances were observed by Benny Golson and he was immediately recruited as the trombonist into the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet. He performed with the Jazztet until it disbanded in 1962.

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