Currently viewing the tag: "Booker Ervin"

BookerErvinAppeciationSpecial

Today, Friday September 6th, I will be featuring the unmentioned but very talented Jazz tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin. The Booker Ervin Appreciation Special will be played twice on this day and at specific times, so it can be enjoyed at prime time by the Jazz Con Class global audience. Booker Ervin’s sound can be categorized as a very modal one and is close to a cross between Jackie McLean and Dexter Gordon but has its own distinctive bluesy style. Booker Ervin actually recorded with both of them and you can hear the difference. He was also a major part of many Mingus ensembles and was a crucial component to historical groundbreaking Jazz album recordings. He recorded many albums as a leader and every single one is outstanding. For a matter of fact, all the music the Jazz Con Class listeners will be enjoying from this tribute, is from him as a leader. Let’s not forget also, this great man died at the age of 40, in 1970. Checkout the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

Booker Ervin Biography:

Booker Ervin was a hard bop saxophone player and composer. He was born, Booker Telleferro Ervin II, in 1930 in Denison, Texas. He started playing trombone in his youth bur Ervin did not start playing saxophone until he was in the US Air Force. After his discharge he moved to Boston and continue his studies at the Berklee College of Music. Although he did not start playing saxophone until later in life, Ervin quickly excelled as a gifted player and once he completed his time at Berklee he moved to New York to begin his professional career. He began by getting a job with the Horace Parlan Quartet. Parlan was a hard bop pianist who had made a name for himself in New York and would go on to play with Charlie Mingus on many of his important recordings. It was with Parlan’s group that Ervin got his first recording experiences when they recorded the albums Up and Down (1961 – Blue Note), which also featured musicians Grant Green on guitar, George Tucker on bass and Al Harewood on drums and Happy Frame of Mind (1963 – Blue Note). Up and Down also opens with an Ervin composition, “The Book’s Beat”. Happy Frame of Mind also features an Ervin composition, “A Tune for Richard” and the troupe is joined by drummer Billy Higgins. Unfortunately, this latter album sat unreleased until 1976. Before the 50’s were over Ervin would also spend some time working with Charlie Mingus and he appears on the recording of the tune “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”……Read More

 

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A great creative album that was recorded in 1968 and when the Avant-Garde era was at full throttle. But this album was considered to be a Hard Bop one. Booker Ervin never did change his Hard Bop style but “The In Between” expressed the power of Hard Bop, how it could be modified and without being considered Avant-Garde. Maybe the title itself was a hint and specified this point. Booker Ervin was on the right track to modernizing Hard Bop but never had the opportunity to expand on it. Unfortunately, he died of kidney disease two years later in New York City. Each of the 6 songs are very different and unique, a real Hard Bop classic!! Check the Schedule link for play times.

About the Album:

This is part of Blue Note’s Limited Edition Connoisseur series. Booker Ervin headed to Blue Note in 1968 for The In Between, a record that found him continuing in the vein of his later Prestige sessions. Supported by trumpeter Richard Williams, pianist Bobby Few, bassist Cevera Jeffries and drummer Lennie McBrowne, Ervin created an album that pushed the boundaries of hard bop. Every song on The In Between is an Ervin original designed to challenge the musicians. The music rarely reaches avant-garde territory — instead, it’s edgy, volatile hard bop that comes from the mind as much as the soul…….Read More

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Biography of Booker Ervin:

Born: October 31, 1930 | Died: 1970    Instrument: Sax, tenor

Booker Ervin had a large hard tone like an r&b tenor saxophonist, but he was actually an adventurous player whose music fell between hard bop and the avant-garde.

Ervin originally played trombone but taught himself the tenor when he was in the Air Force in the early 1950s. After his discharge, he studied music for two years before he made his recording debut with Ernie Fields in 1956. During that year he first performed with Charles Mingus and he was a key part of Mingus’s groups during 1956-1962, offering a contrast to the wild flights of Eric Dolphy.

During 1963-1965, Ervin

led ten albums for Prestige and each has its rewarding moments. “Exultation!” matches Ervin with altoist Frank Strozier in an explosive quintet. “The Freedom Book” has Ervin interacting with the unbeatable rhythm section of pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Alan Dawson. “The Song Book,” with Tommy Flanagan in Byard’s place, features the intense tenor interpreting a set of veteran standards……Learn More

This album will teach the listener a lesson of precise musicianship and most importantly, can be considered as a perfect example of the unique listening experience that Jazz music offers. When you have such a high quality of superstars (Eric Dolphy, Booker Ervin and so forth) with such an abundance of improvising, the results are incredibly enjoyable. This album exemplifies the best quality of music that anyone can hear. “The Quest” is a classic album and will be featured for about two weeks until it is let loose with the rest of the “High” quality that Jazz Con Class offers. Check the schedule link for play times. Only the best for the listeners here, ENJOY!

More on the Album:

Quest songs This wonderful and luxurious set of seven Mal Waldron compositions is played by a sympathetic and inventive sextet. Quest album The featured soloists are saxophonists Booker Ervin and Eric Dolphy (also on clarinet). Quest CD music The rhythm section is bolstered with the presence of Ron Carter on cello, whose sonic range dances fluidly between the tamper of the reeds and the bottom of Joe Benjamin’s bass. Quest music CDs

“Warm Canto” is a gorgeous and pastoral work that brings to mind classical composer Ferde GrofT. Quest songs Elsewhere–such as on the post-bop frolic “Warp and Woof”–Dolphy and Ervin alternate solos with delightful contrast and verve……Read More

These two albums will be featured for the next week or so. They are “Further Definitions” with Booker Ervin and “What Happens?” with Art Farmer and Phil Woods. Check in the schedule link for play times. ENJOY!

More on the  Further Definitions Album:

FURTHER DEFINITIONS is a serious contender for Benny Carter’s most essential disc (though he churned out astounding amounts of high-quality work for more than 70 years). This 1961 album was a revisitation of a ’37 session Carter cut with Coleman Hawkins, Django Reinhardt, and two European saxophonists. Hawkins brings his glorious tenor back for the ’61 set, while guitarist John Collins fills Reinhardt’s shoes. Charlie Rouse appears on tenor sax, with Phil Woods on alto, while the crack rhythm section of Dick Katz (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), and Jo Jones (drums) completes the personnel.

The set is, arguably, an improvement on the original, with its beautiful sound engineering, excellent arrangements (the four-horn line approximates a big band at times), and shining solo performances all around. “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Body and Soul” (on which Hawkins, of course, takes a magnificent, extended solo) are here, as are two fine Carter originals, the lush and lazy “Blue Star” and “Doozy,” a sprightly bop number. The “Additions to FURTHER DEFINITIONS” section (tracks 9-16), a 1966 session……Read More

About Album:

The individual discographies of both Art Farmer and Phil Woods are sizable, but this 1968 studio session seems to be their only joint recording in a small-group setting. With pianist Martial Solal, bassist Henri Texier, and drummer Daniel Humair (the latter two were members of Phil Woods’ European Rhythm Machine at the time), the two completed this recording in three hours, even though there are some minor rough spots. A very snappy take of Michel Legrand’s “Watch What Happens” is a perfect opener, with great interplay between Woods’ energetic alto sax and Farmers warm flugelhorn. The rhythm section kicks off a furious tempo to Kenny Dorham’s “Blue Bossa” and the co-leaders make the most of it. Gigi Gryce’s stimulating blues “Blue Lights” is also full of fire in a brisk arrangement. “Sunrise, Sunset,” the famous ballad from Fiddler on the Roof, is unusually fast, with plenty of risk-taking in the solos by Woods, Farmer, and particularly Solal…….Read More

Phil Woods Biography:

Born: November 02, 1931 in Springfield, MA
Years Active: 40 ‘s, 50 ‘s, 60 ‘s, 70 ‘s, 80 ‘s, 90 ‘s, 00’s
Genre: JAZZ

One of the true masters of the bop vocabulary, Phil Woods has had his own sound since the mid-’50s and stuck to his musical guns throughout a remarkably productive career. There has never been a doubt that he is one of the top alto saxophonists alive, and he has lost neither his enthusiasm nor his creativity through the years.

Woods’ first alto was left to him by an uncle, and he started playing seriously when he was 12. He gigged and studied locally until 1948, when he moved to New York. Woods studied with Lennie Tristano, at the Manhattan School of Music, and at Juilliard, where he majored in clarinet. He worked with Charlie Barnet (1954), Jimmy Raney (1955), George Wallington, the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra, Buddy Rich (1958-1959), Quincy Jones (1959-1961), and Benny Goodman (for BG’s famous 1962 tour of the Soviet Union), but has mostly headed his own groups since 1955, including co-leadership of a combo with fellow altoist Gene Quill in the ’50s logically known as “Phil & Quill.” Woods, who married the late Charlie Parker’s former wife Chan in the 1950s (and became the stepfather to singer Kim Parker), was sometimes thought of as “the new Bird” due to his brilliance in bop settings, but he never really sounded like a copy of Parker.

Woods popped up in a variety of settings in the 1960s — on Benny Carter’s classic Further Definitions record, touring Europe with the short-lived Thelonious Monk Nonet, and appearing on studio dates like the soundtracks to The Hustler and Blow Up. Always interested in jazz education (although he believes that there is no better way to learn jazz than to gig and travel constantly), Woods taught at an arts camp in Pennsylvania in the summers of 1964-1967. Discouraged with the jazz scene in the U.S., he moved to France in 1968….Read More

Talk about “Tenor Madness” this is a perfect example! This is a great album that falls into the Avant-Garde era and features two greats, Dexter Gordon and Booker Ervin jamming together. They played in harmony and with absolutely no intent to outdo one another. They took their respected turns and produced FOUR dynamic songs. They have their own distinctive sounds so you definitely know who’s playing and when. I will be featuring this album, “Setting the Pace” for a couple of weeks or so and then place the tracks on the Avant-garde Playlist. Check the Schedule Link to learn when I will be airing it. Enjoy!

More about this album:

Recorded in Munich, Germany on October 27, 1965. Includes liner notes by David A. Himmelstein and Michael Morgan.

Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1992, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).

This CD reissue has the complete contents of two former LPs, both recorded at the same session. With very stimulating playing by pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Alan Dawson, tenors Booker Ervin and Dexter Gordon battle it out on marathon (19 and 22 1/2 minute) versions of “Setting the Pace” and “Dexter’s Deck.” Although Gordon is in good form, Ervin (who sometimes takes the music outside) wins honors…..Learn More

Here’s a great album that all the listeners here on Jazz Con Class will enjoy and appreciate. I will be placing on the rotation for a week or so and then drop it in the Avant-Garde Playlist. For exact times when it will be broadcasting please check the Schedule link, enjoy!

About the Album:

This 1998 CD reissue differs from the original LP in that the immediately distinctive tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin is featured on a previously unreleased four-minute dirge, “Ode to Charlie Parker.” The set matches Ervin with a remarkable rhythm section (pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Alan Dawson), plus trumpeter Jimmy Owens and trombonist Garnett Brown (who sometimes takes co-honors). The music is quite moody, soulful, and explorative yet not forbidding…..Learn More

About Booker Ervin:

Booker Ervin had a large hard tone like an r&b tenor saxophonist, but he was actually an adventurous player whose music fell between hard bop and the avant-garde.

Ervin originally played trombone but taught himself the tenor when he was in the Air Force in the early 1950s. After his discharge, he studied music for two years before he made his recording debut with Ernie Fields in 1956. During that year he first performed with Charles Mingus and he was a key part of Mingus’s groups during 1956-1962, offering a contrast to the wild flights of Eric Dolphy.

During 1963-1965, Ervin led ten albums for Prestige and each has its rewarding moments. “Exultation!” matches Ervin with altoist Frank Strozier in an explosive quintet. “The Freedom Book” has Ervin interacting with the unbeatable rhythm section of pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Alan Dawson. “The Song Book,” with Tommy Flanagan in Byard’s place, features the intense tenor interpreting a set of veteran standards. “The Blues Book,” with trumpeter Carmell Jones and pianist Gildo Mahones, is comprised of four very different blues and more variety than expected. The Space Book has adventurous improvisations by Ervin, Byard, Davis, and Dawson while Settin’ the Pace features two lengthy and exciting jam-session numbers with fellow tenor Dexter Gordon and a pair of quartet pieces that showcase Ervin……Learn More

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