Currently viewing the tag: "Featured Album"

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Tina Brooks and Freddie Hubbard together and alongside in this 1960 Hard Bop beauty, “True Blue.” Great combination, they should have played more together but not to be, as Tina Brooks stopped playing altogether in 1961. The Tina Brooks story is a sad one and unfortunately, a very familiar one. Many talented Jazz musicians and musicians in general have encountered throughout the history of music. Dependency of heroin was the culprit and Tina Brooks could never overcome it. To compound the tragedy even further, all but this album here, which he recorded as the leader, were never released while he was alive. Brooks died at the young age of 42 (1973) and 7 years before the other three albums were released (1980).  There was another album he made as a sideman with Jackie McLean named “Street Singer” that was also released after his death and in 1980. Check the Schedule link for play times.

About Album:

Although a four-LP Mosaic box set purportedly includes every recording led by the obscure but talented tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks, this 1994 CD has previously unreleased alternate takes of “True Blue” and “Good Old Soul” that Mosaic overlooked. Brooks is teamed with the young trumpeter Freddie Hubbard (on one of his earliest sessions), pianist Duke Jordan, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Art Taylor for a set dominated by Brooks’ originals. None of the themes may be all that memorable (“Nothing Ever Changes My Love for You” comes the closest), but the hard bop solos are consistently excellent…….Read More

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Tina Brooks Biography:

Harold Floyd “Tina Brooks and his twin brother Harry were born to David and Cornelia Brooks in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on June 7, 1932. They were the youngest of eight children.

This close-knit family migrated en masse to the Bronx in New York City in 1944, when Harold was 12 years old. He was already being called Tina (pronounced Teena), a grade school nickname that came from his tiny or teensy size. Around this time, he started playing the C Melody saxophone. In addition to school instruction, he took private lessons with his older brother David Brooks Jr., whose nickname is Bubba. Tina moved from C Melody to alto and finally settled on the tenor as his instrument.

Meanwhile, Bubba was becoming established as an R&B tenor saxophonist. In 1950, he joined pianist Sonny Thompson’s band. When he took a leave of absence in late 1950, Tina took his chair for a few months. In January of ’51, Tina made his recording debut on one of Thompson’s many King sessions done in Cleveland.

Throughout the early fifties, Tina worked with local New York Latin bands and various R&B outfits such as those of singer-pianist Charles Brown and trumpeter Joe Morris. In ’53 or ’54, he went on the road with pianist Amos Milburn. He then joined Lionel Hampton’s orchestra for the spring and summer of 1955. But he found this to be little more than another R&B gig with little room to stretch out.

In 1956, Brooks met trumpeter-composer Little Benny Harris at the Blue Morocco, a Bronx jazz club. Harris took the young tenor under his wing and taught him the vocabulary and intricacies of modern jazz. Tina also developed a close friendship with the brilliant pianist-composer Elmo Hope. He was assimilating early influences (Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker, Wardell Gray) and current models (Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley) into a style of his own, which was rapidly taking shape……Learn More

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Kenny Drew was another great Jazz pianist that just didn’t receive enough attention and so much can be said also for this real classic album, “Undercurrent.”  Drew was backed up by a tremendous lineup of top Jazz musicians of the time, 1960. Not to mention, there’s a DVD version of this album also. Kenny Drew sort of moved out of the limelight after this album by adventuring abroad and relocating to Copenhagen (Read biography below). Check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the Album:

The only Blue Note recording under pianist Kenny Drew’s leadership and the last to be released under his name for a thirteen-year period, during which time the pianist would relocate to Europe, Undercurrent is a strong outing by the gifted pianist, composer and session leader. In the latter capacity, his job is greatly facilitated by a frontline of saxophonist Hank Mobley and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, whose instant compatibility had been established just weeks earlier on Mobley’s sterling Roll Call (Blue Note, 1960). Moreover, the rhythm team of bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes had become one of the more efficient power plants in jazz because of its nightly duties with the Cannonball Adderley Quintet during the same year as its best-selling At the Lighthouse (Riverside, 1960), which included the hit single “Sack O’ Woe.”

Undercurrent has nothing as viscerally infectious as the Adderley tune but is an admirable program of Drew originals, ranging from the modal, streaming title piece to the self-descriptive “Funk- Cosity,” a sort of fleshed-out variation on Bobby Timmons’ “Moanin’.”Learn More

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Biography of Kenny Drew:

Kenny Drew was born in New York City in August of 1928. At the age of 5, he began studying classical piano with a private teacher and at 8, gave a recital. This early background is similar to that of Bud Powell, the man who later became his main inspiration as a jazz pianist. After digging Fats Waller, at 12, and then Art Tatum and Teddy Wilson, Drew attended the High School of Music and Art. He was known as a hot boogie woogie player but passed through this phase before graduation.

Kenny’s first professional job was as accompanist at Pearl Primus’ dance school. At the same time, he

was alternating with Walter Bishop Jr. in a neighborhood band that included Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean and Art Taylor. In this period, he used to hang-out on 52nd Street to listen to Charlie Parker and Powell and began sitting in at various jam sessions around town.

In January of 1950, Drew made his first appearance on record, with Blue Note. Howard McGhee was the leader and the other featured soloists were Brew Moore and J.J. Johnson. One of the six sides released was “I’ll Remember April.” The label, in addition to stating “Howard McGhee’s All Stars”, further read, “Introducing Kenny Drew.”

Later, in 1953, Kenny made his first album as a leader. Again it was Blue Note who recorded him, this time in a trio with Curly Russell and Art Blakey. But Kenny opted to settle in Los Angeles for the next few years. There in 1955, he formed a quartet with the late Joe Maini, Leroy Vinnegar and Lawrence Marable…….Read More

Grant Green is not a household name but should be. An outstanding Jazz guitarist who never seemed to fit in with the more famous ones like Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Joe Pass, Django Reinart and so on. But he is considered to be one of the top 10 ever, have you ever heard of him. Many haven’t, so here is a 1964 album of his named “Solid.” It is considered a Hard Bop album but a mellow one and with the support a solid cast of all-stars. Check the schedule link for play times.

About the Album:

After his untimely death in 1979, Blue Note published a number of Grant Green’s previously unreleased ’60s recordings. One of these astounding sessions is SOLID, an energetic outing that finds Green leading a large ensemble, including Coltrane band members and Blue Note regulars. Green shows his mettle with fire and precision, his bright, clear tone cutting through the dense sonic backdrop.

The set consists of several intriguing tunes, opening with Duke Pearson’s intricate “Minor League,” a swinging epic that allows for some powerful blowing, while modal pioneer George Russell’s sizzling “Ezz-Thetic” is a fast-paced burner that stretches the group nearly to its limit and offers an engaging harmonic foundation. Green’s own “Grant’s Tune”….Read more 

More on Album:

Solid is a companion piece to the Grant Green classic Matador, recorded about a month later with the same rhythm section, and also not issued until 1979. Green is once again accompanied by the Coltrane supporting team of pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones, plus bassist Bob Cranshaw; this time, however, Green is also joined on the front line by James Spaulding on alto sax and Joe Henderson on tenor. Both saxophonists really seem to light a fire under the proceedings, for in comparison with the relatively subdued Matador, Solid is a bright, hard-charging affair. There’s a little modal jazz, but Solid’s repertoire is chiefly complex hard bop, full of challenging twists and turns that the players burn through with enthusiasm. Green didn’t tackle this kind of material — or play with this kind of group — very often, and it’s a treat to hear him do so on both counts. The compositions — highlighted by Duke Pearson’s “Minor League,” Henderson’s “The Kicker,”…….Read more 

Biography of Grant Green:

Although Grant Green recorded more than 100 albums, including 30 as the group leader, his career was overshadowed by more successful jazz guitarists, particularly Wes Montgomery and George Benson. Known for his clear, single-note, melodic style of playing with a pick, Green avoided the chords and octaves favored by his contemporaries and was renowned for his unique tone. He was a major force in the evolution of the guitar as a lead instrument and he influenced a generation of guitar players including Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and George Benson himself. Green always played to his audience, with a variety that ranged from straight-ahead jazz standards, bebop, soul, gospel, Latin, country-western, to funk. He covered the Beatles, James Brown, The Jackson 5, and Mozart. But whatever he played, his music remained rooted in the blues. Green played a green guitar, wore green suits, drove a green Cadillac, and his song and album titles often played on his name. During the 1990s Green was rediscovered and dubbed the father of “acid jazz” and his recordings reissued…..Learn More

All the listeners of Jazz Con Class will enjoy this album feature of Joe Henderson as he gives you more of an insight of “his thing” and  let’s you make it “your thing” so it can be “Our Thing.” Great stuff, check the schedule link for the times it will be airing. This album will be featured for about two weeks and then placed in the Hard Bop playlist, Enjoy!

More on Album:

The partnership of Joe Henderson and Kenny Dorham yielded a handful of fine sessions for Blue Note in the early ’60s. Among them, OUR THING stands as a particularly excellent testament to their combined brilliance. Henderson’s second date as a leader, OUR THING is part of a triumvirate that includes his first Blue Note date, PAGE ONE, and Dorham’s UNA MAS, representing the best of the pair’s recorded output of the period. Also sitting in on the session is the eclectic pianist Andrew Hill, who would use Henderson and Dorham on his own landmark date POINT OF DEPARTURE……Learn More

Biography of Kenny Dorham:

Kenny was born into a musical family on August 30th, 1924 in Fairfield, Texas. At age 7, he began piano lessons, switching to trumpet while attending high school in Austin. His debut on the trumpet was with a dance band at Wiley College, where he studied pharmacy.

In 1942, he joined the army, becoming a member of their boxing team and in 1943, began working with trumpeter, Russell Jacquet, “Illinois” Jacquet’s older brother. He later moved to New York City, playing and singing with Dizzy Gillespie’s band, as well as other groups, including Billy Eckstine, Lionel Hampton, and Mercer Ellington. He earned the nickname “Quiet Kenny” due to his quiet, subdued sound, replacing Miles Davis in Charlie Parker’s group from 1948 to 1950…..Learn More

This is an outstanding album and even more impressive, it’s live! Talk about a great Jazz bands flying under the radar, the Jazz Crusaders are basically known to dedicated Jazz fans only. That’s why it is being featured here and of course, so the Jazz Con Class listeners can learn more about them. The name of the album is “The Festival Album” and will be featured here for a couple of weeks, then released into the G4 playlist and where mostly live compilations and concerts can be found. Check the Schedule link for play times. Great stuff, ENJOY!

More on the Album:

The Festival Album was the only live set by the Jazz Crusaders not recorded at the Lighthouse. As such, it is a compilation of performances recorded at the Pacific Jazz and Newport Festivals in 1966. The band had two different bass players during these gigs: Jimmy Bond was at the Newport Festival, while Herbie Lewis joined for the Pacific Jazz Festival. The band was well established everywhere but in New York, bewilderingly, and had recorded a dozen records, all of which were popular. And it’s easy to see why. The version of Ken Cox’s “Trance Dance” that opens the set showcases all of the band’s strengths: solid hard bop chops and arrangements with a deep accent on the blues as it was emerging into soul-jazz. Soloists Joe Sample, Wayne Henderson, and Wilton Felder are all in fine form here. The deep groove on “Summer’s Madness” by the trio is actually the signature piece of the Jazz Crusaders’ sound at the time. Sample’s “Freedom Sound,” from the Pacific Jazz gig, illustrates the deep lyricism at the heart of the band’s front line…..Learn More

More on The Jazz Crusaders:

In 1960, following the demise of a few short-lived Houston-based groups called The Swingsters and the Nite Hawks, pianist Joe Sample, drummer Stix Hooper, saxophonist Wilton Felder and trombonist Wayne Henderson relocated to Los Angeles, CA. After changing their name to “The Jazz Crusaders,” the group signed with Pacific Jazz Records, where they would remain throughout the 1960s. Employing a two-manned front-line horn section (trombone and tenor saxophone), the group’s sound was rooted in hard bop, with an emphasis on R&Band soul.

The group shortened their name to “The Crusaders” in 1971, and adopted a jazz-funk style. They also incorporated the electric bass and electric guitar into their music. Bass guitarist Robert “Pops” Popwell and guitarist Larry Carlton joined the band, and featured on the group’s albums throughout most of the 1970s. With this new style came increased crossover appeal, and the group’s recordings started to appear on the Billboard pop charts. The height of the group’s commercial success came with 1979’s Street Life, with Randy Crawford as featuring singer, which peaked at No. 18 on the pop album charts and the title track from the album made the Top 10 on the R&B chart and No. 36 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart……Read More

Most people have not really heard of Charles Tolliver and his trumpet. It’s not really easy to find his work because he was part of well known band leaders like Jackie McLean, Booker Ervin, Horace Silver and many more. His trumpet playing was and still is very smooth and very pleasant to hear. You will understand more when you listen to the album featured here on Jazz Con Class,  named “The Ringer.” I will place it on the rotation and then move it into the Avant-Garde playlist. here’s more on the album:

This is the Charles Tolliver record to get, although it may be hard to find. The masterful trumpeter, in a quartet with pianist Stanley Cowell, bassist Steve Novosel, and drummer Jimmy Hopps, plays five of his strongest compositions. Highlights include the powerful “On the Nile,” “The Ringer,” and “Spur,” but each of the numbers has its memorable moments. Tolliver is heard at the peak….Read More

Check the Schedule link for play times.

More about Charles Tolliver:

On his Blue Note Records debut, With Love, Charles Tolliver presents his extraordinary big band charts and sui generis trumpet playing for the first time on a major U.S. label.

For the occasion, Tolliver recruited a pan-generational lineup of home-run hitter soloists including pianists Stanley Cowell and Robert Glasper, saxophonists Billy Harper, Craig Handy, and Howard Johnson, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, and a cohort of A-list section men, Cecil McBee and Victor Lewis, all of whom draw on all their resources to articulate Tolliver’s vision with a bravura performance.

After hearing a reunion of the Tolliver-Cowell quartet in 2002, the trumpeter David Weiss decided to approach Tolliver about resurrecting his acclaimed big band. A fan of Tolliver’s ’70s big band records Music, Inc. And Big Band and Impact, both on Strata-East (an independent label founded by Tolliver and Cowell in 1970), Weiss provided the spark that brought the band back to life.

“I told David the charts were collecting dust,” Tolliver recalled. “David said that perhaps he could interest some of the venues in New York. After several months, the Jazz Standard agreed to have me for a couple of nights, and it was successful”.

Reviewing that September 2003 engagement, Gary Giddins wrote: “[Tolliver’s] trumpet retains much of its vigorous tone, diligent logic, and controlled fury. But his most powerful achievement is as a composer-conductor. At Jazz Standard, his dramatic semaphore directed intricate section work in long numbers with balanced pace, color tones, and excitement”. This band deserves a permanent home”.

“Charles is the culmination of his period,” Weiss says. “He encompassed everything that happened in the ’60s and early ’70s, all the innovation and intensity, the highest level of harmony and rhythm and technique, and pumped it up even more”.

Self-taught as an instrumentalist, composer and

arranger, Tolliver seems constitutionally averse to doing things the easy way. “I like to rumble,” he told DownBeat. “I take the most difficult routes for improvisation. It’s easy to play a number of choruses effortlessly and never make a mistake, never break down. That’s no fun. You need to get in hot water by trying something out right from the jump, get yourself out of that, and move on to the next chorus”.

The 64-year-old trumpeter-composer was no stranger to Blue Note Records. Alto saxophonist Jackie McLean launched Tolliver’s career in 1964 by hiring him as a sideman on his Blue Note album It’s Time, used him on the subsequent albums Action and Jacknife, and made his composition “Right Now” the title track of a 1965 quartet date. As the ’60s progressed Tolliver also appeared with Blue Note heavyweights Horace Silver (Serenade to A Soul Sister) and Andrew Hill (One For One, Dance With Death), as well as sessions for other labels with Max Roach, Booker Ervin, Gerald Wilson, and Gary Bartz. In 1969 he formed the innovative quartet Music Inc., which he documented on four albums for Strata-East……Learn More

This is Wayne Shorter’s debut album and you will love it. It’s categorized as a Hard Bop Album and was released in 1959. It was titled “Introducing Wayne Shorter” and can be purchased here. I will later place it in the Hard Bop Playlist. For play times check here in the Schedule Link.

About the Album:

Also known as Blues A La Carte, this Vee Jay disc has tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter’s first session as a leader and it shows that, even at this early stage, Shorter was far along toward developing his own sound. Teamed up with trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb, the six selections (five of which are Shorter originals) capture the young tenor shortly after he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. The music is essentially hard bop and, although none of these Shorter tunes caught on, the music is quite enjoyable. A special treat is the one standard of the date, a swinging version of “Mack The Knife.”…..Learn More  

The legendary Wayne Shorter has his own website here.

This is another great album that could also be categorized as a “Sleeper” and as my immediate previous post. The name of this album I will featuring also is Cannonball Adderley Quintet Plus and came out in 1961. It is borderline Hard Bop and Avant-Garde, the best of both worlds. I think the Jazz Con Class listeners here will enjoy quite a bit. Again, checkout the Schedule link to see when it will be playing and tune in. I will leave the playlist out there for a week or so and then place it in the rotation, probably in the G4 Playlist.

More on the Album:

For this CD reissue of a Riverside date, altoist Cannonball Adderley’s 1961 Quintet (which includes cornetist Nat Adderley, pianist Victor Feldman, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes) is joined by guest pianist Wynton Kelly on five of the eight selections, during which Feldman switches quite effectively to vibes. The music falls between funky soul-jazz and hard bop, and each of the performances (particularly “Star Eyes” and “Well You Needn’t”) is enjoyable. The CD adds a new alternate take of “Lisa” and the previously unissued “O.P.” to the original program…..Learn More

This is my latest featured album and it is a real “Sleeper.” The name of the album is Art Farmer/Benny Golson Meet the Jazztet” and it holds up on its own with the best of them, this is why I’m featuring it. There are many albums that somehow slip through the passionate Jazz ears and are simply ignored. Perhaps it’s just bad timing or maybe bad promoting but then again, in 1960 there was so much going on with better known Jazz musicians. There was so much groundbreaking Jazz music being produced, Hard Bop was still running strong, Free Jazz was fresh and  Post Bop/ Avant-Garde was evolving. This could only be the excuse, as this stealth classic album was not seen as it traveled under the radar. I will be featuring it for a week or so and later place it in the Hard Bop playlist. Check the schedule link to see when it will be playing, enjoy!

More on Album:

Although this CD has the same program as the original LP, it gets the highest rating because it is a hard bop classic. Not only does it include superior solos from trumpeter Art Farmer, trombonist Curtis Fuller, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, and pianist McCoy Tyner (who was making his recording debut) along with fine backup from bassist Addison Farmer and drummer Lex Humphries, but it features the writing of Golson. Highlights include the original version of “Killer Joe” along with early renditions of “I Remember Clifford” and “Blues March.”….Learn More

Here’s a more recent video of Benny Golson playing “Killer Joe” :


The latest album that I will be featuring is Hank’s Mobley’s “No Room for Squares” Album. This is an all-star lineup as all of Hank Mobley’s work is usually done. He was in the thick of things and deservedly because he played as equally well as all the other greats. Unfortunately, he is never mention in the same breath with the other Hall of Famers. Learn more about him here:

Biography:

As one of the founding members of the original Jazz Messengers, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley was part of a brilliant innovation. Bebop’s second generation of players had pulled the music into a tailspin of virtuosity. But there was a new inspirational sound taking hold, with roots in gospel and blues. By combining the best of bebop with the soulful new thing springing up, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley and Doug Watkins fashioned a sound with a percussive, street feel inspired by the hot steam grates and pavement they walked, the propulsive drive of the lives they were leading.

Mobley was born in Eastman, Georgia, but was raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey, near Newark. Early in his career, he worked with Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach. He took part on one of the landmark hard bop sessions, alongside Blakey, Silver and trumpeter Kenny Dorham. The results of these sessions were….Learn More

Here’s Review of a book about him:

Workout: The Music of Hank Mobley By Derek Ansell

A Review by Mike Falcon

Hank Mobley’s music is well documented.  Hank recorded a wealth of material that fans are still enjoying a half-century later, perhaps more than ever.  But, for a very long time, any fan wanting to know more about Hank’s life had a hard time finding anything.  Searching the Internet yields little.  Searching back issues of jazz periodicals looking for any interviews wouldn’t yield much.  Derek Ansell explains in Workout: The Music of Hank Mobley that Hank only gave one substantial interview throughout his career. The interview occurred in 1973 when his career was in a steep decline.  Other than this, Ansell was forced to piece together a picture of Hank from what little others had to say about him.

Hank moved to New York from New Jersey in 1951 on an invitation from Max Roach to play in his band…..Learn More

More Information:

HANK MOBLEY
Blue Note Records
Henry (Hank) Mobley has been called “The middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone.”

That is to say, he is not to be compared (and this judgment is made in terms of size of sound as well as such values as fame, fortune and poll victories) with heavyweights like Coleman Hawkins or John Coltrane; nor is there any necessity to relate him to the tonal lightweights, headed by Stan Getz and the various artists of this school who came to prominence around the same time.

Hank is the middleweight champion because his sound, as he once put it himself, is “not a big sound, not a small sound, just a round sound” and because, while fads and fancies change, he has remained for some 15 years a consistently successful performer, working almost exclusively as a sideman except on records, and retaining a firm, loyal following.

Hank was born in Eastman, Georgia, July 7, 1930, but was raised in New Jersey. He studied with a private teacher. When he was 20 years old he played in Paul Gayten’s orchestra. A year later he came to the attention of jazz fans and critics through an association with Max Roach that lasted off and on for two or three years.

After working with Dizzy Gillespie for six months in 1954, he began jobbing with Horace Silver later that year at Minton’s Play House and other New York clubs. This group evolved into the Jazz Messengers, under the leadership of Art Blakey. Hank remained with Art and Horace until September, 1956, when he and Horace quit Art to join forces in the latter’s new group.

During the next four years Hank was heard with Silver, Roach and Thelonious Monk, rejoining Blakey in 1959. During the next year or two he appeared at many of the special Monday night sessions at Birdland, worked with the British trumpeter Dizzy Reece, and was heard for a while with Miles Davis.

As critic Joe Goldberg once observed, Mobley is not a musician who can easily be classified or categorized: “Writers on jazz like to trot out such phrases as Hawkins-informed, Young-derived, Rollins-influenced and the like, and then, having formed their pigeon-hole, they proceed to drop the musician under discussion into it…Mobley, to be sure, is associated with East Coast musicians and material, but he has never had the so-called “hard bop” sound that is generally a part of the equipment of such tenor men.” Mobley, Goldberg went on to point out, worked out a style of his own, unspectacularly but with unmistakable success.

Mobley has been a recording bandleader for Blue Note since 1960, when his first album, Soul Station, was received with critical acclaim. Sidemen on his dates have included Blakey, Silver, Wynton Kelly, Grant Green, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson and Donald Byrd. Hank has also recorded numerous Blue Note dates under the leadership of other musicians, including Jimmy Smith, Curtis Fuller, Johnny Griffin, Dizzy Reece, and of course Silver and Blakey.

Leonard Feather
3/6/68

More on the album here:

The Rudy Van Gelder Edition of NO ROOM FOR SQUARES contains two tracks, “Up A Step” and “Old World, New Imports” that were recorded at an earlier session but appeared on the original LP. The tracks “Syrup And Biscuits” and “Comin’ Back” that appeared on the first CD release of this album are omitted from this edition.

Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Rudy Van Gelder (2000, Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey).

This is part of the Blue Note Rudy Van Gelder Editions series.

NO ROOM FOR SQUARES is one of the more inventive titles in the Blue Note catalog. This is certainly an apt description for a session that includes the very hip Mobley and accompaniment from the swinging Lee Morgan, creative piano master Andrew Hill, sturdy bassist John Ore, and the powerful Philly Joe Jones on drums. Mobley’s confident tenor wail is in full force here, as he and Morgan blow through the all-original program with strong support from the daring rhythm section. SQUARES is among Mobley’s most raucous sessions. This is evident on energized tracks like the opening title track and the Latin-tinged “Three Way Split.” Also featured is Morgan’s lush ballad “Carolyn.” In all, this is another stunning hard bop classic.

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on March 7 and October 2, 1963. Originally released on Blue Note (4149). Includes liner notes by Joe Goldberg and Bob Blumenthal……Learn More

I have two announcements to make and both will only expand your listening choice here on Jazz Con Class. First of all I am adding and featuring John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” to the schedule, check for times here. It will remain in the Jazz Con Class playlist rotation indefinitely, just as I did with the “Blues Bag” album. More on this inspirational album below.

I am also happy to announce a brand new playlist and I named it the 3G Playlist. It contains songs that I have not played yet here, so again, take a look at the schedule link on top of the page for play time. Make yourself familiar with this link because I am always adding and updating it.

More on Album:

A LOVE SUPREME is the essential example of the genius of John Coltrane. In what has become the apotheosis of jazz music, this eminently accessible work bridges the gap between music and spirituality, between art and life. With the ultimate incarnation of the jazz quartet, Coltrane brings together all of his turbulent elements into a cohesive paean to spirituality, one which is fully appreciable by the uninitiated.

A LOVE SUPREME is a 33-minute work divided into four movements. “Acknowledgment” starts the album with a heraldic summoning from Coltrane’s tenor saxophone, full and joyous, which approximates the tone of the prayer he provides in the album’s liner notes. The solo that follows reveals an artist whose spiritual depth and emotional urgency are matched by an adherence to logic and a resolve to achieve one goal above all–communication. Each simple musical statement is either followed by a motivic development or countered with a conversational response. Coltrane climaxes with a distilled four-note motif echoing the album’s title, which he plays with by sequencing it through a wide array of tonalities. Finally, the band comes in, reiterating this idea, chanting the mantra “A Love Supreme.”…..Learn More

Here’s another excellent album that I will be featuring for an unlimited time with an all-star lineup. I found out about “Blues Bag” while searching for all the albums Lee Morgan had appeared in as a sideman. This album is very expensive, if you are interested in buying it new but it is much cheaper used ($10.24). You can also buy it this way, where it is paired with another great album. Either way, everyone should have it in their music library. Lee Morgan contributes in the 2nd and 7th song but Buddy De Franco’s Bass Clarinet is the main reason why it is so rare. Check the “Schedule Link” to find out when it will be airing. Here’s more on Blues Bag:

Quickly, how many bop-oriented clarinetists came you name? Not many come to mind–seemingly, many players from the bebop-and-beyond generation seem to have associated the clarinet with a bygone jazz era. BLUES BAG, a reissue of a long out-of-print early ’60s Vee-Jay album, is essentially an Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers lineup with Buddy DeFranco’s clarinet replacing the saxophone.

If at first this seems an odd pairing, remember that DeFranco is one of the generation of jazz players who made the transition from swing to bebop, and both he and Blakey played in big bands, and both were open to the progression of jazz. This set features a pair of old standbys and some early ’60s “brave new jazz” compositions by John Coltrane (the madly catchy “Cousin Mary”), Ornette Coleman (“Blues Connotation”), and some tunes by this session’s pianist/vibes player, the late and very underrated Victor Feldman. DeFranco mostly plays some thorny, thoughtful bass clarinet……….Learn More

 

 

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