Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Miles Davis: Isle of Wight 1970 - Repost

Miles Davis passed away 20 years ago today, so some kind of tribute is in order. Here's mine.

Upturn every jazz stone after the 1940s and chances are that you will see the name Miles Davis written underneath more often than not.

He started his meteoric musical career as a young trumpet player beside Charlie Parker, and it has been upwards ever since.

His Birth Of The Cool sessions of 1949 with his nonet first introduced jazz audiences to the notion of cool jazz. His subsequent quintet of the mid fifties featuring John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb et al, showed the world how hard bop should be.

As if these were not enough, his 1958 "Kind Of Blue" album, THE most successful jazz album of all time, gave the world modal jazz.

His second great quintet with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams of the 1960s explored the new territory of post and freebop.

And finally, his 1969 Bitches Brew album, turned the jazz world on its head with its reckless electric experimentalism, and fusion music was born, not to mention that musicians in the caliber of Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul and many others won instant recognition. Not bad at all.

The 1970 Isle of Wight festival was by far the largest and most famous of these early festivals indeed it was said at the time to be one of the largest human gatherings in the world surpassing the attendance at Woodstock. The most notable of over fifty performers were The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Ten Years After, Joni Mitchell, Melanie, Donovan, Free, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Leonard Cohen, Jethro Tull and Tiny Tim. The unexpected level of the attendees (tickets holders accounted only for 50.000) was beyond that which the festival organizers and local authorities could supply adequate amenities and guarantee public safety for. Such concerns led in 1971, to Parliament passing the "Isle of Wight Act" preventing gatherings of more than 5,000 people on the island without a special license.

The festival was revived only in 2002.

A piece of music history then, Miles Davis in the company of jazz superstars to-be Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Airto Moreira and Gary Bartz, in a 35 minute free form improvisation which Miles, after being asked the title famously replied "oh, call it anything".

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and Special Guests - Leverkusen Jazz Fest Oct. 9 1989

German 1989 TV special celebrating Bu's 70th birthday. Stellar lineup including Terence Blanchard, Freddie Hubbard, Brian Lynch (tp) Curtis Fuller, Frank Lacy (tb) Donald Harrison, Jackie McLean (as) Benny Golson, Javon Jackson, Wayne Shorter (ts) Walter Davis Jr., Geoff Keezer (p) Essiet Okon Essiet, Buster Williams (b) Art Blakey, Roy Haynes (d) Michelle Hendricks (v).


Two of a Kind
Along Came Betty
Lester Left Town
Mr. Blakey
Drum Duo
Blues March
Buhaina's Valediction

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Louis Armstrong - Body and Soul (1930) + You Can Depend on Me (1931) [Parlophone UK 78 R1355]

Beginning in about 1929 or 1930, Parlophone started a series of American jazz records on their "Rhythm Style Series". Edgar Jackson was the director of this series, which was issued within the existing R- series (the first issue was R-448). Culled from the American OKeh label, artists like Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Duke Ellington, Miff Mole, and other major artists who recorded for OKeh. These records were usually "split-coupled" (the top and bottom side of each record was usually by different artists and did not correspond with the original American coupling). The "Second New Rhythm-Style" series replaced the first series in about 1931, and there was a separate series for each year from 1934 through 1941, as well as some miscellany series. These 78's were popular and remained in print for years. Even though these records were never licensed for sale in the U.S., they were heavily imported through jazz shops like Commodore and Liberty in the late 1930s and were sold through the 1940s and into the early 1950s. They are treasured by collectors because they are pressed from the original stampers and usually sound much better than the worn and usually rare U.S. OKeh original records.

Side A

Louis Armstrong And His New Sebastian Cotton Club Orchestra
October 9, 1930, Los Angeles, CA

Body And Soul (Heyman, E.; Sour, R.; Eyeton, F.; Green, J.) [master W.404411-D] -- OKeh 41468

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hite, Les (Conductor, Saxophone)
Orendorff, George (Trumpet)
Scott, Harold (Trumpet)
Graven, Luther (Trombone)
Johnson, Marvin (Alto Saxophone)
Jones, Charlie (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Prince, Henry (Piano)
Perkins, Bill (Banjo, Steel Guitar)
Bailey, Joe (Tuba, Bass)
Hampton, Lionel (Vibraphone, Drums)

A completely new lineup for the Orchestra (except for the great Hampton).

Side B

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
November 5, 1931, Chicago, IL

You Can Depend On Me (Dunlap; Hines; Carpenter) [master W.405062-2] -- OKeh 41538

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Randolph, Zilner (Trumpet)
Jackson, Preston (Trombone)
Boone, Lester (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
James, George (Reeds)
Washington, Albert (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Alexander, Charlie (Piano)
McKendrick, Mike (Banjo, Guitar)
Lindsay, John (Bass)
Hall, Tubby (Drums)

78rpm shellack transfer from my personal collection, enjoy

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hampton Hawes - The Challenge (1968) LPRip 24bit-96khz

Although it does not say it anywhere on this LP (originally recorded in Japan for RCA), the "challenge" was that this was Hampton Hawes' first set of unaccompanied piano solos. Although based in bop, Hawes was always much more than a one-handed pianist, and he proves up to the challenge. The repertoire includes jazz standards, three originals, and the current pop tune "Who Can I Turn To." Throughout the date, the pianist shows that he could create stirring music without the assistance of a rhythm section. Unfortunately, this music (last put out on a Storyville LP) has yet to be reissued on CD.

Track Listing

A1 Hamp's Blues 3:50
A2 Summertime 2:25
A3 What's New 4:37
A4 It Could Happen To You 3:37
A5 My Romance 4:02
A6 Autumn Leaves 2:47
B1 Just One Of Those Things 3:32
B2 Who Can I Turn To 3:02
B3 Bag's Groove 5:11
B4 Clementine 1:58
B5 Young People's Tune 3:06
B6 Shinjuku 1:55

Recorded at Lino Hall, Tokyo, May 7, 9 12, 1968
Hampton Hawes - solo piano

New, superior-sounding 24bit-96khz rip of this super rare out-of-print LP!

Art Tatum - Piano Starts Here + Live at the Shrine (1933, 1949) [Zenph Re-Performance 2008]

Sony's take of the Art Tatum 1933 and 1949 classic sets using Zenph's zany technology and using the same Los Angeles Shrine auditorium where these historic performances took place. If you want to hear how Art Tatum would be caught on tape using today's technology, that's the one to go for. For comparison's sake I uploaded the real Tatum performances, you might want to check these out.

Track Listing

01 Tea For Two
02 St. Louis Blues
03 Tiger Rag
04 Sophisticated Lady
05 How High The Moon
06 Humoresque
07 Someone To Watch Over Me
08 Yesterdays
09 I Know That You Know
10 Willow Weep For Me
11 Tatum Pole Boogie
12 The Kerry Dance
13 The Man I Love

Recorded live on September 23, 2007 at the Shrine Auditorium, LA, CA

Original performances
Tracks 1-4 recorded March, 1933
Tracks 5-13 recorded live at the Gene Norman 'Just Jazz' concert at Shrine Auditorium in 1949

Art Tatum - solo piano

Art Tatum - Piano Starts Here (1933, 1949)

There are many Art Tatum records available, but this is the one to pull out to amaze friends, particularly with Tatum's wondrous version of "Tiger Rag," during which he sounds like three pianists jamming together. This CD consists of Tatum's first studio session as a leader in 1033 (which resulted in "Tea for Two," "St. Louis Blues," "Tiger Rag," and "Sophisticated Lady") and a remarkable solo concert performance from the spring of 1949. While "Tiger Rag" dwarfs everything else, the live set is highlighted by a very adventurous, yet seemingly effortless exploration of "Yesterdays," a ridiculously rapid "I Know That You Know," and the hard-cooking "Tatum Pole Boogie." This is an essential set of miraculous music that cannot be praised highly enough. ~ Scott Yanow

Track Listing

01 Tea For Two
02 St. Louis Blues
03 Tiger Rag
04 Sophisticated Lady
05 How High The Moon
06 Humoresque
07 Someone To Watch Over Me
08 Yesterdays
09 I Know That You Know
10 Willow Weep For Me
11 Tatum Pole Boogie
12 The Kerry Dance
13 The Man I Love

Solo performer: Art Tatum (piano)

Tracks 1-4 recorded March, 1933
Tracks 5-13 recorded live at the Gene Norman 'Just Jazz' concert at Shrine Auditorium in 1949

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Glenn Miller - Tuxedo Junction + Danny Boy [HMV UK 78 BD5595 1940]

The Glenn Miller Orchestra fronted by The Man himself in Tuxedo Junction, one of the coolest tunes ever to come out of the Big Band era and a smash hit (number one for nine weeks on Billboard's Juke Box chart in 1940) and the everlasting ballad Danny Boy aka Londonderry Air. This is the Glenn Miller Orchestra at its very best. 78rpm record transfer from my personal collection.

Track List

Side A. Tuxedo Junction (Feb. 5, 1940)

Side B. Danny Boy aka Londonderry Air (Oct. 6, 1939)

The Glenn Miller Orchestra

Technical info:

Dual 1019 turntable
Shure M78S cartridge
Rotel RHQ-970 Michi Phono stage
A to D: M-Audio Audiophile 192 soundcard via Audacity
Cancelling of RIAA equalization, application of 'correct' eq
Click and crackle removal with Click Repair and de-hissing with DeNoise, the aim being of staying as close to the original without subtracting from the signal.

Unprocessed raw file included for the brave to experiment, enjoy

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nat King Cole - Song of Delilah + Here's to my Lady [Capitol UK 78 CL13670 1952]

Here's the one and only Nat "King" Cole with his trio consisting of Irving Ashby on guitar and Joe Comfort on bass backed by the Dave Barbour Orchestra covering the haunting Song of Delilah, the music theme heard on Cecil B. DeMille's 1949 epic Samson and Delilah starring Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature. Flip side is Johnny Mercer's Here's to my Lady. 78rpm record transfer from my personal collection.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Perry Como - Wanted (1953) + Give Me Your Hand (1949) HMV UK B.10691 78rpm (1954)

Another gem from the 78 era, this time it's Perry Como with the Hugo Winterhalter Orchestra and Chorus on their December 29, 1953 recording of Wanted that made it to #1 of billboard Magazine's Singles Charts of 1954. Side B for this UK release is Dorothy Stewart's Give Me Your Hand recorded on May 3, 1949. Once one gets used to the sound of these, he realizes how much more natural they sound compared to CD remasterings that sound artificial. I even included the original raw file for the brave to experiment, enjoy.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Glenn Miller and his Orchestra - Melancholy Lullaby + Blue Moonlight (1939)

Another gem from the 78 era, this time it's Glenn Miller and his orchestra on the September 11, 1939 session issued in the UK under HMV 5822. Side A is Benny Carter's and Edward Heyman's Melancholy Lullaby, side B is Dana Suesse's beautiful Blue Moonlight. Both tracks feature Ray Eberle on vocals. Once one gets used to the sound of these, he realizes how much more natural they sound compared to CD remasterings that sound artificial. I even included the original raw file for the brave to experiment, enjoy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Charlie Parker Quartet with Strings (1949)

This is the legendary November 30, 1949 session, meticulously transferred to digital from my original Mercury 78rpm 3-record album. The Verve remastered CD always sounded too artificial to my ears, so there you go, enjoy a slice of recorded music history.

319-5 Just Friends - Mercury 11036
320-3 Everything Happens To Me - Mercury 11036
321-3 April In Paris - Mercury 11037
322-2 Summertime - Mercury 11038
323-2 I Didn't Know What Time It Was - Mercury 11038
324-3 If I Should Lose You - Mercury 11037

Charlie Parker Quartet With Jimmy Carroll Orchestra

Mitch Miller (ob, ehr) Charlie Parker (as) Bronislaw Gimpel, Max Hollander, Milton Lomask (vln) Frank Brieff (vla) Frank Miller (vlc) Meyer Rosen (harp) Stan Freeman (p) Ray Brown (b) Buddy Rich (d) Jimmy Carroll (arr, cond)

Reeves Sound Studios, NYC, November 30, 1949

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ray Bryant - Take a Bryant Step (1967)

Ray Bryant's cover of Miriam Makeba's 1957 signature hit Pata Pata, released in the US in 1967. On this same year Cadet released the Take a Bryant Step LP consisting of covers and Bryant originals, a joyful affair, mostly targeted for airplay. Ray is backed by the Richard Evans Orchestra. This LP has never made it to CD to my knowledge.

Track listing

A1 To Sir With Love 3:05
A2 Ramblin 3:10
A3 Natural Woman 2:35
A4 Ode To Billy Joe 3:13
A5 Up-Up And Away 3:18
A6 Paint It Black 3:17
B1 Pata Pata 3:07
B2 Poochie 3:07
B3 Yesterday 2:40
B4 Paper Cup 2:55
B5 Doing My Thing 2:40
B6 Dinner On The Grounds 3:27


Arranged By – Ray Bryant (tracks: A1 to A4, A6, A3), Richard Evans (2) (tracks: A5, B1, B2, B4 to B6)
Engineer – Doug Brand
Orchestra – Richard Evans Orchestra
Piano – Ray Bryant

Recorded August & November, 1967, at Ter Mar Studios, Chicago

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ray Bryant (1931-2011)

A small tribute to this piano jazz legend who left us on June 3. Ray Bryant has had an unflinching love affair with the blues idiom throughout his career as this video of the composer of "Little Suzie" and "Cubano Chant" asserts. Taped at Montreux, Switzerland in 1977.

This is Ray's famous composition "Little Suzie" in a small edit by yours truly. Groovy as hell, propelled by one of the best left hands in the jazz piano business, enjoy.

The Ray Bryant Trio - All Blues (1978)

This blog laments the loss of jazz piano giant Ray Bryant on June 3. This is Ray Bryant's blues opus from 1978. Magnificent playing from a Ray at the peak of his powers on compositions by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Percy Mayfield. Bryant includes a new version of his 1950s classic “Blues Changes” which created a subtle new shade of the blues - now a standard feature of the jazz canon. With Sam Jones on bass and Grady Tate on drums. RIP Ray.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stan Getz - Anniversary + Serenity ft. Kenny Barron (1987)

Stan Getz celebrated his 60th birthday -- as he had his 50th -- with a gig at the renown Cafe Montmartre Jazzhus in Copenhagen on July 6, 1987. Backed by a stellar rhythm session consisting of Kenny Barron on piano, Rufus Reid on bass and Victor Lewis on drums the delivery is nothing short of exemplary as one would expect. Sadly, Getz had only four more years to go before losing a long battle with cancer. This enhances the status of these magnificent sessions from essential to mandatory listening for any serious jazz aficionado.



1. El Cahon
2. I Can’t Get Started
3. Stella By Starlight
4. Stan’s Blues
5. I Thought About You
6. What Is This Thing Called Love
7. Blood Count


1. On Green Dolphin Street
2. Voyage
3. Falling In Love
4. I Remember You
5. I Love You


Stan Getz, ts
Kenny Barron, p
Rufus Reid, b
Victor Lewis, d

Recorded live at the Cafe Montmartre, Copenhagen, Denmark on July 6, 1987

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wes Montgomery - The Complete Smokin' at the Half Note

It has been well established by jazz pundits that Smokin' at the Half Note is one of the seminal recordings of live jazz guitar. Recorded on June 24, 1965 at the now defunct Half Note in NYC, it paired the legendary guitarist with Miles Davis' 50s rhythm section, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Their playing is the stuff of legend. What is definitely not stuff of legend though is Verve's marketing policy. Of the original LP album only two of the original five tracks were recorded at the Half Note ("No Blues" and "If You Could See Me Now"). At the behest of producer Creed Taylor, the other three were re-recorded on September 22, 1965 at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in New Jersey. To further complicate matters, the remaining Half note numbers were included in the LP Willow Weep for Me, a posthumous 1969 album laced with Claus Ogerman's string and brass arrangements (shock, horror!) added in the studio. For comic relief, Willow won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group. No doubt Wes was smiling in the sky. Our mission here is to demystify dubious artistic/marketing decisions made by clueless record producers and this 1998 version issued for the Japanese market puts things in order as it contains all nine numbers recorded during that historical night at the Half Note. I even went the extra step of adding Rodgers' and Hammersteins' version of The Surrey with the Fringe on Top contained in Wes' the The Verve Jazz Sides double CD as all previous issues of this track were heavily edited (a mid-solo fade-out in our case). This version restores as much of the original performance as possible, as heavy editing of the tape has rendered full recreation of the original an impossibility.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chico O'Farrill - Carambola (2000)

Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill's (1921 - 2001) swan song Carambola was nominated for the 2001 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album and deservedly so. This is what Down Beat (11/00, p.73) had to say : "...The third, and best, installment in a much deserved late career rediscovery. There is clarity, a sense of strength and a coherence in this album that is rare even for a master. It plays like a wise and joyous summation of a career, 5 stars out of 5..."


1. Carambola 00:05:18
2. The Aztec Suite 00:15:09
3. Delirio 00:04:24
4. Havana Blues 00:05:28
5. Vanna's Song 00:03:22
6. Crazy City (… But I Love It) 00:03:55
7. Waller Exercise 00:01:47
8. Rhapsody For Two Islands 00:03:35
9. Oye Mi Rumba 00:02:19
10. Enamorado (Falling In Love) 00:04:46
11. Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite 00:15:54

Personnel: Graciela Peréz Grillo (vocals); Lewis Kahn (violin); Mario Rivera (flute, alto saxophone); Jimmy Cozier, Peter Brainin, Marshall McDonald (saxophone); Mike Migliore (tenor saxophone); Matt Hilgenberg, Jon Owens, Kenny Rampton, Michael Mossman, Jim Seeley (trumpet); Vincent Chancey, Chris Komer (French horn); Gary Valente, Papo Vazquez, Sam Burtis, Jack Jeffers (trombone); Arturo O'Farrill (piano); Steve Berrios (drums, congas, bata, claves, maracas, shekere, timbales, percussion); Victor Jones (drums); Joe Gonzalez (bongos, bells).

Recorded at Clinton Recording Studios, New York, New York in July 2000.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dudley Moore Trio 1969

There are many, many people who are totally ignorant of the fact that the late Dudley Moore, who as well as being a great actor, was also an extremely talented jazz composer and pianist. Dudley's approach to music, especially jazz was seriously important to him. He liked his music to have a swinging and happy feel. He was strongly influenced by the playing of Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson, who he idolized, and this album, at times is similar to the conceptual styles of these great artists. Dudley Moore's compositions have a lovely romantic and beautiful feel to them. This 1969 self-titled album consists of all-Dudley Moore compositions and was the first album by the Trio that did not feature any cover versions. It is a lovely album and deserves to be heard by a bigger audience. There was an outstanding album "Jazz Jubilee" released in 2004 which featured concerts by The Dudley Moore Trio recorded in Australia and England during the seventies. The revenue from this record's sale was, at the time, going to charities supported by Dudley Moore. I don't know if the album is still available, but if you see it, check that the charity rules still apply, and if so, think about buying the album.


1 Fanfare
2 120 Plus Optional Magic Exploding Cadence
3 Chimes
4 Love Song from an Imaginary Musical
5 Bags of Chris
6 Pop and Circumstance
7 Romantic Notion
8 Folk Song
9 Amalgam
10 Nursery Tune
11 Hymn

All compositions by Dudley Moore


Dudley Moore - Piano, born on 19 April, 1935, Dagenham, England. Died on 27 March, 2002. A hugely talented comedian, actor, composer and jazz pianist.

Jeff Clyne - Bass, born 29 January 1937, in London is a British jazz bassist (playing both bass guitar and double bass). Some of the great artists he has played with include Isotope, Nucleus, Julie Driscoll, Kevin Ayers, Georgie Fame, John McLaughlin, and Zoot Sims.

Chris Karan - Drums, born October 14, 1939, is a jazz percussionist, primarily a drummer, of Greek descent from Melbourne. He played in Mike Nock's trio. He also worked with Roy Budd and Katie Melua, along with putting out CDs of his own. Other than drums he has an interest in various percussion styles of the world and plays the tabla on some albums.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dizzy Gillespie - Afro (1954)

Everything about this incredible Dizzy Gillespie LP screams "masterpiece". From the classic Manteca Suite (1-4), written by Cuban genius Chico O’Farrill, to the dionysian Caravan, to the incredible list of band members, a virtual who's who of Afro-Cuban jazz luminaries, right down to the stupendous cover art by David Stone Martin. If you enjoy your jazz latin-tinged, this is the one to go for.

Track List:

1. Manteca Theme
2. Contraste
3. Jungla
4. Rhumba Finale
5. A Night in Tunisisa
6. Con Alma
7. Caravan


# Quincy Jones Trumpet | (1-4)
# Jimmy Nottingham Trumpet | (1-4)
# Ernie Royal Trumpet | (1-4)
# Leon Comegys Trombone | (1-4)
# J. J. Johnson Trombone | (1-4)
# George Matthews Trombone | (1-4)
# George Dorsey Alto Saxophone | (1-4)
# Hilton Jefferson Alto Saxophone | (1-4)
# Hank Mobley Tenor Saxophone | (1-4)
# Lucky Thompson Tenor Saxophone | (1-4)
# Danny Bank Baritone Saxophone | (1-4)
# Ray Concepcion Piano | (1-4)
# Wade Legge Piano | (1-4)
# Lou Hackney Bass | (1-4)
# Robert Rodriguez Bass |
# Jose Manguel |
# Candido Camero Congas |
# Mongo Santamaria Congas | (1-4)
# Ubaldo Nieto Timbales |
# Charlie Persip Drums | (1-4)
# Rafael Miranda Percussion | (5-7)
# Alejandro Hernandez Piano | (5-7)
# Gilberto Valdez Flute | (5, 7)
# Chico O'Farrill Arranger, Conductor | (1-4)

Original recordings produced by Norman Granz

Tracks 1-4 recorded May 21, 1954 at Fine Sound, New York City; tracks 5-7 recorded June 3, 1954 at Fine Sound, New York City.