Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Have fun and enjoy the music. This effort is made purely out of love for the music, and as jazz lends itself to discussion so nicely don't forget to drop a line; don't be afraid of the keyboard, it won't bite you. Your thoughts, suggestions & contributions are welcome.


Jazz great Lou Donaldson in action (pic by yours truly)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Phil Woods - Greek Cooking (1967)

Phil Woods in a very unusual setting. This is a sort of a cult LP lovingly transferred to digital with top notch equipment.


"Zorba the Greek" (Mikis Theodorakis) - 3:08
"A Taste of Honey" (Bobby Scott, Ric Marlow) - 6:00
"Theme from Anthony & Cleopatra" (Alex North) - 4:52
"Got A Feelin'" (Denny Doherty, John Phillips) - 4:30
"Theme from Samson & Delilah" (Victor Young) - 5:15
"Greek Cooking" - 5:00
"Nica" - 5:39

Recorded in New York City on January 31 (tracks 2, 4 & 5), and February 1 (tracks 1, 3, 6 & 8), 1967


Accordion [Accordian] – William Costa
Arranged By – Norman Gold
Bass [Fender] – Chet Amsterdam
Clarinet – Souren Baronian
Drums – Bill Lavorgna
Drums [Dumbeg] – John Yalenezian
Guitar – Stuart Scharf
Lute [Buzukie] – Iordanis Tsomidis*
Marimba – William Costa
Oud – George Mgrdichian
Percussion – Seymour Salzberg
Percussion [Cymbals] – Souren Baronian
Producer – Bob Thiele
Saxophone – Phil Woods

Monday, September 15, 2014

Joe Sample (1939 - 2014)

This blog laments the loss of Joe Sample (1939-2014) on Sept 12. Sample, a master musician, was co-founder of The Jazz Crusaders, a hard bop outfit, later to be renamed The Crusaders, that fused jazz, r&b and funk seamlessly. Mega-hit 'Street Life' is only an example of what these guys could do. Most importantly, Sample was a superb session musician, having graced literally hundreds of recordings with his instantly recognizable funky style. Here's your chance to hear Sample in a all-acoustic 1975 session accompanied by giants Ray Brown on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. The added bonus of superb sonics is owed to the fact that this is a direct-to-disc recording (recording tape omitted), an expensive process that offers superb clarity.


1. Yearnin'
2. On Green Dolphin Street
3. Satin Doll
4. Manhã Do Carinval
5. 'Round About Midnight
6. Funky Blues

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Music Of Johnny Carisi - Israel

One of the most important movements in the late ‘40s and early 50’s jazz, was the conscious effort of well-schooled, classically informed, creative jazz musicians to reflect not only their training but also a greater sense of structure and order in the jazz music they played and improvised on. It was a movement led by writers like Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Ralph Burns, Tiny Kahn and Johnny Carisi, among others. Some, like Mulligan and Kahn, were also celebrated instrumentalists, but they all embraced both large and small group music.

Trumpeter Johnny Carisi (1922-1992), whose name endures as a notable one in this groundbreaking general movement, worked originally for bands such as Ray McKinley’s and, more significantly, Claude Thornhill’s, in which he also played at a period when the band was famed for its contemporary, boppish book written by Evans and Mulligan.

Appropriately, this compilation contains Carisi’s own 1956 recordings as a leader, as well some of his most celebrated compositions and arrangements played by other great groups, all fine examples of his contribution to this development in jazz. But, apart from his extensive and varied background as both player and writer, the one composition that made him a jazz legend is Israel, one of Miles Davis’s loveliest record arrangements, and for which Johnny Carisi will always be remembered.


01. Israel (Johnny Carisi) 2:11
02. Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf-Waller) 3:10
03. Lestorian Mode (Johnny Carisi) 3:43
04. Barry’s Tune (Johnny Carisi) 2:39
05. How About You? (Freed-Lane) 3:59
06. Hips (Johnny Carisi) 3:58
07. Springville (Johnny Carisi) 3:08
08. Breakfast with Joe (Johnny Carisi) 4:05
09. Walkin’ on Air (Johnny Carisi) 2:56
10. Little John (Johnny Carisi) 3:05
11. Springville (Johnny Carisi) 3:15
12. Plain Bill from Bluesville (Johnny Carisi) 4:11
13. Israel (Johnny Carisi) 3:09
14. Angkor Wat (Johnny Carisi) 6:21
15. Barry’s Tune (Johnny Carisi) 3:39
16. Moon Taj (Johnny Carisi) 8:20
17. Israel (Johnny Carisi) 2:15



Tracks #1-7 were recorded for the album RCA Victor “Jazz Workshop – Johnny Carisi” that was scheduled as LPM 1371 but never released.

Track #8 from the album “Al Cohn – Mr. Music” RCA Victor LJM1024

Track #9 from the album “The Touch of Tony Scott” RCA Victor LPM 1353

Tracks #10-12 from the album “All About Urbie Green and His Big Band” ABC-Paramount ABC137

Track #13 from the Gerry Mulligan album “A Concert in Jazz” Verve V6-8415

Tracks #14-16 from the album “Gil Evans – Into the Hot” Impulse AS-9

Track #17 from the 78rpm disc “Miles Davis and His Orchestra” Capitol 57-60011


Johnny Carisi, leader & trumpet; Urbie Green, trombone; Ray Beckenstein, clarinet & alto sax Eddie Wasserman, tenor sax; Danny Bank, baritone sax; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Russ Saunders, bass Herb Wasserman, drums.

Recorded at Webster Hall Studio, New York City, April 21, 1956

Sol Schlinger, baritone sax; Milt Hinton, bass, and Osie Johnson, drums, replace Bank, Saunders and Wasserman.

Recorded at Webster Hall Studio, New York City, May 5 (#2-4), & May 11 (#5-7), 1956

Joe Newman, trumpet; Billy Byers, trombone; Gene Quill, alto sax; Al Cohn, leader & tenor sax; Sol Schlinger, tenor sax; Sanford Gold, piano; Buddy Jones, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.

Recorded at Webster Hall Studio, New York City, December 23, 1954

Johnny Carisi, Joe Wilder, trumpets; Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green, trombones; Tony Scott, leader & clarinet; Danny Bank, baritone sax; Bill Evans, piano; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.

Recorded at Webster Hall Studio, New York City, July 5, 1956

Johnny Carisi, trumpet; Nick Travis, Joe Wilder, trumpets; Urbie Green, leader & trombone; Jack Green, Chauncey Welsch, trombones; Bill Barber, tuba; Ray Beckenstein, Hal McKusick, alto saxes; Al Cohn, tenor sax; Sol Schlinger, baritone sax; Dave McKenna, piano; Jack Lesberg, bass Osie Johnson, drums.

Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York City, August 5, 1956

Tracks #11-12: Doc Severinsen, Phil Sunkel, Johnny Carisi, trumpets; Urbie Green, leader & trombone; Lou McGarity, Rex Peer, trombones; Bill Barber, tuba; Ray Beckenstein, Hal McKusick, alto saxes; Al Cohn, tenor sax; Danny Bank, baritone sax; Dave McKenna, piano; Vinnie Burke, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.

Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York City, August 23, 1956

Don Ferrara, Nick Travis, Doc Severinsen, trumpets; Bob Brookmeyer, valve trombone
Willie Dennis, trombone; Alan Raph, bass trombone; Gene Quill, Bob Donovan, alto saxes; Gerry Mulligan, baritone sax & leader; Gene Allen, baritone sax; Bill Crow, bass; Mel Lewis, drums; John Carisi, arranger.

Recorded at Webster Hall Studio, New York City, July 10, 1961

Johnny Carisi, leader & trumpet; Johnny Glasel, Doc Severinsen, trumpets; Urbie Green, trombone; Jimmy Buffington, French horn; Harvey Phillips, tuba; Phil Woods, Gene Quill, alto saxes; Eddie Costa, piano, vibes; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.

Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York City, September 14, 1961

Track #15: Johnny Carisi, leader & trumpet; Johnny Glasel, Clark Terry, trumpets; Urbie Green, trombone; Bob Brookmeyer, valve trombone; Harvey Phillips, tuba; Phil Woods, Gene Quill, alto saxes; Eddie Costa, piano, vibes; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Art Davis, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.

Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York City, October 1, 1961

Track #16: Same personnel, but Joe Wilder, trumpet, replaces Clark Terry.

Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York City, October 31, 1961

Track #17: MILES DAVIS NONET (Bonus track)
Miles Davis, trumpet & leader; J.J. Johnson, trombone; Sandford Siegelstein, French horn; Bill Barber, tuba; Lee Konitz, alto sax; Gerry Mulligan, baritone sax; John Lewis, piano; Nelson Boyd, bass; Kenny Clarke (aka L.A. Salaam), drums.

Recorded at WOR Studios, NYC, April 22, 1949

Original recordings produced by Jack Lewis (#1-9), Jim Davis (#13), and Creed Taylor (#10-12 & 14-16)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers - Umbria Jazz 1976

Here's Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Orvieto, Italy, on July 22, 1976. It is indeed touching that Art opted to stick to his bebop guns in an age where every jazzman and his dog jumped on the funk/fusion/synth/disco bandwagon. That of course meant a diminished audience, but the music is nothing short of breathtaking and immortal as can clearly be seen almost four decades later.


Bill Hardman t
David Schnitter ts
Mickey Tucker p
Cameron Brown b
Art Blakey d

Track Listing:

1. Backgammon 00:00
2. Uranus 13:09
3. Blues March 23:40
4. All The Things You Are 33:20
5. Gipsy Folk Tales 39:00

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Danny Gatton, Bobby Watson, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman - NY Stories Vol. 1

For the making of this rare, out-of-print gem from 1992 some stellar performers gathered in NYC to celebrate the time-honored habit of the studio jam session. The gentlemen in question were the great late Danny Gatton on guitar, Bobby Watson on alto sax, Roy Hargrove on trumpet, Joshua Redman on tenor sax (on his first recording), Franck Amsallem on piano, Charles Fambrough on bass and Yuron Israel on drums. The concept was that each musician would bring a composition to the studio where it was recorded in the least takes possible in order to convey that live feel. The results might not be of Miles' So What proportions (which was recorded in the exact same way), but these guys show the world what an accomplished jazz player knowing his chops can do in a spontaneous musical situation - a lot. Alas, this splendid idea from the Blue Note label is laying at the bottom of the Ocean of Great Jazz Ideas and a Vol.2 was never released, so we have to cherish Vol.1 we have here as much as we can.   

Track listing

1. Dolly's Ditty
2. Wheel Within A Wheel
3. Ice Maidens
4. Out A Day
5. Mike The Cat
6. The Move
7. A Clear Thought
8. 5/4
9. One For Lenny

Release Date: 1992

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bob Crosby and His Orchestra: What's New aka I'm Free - Summertime

"What's New?" is a 1939 popular song composed by Bob Haggart, with lyrics by Johnny Burke. It was originally an instrumental tune titled "I'm Free" by Haggart in 1938, when Haggart was a member of Bob Crosby and His Orchestra. The tune was written with a trumpet solo, meant to showcase the talents of band-mate Billy Butterfield. Crosby's orchestra recorded "I'm Free" the same day it was written.
The following year, the music publishers hired Johnny Burke to write lyrics for the tune. Burke's telling of the torch song is unique, using one side of a casual conversation between former lovers. Thus the song was retitled using the song's first line, "What's New?" The song was recorded with the new title in 1939 by Bob Crosby And His Orchestra With Vocalist Teddy Grace. The song reached a peak chart position of #10.
Other popular 1939 recordings of "What's New" include Hal Kemp and His Orchestra with Vocalist Nan Wynn, which peaked at #11, Benny Goodman and His Orchestra with vocalist Louise Tobin, which peaked at #7, and a recording by Bing Crosby which peaked at #7. (from wikipedia)

"I'm Free", as it was known then, was released on the F.7000 Decca 78rpm  featuring a very nice arrangement of "Summertime" on the flip side. Both are included in this 78rpm rip, enjoy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hampton Hawes - Trio And Quartet 1951-56 - Live & Studio Sessions

Nice twofer containing early Hampton Hawes live & studio work having appeared before mostly on the Xanadu label.

 CD-1: Live Sessions

1. Buzzy
2. What Is This Thing Called Love
3. Bud's Blues
4. Another Hair Do
5. All the Things You Are
6. Blue Bird
The Haig Club, September 22, 1951.
Hampton Hawes (p), Harper Crosby (b), Lawrence Marable (dr)

7. I'll Remember April
8. Where or When
9. All God's Chillun Got Rhythm
The Surf Club, February 12, 1952.
Hampton Hawes (p), Joe Mondragon (b), Larry Bunker (dr)

10. Jumpin' Jacque
11. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
12. Hawes' Paws
13. It's You or No One
14. Buzzy
The Haig Club, September 9, 1952.
Hampton Hawes (p), Joe Mondragon (b), Shelly Manne (dr)

15. Just One of Those Things
16. Again
17. What a Difference a Day Made
18. Blue Bird
The Haig Club, December 23, 1952.
Hampton Hawes (p), Joe Mondragon (b), Shelly Manne (dr)

CD-2: Studio Sessions (except live tracks #16-18)

1. Night and Day
2. Where or When
Spring 1952.
Hampton Hawes (p), Harry Babasin (b, cello), Larry Bunker (dr, vib)

3. Jumpin' Jacque
4. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
5. It's You or No One
6. Thou Swell
September 10, 1952.
Hampton Hawes (p), Joe Mondragon (b), Shelly Manne (dr)

7. Terrible T
8. Fanfare
9. Just Squeeze Me
10. I'll Remember April
11. Hamp's Paws
12. Move
13. Once in a While
14. Buzzy
December 1952.
Hampton Hawes (p), Larry Bunker (vib), Clarence Jones (b), Lawrence Marable (dr)

15. I Hear Music
May 2, 1955.
Hampton Hawes (p), Red Mitchell (b), Mel Lewis (dr)

16. All the Things You Are
17. I Got Rhythm
18. How High the Moon
Embers Club, May 15, 1956.
Hampton Hawes (p), Red Mitchell (b), Chuck Thompson (dr)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Art Ford's Jazz Party - 1958

Art Ford's Jazz Party, was a TV series featuring jazz musicians on WNTA-TV in New York City, and which aired on Thursdays at 9pm ET from May 8, 1958 to December 25, 1958.

The 90-minute shows, hosted by Art Ford (1921-2006), were distributed by the DuMont Television Network. The shows were also aired on Armed Forces Television. All episodes were filmed in a New Jersey studio, except for the final episode, which was recorded August 11, 1958 in New Orleans, and aired on December 25.


The list of Jazz Party performers reads like a Who Is Who of jazz from Dixieland to swing to mainstream, along with a sprinkling of modern players. Giants appeared, as did emerging stars and the obscure. There were blues and folk artists also thrown in the mix. Performers who appeared on the show included Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Buster Bailey, Vinnie Burke, Roy Eldridge, Abbey Lincoln, J. C. Higginbotham, Les Paul, Dick Hyman, Anita O'Day, Mary Osborne, Teddy Charles, Harry Sheppard, Maxine Sullivan, Alec Templeton, and many others.


The show was shot in a relaxed, free-for-all, strictly non-rehearsed atmosphere in those early days of television and it shows. The fact that these musicians tore down the roof every time they hit the set is a testament to their supreme musicianship.

Art Ford, himself a great jazz fan, was proud of the lineups, which, unlike other early TV shows, were integrated. That may have ultimately doomed the show, said jazz historian Dan Morgenstern, in an opinion that was shared by Nat Hentoff, another noted jazz historian.

"I never go into a show with any concern about what's going to happen," Ford once said. "I can always get the best jazz men in the business. That's why I'm completely relaxed.". So are we, Art.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Coleman Hawkins - Lover Man (1961 TV Short)

Coleman Hawkins performing Lover Man in the company of Johnny Guaneri on piano, Milt Hinton on bass, Barry Galbraith on guitar and Cozy Cole on drums.

Part of a short called "After Hours" that never made it to TV. Ignore the cheesy voice-over, the music is priceless.