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NEWSLETTER #138
Jazz, Dance Bands & Vocalists
Chet Baker ->
Lee Wiley
 

 

 

NEW BOOKS

 
KANSAS CITY JAZZ FROM RAGTIME TO BEBOP by Frank Driggs & Chuck Haddix ● BOOK $32.00
Hardbound, 274 pages, counts as five CDs for shipping First in-depth look at the history of jazzin Kansas City - one of the most important cities in the development of the music. Includes many rare photos from the collection of Driggs who is one of the world's leading archivists of jazz photographs.

 

NEW DVDS

 
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted all DVDs offered are in NTSC format which means that they will not play on a European DVD players unless you have a multiple format player.
 
DIZZY GILLESPIE SEXTET Eagle Eye 39065 Jazz in Montreux Presents Dizzy Gillespie Sextet '77 ● DVD $10.98
Seven tunes with Benny Carter, Clark Terry, Roy Eldridge, Zoot Sims and others. Includes Girl Of My Dream/ Once In A While/ Here's That Rainy Day/ Here 'Tis and more.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Eagle Eye 39067 Jazz in Montreux Presents Jazz At The Philharmic '75 ● DVD $10.98
All star aggregation with Benny Carter, Roy Eldridge, Tommy Flanagan, Joe Pass and others do For You/ Autumn Leaves/ Sunday/ If I Had You and I Never Knew.

 
   

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
CHET BAKER Proper BOX 84 The Early Years ● CD $24.98
4 discs, 75 tracks, essential
It seems that what it takes to get advanced Black music into the mainstream is to have it done by good-looking White guys witness everything from Elvis to Eminem. For 50s jazz it was the young Chet Baker. The good thing was that he could back it up with great chops Charlie Parker used him before he ever recorded. In fact, this set starts off with several extended live recordings from The Trade Winds in L.A., including the 6/16/52 date with Bird (Sonny Criss is also in the front line!) on long versions of The Squirrel & They Didn't Believe Me. Chet's first big chance came with Gerry Mulligan's revolutionary pianoless quartet from '52 & '53. Most of the rest of the recordings were done with the series of wonderful quartets co-lead with pianist Russ Freeman in '53-'43. But most importantly during this time Chet found out he could sing! With his boyish good looks & vulnerable-sounding voice, he had a hit with My Funny Valentine that led to a series of Chet & Strings sessions that kept Chet in the public, as opposed to just the jazz-lovers, eyes. Recordings here are both live & studio, most done for the Pacific Jazz labels. With 44 pg booklet. Includes I Fall In Love Too Easily/ Time After Time/But Not For Me. (GM)

 
CHET BAKER Shout Factory 30930 Career, 1952-1988 ● CD $29.98
2 discs 32 tracks highly recommended
Not too many careers include both Charlie Parker & Elvis Costello, but Chet's encompassed both. This set covers the boy trumpeter/crooner's career two ways, The first disc covers his ethereal trumpet playing. Starting with an instrumental My Funny Valentine, the 15 tracks cover his early Pacific Jazz years (see also Proper Box 84 "The Early Years"), as well as later recordings including his reunion with Gerry Mulligan in '74 for CTI & ending with some live tracks done for Enja including Look For The Silver Lining from "The Last Great Concert" in '88. The second disc covers the crooner, starting with his other signature song Let's Get Lost, the Pacific Jazz classics, rarities for such LPs As RCA Italia, & at the end, Elvis C's Almost Blue from '87 & closing with My Funny Valentine from the "Last Great Concert" in '88. Beautiful slip-case cover with 48 pg booklet. (GM)

 
ART BLAKEY Proper Pairs 140 Hard Bop ● CD $12.98
2 discs 26 tracks essential
Four early Blue Note sessions from the hard-bop great. The first session from 12/47 was an off-shoot from his original band, The 17 Messenger, a group of all Muslim musicians. Art Blakey's Messengers were an 8-piece unit including Kenny Dorham, Shaib Shihab & Walter Bishop (Bop Alley/ Musa's Vision). Next were a couple of percussion only duos with Sabu Martinez from '53 (Message From Kenya). After that is the first great Jazz Messsengers (except in name) with Clifford Brown (t), Lou Donaldson (ts), Horace Silver (p) & Curley Russell (b) on the recordings from 2/54 released as a multi volume "A Night At Birdland With The Art Blakey Quintet." Finally there's the entire "Blakey Featuring Art Blakey" LP done for EmArCy/ Mercury 5/54 with a quintet including Walter Bishop & GiGi Gryce. Includes Mayreh/ Salute To Birdland/ A Night In Tunisia. In slipcase with 16 pg booklet. (GM)

 
LENNY BREAU Art Of Life 1013 Swingin' On A Seven-String ● CD $15.98
Reissue of last studio album of this guitar wizard who died young in 1984. Recorded in 1982 and originally issued on LP as "When Lightnin' Strikes" it features the only studio recordings of Breau playing a seven-string guitar, He is joined by Buddy Emmons on pedal steel guitar, Jim Ferguson on bass and Kenny Malone on drums. This CD reissue has been remastered from original analog master tapes using 24-bit remastering technology and includes the previously unissued bonus track Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

 
CLIFFORD BROWN Proper BOX 86 Joy Spring ● CD $24.98
4 discs 66 tracks essential
Again, Proper takes someone mainly a side-man who recorded over several different labels & gathers the recordings together to make sense! The highly influential Brown lived a short but very intense ilife. In fact, except for the opening coupling of two tunes with Chris Powell & His Blue Flames from '52, all the recordings on these four discs were recorded in a 19 month period from June 1953 and December 1954, & that includes nothing between Oct '53 & April '54! Clifford came on strong when he hit New York, enough that, even though he had signed to do his debut recording as part of Tadd Dameron's group for Prestige 6/1/53, Blue Note snuck him in the studio two days earlier to record with Lou Donaldson! After that, a group of young moderns including Art Farmer, GiGi Gryce & Quincy Jones signed on to record with old-timer Lionel Hampton's big band to tour Europe. Hamp gave little time over to the young turks, who rebelled by recording throughout Europe, against the boss's orders. These "All-Star" sessions, with local musicians, were mostly in Paris & Stockholm, led nominally by Gryce, Brown, or co-led by both. After the tour, Brown started his long association with Max Roach, first heard here in a live recording from Pasadena in '54, ending with live & studio session from the co-lead Brown-Roach quartet. This is one of the new Proper Boxes, smaller due to the use of paper sleeves in jewel cases. In box with 36 pg booklet. (GM)

 
BILLY ECKSTINE Acrobat 4019 Jukebox Hits 1943-1953 ● CD $13.98
21 tracks, 67 min, highly recommended
Mr B, perhaps the greatest Black ballad singer of the 20th century, is heard on his multitude of chart hits starting with 1942's Earl Hines Orch recording of Stormy Mondy Blues and ending with '53's St. Louis Blues. Looking at the tunes & their chart positions, two things are striking - the majority of his hits were high on the Pop (as opposed to the Race/R&B charts) & that many were revivals of '30s tunes, including such greats as Prisoner Of Love/ Temptation/ A Cottage For Sale/ You Call It Madness But I Call It Love., etc. (GM)

 
DUKE ELLINGTON JSP JSPCD 924 Volume 1: 1926-1929 :Mrs Clinkscales To The Cotton Club ● CD $28.98
4 discs 96 tracks essential
This may be one of the best sets to come out this year! Ellington collectors find it hard to keep track of the early years, as he extensively recorded for the four major labels Victor, Columbia , Brunkswick & Vocalion. The set starts off with some of Duke's rarest, the pre-majors recordings starting with backing Alberta Prime & Florence Bristol in 11/24 for Blu-Disc, as well as their own first coupling Choo Choo/ Gotta Hurry Home. From there it was The Washingtonians recording for Pathe'& Gennett before starting to record for Vocalion & Brunswick as Duke Ellington & His Kentucky Club Orch, for Victor as Duke Ellington Orch, Columbia as The Washingtonians. And that doesn't include sessions for Pathe as The Whopee Makers, Okeh as The Harlem Footwarmers & The Chicago Footwarmers, even Warren Mills & His Blue Serenaders. There's multiple versions of his signature tunes of the time, some of my faves of all-time, including Black & Tan Fantasy/ Creole Love Call/ East St. Louis Toodle-Oo/Jubilee Stomp/ Black Beauty/ The Mooche/ Digga Digga Doo & Doin' The New Lowdown. There's discographical info that's a bit hard to follow, & unfortunately no credits for the remastering. And by the way, Mrs Clinkscales was the actual name of young Edward Ellington's piano teacher! (GM

 
STAN GETZ Savoy Jazz 17121 The Complete Savoy Recordings ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 64 min, essential
The most comprehensive collection yet of Getz's first recordings, done for Savoy age 18, as it contains several unreleased alternate takes. There were three bop-filled sessions, Stan Getz Quartet from 7/48, fronting an all-star trio of Hank Jones (p), Curley Russel (b) & Max Roach (d) Opus De Bop/Running Water. Then there was an 8-piece from 5/49 with such greats as Zoot Sims, Al Cohn & Duke Jordan, engineered by the legendary Harry Smith (Stan Gets Along/ Stan's Mood). But before these there was Stan as sideman in Kai Winding's New Jazz Group, AKA Kai's Krazy Kats, a 12/45 session incl Shorty Rogers & Shelly Manne (Sweet Miss/ Loaded). With 16 pg booklet. (GM)

 
DIZZY GILLESPIE Shout Factory 30850 Career, 1937-1992 ● CD $29.98
2 discs, 32 tracks, essential
How many career anthologies cover 55 years of great recordings? Thanks to Shout! Factory, this is one of the only Diz compilations to cover that entire time. Of course the great BeBop years are covered extensively, with his small groups as leader or with Charlie Parker & his own blazing big band these have been anthologized before & always sound great. What's important here is what comes before & after. The set starts off with pre-star Diz as sideman on rarities by the Teddy Hill Orch from '37, Cab Calloway in '40 & Billy Eckstine in '44. And after (most of disc 2), as this set comprises tracks from all Diz's labels) there's the Norgran/Verve years, cuts from Phillips, Mainstream & Pablo. Ending with a live Bebop from '92 with Clifford Jordan on tenor. And of course there's all the great classics in between Salt Peanuts/ Cubana Be-Cubana Bop/Groovin' High/ All The Things You Are/ Dizzy Atmosphere, etc. With 48 page booklet. (GM)

 
MILLS BLUE RHYTHM BAND Retrieval 79045 1933-1936 ● CD $19.98
Two CD set with 52 tracks cut by this large, gutsy African American band, recorded between 1933 and 1936. An enterprise owned by hugely successful song publisher Irving Mills, the Blue Rhythm Band featured many notable musicians including Edgar Hayes, Red Allen, Crawford Washington, J.C. Higginbotham and others with vocalists Adelaide Hall, Chuck Richards and others. Remastered by John R.T. Davis the set includes 12 page booklet with informative notes by Richard Sudhalter and full discographical info.

 
CHARLIE PARKER Savoy Jazz 17492 The Genius Of Charlie Parker ● CD $18.98
2 discs, 35 tracks, essential
It's hard to go wrong with Bird as all his most important works were done by 3 main companies, Savoy, Dial & Clef/Verve, & have almost always been kept in print. This set is an expanded version of one of Savoy's first Parker LPs, but expanded to give a good look at his career. This set includes live & studio tracks, but most important, if you didn't get the COMPLETE box, each tune has the notes from that set by such great jazz scribes as Dan Morgenstern & Orrin Keepnews & Dick Katz. Includes Anthropology/ Salt Peanuts/ Hot House/ Parker's Mood/ Relaxin' At Camarillo, etc. (GM)

 
JACK TEAGARDEN Proper BOX 80 Big "T" ● CD $24.98
4 discs, 92 tracks, essential
Proper doing what it does best, taking a prolific jazzer known as much as a sideman as a leader & collecting his material. However with Jack, there's no way it can be all starting from when the Texan came to NY in '28, he was the hottest trombone in town, sitting in on litteraly hundreds of recordings, many anonymously. The 22 tracks on disc 1 covers '28 to '31 & has T recording with the Roger Wolfe Kahn Orch with Eddie Lang & Joe Venuti, the Ben Pollack orch with Benny Goodman & Glenn Miller, Eddie Condon's Footwarmers with Mezz Mezrow, Jimmy McPartland & Joe Sullivan, the Red Nichols led Five Pennies & Louisiana Rhythm Kings with Miller, Goodman, PeeWee Russell, Jess Stacy, Bud Freeman & Davy Tough, The Mound City Blue Blowers, Fats Waller & His Buddies, Irving Mills Hotsy Totsy Boys with Goodman, Gene Krupa & Bix Beiderbecke, as well as Venuti led bands & his own groups. And that's just the 1st disc! There's his great 30s & 40s sides on discs 2 & 3, with the final disc finds him sitting in with Eddie Condon & his longstanding oartnership with Louis Armstrong! A 48 pg booklet gives out all the info! (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 923 Away From Base - Basie Sidemen With Other Leaders ● CD $28.98
Originally formed in Kansas City, the Count Basie band really began to achieve recognition after it relocated to New York at the end of 1936. Once there the star soloists and rhythm men started moonlighting on recordings in pick-up groups under other leaders. With the exception of vcalist Jimmy Rushing performing on one title with Benny Goodman, the 101 recordings on this four CD set feature at least two or more Count Basie sidemen in various settings, from backing vocalists to accompanying an organist to sitting in as part of a big band. Vocalists include Billie Holiday with the Teddy Wilson Orch and her own ensemble, Helen Humes with the Harry james orch., Mildred Bailey and Una Mae Carlisle. Other outfits include Timme Rosenkrantz & His Barrelhouse Barons, the Kansas City Five and Six, Glenn Hardman & His Hammond Five and Sam Price & His Texas Bluesicians.
MILDRED BAILEY & HER ORCHESTRA: Heaven Help This Heart Of Mine/ If You Should Ever Leave/ It's The Natural Thing To Do/ The Moon Got In My Eyes/ UNA MAE CARLISLE: Beautiful Eyes/ Blitzkrieg Baby (you Can't Bomb Me)/ It's Sad But True/ There'll Be Some Changes Made/ BENNY GOODMAN & HIS ORCHESTRA: He Ain't Got Rhythm/ Make Believe/ The Blue Room/ Ti-pi-tin/ LIONEL HAMPTON & HIS ORCHESTRA: Any Time At All/ I'm In The Mood For Swing/ Muskrat Ramble/ Shoe Shiner's Drag/ GLENN HARDMAN & HIS HAMMOND FIVE: China Boy/ Exactly Like You/ Jazz Me Blues/ On The Sunny Side Of The Street/ Upright Organ Blues/ Who?/ BILLIE HOLIDAY: All Of Me/ Georgia On My Mind/ I'm Pulling Through/ Laughing At Life/ Let's Do It/ Night And Day/ Romance In The Dark/ Tell Me More/ The Man I Love/ Time On My Hands/ You're A Lucky Guy/ You're Just A No Account/ A Sailboat In The Moonlight/ Back In Your Own Back Yard/ Born To Love/ Getting Some Fun Out Of Life/ He's Funny That Way/ I Can't Get Started/ I've Got A Date With A Dream/ Me Myself And I/ Now They Call It Swing/ On The Sentimental Side/ The Very Thought Of You/ Trav'lin' All Alone/ When A Woman Loves A Man/ Who Wants Love?/ Without Your Love/ You Can't Be Mine/ HARRY JAMES & HIS ORCHESTRA WITH HELEN HUMES: (i Can Dream) Can't I?/ It's The Dreamer In Me/ Jubilee/ Life Goes To A Party/ One O'clock Jump/ Song Of The Wanderer/ Texas Chatter/ When We're Alone (penthouse Serenade)/ THE KANSAS CITY SIX: 'way Down Yonder In New Orleans/ Countless Blues/ THE KANSAS CITY FIVE: Good Mornin' Blues/ I Know That You Know/ THE KANSAS CITY SIX: I Want A Little Girl/ THE KANSAS CITY FIVE: Laughing At Life/ Love Me Or Leave Me/ THE KANSAS CITY SIX: Pagin' The Devil/ Them There Eyes/ JERRY KRUGER & HER ORCHESTRA: Rain, Rain, Go Away/ Summertime/ SAM PRICE & HIS TEXAS BLUSICIANS: Just Jivin' Around/ The Goon Drag (gone Wid De Goon)/ TIMME ROSENKRANTZ & HIS BARRELHOUSE BARONS: A Wee Bit Of Swing/ Is This To Be My Souvenir?/ JOE SULLIVAN & HIS CAFE SOCIETY ORCHESTRA: Oh, Lady Be Good/ Solitude/ TEDDY WILSON & HIS ORCHESTRA WITH BILLIE HOLID: April In My Heart/ Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man/ Easy Living/ Everybody's Laughing/ Foolin' Myself/ He Ain't Got Rhythm/ Here It Is Tomorrow Again/ TEDDY WILSON & HIS ORCHESTRA: I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me/ I Must Have That Man!/ I'll Get By/ I'll Never Be The Same/ I'll Never Fail You/ I've Found A New Baby/ If Dreams Come True/ Mean To Me/ My First Impression Of You/ My Man (mon Homme)/ Nice Work If You Can Get It/ Say It With A Kiss/ Sun Showers/ They Say/ Things Are Looking Up/ This Year's Kisses/ When You're Smiling/ Why Was I Born?/ Yours And Mine

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Proper BOX 88 Jazz In Britain, 1919-1950 ● CD $26.98
4 discs, 101 tracks highly recommended
Based on Jim Godboldt's book of the same name, this is jazz in Britain, as opposed to just British jazz. Starting off with the US pioneers Original Dixieland Jass Band recording in London in 1919, then US recordings by 2 groups who would come to the UK & spread their influence, Paul Whiteman's Orch & The Georgians, noted for being the band heard by a young American living in London, John Hammond, & turning him into a long-time jazz fan! Early British jazz here includes Jack Hylton's Rhythmagicians, Fred Elizaide & His Music, Spike Hughes Orch & The Night Club Kings led by Ray Noble. The 2nd vol has the huge influence of UK visits by Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington, and includes London recordings by Duke, Joe Venuti Four, Benny Carter Orch & Cab Calloway Orch, & a Paris recording by Louis, & British bands led by Jack Hylton, Danny Polo, Nat Gonella, Ambrose & His Orch, & The Swing Rhythm Boys with trumpeter Tommy McQuater. Vol 3 has jazz entrenched in the UK with sides by Hylton, Ted Heath, Buddy Featherstonhaugh, Vic Lewis, along with the UK's 1st Black jazz group Ken "Snakehips" Johnson & His West Indian Dance Band, as well as Fats Waller recording in London with British musicians as His Continental Rhythm, & also the hot French import, The Quintette Of The Hot Club Of France with Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelly in London doing the British fave The Lambeth Walk. The final vol has the clash between the new beboppers & the strong Trad Jazz contingent egged on by the arrival of Sidney Bechet & Coleman Hawkins. Includes cuts by The Ronnie Scott Club Eleven Boptet, Victor Feldman Quartet & Johnny Dankworth Quartet on thenmodern side, with trad with Humphrey Lyttleton, heard with Bechet, Graeme Bell & His Australian Jazz Band, as well as a '49 BBC Hi Gang broadcast with Benny Goodman. With 64 page booklet by Godboldt. (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Warner Jazz (UK) 74351-2 People Get Ready ● CD $19.98
15 tracks, 76 min., recommended
This collection features protest songs recorded between 1967-78 by Black jazz artists on (with one exception) Atlantic records. Given that narrow focus, this set is all over the proverbial map in terms of sound. The opening cut (Silent Majority) offers wordsmith Eugene McDaniels in a crescendo of urgency built with language. The next is an instrumental of Curtis Mayfield's anthemic People Get Ready by Wayne Henderson. Instrumentals such as Freddie Hubbard's Backlash do not fail to please, but it may be difficult to determine exactly what is being protested. It feels more like protest by reference (to Nina Simone's Backlash Blues, not included) than a direct assault. Some pieces (Rahsaan Roland Kirk's Blacknuss comes to mind) are better in concept (only playing the black keys) than execution. In fact, much of the collection may well subvert the dominant musical paradigm, but protest? I guess. Yusef Lateef's instrumental Live Humble sounds uplifting and may well be the finest track here, but you probably wouldn't pick it as protest. In short, ignoring the central organizing concept in favor of just listening to whatever comes may prove the wisest course. Then the pair of Oscar Brown, Jr. cuts fall short while Jimmie & Vella Cameron's Lord Abide With Us and Marion Williams' People Got To Be Free cast bigger shadows. Eddie Harris & Les McCann's driving Carry On Brother and Les McCann & Eddie Harris' take on Eugene McDaniels' masterpiece Compared To What, which holds uncomfortable parallels with the world today, are among the best tracks. (JC)

 

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