ccex

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About ccex

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  • Birthday 12/01/1958

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  • Location Chicago
  1. Chicago hardbop

    I've lived on Chicago's south side for only 21 years, and regularly play with a few oldtimers. Tenor saxophonist/vocalist Johnnie Henderson tells me stories about playing in an early Sun Ra Arkestra alongside Eddie Harris in the late '50s. At that time Phil Cohran was the trumpeter, after Art Hoyle. There is now a school at 51st St. between Cottage Grove and King Drive named after Capt. Walter Dyett, who taught many of these musicians at DuSable High School. Capt. Dyett might be the common link to the "Chicago Sound" from Nat "King" Cole through the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Has anyone else here heard the guitarist Larry Frazier? I first met him right before a paid gig with Johnnie Henderson's big band 3 years ago. He taught me much in a few hours. Larry is proud to never have had a "day job" for 50+ years, and is probably best known for working with Jimmy McGriff in the '60s. I have an obscure 1983 album on the Beehive label, named after the famous jazz club torn down for the University of Chicago's "urban renewal" (3 blocks away from my house). It's called "Hyde Park After Dark" with Von Freeman, Cy Touff, Clifford Jordan, Victor Sproles, Norman Simmons, and Wilbur Campbell. This is my definition of Chicago hard bop. The Beehive was where Thelonious Monk first met Johnny Griffin and Wilbur Ware in 1955. Kudos to those who mentioned John Young, George Freeman, Jimmy Ellis, Willie Pickens, Jodie Christian, and Wilbur Campbell. Hard Bop is alive and well in Chicago, with bassist Larry Gray and drummer Robert Shy getting most of the high profile gigs when a famous musician needs a local rhythm section here. For those who don't mind me going past the time period mentioned by the OP, I've gotta mention trumpeter Corey Wilkes, saxophonists Edward Wilkerson and Ernest Dawkins, and Von Freeman's jam sessions at the New Apartment Lounge. Hard bop in Chicago lives!
  2. I've been a Jimmy Smith fan since an afternoon 35 years ago when I skipped classes in prep school, rode the bus to the closest decaying industrial town and found a new "Prayer Meetin'" LP with Stanley Turrentine in the $1.99 cutout bin. I accumulated most of his Blue Notes and Verves back in college (late '70s/early '80s). I remember reading bad reviews then of his latest album, "Sit On It", which was released when many of my heroes (Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Hancock, and even Pharoah Sanders and Jackie McLean) made sell-out albums. Still, the album cover of Jimmy Smith's "Sit On It" was as cheesy as any. Tonight my wife just said that the lady sitting on top of the organ has great legs. We both heard him perform in our neighborhood 13 years ago. Last month I had time to waste in my favorite local used record shop and bought a shrinkwrapped cutout LP of 1977's Mercury LP "Sit On It" for $7.98. Tonight I rediscovered it in the stack of LPs I hope to covert to CD, but wonder if I'll be disappointed. This has been my epitiome of crass tacky jazz for over 30 years. I once proudly took an acetylene torch to my promotional copy of "Double Shot" by Chet Baker and the Mariachi Brass, and don't regret it. I decided two years ago not to collect the vinyl LPa I love, since I collect enough stuff already (obsolete computers, CPU chips and hard drives, 100-year-old dimes, etc.) so that I'd just keep the music on a terabyte hard drive, unless a musician had autographed the album cover. That decision helped me pay the mortgage and other bills for a few months after I was laid off in 2007, thanks to a bunch of Sun Ra Saturns and other LPs I bought in college. My question now is whether to open Jimmy Smith's "Sit On It" and store it on my hard drive. I suspect it's one of his worst sessions ever. (Although now I perversely love "Monster" from 1966 with schlocky Oliver Nelson arrangements of "Theme from the Munsters" and "Goldfinger" - I'm listening to it right now.) Is "Sit On It" a truly forgettable part of Jimmy Smith's discography from the worst part of his career and the disco era, or might Japanese collectors pay big bux for it when the economy revives in a few years? (My wife is convinced that life on planet earth will end in 2011, which is when I think earthlings will return to spending impulsively.) I don't need to hear predictions on when life on earth will end, or when kitsch will again become profitable as collectibles (I spend lots oftime on eBay). This long post simply asks two questions: 1) Should an inveterate jazz and Jimmy Smith fan listen to an LP which might be one of his worst?, 2) Will vinyl collectors pay a premium for this in a few years?
  3. earl fatha 80th anniv of this record date

    Hines revisited all 8 tunes from that session in an adventurous solo piano set for Chiaroscuro Records in 1970 in what is my all-time-favorite Fatha Hines session ("Quintessential", CR101). He admitted than he had all but forgotten a couple of the tunes by then, but managed to surpass the originals. Will these ever be issued on CD? 1. My Monday Date 2. Off Time Blues 3. Just Too Soon 4. Chimes In Blues 5. Chicago High Life 6. Blues In Thirds 7. Stowaway 8. Panther Rag
  4. Happy Birthday Dave Brubeck.

    Good grief, exactly. My favorite Brubeck album is "Quiet as the Moon" from 20 years ago, with lots of Charlie Brown/Peanuts references. A jazz pianist whose age in years is equal to the keys on his instrument is to be celebrated as much as a bowler who scores his weight.
  5. I'm glad to hear that someone else hears merit in some of Bud's very last recordings. The version of "Like Someone In Love" on "Ups 'n Downs" has lots of flubs, especially in the left hand, and is nowhere as strong as the version made for the Dexter Gordon "Our Man In Paris" session. Bud enjoyed playing this as a mini-concerto in his Paris years. I dig the stride section, and feel this is much better than his first attempts at this tune, from December 1954, where he got lost.
  6. Thanks, everyone for all the opinions and sleuthing! This has been a great and informative thread. Tonight I discovered another tidbit about "Ups 'n Downs". Mainstream gave the title of one track as "I Can't Believe That I'm In Love With You", which Bud fans recognize as his"Buttercup". (Most will agree with me that this 1966 version is much better than Bud's 1st recording of this tune in June of 1954 for Norman Granz). "Buttercup" is simply Bud's version of an old song by Jimmy McHugh & Clarence McGaskill with the title that appears on the Mainstream LP. The chord changes are the same, and the melody is very similar to the version of "I Can't Believe That I'm In Love With You" as recorded by Coleman Hawkins on June 30, 1931, with Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier, & Jimmy Dorsey onboard. The same tune also shows up on the "Bird" soundtrack with a Charlie Parker solo over a modern rhythm section.
  7. Bud Powell 1953

    Bud was hospitalized from 9/4/51 through 2/5/53. I've read that when he was hospitalized he painted a keyboard on his wall, which was the only way he could practice. He once asked a visitor (Jackie McLean?) if he could hear the sounds Bud was "playing" on the wall. No matter what method Bud used to practice, his "Tea For Two" from 2/7/53 is as good as any version I've heard him play. He's more relaxed here than on his earlier solo version for Norman Granz. Yes, he is strongly influenced by Art Tatum, but still says exactly what he wants to say in his own style. The same can be said for just about any track I've heard from early '53. (I have the Fresh Sounds CD-1017 on which his Feb. and March Birdland dates have acceptable sound quality). The D.C. club date from 4/53 Elektra later released as "Inner Fires" is just as good, although the sound quality isn't. And we all know how well Bud performed in May of '53 at Massey Hall. In August, he was still at his creative peak, making some more masterpieces for Blue Note ("Glass Enclosure", "Polka Dots and Moonbeams"). I haven't heard the Sept. '53 club dates but note that there's nothing in his discography from that month until June of 1954, when his playing was much darker and slower (listen to "It Never Entered My Mind" on Verve to hear the difference). 1953 is generally considered the last year Bud Powell's technique was in its prime. It was also the year that the manager of Birdland, Oscar Goodstein, became his legal guardian and started keeping him in a locked hotel room (house arrest?) between gigs. Others have written that this was the year Bud started his largactyl prescription, (which was used to combat schizophrenia but weakens the muscle system). Sometime in 1953 Bud attempted suicide by slitting his left armpit (he knew enough not to mess with his wrists).
  8. Jimmy Smith - At Club Baby Grand, Wilmington, DE, Volume 2 (Blue Note mono)
  9. Bobby Hutcherson/Miles Davis

    Sony released the July 25 concert and it's great! Miles' playing is as adventurous here as anywhere else I've heard. 'The concert started and ended with themes from Bitches Brew, but manages to move seamlessly into "Milestones", "Footprints" and "Round Midnight" in the middle. details The July 26 concert looks like it's deserving of a legitimate release, too. That's the night they played "Masqualero" Another Night
  10. "I Love Paris" favorite version

    I like Bird's version the best, too. There's an overly straight version by Ella Fitzgerald which I won't bother to revisit. However, the most unforgettable version I've heard of this tune is by Screamin' Jay Hawkins. He takes Cole Porter's coloring book and turns it into a comic book (or Mad Magazine), also scribbling in silly references to Germany, China, and Africa ("I saw Mau Mau kissing Santa Claus") before returning to Paris with its campy accordion, sound effects and big band arrangement. (Hey, I just discovered someone put that one up on YouTube, too).
  11. Bud Powell: 1957-1958

    There are lots of bad Bud Powell performances, and most are from the second half of his career (1954-1966). I noticed that your AMG synopsis didn't include "The Return of Bud Powell" on Roulette from October 1964, where Bud's playing is routine. If he ever sold out, it was on this recording, made only so he and Francis Paudras could pay airfare back to France. Bud doesn't have much to say here, and almost refused to make this date when he saw he had to play with drummer J.C. Moses again. I much prefer the later "Ups 'n Downs", where Bud at least tries and says something, despite all his handicaps. I'm not too fond of "Salt Peanuts" reissued on Black Lion, recorded in Edenville, France 7/64 with a bass player and drummer Bud met on the beach at the last moment. He played a dercrpit piano and his "vocalizations" (grunting) is distracting. Only Johnny Griffin redeems this one for me. The AMG synopsis ignores the many "home recordings" of Bud (relased on Mythtic Sound, Pablo, or Piadrum), taped by Francis Paudras. A few of these are intersting, but most are of interest only to the most avid Bud fans. In my opinion, the absolute worst and weirdest Bud recordings were made for Verve in 12/54 and 1/55. Bud falls apart on standards he knew, and played much better, even in his last years. On 1/13/55 he recorded a meandering theme which he titled "Mediocre", perhaps as a commentary to what he tried while falling apart at the keyboard the previous two days. "The Complete Bud Powell on Verve" has all of these, back to back. I wish many of these had never been issued.
  12. Bud Powell: 1957-1958

    Yes, I play piano, which my wife now takes for granted. The last time I played my favorite Bud Powell compositions (I'll Keep Loving You, Time Waits, Celia, Buster Rides Again, and Un Poco Loco) was at a large party after midnight. People there thanked me, saying they thought they were hearing records. I did the same at home when the plumber was working in the bathroom and told me he thought he was listening to the radio, but he couldn't name a local radio station that would have played those songs. Yes, "Bud on Bach" is an ear-opener.
  13. Bud Powell: 1957-1958

    I became a Bud Powell fanatic after listening to his last 3 Blue Note albums a couple of years ago. I had listened to the early Blue Notes, the Massey Hall concert, the Mosaic Box, and a Verve "best of" set for many years, thinking he was just the "Charlie Parker of the piano" pr a youngster encouraged by Monk. Then I read Francis Paudras' "Dance of the Infidels" about his years with Bud in Paris, and have been obsessed ever since with Bud's music from the last half of his career. The 2 RCA sessions have some of the best sound quality ever, and some good takes. My favorite was at the end of the 1st session, and has not yet been commercially released: a new composition Bud performed solo called "A Lullabye to Believers" The liner notes on the original releases implied that Bud was troubled and this was not his best work, so the RCA sessions have been ignored for decades. There are a few late Bud Powell recordings which I wish had never been released: "The Return of Bud Powell" for Roulette in Oct. '64, some of the '60s home recordings by Francis Paudras, some of the Edenville 7/64 sessions and, especially, much of the January 1955 sessions for Verve. Since they have been released, I know how troubled this genius could be. I started another thread, in the discography section here, about Bud's very last recordings, issued as "Ups 'n Downs", and am ecstatic how posters here have nailed down the recording dates (1965-66). Bud's technique had declined quite a bit by then, but he still showed his intensity. His 1957-58 recordings were better than his last ones, using the same intensity but a darker, thicker technique than what he used to dazzle us in the late '40s/early '50s. I'm one of the few who prefers late Bud to early Bud. I don't think I'll ever have the technique on piano to play early Bud. But after years of being belittled my family who encoouraged me to spend less time with music, I appreciate what Bud was still able to do after years of torture and imprisonment while the music kept burning inside him.
  14. Coleman Hawkins "dali"(stash 538)

    I have the 4 video tracks from Brussels, 1962 on VHS from Shanachie Home Video, called "Tenor Legends: Coleman Hawkins and Dexter Gordon". (It adds 2 1970 tracks from 1969 or 1970 by Dexter Gordon in Copenhagen). These are 4 of my favorite Coleman Hawkins tracks, even with (or perhaps because of) the unusual sidemen. The unaccompanied sax solo is titled "For Adolphe Sax" instead of "Dali" on my version. Someone posted these to YouTube, about 6 months ago, but they seem to have been pulled. I also have an LP of the 1952 club date with Art Blakey and Horace Silver, and Roy Eldridge or Charles McGhee alternating on trumpet. I found this on a Boris Rose bootleg almost 30 years ago. My LP has the title "Disorder at the Border", since the album starts and ends with 2 different versions of this uptempo blues. This music would excite me more if the sound quality were better. Has anyone bothered to remaster it?