There were a number of themes intertwined into this BFT: some songs were on here to try and fool y’all, others were included because they fooled ME on first listen. Some songs were put on here just because I liked them and wanted to share the groove, others were put on here just to test your patience with me! The vibes theme, on which some of you commented, was wholly unintentional although completely understandable.
Side 1, Track 1:
The Mastersounds: Not Since Nineveh. Originally from the World Pacific LP KISMET, currently available on Wes’ Montgomery’s FINGERPICKIN’ CD.
Buddy Montgomery - vibes
Richie Crabtree - piano
Wes Montgomery - guitar
Monk Montgomery - Fender Jazz bass
Benny Barth - drums
Almost had second thoughts about including this, and even after issuing the BFT, I questioned the wisdom of starting a BFT with a song that takes a while to get going. But once it got going, I remembered why I put this on here: because it swings, and because I wanted to see if anyone would recognize Wes with his brothers. More than a few of you guessed MJQ, which is just what I was hoping for!
Side 1, Track 2:
John Klemmer: Passion Food, from the LP INVOLVEMENT. Last available as a Verve LPR, not sure if it’s available anymore.
John Klemmer - tenor sax
Sam Thomas - guitar
Melvin Jackson - bass
Wilbur Campbell - drums
This one has missed the cut on every single BFT I’ve created up until now, so I’m glad it finally found a deserving home. This is a favorite album because the quartets alternate between piano-based rhythm sections (with Jodie Christian) and guitar-based rhythm sections (with Sam Thomas). I know nothing about Sam Thomas, and was happy this track inspired much discussion about him. I just dig his sound, which I can only describe as Chicago-based (the city, not the band) only because it puts me in mind of downtown Chicago.
Kudos to JSngry & Jim R for one of the most exciting cases of sleuthing on a BFT I’ve had the pleasure to witness!
Side 1, Track 3:
Gary McFarland: Pecos Pete, from the Impulse LP POINT OF DEPARTURE. Available as a Japanese import.
Willie Dennis - trombone
Richie Kamuca - tenor sax & oboe
Gary McFarland - vibes
Jimmy Raney - guitar
Steve Swallow - bass
Mel Lewis - drums
I wanted so badly to put a track from this album on here, I coulda used any one of them but settled on this one because of the groove. If you stumble upon this LP in the used bins (as I did), get it anyway. There’s plenty to enjoy from this album, even if this track isn’t your cup o’ tea!
Side 1, Track 4:
Victor Feldman: Flying Down to Rio, from the Contemporary LP LATINSVILLE. Fantasy issued it on CD; assuming it hasn’t gone OOP, should be easy to find.
Conte Candoli - trumpet
Frank Rosolino - trombone
Walter Benton - tenor saxophone
Victor Feldman - vibes
Vince Guaraldi - piano
Al McKibbon - bass
Stan Levey - drums
Mongo Santamaria - congas
Armando Peraza - bongos
Willie Bobo - timbales
This is essentially Cal Tjader’s Latin band without Cal. Feldman is definitely his own man, and nicely holds his own with the old pros.
Nobody had even a clue on this one, but a few thought this was Tjader, which was exactly what I was hoping for!
Side 2, Track 2:
Shelly Manne: The Isolated Pawn, from the Contemporary LP CHECKMATE. Available as an OJC.
Conte Candoli - trumpet
Richie Kamuca - tenor sax
Russ Freeman - piano
Chuck Berghofer - bass
Shelly Manne - drums
This whole album is wonderful, but this track has a special mood to it that I especially dig. The thing that got me on this track was the fact that, to these ears, it sounded like vintage Blue Note Herbie Hancock or Miles’ 2nd Quintet, and I wanted to see if anyone else noticed this. The fact that nobody did tells me I might just be hearing things!
Side 2, Track 3:
Devadip Carlos Santana: Gardenia, from the Columbia LP THE SWING OF DELIGHT. Available in a 30th Anniversary reissue that sounds phenomenal!
Recorded 1979/1980 (?)
Devadip Carlos Santana - guitar
Herbie Hancock - piano
Wayne Shorter - tenor sax
Ron Carter - bass
Tony Williams - drums
Carlos’ guitar is hard to mistake, and pretty much everyone nailed that. This is on here because of the backing band. VSOP with a guitar player instead of a trumpet player. Although each player appears elsewhere on this album, this is the only track on which they appear together. I wanted to see if anyone else picked up on this, but the general consensus was that this track was underwhelming at best.
Side 2, Track 4:
Johnny Smith with Jimmy Atkins: Land of the Velvet Hills, last available on the Verve Elite Edition of JOHNNY SMITH. Supposedly released as a single (according to the VEE credits), but I can’t find hardly anything about the song or its history anywhere.
Recorded 3/31/67, then sent to singer Atkins for overdubs sometime after
Johnny Smith - guitar
Hank Jones - piano
George Duvivier - bass
Don Lamond - drums
All I know is this: one afternoon, I put this CD in the player, sat down, and proceeded to doze off. Next thing I know, I’m hearing Bing Crosby singing a song about Colorado when I realized I was hearing an actual song. Half-awake, I grabbed the VEE digipak and looked at it to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Sure enough, I was hearing a real song, but boy did it have me fooled! And y’know how sometimes a song will just “get” you, no matter how corny or cheesy it is? I’d just gotten home from a mission trip in Moldova when I sat down to listen to this, and my heart was still hurting from missing the people I’d left behind and the people I’d travelled with. Smith’s languid playing and Atkins old-folksy vocals spoke directly to what was in my heart, and so this song is forever etched in that memory.
Betcha didn’t know that Jimmy Atkins is Chet Atkins’ brother! Betcha didn’t care, neither, didja?
However, as penance, I will gladly send a link to the instrumental version of this track that was also included on the VEE. Just shoot me (not literally!) a PM!
Side 3, Track 1:
Willie Bobo: Shotgun/Blind Man Blind Man, from the Verve LP SPANISH GREASE, currently available as a Verve 2-on-1 called SPANISH GREASE/UNO DOS TRES. It’s also available on the Verve comp TALKIN’ VERVE: WILLIE BOBO.
Melvin Lastie - cornet
Bobby Brown - tenor sax
Clarence Henry - guitar
Richard Davis or Jim Phillips - bass
Victor Pantoja - congas
Willie Bobo - percussion
I just love this song. There have been days I’ve put this song on a continuous loop and listened to it nonstop for hours on end. Many a drivetime has been spent with this song playing over and over. A lotta times I’ll play this on the smartphone and groove to it while walking from the office to the truck, or from the truck to the office; I did that this morning, too! Few songs put me in a happy groove like this one, and I wanted to share the grooooooove! This sounds like a party recorded in the studio, sounds like everyone is having a blast!
Side 3, Track 2:
Donald Byrd: Bossa, from the Verve LP UP WITH DONALD BYRD. Currently available as a Verve 2-on-1 paired with Grant Green’s HIS MAJESTY KING FUNK
Donald Byrd - trumpet
Stanley Turrentine - tenor saxophone
Herbie Hancock - piano
Kenny Burrell - guitar
Ron Carter - bass
Grady Tate - drums
Candido - percussion
Tracks like this are the reason I’m so glad we have the Blindfold Test here: this fooled practically everyone on first listen, and pretty much anyone who tried to guess went right in the direction of a Blue Note recording. The Magnificent Goldberg, who eventually identified the whole thing, basically echoed word-for-word my reaction upon first hearing this tune, hence its inclusion here. JSngry got so close and gave JUST the response I was hoping for! Truth is, this track did the exact same thing to me, too! So I figured if it fooled me, it might fool some of y’all, especially since this nice little track is buried in an album that is generally reviled. Dan Gould hammered home that point when he mentioned that the AMG review had scared him off!
Side 3, Track 3:
Junior Mance: Boss Blues, from the Milestone LP THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’, currently available as a Milestone 2-fer of the same name (paired with Mance’s Riverside LP, THE SOUL OF HOLLYWOOD)
Recorded in 1967, “new rhythmic backing…substituted” in 1972
Junior Mance - piano
Aaron Bell or Bob Cunningham – bass (1967 session)
Bob Cranshaw – Fender bass (1972 session)
Oliver Jackson or Jimmy Lovelace – drums (1967 session)
Harold White – drums (1972 session)
Ralph MacDonald – percussion (1972 session)
Another album I wanted to include something from because it has a nice early-70’s boogaloo vibe to it. I picked this track because it sounded like something Horace Silver mighta done around the same time. That woulda been my guess had this been anyone else’s BFT. Apparently I was alone in this assessment. No wonder I’m so clueless about jazz after all these years!
Although nobody identified it, the general consensus was that y’all liked it enough! Orrin Keepnews liner notes indicate that this was part of an album first issued on a small label with little distribution. Although those notes don’t say why, I guess it was for legal reasons that they felt they had to re-mix this album with new rhythmic backing.
Side 3, Track 4:
Sonny Stitt: Touchy, from the Impulse LP NOW. Currently available as a 2-fer with his album with Paul Gonsalves, SALT & PEPPER.
Sonny Stitt - tenor sax
Hank Jones - piano
Al Lucas - bass
Osie Johnson - drums
Here’s why this track, and in particular everyone’s guesses, drove me completely batty: when I recently listened to this the first time on the Impulse 2-fer, (which, incidentally, I got in the same trade as the Grant Green/Donald Byrd 2-fer), I thought it was Paul Gonsalves quoting his solo from Newport. Then I realized there wasn't a second sax solo, which drove me to actually look at the digipak and see what’s going on. And whattya know: it’s Sonny MFing Stitt quoting Gonsalves left & right! Heck, I'm surprised Stitt didn't toss in the last lick from "Hey Good Lookin'" to wrap up his solo!
And once again, nobody but me noticed this. I guarantee, if someone else had put this on their BFT, I woulda gone apeshit first by trying to find that RCA album he did where he started the album with “Diminuendo & Crescendo,” then when I realized it wasn’t that, woulda gone in search of other Gonsalves albums. I’m pretty sure I woulda argued with the BFT creator that, even though they’d told me this wasn’t Gonsalves, they were wrong and I was right!!! Because I’m a little nutty like that when it comes to my jazz cluelessness!!!
So, anyway, now you know, go get this nifty little 2-fer and decide for yourself if I’m losing my mind!
Oh yeah, and don’t Osie Johnson just swing like a MUTHA???? I thought so too!
Side 4, Track 1:
Righteous Buddha: Ancient Chinese Secret, from the CD GET RIGHT.
This is on here just because I like it. It’s cryptic, eerie, & greeeeazy, which is good enough for me. I didn’t expect anyone to know this, and wasn’t trying to fool anyone with this; just wanted to get everyone’s opinion, which was generally positive. I like it that a lotta folks thought this was Weather Report, and I can see that now that y’all mentioned it.
I forget who on this board hipped me to them so long ago, but I am eternally grateful they did. This whole album shimmers with grooves so thick they don’t so much drip outta your speakers as ooze. If anyone is that interested in it, I’ll be glad to make a copy for you because I have NO idea if this is available anymore. None of their web sources have been updated in a year. Of course, if someone finds an outlet for this disc, the offer is rescinded.
Side 4, Track 2:
Gary McFarland & Co.: Mary Jane, from the Impulse LP TIJUANA JAZZ. No idea if this is available anywhere and, judging from the responses, it doesn’t look like I need to worry!
Joe Newman, Clark Terry - trumpet, flugelhorn
Bob Brookmeyer - valve trombone
Jean "Toots" Thielman - harmonica, guitar
Gary McFarland - marimba, electric piano
Barry Galbraith - guitar
Bob Bushnell - electric bass
Grady Tate or Mel Lewis - drums
Willie Bobo - percussion
Jim R & webbcity pegged the whole reason for this track’s existence on the BFT: I also thought of Sesame Street the first time I heard it! Little did I know the amount of revulsion this would generate! Hardly the kind of album one would associate with Impulse, but I dig it.
Plus, I generally dig Gary McFarland, which you mighta noticed by the fact that he has two tracks on this BFT. But that’s precisely why I like him: no two albums of his (at least that I’ve heard) sound the same, and I like it that there are records of his that I REALLY don’t like, so I like it that each new discovery of his is a real adventure (in the lightest sense of the word, of course)!
Side 4, Track 3:
The Jazz Crusaders: Way Back Home, from the Chisa LP OLD SOCKS, NEW SHOES…NEW SOCKS, OLD SHOES. Might still be available in the Verve Originals series.
Wilton Felder - tenor sax
Wayne Henderson – trombone
Joe Sample - electric piano
Arthur Adams, Freddie Robinson - guitar
Stix Hooper - drums
Wait, no bass player? That can’t be right! Wish I had the CD with me! Will update this part later!
Another track I just love. Love to hum along with the harmonies of Felder & Henderson.
Fully and heartwarmingly identified by Jim R, with history related to this track provided by JSngry.
Side 4, Track 4:
Lennie Tristano: Intuition, released on various LPs over time. The source for this track was a CD called INTUITION on Capitol Jazz, which pairs the Tristano May 1949 sessions with a Warne Marsh LP for Imperial.
Lee Konitz - alto sax
Warne Marsh - tenor sax
Lennie Tristano - piano
Billy Bauer - guitar
Arnold Fishkin - bass
This literally was a last-minute addition to the BFT. I’ve had this CD for a while, it was one of those purchases-for-historical-merit things that I never listened to. Been going through a lotta CDs to sell and was listening for a reason to hang onto this one. Well, I still didn’t find it, but this track intrigued the heck outta me! It’s very free, but I love how melodic and methodic the playing is. It sounds like they’re just playing follow-the-leader, one note at a time. I found it fascinating!
A lotta y’all knew this was a Tristano piece, but only Jeffcrom fully ID’d everything about it!
Side 4, Track 5:
Buddy Bregman: Kicks is in Love, from the Verve LP SWINGING KICKS, currently/last available as a Verve By Request CD.
Ben Webster - tenor saxophone
Andre Previn - piano
A nice way to close the BFT, but a dirty rotten trick on my part: a track from an album where none of the players is the leader of the album! This, I’m pleased to say, fooled everyone, despite the fact that everyone knew it was Ben Webster. Plus, I just love this album, which has already seen one track appear on a BFT years ago. It runs the gamut from small-group jazz to big-band swing, but THIS track is the reason you should find this album NOW! Well, except that now you have it courtesy of this BFT. But I’m telling you, this album is SUCH a treat! Fun for the whole family!
This will likely get edited as I find more info I left out & whatnot, but the explanations, excuses, rants, and gibberish will remain the same. Thanks to all eight of you who played along! As always, I enjoyed it!