Shrdlu

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Posts posted by Shrdlu


  1. Yesterday, I put on the CD of Buddy Defranco's 1964 album, "Blues Bag" again. The listing is here

    https://www.jazzdisco.org/art-blakey/discography/#641201

    Buddy decided to play a bass clarinet on the session, possibly for the first time ever. I heard that, a couple of weeks before recording, he got hold of one and practised on it. He was just as fluent on it as on the standard instrument. There is total mastery. 

    It provides a way of judging whether the instrument is suitable for blowing instead of a saxophone. What struck me is that there is such a sharp contrast between its grunting low register and its rather thin middle register (above the "break") that it does not succeed as a blowing horn. It is inconceivable that anyone could play it more fluently. So, I think that it is best used as an ensemble tone color.

    Eric Dolphy's work on it, with his unusual style, is the exception that proves the rule. His contributions to Trane's "Spiritual" and Andrew Hill's "Point Of Departure" are immense.

    The Defranco session comes across like a Jazz Messenger session with bass clarinet instead of a tenor saxophone, it having the likes of Lee Morgan and Curtis Fuller. Very enjoyable to hear.


  2. I got my dog pictures onto here by using MG's suggestion of using the "choose files" option. I had already reduced the file sizes to well under the 100 KB limit (with absolutely no reduction in quality that I could detect). 

    I uploaded one picture, but the site squawked when I tried to upload the second one, so I put it into a second post. Then, it merged the two, making my text inaccurate. I didn't dare to try to edit the text.

    To improve this would cost Jim a lot of money, so I'm not going to complain. The dog is lovely.


  3. Get back to Gabor Szabo. The thread is about him.

    As I posted when this thread started, I am very fond of his work. He had a unique and readily identifiable sound. I have enjoyed many albums by him, or with him as sideman. 

    I don't know anything about the gripes about George Benson, and I skipped over them.

    Let us enjoy Gabor's work.


  4. I found out that the bass clarinet on Lionel Hampton's "High Society" was not played by Hymie Schertzer. It was a while ago, and I forget who the player was - sorry. Typically, in a saxophone section, the bass clarinet was played by either a tenor player or the baritone player (Harry Carney being an example).


  5. I am a saxophone player. I currently have a Selmer Mark VI tenor and a Series II soprano. My first saxophone was a Super Action alto.

    It would be very awkward to play any size of saxophone from alto or larger without a sling. A tenor is heavy, and even though Pres is seated, it would not leave the hands very free to move. This picture might just be a publicity shot.

    In the 1970s, I had a Mark VI soprano (bought in Paris, France, where I was served by none other than Jaques Selmer). It didn't have a ring to hold a sling, and I felt that it was a bit heavy on the right thumb to hold, so I ran a bit of plastic-coated electrical wire around the thumb strap and always used a sling. It felt a lot more comfortable that way. Apparently Selmer agreed, because my Series II came with a sling ring.

    I have three slings now, one each for the cases of the tenor, soprano and my bass clarinet (which also needs a sling). My favorite is from the 1960s, called a Selmer Jiffy. It is the best one ever, very quick and easy to adjust on the job. I wish I could get two more, but I can't find them online anymore. I have seen many pictures of famous players using one.


  6. Yes, Peter, George Tucker was great, too. He was in the great trio with Horace Parlan (about whom I just commented in the Mosaic thread) and Al Harewood. Alfred Lion used that trio to back horn players on several sessions. It had a nice gait.

    George really pulled on those strings hard. He must have been very strong.


  7. The discussion about Larry Kart's lovely dog Scout prompted me to mention this. I think it deserves a thread of its own.

    A few years ago, a successful DJ called Takis, in Crete, was moved to start a dog shelter. It is out in the sticks, and, apparently, real estate is not as expensive there as in many other countries. He has a house there, and several large fenced areas for the dogs. Pretty much all the dogs are rescues from (often) awful situations. The canine population has grown to over 400, and there are also cats and goats now. They are all available for adoption.

    There are several dog shelters throughout the world, but this one is extra special, because of its size, and the hundreds of videos, and Takis's warm personality. This is an amazing ministry. I watch at least one of his videos every day. They are all on Youtube. Takis is fluent in English, and the quality of his videos is very high. He doesn't wave the camera around rapidly. Very professional.

    It must cost a fortune to run the place. He used his own money to start it, and he gets a lot of donations. There are several volunteer helpers, because there is no way that he could do all the work on his own.

    Check the videos out. They make a welcome contrast with the doings of the politicians, and will brighten your day.


  8. It IS enjoyable to discuss bass players. No disrespect intended toward George Mraz, of course. Perhaps this should be a separate thread, but it doesn't really matter.

    One of the very first decent jazz bassists was Walter Page with Basie. He wasn't restricted to an oompah style, on 1 and 3, implying or playing a 2/2 time signature. His intonation was spot on. He played a lot of root notes with a diatonic choice of notes, because his section mate, Freddie Green, played the notes from the third upward. Walter coached that matchless rhythm section. He paved the way for the bop bassists, such as Oscar Pettiford and then Ray Brown.

    I am very fond of Slam Stewart, having first heard him on the 1945 Red Norvo date with Bird and Diz. A few years ago, I saw a video of him from the 60s or early 70s, where he was playing well in the current style (and not humming).

    I like Tommy Potter on the Bird recordings and don't recall any bad notes or faulty intonation. He showed up on a 60s session (I forget which) and sounded great.

    Re Ron Carter, I like him for his rich, deep sound. Rudy captured it well on the early to mid 60s Blue Note sessions. As the 60s wore on, Rudy altered his setup for the bass players, and the sound was rather trebly. He spoiled the sound. Not the players' fault. That is one reason why I don't like the 70s C.T.I. recordings. Ron's bass extends the E string down to a low C, and he is able to get a fantastic sound out of the low notes. They seem to grow in volume after he has plucked them. My late wife, a violinist, told me that the left hand causes that. It comes across well on Herbie Hancock's "Speak Like A Child" album. 

    Another bass favorite is Richard Davis, whose trebly sound contributed greatly to many experimental 60s sessions (Andrew Hill etc.), but who was also great in straight ahead sessions such as with Milt Jackson (e.g. "The Jazz 'N' Samba") and the Thad Jones Mel Lewis orchestra.

    Reggie Workman and Art Davis were great with Trane and others, and, of course, Reggie was fine with Blakey.

    All of these played in tune.

    (Hope this hasn't derailed the thread.)


  9. I'm very sorry to hear this, Larry. The picture shows how lovely she was. It's like losing a family member.

    I still remember having to put down our German shepherd, Lisa. She was 9 and her back legs went. She was otherwise fine, but she was having trouble getting around. My older son drove us to the vet. He was so upset that I had to drive us home.

    Right now, I have a delightful little dog who is a cross between a beagle and a staffy. She has the pointy snout of a beagle but the coat (almost black) and her white shirt front are pure staffy. Super friendly, and 3 this month. I got her, at 8 months, from a young couple who were moving to an apartment where they could not have her. The lady looked very sad to be parting with her. She is a wonderful companion - I live on my own now.

    Once again, my condolences.

    You will enjoy this: Takis's Shelter in Crete. There are hundreds of top quality videos. Takis is an ex DJ who now has a huge shelter with over 400 dogs, all available to be adopted. His dogs go to several countries in Europe. He speaks English fluently. Amazing man and lovely dogs. I watch his videos every day. Some great rescues.


  10. Listening to a Lou Donaldson album got me to dig out the Horace Parlan Mosaic set. Horace had wonderful, pungent chord voicings and had a unique sound - instantly identifiable. He could really lock into a groove. The Mosaic set has a lot of trio tracks and two wonderful sessions with the Turrentine brothers. That was a superb quintet - it also recorded under Stanley's name. There is some very lively Grant Green on one of the sessions.

    While I think of it, check out Horace's solo on "Trees" on Roland Kirk's "I Talk With The Spirits" album. That album is where I first heard Horace.

    Horace's rich piano sound is very addictive. This set led me to revisit Dexter Gordon's "Doin' All Right" album. Horace adds so much to that session. 


  11. George Mraz was a superb bass player, with a great sound. He will be missed.

    He certainly had great intonation, but he wasn't the only one. Red Garland said that (at whatever point he said it) Doug Watkins had the best intonation of all the bassists he played with. I listen carefully to the bass on recordings and I've found that pretty much all of the well-known ones play in tune most of the time. As a saxophone player, I am amazed that they can do so without frets. How do they remember where to place their fingers? (Rhetorical question.)

    My favorite bass player is Ron Carter, and I've never heard him play a bad note. Paul Chambers is arguably the best of all jazz bassists. He was almost always in tune, and even if he wasn't, his superb feel and sound was enough to make the music good. No complaint from me.

    George Joyner was way off on the late 1957 sessions with Red Garland (Paul should have been used.) and it spoils the music for me. Curley Russell sounded bad on Bird's "Now's The Time", but was O.K. on other sessions, notably the Blakey Birdland date with Lou Donaldson. Pee Wee Marquette was out-of-tune though.

    Andy Simpkins has great intonation on the Three Sounds sessions, and always plays a nice double-stopped tenth just when one thinks it would be good to include.

    And Ray Brown was always in tune.


  12. A 4th or more?? That is beyond ridiculous!

    By the way, pitch can be corrected on my Pioneer CDJ CD decks. You stick in the CD, disconnect the "pitch lock", and move the speed slider up or down as required, to get the correct pitch, and record the output onto a CDr. This changes the speed of the music, of course. But you can change the speed to anything you want by putting the CDr you just recorded into the machine with the pitch lock enabled. That keeps the pitch fixed while the speed is changed. Once again, you record the output onto a CDr. This two-step process is a bit tedious, but it will work. I have never done it, though.

    I seem to remember reading that when old 78s were transferred to LP, the speeds were sometimes checked and corrected. 78s were often notoriously out-of-tune, sometimes because of the 60 cycles AC in North America and 50 cycles in other countries, including Britain and Europe. Also, because of gaps in the armatures of an electric phonographs, it was hard to get the speed right. Of course, you could vary the speed on a windup phonograph. I used one of those to play my Dad's 78s when I was an infant. Early exposure to Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Jack Teagarden and many others. My original Android phone back then was windup, too.


  13. Stanley Turrentine recorded four sessions in 1967 backed by a medium-size group arranged by Duke Pearson. The dates are February 17, June 9, June 23 and July 28. 

    There is some excellent playing and arranging on these and they are well worth a listen. I won't clutter up this site with the listings: they can easily be seen on the Blue Note discography site. The purpose of this post is to recommend the music, and to suggest the easiest way to get it on CDs. The bands include the usual suspects from the New York City area (Jerry Dodgion, Pepper Adams etc.) and have a nice sound. The arrangements are much more than functional, and have tone colors such as flute and bass clarinet, rather than the bog standard four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones and rhythm section. Stanley is very comfortable and blows many fine choruses.

    None of this music was issued upfront, no doubt because of Alfred Lion's retirement that year. The first appearance of any of it was on a 2 LP set that Duke Pearson put out in 1975. It has some (but not all) of the material from the February 17 and June 23 sessions, jumbled together. I have a Rice Krispie copy of that set (optimistically described by the seller as "VG+"). For me, this is not satisfactory, especially because I like to hear tracks in session order.

    Here is the best way I can think of to get the material on CD. All but three items are obtainable.

    February 17: Get "New Time Shuffle", Blue Note (J) TOCJ-50277, (2012) ,or the U.S. CD "A Bluish Bag", Blue Note 0946 3 85193 2 4  (2007). These both have everything. Better sound on the Japanese CD, which also has all the June 23 items.

    June 9: For this, get the U.S. CD "A Bluish Bag", Blue Note 0946 3 85193 2 4  (2007), which has all tracks except the last one, which is described as "rejected" and is unissued.

    June 23: Get "New Time Shuffle", Blue Note (J) TOCJ-50277, (2012) , or the U.S. CD "Return Of The Prodigal Son", Blue Note 50999 5 17462 2 3 (2008). Both of these have everything. "Return Of The Prodigal Son" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" are on the U.S. CD "Easy! Stanley Turrentine Plays The Pop Hits", Blue Note 7243 4 93991 2 9  (1998).

    July 28: The present online listing of this is incomplete, and I have emailed them the missing details. "The Look Of Love", "You Want Me To Stop Loving You" and both takes of "Dr Feelgood" are on the U.S. CD "Return Of The Prodigal Son", Blue Note 50999 5 17462 2 3 (2008). "You Want Me To Stop Loving You is on the U.S. CD "The Lost Grooves", Blue Note 7243 8 31883 2 1 (1995). "The Look Of Love" is on the U.S. CD "Easy! Stanley Turrentine Plays The Pop Hits", Blue Note 7243 4 93991 2 9  (1998). The only appearance of "A Foggy Day" is on the U.S. CD "Easy Walker", Blue Note 7243 8 29908 2 6  (1997), as a stray track from the session.  "Up, Up And Away" and "Georgy Girl" both remain unissued.

    Phew! It's kind of a mess. I hope the details don't give anyone a headache.

    I made custom CDrs of these four sessions so that I can listen to them in an organised fashion. I think my favorite session is the first one, with its three bossa nova items and regular jazz. It would have made a nice LP back in the day.


  14. Pitch is often off on Youtube jazz items. I am told that this is to prevent the algorithm detecting unauthorized postings, but I don't know.

    Most people know that Side 1 of the original "Kind Of Blue" LP plays a quarter tone sharp because the tape recorder used to record was running slow and the LP was mastered with a tape player that played at the correct speed. I remember, as a young man, having trouble playing along with it. It was later found that a second tape recorder, running at the correct speed, was used, and CD reissues used that tape and were at concert pitch. This error was inexcusable for a major company such as Columbia. They also issued Miles's "Green Dolphin Street" session in mono at first (fair enough), but in the 1960s, they put out a would-be stereo LP with fake stereo! It sounded awful. At the time, the original mono LP was out-of-print, and I was glad to find a mono copy on a visit to Paris, France. Then, years later, in the CD era, it turned out that the session had been recorded in stereo! Of course it was, because Rudy van Gelder began to record in stereo in the spring of 1957. A major company would have the latest equipment. Then, we found out that the "Miles Ahead" sessions of the pervious year (1957) exists almost entirely in stereo, as does Brubeck's 1957 "Dave Digs Disney". What a sloppy performance by Columbia.

    Getting back to pitch, I have had Bird's Dial material since the late 60s, but I was recently playing a CD copy of "Relaxing At Camarillo", and it was in B. The tune was played in C, of course. No way they would play in in B! The famous 1957 video of Lady Day with Pres doing "Fine And Mellow" is at the wrong speed and sounds in E! Obviously, they wouldn't have played it in that key, so which was it, Eb of F? The answer comes from Gerry Mulligan's solo. He plays the third note of the key in the high register and you can see that he's playing the baritone saxophone's top E (concert G), so the key must be Eb.

    One conclusion of this is not to trust the pitch of online music and videos. I hope that official CD reissues check the pitch.


  15. For several years, I have successfully used Switch Sound File Converter to change audio formats. It is free. It will do up to five tracks at a time.

    The existence of so many different file types is a pain. WAV and CDA are easy to work with, and (don't tell anyone) I find that 320 mp3 sounds good, too. Nero won't accept FLAC. FLAC is a nuisance: it is said to sound great, but what good is that when it won't play on any program on my computer? This reminds me of an SACD disk of "Blue Trane" which I bought because it has an extra take of the title track. The sound on that was so good that I was unable to hear it! I eventually hacked the music, but I forget how I did it. It wasn't a pirate disk and I was annoyed that it wouldn't play. They should have issued the music on a 24 bit CD. Flanders and Swann sang a song called "High Fidelity". "All the highest notes, Neither sharp nor flat, The ear can't hear as high as that, But I thought I'd please any passing bat, With my High Fidelitee.".

    Video files are a major bear. There are about 15 types. My old X Box will only play AVI videos, so I regularly have to convert to that format. I mention this to recommend Format Factory. It is also free and does a great job of converting from any video format to any other. I am regularly stuck with mp4, which will only play on the computer.

    I hope this helps.


  16. M.G., after reading your post, I had a look at the Blue Note Works CD of "Extension", and it does give the date as 1965 instead of 1964. It also says that it contains material from both March 24 and 27. The online Blue Note discography, which gives 1964, says that only material from March 27 was issued. I have no way to check any of that. I don't know where the discography got its information. The Blue Note Works CD might be correct. The American 2 CD set which Lon mentions, has 1964, and only from March 27. Michael Cuscuna having produced that, we can safely assume that the information is correct.

    Re the length of the Patton version of "Extension", the Braith version runs 6:40, and it's a safe bet that the Patton version is at least that long, especially because it also has the trumpet. It was take 27 and the previous track was take 15, and the other tracks are good, so we may safely assume that the take was a good one. My guess is that space was short and Mchael Cuscuna picked that for omission because the tune appears on the Braith album.

    Incidentally, a gap of 12 takes?? I often see huge gaps like that. Of course, not all would be complete takes, and some takes after 15 might be of the previous tune, but, as a musician, I find that ridiculous. It shouldn't take so many takes! I couldn't solo on one tune ten times in a row. And when one is live, there is only one version.

    At Duke Ellington's Impulse session with Trane, Bob Thiele asked if they wanted to do another take of one piece, and Duke said "Why? He will only be imitating himself.".


  17. Many of you will know that John Patton's album, "Blue John", recorded on July 11, 1963 and August 2, 1963, was reissued as a Japanese CD (UCCQ-5008) in 2014 with 5 previously unissued tracks. The CD also contained SHM (and lanolin, ha ha). The new tracks were listed as "rejected", which again calls into question the use of that term: the whole planned LP was rejected at the time; there is a rather sad-looking picture of a Plastylite test pressing of the LP on the Discogs site. One track, "Extension", is not on the 2014 CD and it seems that the only reason for its omission is simply lack of space. I have changed the listing to "unissued".

    The excellent Blue Note Discography site does not include the 2014 CD and has errors in the listing of the instruments that George Braith plays on the August 2 session, as well as two song title errors, so I have sent the listing below to the website. The 2014 CD incorrectly lists "I Miss You So" as "I Need You So". The correct name was given to me in an email from Michael Cuscuna.

    i like to hear tracks in chronological order, so I made up a CDr of each of the two sessions. I "faked" the first session by adding "Extension" from Braith's 1964 album of the same name. It fits in seamlessly, because it has B3, drums and Grant Green.

    Here is the corrected listing

    'Big' John Patton Quintet

    Tommy Turrentine, trumpet #1-4; George Braith, soprano sax, stritch #1-4; John Patton, organ; Grant Green, guitar;

    Ben Dixon, drums.

    Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, July 11, 1963

    1. tk.3      Blue John           Blue Note BST 84143, Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
    2. tk.14    Nicety                                          -
    3. tk.15    Jean De Fleur    Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
    4. tk.27    Extension                     unissued
    5. tk.32    I Miss You So     Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008

    * Blue Note BST 84143   'Big' John Patton  "Blue John" - 1986
    = Blue Note CDP 7 84143 2 - 1989
    Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008 - 2014


    'Big' John Patton Quartet

    George Braith, soprano sax #1,2,5,6, stritch, except #4; John Patton, organ;
    Grant Green, guitar; Ben Dixon, drums.

    Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, August 2, 1963

    1. tk.16    Hot Sauce                      Blue Note BST 84143, Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
    2. tk.20    Bermuda Clay House                                    -
    3. tk.26    Chunky Cheeks             Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
    4. tk.29    Davene                                             -
    5. tk.34    Dem Dirty Dues            Blue Note BST 84143, Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
    6. tk.36    Country Girl                                               -
    7. tk.45    Untitled Patton Tune    Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
    8. tk.62    Kinda Slick                                        -

    * Blue Note BST 84143   'Big' John Patton  "Blue John" - 1986
    = Blue Note CDP 7 84143 2  - 1989
    Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008 - 2014

    I don't think there is anything earth-shattering here. "Hot Sauce" in the highlight, for me, because Patton holds a note in Jimmy Smith fashion at the climax. I prefer the session with the trumpet because it adds brightness not provided by the saxophones. George Braith's use of simultaneous soprano saxophone and "stritch" (an almost straight alto saxophone, made by Büscher, I think) reminds me of an electric power tool sanding wood, and his solo sound is rather dull. But I did buy his three Blue Note albums, which appeared in the Japanese .Blue Note Works series.


  18. I would like to hear the unissued alternate takes and chatter, but I already have the CDs of the Handy and Waller sessions and they have quite a lot of (then) new material. I won't be needing the new Mosaic set, because, realistically, I would probably only listen to the new stuff once and then it would gather dust.

    It sounds like they are making sure that the Columbia material is backed up, which is a good idea. This is exactly what some of us have wanted to be done with the Blue Note reels. However, there is a large amount of stuff and it would cost a lot of time and money to do it, so it probably won't happen.


  19. This raises a point: just how bad are the many "rejected" or "unissued" Blue Note tracks? The decision not to issue in the CD reissue era was mainly that of Michael Cuscuna. We owe him a great debt for all of his hard work and persistence over many years, but, with all due respect to him, others should be allowed to make such decisions.

    This discussion is rather theoretical in view of the fact that CDs are not issued much anymore and the question of economics comes into it. Nevertheless, there is the frustrating knowledge that the tapes will eventually become unusable.

    There are some tracks that are almost certainly good. Examples are the two unissued tracks from the two John Patton sessions that produced "Blue John", and loads of Three Sounds tracks. Ah garontee that those would be good.

    Further evidence comes from the fact that a large number of excellent previously unissued performances were included on some Japanese CDs in the period 2003-2015. That might end up being the end of the appearance of new tracks. Who would have thought that the "new" items from "Out To Lunch" would be so good? And why were they not included on the first CD reiussue?

    The new guy at Blue Note, it seems to me, doesn't do much.