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Tina Brooks

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My jazz tastes were always pretty narrow - Coltrane, Bird, Weather Report - big name almost exclusively until I took up tenor sax some years back and then started trawling through the sax players increasingly impressed by Fifties and Sixties Jazz especially. Discovering Lucky Thompson, Tubby Hayes and Hank Mobley were epecially welcome and the juxtaposition of trumpet and sax turned me on to a whole raft of trumpet players. So when I heard Freddie Hubard's Cd "Open Sesame" I was stunned by the lyrical tenor sax player jousting with him. Who was this Tina Brooks?

A search through ebay nabbed me three of the man's CDs and I managed to get the rarer "Minor Move" as well. The guy us a a revelation! No rush to the head here speedwise but long lyrical lines and a wonderful tunesmith to boot. Go listen to "Back to the Tracks". Just superb! "True Blue" too has some excellent stuff on it - and Freddie Hubbard too!

I'm now searching out his dates with Jackie McLean and Kenny Burrell - but what a waste. He only ever made four sessions as leader (though since Open Sesame was all penned by him this really should count as a Brooks session as well).

Go find!

Go enjoy!

Anyone else out there feel the way I do about this musical genius?

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there's plenty of love for Tina in these parts :wub:

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Anyone else out there feel the way I do about this musical genius?

Absolutely. :tup

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Me too. Such a beautiful sound! Such a great sense of melody and structure! Such a shame he left us so young so long ago!

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Definitely, ever since I purchased the Mosaic LP set.

You also need the session with Jackie McLean (Jackie's Bag) and the Jimmy Smith jam session (Cool Blues).

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One of my favorite Tenors. A beautiful, soulful tone. He could put together a great solo.

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I have nothing but kind things to say about Tina Brooks. He's the guy who really got me interested in mainstream jazz.

Up over and out.

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I think his drug problem had something to do with his limited amount of sessions as a leader. He is a great tenor player. Try to track down "Street Singer". He great on this session. I think the recent RVG of Jackie McLean's Jackie's Bag has a few tracks from that session on it.

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I think his drug problem had something to do with his limited amount of sessions as a leader. He is a great tenor player. Try to track down "Street Singer". He great on this session. I think the recent RVG of Jackie McLean's Jackie's Bag has a few tracks from that session on it.

Actually all of the tracks from the 1 September 1960 date are on the Jackie's Bag RVG. The original Jackie's Bag only had Appointment in Ghana, A Ballad for Doll, and Isle of Java plus three tracks from 18 January 1959 with Donald Byrd.

The Street Singer album had Ghana, Doll, and Java plus the remaining three tracks from the 1 September 1960 session: Street Singer, Melonae's Dance, and Medina.

(To complicate matters, Street Singer the tune was put on the Back To The Tracks album that was, however, only released years after the fact.)

No need to get Street Singer, save some dough and get the RVG of Jackie's Bag instead (unless you hate the RVG sound of course). You can programme your player to present you with the Street Singer album: 1. Melonae's Dance - 2. Apointment In Ghana - 3. Medina - 4. Isle Of Java - 5. Street Singer - 6. A Ballad For Doll

Edited by couw

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I'm a Tina "completist".

Many hours of enjoyment.

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I think his drug problem had something to do with his limited amount of sessions as a leader.

Where did you read / hear that? Did I miss something?

Edited by J.A.W.

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I think his drug problem had something to do with his limited amount of sessions as a leader.

Where did you read / hear that? Did I miss something?

I have book on jazz history. Off the top of my head I can't recall the title. It is mentioned in there. I will check tonight and post the name. It is also mentioned here. tina brooks

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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Talking to Brooks' friend and musical associate trumpeter Oliver Beener while working on the notes for "Minor Move," I was told by Beener that the cause of Brooks' death was "general dissipation." That doesn't explicitly say drug use, but it seems likely that drug use was part of the picture.

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Talking to Brooks' friend and musical associate trumpeter Oliver Beener while working on the notes for "Minor Move," I was told by Beener that the cause of Brooks' death was "general dissipation." That doesn't explicitly say drug use, but it seems likely that drug use was part of the picture.

Thanks for the info Larry. I was aware of Brooks' problem, but I was just wondering if there might be any truth in the suggestion that Brooks' limited amount of sessions as a leader caused his problem.

Edited by J.A.W.

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Talking to Brooks' friend and musical associate trumpeter Oliver Beener while working on the notes for "Minor Move," I was told by Beener that the cause of Brooks' death was "general dissipation." That doesn't explicitly say drug use, but it seems likely that drug use was part of the picture.

Yes, but Brooks died in 1974 and Cuscuna mentions he had been "very ill and unable to play for "several years" (see link above), not sure how that links to his having only a limited amount of sessions as a leader as we are talking end 50s/early 60s when it comes to his BN days.

The most important question I think is why his leader dates were not released at the time. BN sat on no less than three albums all the while.

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Still waiting for the reissue of 'The Connection' album he recorded with Freddie Redd (and Howard McGhee) for Felsted. My secondhand copy is slowly giving up.

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I thought it was clear from the Mosaic essay that as much as Alfred felt that Tina's was a voice worth hearing, he didn't get the attention of the audience or get much of a critical response, and eventually Alfred gave up on trying to elevate his position.

I seem to recall Bill Fenohr telling me that True Blue got a pretty mediocre review in Down Beat. Its only with hindsight, and the work of Michael C., that we recognize Tina as a unique talent of considerable skill.

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Still waiting for the reissue of 'The Connection' album he recorded with Freddie Redd (and Howard McGhee) for Felsted. My secondhand copy is slowly giving up.

Brownie, this has been out on CD if I am not mistaken.

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wait a minute, hbjazz are you saying that his drug problem was because of his limited amount of sessions as a leader or that his limited amount of sessions as a leader was because of his drug problem?

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Still waiting for the reissue of 'The Connection' album he recorded with Freddie Redd (and Howard McGhee) for Felsted. My secondhand copy is slowly giving up.

It is available from HMV Japan - beware, their overseas shipping rates are insanely high.

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Still waiting for the reissue of 'The Connection' album he recorded with Freddie Redd (and Howard McGhee) for Felsted. My secondhand copy is slowly giving up.

Brownie, this has been out on CD if I am not mistaken.

Yes it is out on CD.

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wait a minute, hbjazz are you saying that his drug problem was because of his limited amount of sessions as a leader or that his limited amount of sessions as a leader was because of his drug problem?

Hardbopjazz clearly stated in his post above that he thought that "... his drug problem had something to do with his limited amount of sessions as a leader", which is why I asked him where he'd heard or read that.

Edited by J.A.W.

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I thought it was clear from the Mosaic essay that as much as Alfred felt that Tina's was a voice worth hearing, he didn't get the attention of the audience or get much of a critical response, and eventually Alfred gave up on trying to elevate his position.

so why record all these sessions then and why plan the releases? Were advance copies sent to reviewers who then were all too luke warm to warrant proceeding with the actual release?

(BTW, I for one never read the Mosaic essay)

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Hardbopjazz clearly stated in his post above that he thought that "... his drug problem had something to do with his limited amount of sessions as a leader", which is why I asked him where he'd heard or read that.

yes, I read that and obviously his "...had something to do with..." is hinting at a causal relation, I am wondering which is the cause and which the effect, as both interpretations seem to be possible.

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