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Paul Gonsalves

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...that Gonsalves rocked Newport and, ostensibly at least, revived Ellington's career. Just listened to Gonsalves' solo and it really is a thing of beauty. No honking or over-the top theatrics (not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that ^_^ ). Just pure invention and swing. Here's to Paul :tup And George Wein, I guess.

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Still one of the greatest solos of any instrument that I've ever heard. In England they used to spray paint on walls "Eric Clapton is God". If I was going to assign that kind of diety status to a player it would be Gonsalves 11 times out of 10.

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Really not that great of a solo compared to some of Paul's other ones, but definitely a great moment in jazz history, and if it led to the popular perception of, and interest in, the "Ellington Rennaisance" (which evidence suggests was already musically underway anyway), then certainly one of the most welcome ones!

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JSngry what are some of your favorite Gonsalves solos?

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The ones on FAR EAST SUITE have to be near the top the list, and then a lot of other live things. I think that overall he did his very best work live, although there's a ballad on ALL AMERICAN that is pretty damn hard to beat. And that LOVE CALL album on RCA, all ballads w/Jaws. Whew!

My singlemost favorite Gonsalves solo, though, would have to be on "Naidni Remmus" on this CD:

d79967v0310.jpg

That one is just..... "beyond category", as the Boss would have said. A total mindfuck.

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Probably, my favorite Gonsalves solo is also a very long one, contained in "Body and soul", from this disc:

d6620771886.jpg

Beautiful!

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Really not that great of a solo compared to some of Paul's other ones, but definitely a great moment in jazz history, and if it led to the popular perception of, and interest in, the "Ellington Rennaisance" (which evidence suggests was already musically underway anyway), then certainly one of the most welcome ones!

I remember we discussed this on the old BNBB. Glad to see you've come around to my opininion... at least a bit :g

I agree with EKE on the Body and Soul choice

I like the comparison with the Body and Soul version which Paul plays on the " Ellington Spacemen.. The Cosmic Scene" album which is taken from a different perspective.

An interesting set for Gonsalves addicts is the 1957 Sittin' In session on verve.

Paul with Diz, Hawk, Getz, Wynton ( the piano player not the trumpeter) Wendell Marshall and J.C. Heard.

Paul seems to steal the set from the other two tenor players.

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And then there's the superb "Body and Soul" on TELL IT LIKE IT IS...

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The original "Cop Out," on the Columbia "World of Duke Ellington Vol. 3" double LP set. Never been on CD, as far as I know. I'm steamed that this one wasn't included in the "Festival Session" reissue for easy comparison with "Copout Extension."

And "Mount Harissa" on "Far East Suite," as jsngry said.

I gotta look up that Musicmasters side.

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I love Gonsalves, but that interminable and generally unimaginative solo has to be one of the most overrated moments in jazz history.

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I love Gonsalves, but that interminable and generally unimaginative solo has to be one of the most overrated moments in jazz history.

Maybe not one of the most very creative and imaginative solos (but a very swingin´ one, it was). Notwithstanding, it somehow relaunched the career of the Duke Ellington Orchestra! B)

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...that Gonsalves rocked Newport and, ostensibly at least, revived Ellington's career. Just listened to Gonsalves' solo and it really is a thing of beauty. No honking or over-the top theatrics (not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that ^_^ ). Just pure invention and swing. Here's to Paul :tup And George Wein, I guess.

I'm embarrassed to say that I only listened to this solo for the first time last night. Anyway, it sounded pretty great to me!

By the way, there's that bit where Wein is trying to pull Duke off the stage... his foolishness is preserved for posterity on the record. (Though to be sympathetic, it's tough to be an event organizer!)

Guy

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"Happy Reunion" from Newport in '58 with Mex and the rhythm section, maybe a chorus and a half...Lovely...I don't think it is the same take as on the double CD of that concert -- the version which came out on the LP "Jazz Critics Choice" is a tighter performance, very succinct interpretation of the melody, just beautiful.

David Murray talks about Gonzalves in the new Down Beat and says the D&CinB solo was a starting point for his appreciation of Gonzalves as a rhythmic artist, and someone who could place a ton of information in a phrase and have it come out sounding musical. That's a paraphrase.

That long Newport solo is so singable, though, and swinging. Over rated? Well, one could say the whole trip in the 50's was over rated because of Columbia's great promo machine and that it is Duke in the 30's when he was at his height as a composer, and in the 1939-41 period as a bandleader.

But really, you have to dig it all -- taking apart Ellington by decades misses the large picture, the way that certain pieces changed over time or were re-interpreted. Such as "our 1938 vintage,..." you know the rest. ;)

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About that Newport solo on "Diminuendo and crescendo in blue", in his own words:

"... Of course I thought I had only played a couple of minutes. I´ve never tried to memorize the record. I don´t have it home and have never listened to it. It has become harder and harder to do, night after night, because the people expect me to play a long time. he length is really determined by the way the rhythm section is working and how everything is building up. The climax may come after ten or after five choruses, but if you go beyond it you destroy everything. One night in Des Moines, Iowa, a guy in front of the stand made me angry.

"Hmm, you, Paul Gonsalves... I don´t think you can play that long like on the record", he said.

So I played sixty-six choruses. Some nights I play it and ideas come, but sometimes they won´t..."

(from a 1961 interview included in the book "The world of Duke Ellington" by Stanley Dance)

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To answer Pete C, this is why it was great...

People loved it. People connected to it. Why do people love Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughan, who were both terribly overated? Because people can feel a connection with them. And that's totally a solo for the masses. But a damn good solo for the masses...

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Three weeks after Newport ‘56, Gonsalves takes 37 choruses on D & C in Blue:

 

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What's the date on this? 

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2 hours ago, medjuck said:

What's the date on this? 

According to the guy who uploaded this video:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fairfield, Connecticut, July 28, 1956

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: Willie Cook, Cat Anderson, Clark Terry, Ray Nance (tp); Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, John Sanders (tb); Johnny Hodges (as); Russell Procope (as, cl); Jimmy Hamilton (ts, cl); Paul Gonsalves (ts); Harry Carney (bs, cl); Duke Ellington (p); Jimmy Woode (b); Sam Woodyard (dr).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I haven't checked the New DESOR, Timner and other relevant discographical sources yet.

Edited by EKE BBB

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Yep, and much of the concert has been released on CD—but D and C in Blue is not included:

Duke Ellington and Friends: the First Connecticut Jazz Festival

I came across mention of this particular post-Newport Gonsalves performance yesterday in Eddie Lambert’s invaluable book on Ellington. Not sure yet, but I may have turned up a digital download of this track for purchase on Amazon; only other place I’ve found it so far has been the YouTube link above.

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