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sidewinder

Bill Potts - 'The Jazz Soul of Porgy & Bess'

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Just wondering about this as I recall some mention back on the old BNBB that the masters might no longer exist. The discussion at the time as I recall related to the somewhat compromised sound on the BN Collectors Choice CD of this one put out in the 1990s. I've never been 100% happy with the sonics of that particular CD.

I've recently taken the plunge on a UA deep groove pressing of this one (one of the 'wall to wall sound' series) and it certainly sounds better. Really great session with a stellar big band lineup with the likes of Art Farmer, Harry Edison, Bob Brookmeyer, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Phil Woods and Gene Quill. Really the cream of the crop from the NY studio scene at that time. Strange that this one isn't better known, its up there with the Miles & Gil in my view in terms of interpretation.

Edited by sidewinder

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On the CD issue, it says: "The master tapes to this ... session have been lost." Sometimes lost things do turn up, but I'm pretty sure that Cuscuna, who was involved in the reissue, searched very thoroughly. It is quite an album. Of all the recordings made by that floating group of New York session samurai from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s, this one IMO has the most esprit -- in part because Bill Potts' charts are as fine they are (mainstreamy by then currrent standards but fill of distinctive touches), in part because of the extra fire of the bass-drum team (George Duvivier and Charlie Persip -- not the at times rather clunky Osie Johnson, who was on so many of the dates from that time and place), in part because the sax section is THE sax section of that time etc. (Woods, Quill, Sims, Cohn, Sol Schlinger) and plays like they feel this music is really special, in part because the other sections have the top usual suspects plus a few apparently stimulating ringers (Marky Markowitz, Charlie Shavers, Harry Edison, Earl Swope -- Markowitz and Swope being Potts homeboys may have helped everyone get into the aspects of his phrasing that were a bit different than the norm, while Shavers and Edison draw a line of continuity to the pre-war big band scene, which was, after all, the source for this sort of music-making).

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Larry - thanks for your info and insight into this great session. I just checked out the back of the CD and noted the comments about master tapes being lost and the CD being compiled 'from best available LP sources'. Too bad. Fully agree with your comments re: the distinctiveness of the lineup (what a sax section ! B-) ) and the excellence of the charts. The great thing about this find is that it was £6 and pretty well mint, in a place that is not exactly renowned for its vinyl bargains ( ;) ). Great to buck the system ! With a bit of ethyl alcohol solution and a dust up it sounded just great. Sometimes near miracles do happen..

Edited by sidewinder

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Sidewinder: I used to have the LP too (in mono, though). Somehow, somewhere, it went away, and I was thrilled when the CD came out, only to discover that the dropoff in sound quality between the vinyl original and the dubbed from vinyl CD was considerable (at least my memory tells me there was a big dropoff -- and the original was a very well-engineered date, probably recorded in one of NYC's better venues, Webster Hall). Still glad to have the CD of course.

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that floating group of New York session samurai

Another one for the list. :tup

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Sidewinder: I used to have the LP too (in mono, though). Somehow, somewhere, it went away, and I was thrilled when the CD came out, only to discover that the dropoff in sound quality between the vinyl original and the dubbed from vinyl CD was considerable (at least my memory tells me there was a big dropoff -- and the original was a very well-engineered date, probably recorded in one of NYC's better venues, Webster Hall). Still glad to have the CD of course.

Sorry to hear that Larry. This copy is a mono one too and looks like a mid to late 60s reissue in the UA 'Wall to Wall Sound' series (or whatever it was called). Front cover has what I can only describe as 'lower profile of a posing tart in purple stilletos' (for want of a description :g:excited: - unfortunately I can't scan it). Both cover and LP are absolutely mint. Just a bit of static which was much reduced after the soak in alcohol.

The shop I bought this from typically has lots of not-so-great condition LPs at outrageous prices so it was a shock to find this one there. Its the sort of place you find blue label blue notes for about £35..

Edited by sidewinder

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The original issue of this Bill Potts album was a limited edition UA LP with a sketch on its cover.

The gatefold had several pages of text and photos on the sessions. Away from home for the time being

and can only describe from memory. But the sound on the original issue was excellent!

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"The original issue of this Bill Potts album was a limited edition UA LP with a sketch on its cover. "

That's the one I had. The sketch is reproduced on the CD cover. I listened to the first four tracks while on the way in to Chicago last night to hear clarinetist James Falzone (with cellist Fred Lonborg-Holm, bassist Jason Roebke, and drummer Tim Mulveena -- an excellent set; Falzone is a heady virtuoso; thumbnail description might be: sometimes Giuffre-esque concepts, Defranco-esque technique). Anyway, Potts' "Porgy" still sounds great; his charts have a falling-off-the-log naturalness/flow to them (he writes the kind of figures that, I'd bet, feel terrific to play), and in a subtle but surprisingly uncommon way (uncommon, at least, at this level of creativity and intensity), he writes for each section from deep within the character of its instruments. Thus, to make the obvious comparison that the subject of the projects brings to mind, Potts' orchestra is a choir made up of choirs, Gil Evans' is a coat of shifting colors where say, a trombone might have its "trombone-ness" significantly transformed or even denied, depending on the overall sound Gil was going for.

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I recently got a copy of the "legs" cover, and it is a gatefold with all the phots and writings. Not unlike a Limelight thing.

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I purchase this around 1981 when it came with a whole batch of new records to my record dealer who knew me well  (those were the great times, to buy LPs at your record dealer, where you met other fans, listend to records, discussed the music and spent at least an hour).

On this, Ron McClure has replaced Paul Chambers. He is also a very good bass player, I could admire his skill´s when he played with a fantastic group with Dave Liebman.

I like this live date with the extended tunes, Jimmy Cobb has some great moments. George Coleman always has been a favourite of mine.

Unbenannt.png

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1 hour ago, Gheorghe said:

I purchase this around 1981 when it came with a whole batch of new records to my record dealer who knew me well  (those were the great times, to buy LPs at your record dealer, where you met other fans, listend to records, discussed the music and spent at least an hour).

On this, Ron McClure has replaced Paul Chambers. He is also a very good bass player, I could admire his skill´s when he played with a fantastic group with Dave Liebman.

I like this live date with the extended tunes, Jimmy Cobb has some great moments. George Coleman always has been a favourite of mine.

Unbenannt.png

The London-based Affinity record label - they were ‘on a roll’ around that time.

Alas, the lingering at your local dealer to sample the latest releases and discuss now replaced by an auto-generated email from the behemoth informing you that ‘customers who bought X also liked Y’.

Anyway - back to Bill Potts..

Edited by sidewinder

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oh sorry, wrong thread. Thought I was on the "what spinning now".......

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Update  for the Bill Potts versions of "The Jazz Soul of Porgy & Bess"

Here are all 4 existing versions I have

a) CD Lonehilljazz  LHJ 10170 - Bill Potts "Porgy & Bess" + "Bye Bye Birdie"

b) CD CAPITOL CDP 7 95132 2 (original United Artists)  - Series "Capitol Jazz

c) LP Original United Artists (Limited Edition) UAS 5032 Stereo "The Jazz Soul of Porgy & Bess" [gatefold edition]

d) LP  King reissue (Japan) "Legs" cover  "The Jazz Soul of Porgy & Bess"  Cat# GFX 3038

Bild-Url: https://up.picr.de/37352854oy.jpg
Bild-Url: https://up.picr.de/37349121ym.jpg

 

Bild-Url: https://up.picr.de/37349125hl.jpg

 

Bild-Url: https://up.picr.de/37349142oj.jpg
Bild-Url: https://up.picr.de/37349147ai.jpg
 
Edited by jazzcorner
typos

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Wow - that last post broke my browser. WTF happened?

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Crikey - did I really start this thread back in 2004?   !!!! :o:o

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