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Hardbopjazz

Art Blakey 3/8/59 Unreleased Blue Note Sess

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Does anyone here know if any of this session ever got released?

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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I received an email from someone that claims to have this session and wanted something that I have.

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None the less, it has not been released by Blue Note ever. B-)

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Well, that's a different question. Unissued sessions do sometimes circulate and this is one of them. The question is - is it the ENTIRE session? You need SIX different tunes each in multiple takes - last take in discographies is take 21.

I would be interested to hear what you find about that.

Mike

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Its too bad they have not got around to that date. Through a friend in the business, i have heard the tapes of that session. Lee Morgan was on fire that day.Most of the songs have two sometimes three complete takes.

Maybe its time to start lobbying Cuscuna for a future Conn.

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Great session, really. Hank squeaks a lot, & Blakey seems to wanting to punish SOMEBODY with the tempos and all the retakes, but Lee's loose and laughing at the whole thing.

Or so I hear...

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I also hear that all 21 takes survive...

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AND the band recorded much of the same material 5 weeks later "at the jazz corner of the world".

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Interesting comments so far. I wonder where this thread will go, and I'm sure glad it's not on the old BNBB! That doesn't mean someone in the business is not lurking, of course.

Two thoughts come to my mind:

1. Michael Cuscuna has specifically stated that this session is a disaster. I'm surprised to see some of you who have heard all or parts of it think otherwise. Now you have me curious. The question is, how would you guys start lobbying Cuscuna? If you want to avoid disclosing that you've heard the session and just make a general suggestion, you will just get the usual reply that this is not releasable. Remember what happened when we were solicited on the old board for suggestions of unissued sessions for the 60th anniversary series (the series that yielded The Kicker, Drums Around The Corner etc.)? Some of Michael's opinions were brief but to the point. Alternatively, if you decide to 'fess up that you've heard this, how will he react?

In any case, it's obvious that Cuscuna can and does change his mind, e.g. the released half of the October 1968 Lee Morgan session with Frank Mitchell, or (more to the point) Passing Ships, which was hailed as a masterpiece last year by a jazz press and a jazz audience starved for some innovative music, no matter how old (that's the topic for another thread). The question is, what would be the best (i.e. most diplomatic) approach to lobby Michael for this session?

2. If I read Chuck's posting correctly (and I aplogize in advance if I am misunderstanding the purpose of his post), I think he is suggesting that we should not always be clamoring for things that are unissued when sessions with similar material are readily available. But I must respectfully disagree in this case. First off, there are few documents of this brief incarnation of the Messengers (Mobley's return after Golson's departure and before Wayne's arrival). Apart from this session and the released live session, I only know of the 1959 Newport appearance which I listened to at the Library of Congress, and which is at least as good as the 2-CD set. Does anyone know any other sessions? I certainly don't think there any other studio dates. So that alone makes this worthy of consideration for release. More importantly, there are two tunes that have not been recorded elsewhere to my knowledge, either by Blakey or anyone else (unless someone with the Lord can prove me wrong). 'Quick Trick' is a Bobby Timmons piece - the copyright deposit lead sheet exists. I sure would like to hear it - hell, it could even be another 'hit'. 'Jimerick' remains a total mystery (there is no copyright). I'm guessing it's by Jymie Merritt based on the title, but that's pure speculation.

So, I sure hope someone can find a way to convince Michael to re-think this session. I wonder if Merritt (the only survivor) has an opinion on the matter. He lives in Philly and is somewhat hard to track down, but if Leslie Gourse could do it, anyone can.

Bertrand.

Edited by bertrand

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So........Art and/or Alfred were not happy with the results and decided to record the band "live". WHY do we "deserve" to hear stuff just because is was on tape?

This is something I have never understood.

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Because we're Baby Boomers, and we want what we want and we want it now, dammit! ;)

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Alfred also decided to shelve Wayne Shorter's Etcetera, Jackie McLean's Jacknife, Lee Morgan's The Procrastinator, several Monk performances, several Herbie Nichols tunes, Art Blakey's Roots & Herbs, Grant Green's Solid etc.

Are you arguing that at no point should anyone have revisited these decisions of Alfred's? As hinted at in the booklet to the Tina Brooks Mosaic, Alfred sometimes had to make these decisions very fast, and could not always justify them later. Is it really immoral to second guess him thirty years later? Can we really make a final, absolute descision on the quality of a work of art based on a brief exposure to the work? Clearly, Alfred had to make some decisions for purely business reasons (e.g. temporarily shelving Search For The New Land after The Sidewinder was a hit). Does this mean he though Search was not worthy of release? Of course not. Do you really decide after one listen if a record is good or not? I certainly hope not.

My point is, no one has claimed that he or she 'deserves' to have this session. They are just wondering if the session might be worth a second listen (based on the opinion of independent observers) before it is relegated to the dustbin of time. Eventually, the tape will be disintegrated and then we missed our chance for good.

Just my two cents, but what do I kow. I'm just a schmo who supports jazz musicians with a non-negligible fraction of my income.

Bertrand.

Edited by bertrand

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It's hard to believe there is such a session. More Hank, More Lee, More Art. Over 20 tracks worth. I would have to think all the powers to be (Lundvall and Cuscuna) know about this. If its worthwhile stuff, it would be great to have.

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Boy, are you smart! :g:g

I don't believe you have a clue about how such decisions are made. Some by artists, some by "businessmen". Maybe some of these decisions need to be respected.

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Absolutely. Some of the decisions have to be respected. And some have to be ignored.

No, I am not actively involved in the music biz as you are, but as a supporter of the music I have the right to have my say. Plus, I have come in contact with some producers out there and listened to what they had to say, and quite frankly, I am underwhelmed by their actual knowledge or understanding of the art form. I certainly wouldn't trust their judgment on what is releasable or not, and I really don't think they even have a clear grasp of the marketability or lack thereof of the product they are pushing or not pushing. Which is irrelevant in the case of Alfred: he clearly had a profound, intuitive appreciation of the music and through his hard work and dedication left us with a wealth of wonderful recordings. But he was not infallible. Similarly, there are many fabulous artists on the label and they more than anyone could judge what they wanted to present to the world and what they did not, but sometimes they were just being too self-critical.

Look, I'm not pushing this Blakey session. Despite Jim and Bill's assertion to the contrary, I may decide it's no good if I ever hear it. But I have enough respect for their opinion to know they are not just some mindless, drug-addled college students who think that every note that Mobley ever spewed out was golden. If they think there's something there, then my curiosity is piqued.

Bertrand.

Edited by bertrand

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This is not in the first edition of the Blue Note Discography, even though rejected takes and sessions are listed. Is it in the new edition? If not, why not?

If the session is a stinker, then nonetheless it would be nice if it were available for study in a library or archive, but I don't think it would do the art(blakey)form any good to make a commercial release of it. Also, the analogy with sessions like Search For The New Land doesn't hold since that session was shelved not rejected.

"Hank squeaks a lot [. . .]"

So vat elze is new?

Edited by Cornelius

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maybe off topic but the other (unissued) half of the Morgan session talked about above smokes!!!! Especially Harold Mabern is in top form, too bad you are never going to hear it because MC doesn't think Lee M. is playing as good as he could. Which is true but still it' much better than 99% of the music recorded today.

Cheers,

Reinier

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I'd love to hear that session in full. The notes on the 'Sixth Sense' CD say that the first half of the session is compromised by scrappy playing in the unisons and fluffed notes. I have very much mixed views about the 3 tunes which were released ('Extemporaneous' and 'Leebop' sound under-rehearsed and lacking in 'tautness') but 'Mickey's Tune' is an unqualified success IMO.

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Yes, it is in the first edition of the Blue Note discography. Page 83. In the second edition it is on page 89.

Mike

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I agree with many of the comments here about the rest of the unissued Lee Morgan session. I have listened to the other tunes from this session and they sound fine to my ears. I have no idea why MC didn't include all of them when he tacked this session onto "The Sixth Sense".

As for the Blakey session in question, I have it on CD-R but haven't spun it in a while. Most of the tunes have a breakdown or at least one flubbed solo. There might be one or two tunes that could go on record in unedited form but even then, it wouldn't be the Messengers at their best. Very sloppy all around. I imagine with today's editing software, one could splice together all the takes to get a decent record but in the end, it would be a lot of work for a mediocre Messengers date. I wish Blue Note would do it but I doubt they will. I would buy it in a second. :)

I've often thought about sending a copy of this to Bertrand so he could do his research on the 2 unissued tunes. I wonder if they're in the copyright office? Have they been played anywhere else?

BTW, someone supposedly has a copy of the master of Tyrone Washington's "Train Wreck" session. This "someone" won't give me a copy unless I get something else for him. If anyone has some weird thing on tape that can do the trick, let me know.

Later,

Kevin

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Kevin,

I may have something you could offer. PM incoming.

*****************

Folks, Kevin has it right. The band never really gels on these tunes. Lee is loose and having fun but Hank is not having a good time of it. On the rare occasions that he doesn't mar a solo with hellacious squeeks, he sounds lackluster. The band gets close on a few occasions-its not like its a session that is a total waste of time-but its really not worthy of release.

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I agree with you, Bertrand.

By the way, Hank squeaks a LOT on the "At Pee-Wee's Place" date, though I really like the playing. When I hear it, I wish I were there, as I would have gone up to Hank and said "Hey, man, get a new reed!" (Or, "Hank Mobley! You skveeked!, for owners of the Mosaic set.)

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Unless the status of this session was changed in the new Blue Note Discography it is listed as a unissued session, not a rejected session. They had picked the takes that would make up the album.

Dan and Kevin,

I think you ought to go back and listen to the session again. Hank only squeeks on two takes. I will grant you he is right on the edge sometimes, but only hits the clinkers on two takes. Also it is not all false starts and breakdowns. Besides the six takes that were picked for the album, there are eleven compete takes of the various songs. Although i agree it may not be the best Messengers ever, it is far from the worst. I think most fans would be happy to own it if for no other reason then to hear Lee on one of those special days when he was really burning.

So thats my four cents.

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Well, that's a different question. Unissued sessions do sometimes circulate and this is one of them. The question is - is it the ENTIRE session? You need SIX different tunes each in multiple takes - last take in discographies is take 21.

I would be interested to hear what you find about that.

Mike

I haven't heard back since I emailed that I would trade a show that I have which he wanted. When I do, I'll let you know.

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