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Hardbopjazz

Art Blakey 3/8/59 Unreleased Blue Note Sess

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I also hear that all 21 takes survive...

His list he sent shows 21 tracks. So it could be the whole session.

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Kevin,

I actually addressed the issue of authorship of 'Quick Trick' and 'Jimerick' in one of my postings above. I guess it got lost in my non-stop chatter!

'Quick Trick' is by Bobby Timmons. I found the lead sheet at the Library of Congress and it now is sitting in the 'Jazz Copyright Collection' which is slowly being catalogued (by me and others, using a database that was kindly created for this purpose). Even if the session does not come out, I hope one day to convince someone to perform this. I'm pretty sure it has never been recorded elsewhere. I should ask Don Sickler (who publishes Bobby's tunes) if he knows about this piece.

'Jimerick' is a total mystery - no copyright on this one. Based on the title, I suspect it's by Jymie Merritt (although he didn't write anything else for the band). He's still around (although hard to find). If I ever meet him, I'll ask him about it.

Bertrand.

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For the record...

From the 1988 edition, page 83:

ART BLAKEY'S JAZZ MESSENGERS:

Lee Morgan (tp) Hank Mobley (ts) Bobby Timmons (p) Jymie Merritt (b) Art Blakey (dm). Hackensack, N.J., March 8, 1959

tk.5....Jimerick...............unissued

tk.10...Quick trick..........-

tk.14...Hipsippy blues.....-

tk.15...M and M.............-

tk.19...Close your eyes...-

tk.21...Just foolin'..........-

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Thanks, Jim. Can anyone check if this session was switched to "rejected" in the latest discography?

As far as squeeks go, Bill, you may be right. I just remember listening to decent takes and thinking, c'mon Hank, no squeeks, man and then ... squeeeek.

I hadn't been aware though that master takes were selected. So did Alfred simply decide not to issue it once the live set of a similar song list was recorded or did he have second thoughts about the studio date?

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I assume 'Just Foolin' is really 'Just Coolin', right?

Bertrand.

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Thanks, Jim.  Can anyone check if this session was switched to "rejected" in the latest discography?

FYI, everything from this session is listed as "rejected" in the 2001 BN discog. (No mention of "unissued".)

EDIT: PS, it's on the bottom of page 89 in the 2001 edition.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Unfortunately, the cassette tape that was used to create the CD-Rs that I have had to be flipped over right in the middle of one of the best takes of one tune... I can't remember right now which one.

Bill, you got the wrong guy on the squeeky reed. I don't remember how many times Mobley blew a clinker so I didn't write that. My memory is foggy (and I'm at work) but I seem to remember that even where Hank didn't squeek, he was usually the cause for the breakdown in most of the tunes. Well... I seem to remeber Timmons having a tough time too. All in all, the guys just didn't hit it "on all cylinders". It was a group failure. Lee Morgan does play his ass off though.

One of the funniest things about this session is that it was the hardest CD backer I ever had to create. The guy who burnt the CD-R created a new track for every take, whether it was a false start or breakdown. I had trouble fitting all the tracks onto the back of a single CD case. :)

FYI, fidelity isn't the best on this. For instance, the background conversations don't come through too well. It's also got a bit too much treble. The guy who converted these to CD-R believes that they are best done with Dolby off, even if the cassette was created with it turned on. I think this comes through in sound. It has a bit of brittleness to it.

Later,

Kevin

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Apologies for having misstated that the session is not listed.

Should we think there is something amiss, some unwarranted "revisionism", in changing from 'unissued' to 'rejected'? How was the session marked in '59?

/

People naturally use terms differently, but it seems to me that 'squeek' and 'clinker' denote two very different things, since a clinker is not a squeek but rather an actual wrong note.

/

A Blue Note side note: The new album Hope Is In The Air by New Stories (produced by Sickler, w/ Sickler, Porcelli, Bertha Hope, and others guesting) has a Wolff photo that I don't recall having seen: Elmo Hope, Philly Joe Jones, and Percy Heath at the piano in the living room, by the shuttered blinds. The composition - the way they're sitting and standing together - is beautiful. Just another little thing to make your heart glad. By the way, do other Blue Note nuts sometimes wonder, as I do, what the rest of that living room looks like?

Edited by Cornelius

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There are several tenor squeakers. Stan did it all the time - you can tell when it's coming, and it's usually at the end of a long phrase. Others never seem to do it, that is, they can record a whole take without one quite regularly. As a sax player, I wonder why. Must just be their combination of mouth, reed and mouthpiece. It has not been a problem for me, for some reason. I use a very wide Link mouthpiece (# 9 or so, I forget) with a 2 1/2 reed, if that has anything to do with it.

Maybe it's a sign of a wee bit of sloppiness in the years after most reed players were in the big bands of martinets such as Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Miller. A squeak with Goodman would earn a player one of his famous "looks"! Of course, Stan was in Goodman's orchestra for awhile.

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A Blue Note side note: The new album Hope Is In The Air by New Stories (produced by Sickler, w/ Sickler, Porcelli, Bertha Hope, and others guesting) [...]

How's the album?

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Whoa, I missed that. There's a new Bertha Hope side out?

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Hope Is In The Air: The Music Of Elmo Hope - New Stories (Origin Records)

Marc Seals, p; Doug Miller, b; John Bishop, d

Guests on certain tracks: Roberta Gambarini, vo; Don Sickler, tp, flgh; Bobby Porcelli, as; Bertha Hope, p; Ronnie Matthews, p; Peter Washington, b; Kenny Washington, d

Sikler, prod; Van Gelder, eng

Elmo Hope tunes:. "Carvin' The Rock", "Barfly", et al. (And I don't remember if there's a dedication tune or two also.)

Bertha Hope plays on three tracks.

Release date: Oct 19.

It's not bad. I only listened to it "other-tasking" though. I'll try to listen to it this weekend and let you know more.

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i was not aware people trade unreleased BN tapes-- how have they got into circulation? was it sometime when they were bought by conglomerate companies and the tapes switched hands a lot? what other ones are out there?

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who said anything about trading????

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I bought mine from Jordi Pujol.

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I bought mine from Jordi Pujol.

Seriously? Or are you kidding?

This is what Michael Cuscuna recently said to me about this session this year, in his own words:

Ah! if you heard it, you would think that it was five high school students trying to play like the Jazz Messengers. It is so horrible! I don’t know, all I can think of is that maybe the guy selling the drugs didn’t show up, I don’t know. Everybody’s playing very bad. Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan sound horrible. Art Blakey is not even swinging, nothing happens, it’s just really embarrassing. So that’s one that will never come out, never.

- But it’s a complete session. They didn’t stop.

They didn’t stop, but they should have! It was terrible, it’s really terrible. No, that one will never come out, it’s just bad, bad music. Obviously they realized it too because they rerecorded everything live, you know, live at Birdland.

Edited by Vincent, Paris

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I bought mine from Jordi Pujol.

Seriously? Or are you kidding?

This is what Michael Cuscuna recently said to me about this session this year, in his own words:

Ah! if you heard it, you would think that it was five high school students trying to play like the Jazz Messengers. It is so horrible! I don’t know, all I can think of is that maybe the guy selling the drugs didn’t show up, I don’t know. Everybody’s playing very bad. Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan sound horrible. Art Blakey is not even swinging, nothing happens, it’s just really embarrassing. So that’s one that will never come out, never.

- But it’s a complete session. They didn’t stop.

They didn’t stop, but they should have! It was terrible, it’s really terrible. No, that one will never come out, it’s just bad, bad music. Obviously they realized it too because they rerecorded everything live, you know, live at Birdland.

Just kidding about Pujol.

Cuscuna's full of shit about this one. Nowhere NEAR as bad as he says it is. There are "problems", yes, but to say that "you would think that it was five high school students trying to play like the Jazz Messengers" is flat out bullshit. Like Mr. Fenhor said earlier, Lee is on fire.

Ok, maybe he's trying to "defend the legacy", and if so, well, yeah - there's enough problems on this session that it, as a whole, is not up to the Alfred Lion Standard of the time, nor of the standard of unissued sessions that were later released. And that must be respected. But that description of this session is just not accurate.

Not kidding about that.

Edited by JSngry

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I swear sometimes MC listens to these things once, forms an opinion, and simply won't go back again. I also think he's overstating the problems with this date. I do believe there wouldn't be a way to put this out by simply "choosing takes" as nearly every take has a little problem, but with some judicious editing, even I could make this a decent Jazz Messenger's CD. I just don't have the editing software or, at this time in my life, patience to do this.

 

BTW, MC has downplayed this date for as long as I've been talking to him... maybe 15 years by now... and when I got this, I was rather shocked at how it sounded. Not great, but not a bunch of high schoolers!

 

I still think Morgan was the star of the date.

 

FWIW, MC has said similar things about other dates and after re-visiting the date later, changed his mind a released some of them. Grant Green's 1st date certainly fits this description. He gave that a "thumbs-down" for many years but gave it a fresh spin and found it acceptable. He does change his mind. It's one of the things about him that I like. We may see this date someday.

 

Hey, if someone has this session and is handy with editing tools, edit the session down to just the 5 tunes and send me the finished product. I'll get it to MC "blind" and see how he reacts. He could be swayed.

 

Later,

Kevin

Edited by bresna

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Kevin,

How does Michael feel about this stuff circulating? Is he rather cool about it, or is it a sore point?

Vincent,

Good to see you back. I was worried about you. I hope you got the articles that I sent in August.

Bertrand.

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How does Michael feel about this stuff circulating? Is he rather cool about it, or is it a sore point?

Blue Note surely knows some of their stuff escaped the vault and they would absolutely prosecute anyone they caught dealing in it. They're not particularly happy but they also know the "genie's out of the bottle". Without going the legal route and trying tracking down every single copy (which they must know is impossible now), they'll just have to keep their eyes & ears open. Obviously, this conversation we're having would not have been too cool on the old BN board.

BTW, it took me years to get something to trade the guy who had this. He told me about it, dangling the carrot, but everything I offered, he already had. I tried to get something valuable to trade. I even got some musician's personal stage tapes. No doing. He wanted some vault stuff. I finally got my hands on another vault tape and that did the trick. After all the work it took, this is not a tape I'll be duping and blasting all over the place. As I said, BN would go after me then. I think they'll just leave me alone if I keep low. We should all do the same. I do think if I sent MC and mixed down copy, he'd give it a spin probably laugh at the effort. He might also change his mind, but I doubt it.

FWIW, the same guy who traded me this tape has more vault tapes and live boots than anyone I've ever met or heard about. Cuscuna even knew about his collection. He named the guy when I told him I finally got my hands on a copy of this Blakey date.

This same guy had a copy of the "Kind of Blue" masters years ago. I remember him playing that for me one night and there's a point where Cobb's brushes are swooshing away. The booth calls for a halt and tells Miles that their mikes are picking up Cobb's brushes. Miles leans to the mike and rasps, "You're gonna get that, yeah." :)

Oh yeah, this guy also claims to have gotten that unissued Wayne Shorter date (the one with the weird tune titles like "Bee" and "Cee"). He says it sucks. Too bad he moved out of Boston. I heard he's somewhere in the Providence, RI area now. I wonder if the phone number I have will work?

Later,

Kevin

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I always feel as if I need to think of myself in these circumstances but I will foregoe this response for the benefit of others yet again.

All those naughty people who have cdrs or tapes of illicit sessions may wish to send them to me for complete distruction using my powerful cleansing programme.

I will of course remove any material which maybe considered illegal and make the whole process anonymous so that you never again have to fear the doorbell ringign and the arrival of the Blue Note police.

Please send with small fee to cover any new costs associated ( cd storage, more shelves etc) to

Andy Bleaden

61 Pla......

etc

etc

:g

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This person with this session replied back to me stating he isn’t trading it. In fact he didn’t know he had it in his list. So it will remain a mystery to me. I had asked him how good were the musicians’ playing. His reply was the old weatherman’s answer, (50% chance of rain), “not the best or the worst he’s heard.

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KB- whoever this guy is he is an asshole man. he wants to be the shit and keep his rare blue note tapes all to himself, unless someone can provide him with an equally rare goody. that is wrong. i am a big fan of the band yes and with yes when someone obtains a rare show it is weeded out (ie. 3 people sign up for it, get copies, then weed it out to 3 more, etc) or it is freely traded. jazz people are dicks.

i have no BN tapes to trade but if one of you would like to discuss a trade i have other sorts of rare jazz and i would really like to hear this

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well...erm ....don't get that last post.

anyway I was nearly shocked to find that there was unreleased stuff about ....would have loved the Grant Green at Watts Club mozambique! but would settle out of principle for a listen to the Art Blakey...I did have everything ...until now.

Now I am sulking :angry:

I realise now what a sad collector I am .....no matter what the state of the recordings they would be worth a listen I guess becasue of who when and where especially for any banter about during intermissions.

As for who has them or not...well they are lucky ...I mananged to get lucky with the help of friends here with some lp burns and that was great enough but this...hmmmm now this is devious and tricky. That I like! :winky:

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A couple of years ago, an email friend of mine sent me this long list of someone's collection, and it contained lots of dubs of session reels from famous sessions, including the abovementioned "Kind of Blue", by the way. It must be the same guy. I asked for a few copies, but (of course?) never received anything.

Re Michael Cuscuna, we all have tremendous respect for his labors of love to put out so much stuff over the years, but I think it is wrong that one man gets to decide what will be issued and what won't. But, as Homer says, what can you do?

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