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Baby Face Willette

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I use Ben-Gay for mine.

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OO, tryin to smell like the old folks eh? :lol:

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Just being true to my school.

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uh...er...somebody highjacked my BFW thread and turned it anti-BFW. B-)

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I'm really enjoying Mo'Rock (or should that be Mo-Roc? It's not entirely clear from the sleeve!) just now. I really like BFW's takes on the standards 'But Not For Me' and 'Misty'. I could do without those screams on that 'Unseen...' track, but the rest of that particular number's a beauty as well.

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What happened to the story that was originally linked here? I could have sworn it talked about finding out how Baby Face died. I was talking to Michael Cuscuna about Baby Face and he was saying that he was thinking about a Mosaic Select and he'd like to include this info in the liners.

Kevin

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It was well known that Baby Face Willette was murdered in prison in Joliet, IL. (A drug conviction.) Willette's mother raised hell, demanded an investigation, but nothing ever came of it. When Leonard Bukowski still had his record shop on 53rd St. here in Chicago, one of the regular customers was the son of a cop -- he sd Baby Face was murdered over a drug deal. I neither believe nor disbelieve that story.

/

Ajaramu once told me that Baby Face was so frustrated w/the producer at the Behind The 8-Ball session that he cried and had to drink a fifth of liquor to get through the session. But "Song of the Universe" is a terrific piece.

Is this what you were looking for?

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wasn't he stabbed to death in jail?

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It was well known that Baby Face Willette was murdered in prison in Joliet, IL. (A drug conviction.) Willette's mother raised hell, demanded an investigation, but nothing ever came of it. When Leonard Bukowski still had his record shop on 53rd St. here in Chicago, one of the regular customers was the son of a cop -- he sd Baby Face was murdered over a drug deal. I neither believe nor disbelieve that story.

/

Ajaramu once told me that Baby Face was so frustrated w/the producer at the Behind The 8-Ball session that he cried and had to drink a fifth of liquor to get through the session. But "Song of the Universe" is a terrific piece.

Is this what you were looking for?

No, Jim, John's comment came later on in the thread. I believe the Doodlin' link at the beginning of the thread actually said how he was killed but in looking at it now, it doesn't mention it any more. I believe the link used to go to an "update" page but I can't find this update anywhere on that website.

Maybe Jim can contact Pete Fallico?

Kevin

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Pete Fallico is the one who will know. He's the only one who is currently in contact with Baby Face Willette's son and widow. The story is about to come out fully, but Pete hasn't put it on the website I guess yet. Hope he does soon.

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I only have a couple of jazz organ cds in the collection and have been sampling a couple of cuts here and there. This Baby Face Willette (TOCJ-6471) sample track ('Swingin w/Sugar Ray) sounds pretty hot. If the rest of the disc sounds like this, I'll definitely have to spring for it.

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This is one of my favorite organ jazz CDs. A cut above the standard Blue Note organ combo, I think (which is saying a lot!).. Dustygroove has this on sale periodically for 18.99. That's where I picked mine up this spring.

edit-I forgot to add that this has really good sound too. As somebody noted earlier in this thread, the bass lines are clear.

Edited by montg

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Upped for Baby Face's birthday.

I haven't seen this thread before. Pete Fallico has had his site redesigned and the page on Baby Face (and all the other "organ stories") has been removed pending inclusion in a book. I downloaded a copy of the Willette page to my hard disc in 2004, but that was before the update about his death. So now, I can't get the story. Can someone fill me in on it, please?

For me, Baby Face has always been the most unique and mightiest of all Soul Jazz organists. He was the only one who was neither a Davis man nor a Smith man. He had been playing organ in church since 1943! That's not to say that Smith had no effect on his playing. But Smith's approach seems to have been grafted onto a mature Gospel organ approach, informed in the fifties by listening to Professor Herman Stevens, the Poet of the Gospel Organ, and Rev Maceo Woods, whose Vee-Jay recording of "Amazing grace" was a HUGE seller in the mid fifties (without ever being a hit). When you listen to some of Herman Stevens recordings, you can hear, quite clearly, where Baby Face got his ominous, threatening, bass line from and that narrow, penetrating sound in his right hand improvisations.

Baby Face was a one-off.

Here's a story that hasn't been mentioned. Opal Nations, whose work in reissuing Specialty's Gospel catalogue for Fantasy is well known, was a DJ in Memphis in the late '60s. (He was also from my home town, and wrote about this to my mate.) He interviewed Baby Face for his radio programme and Willette apparently told him that Chess wouldn't let him record, although he had a contract with them.

Makes your heart bleed, don't it?

MG

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Here's a story that hasn't been mentioned. Opal Nations, whose work in reissuing Specialty's Gospel catalogue for Fantasy is well known, was a DJ in Memphis in the late '60s. (He was also from my home town, and wrote about this to my mate.) He interviewed Baby Face for his radio programme and Willette apparently told him that Chess wouldn't let him record, although he had a contract with them.

He was saying that Baby Face was signed to Chess after the Argo LPs, but Chess wouldn't record him? Or was he signed earlier but Chess never recorded him?

I was very happy to secure a copy of Baby Face's Vee Jay 45, Why/Can't Keep From Loving You. He doesn't sound like an instrumentalist who can just carry a tune, but has a strong Charles Brown/Ray Charles thing going on. I still can't decide if the dominant influence is Brown and I hear Ray only because they both came out of the church, or if Baby Face was influenced separately.

Now if I could just find that other 45 he recorded on Hollywood Records.

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Here's a story that hasn't been mentioned. Opal Nations, whose work in reissuing Specialty's Gospel catalogue for Fantasy is well known, was a DJ in Memphis in the late '60s. (He was also from my home town, and wrote about this to my mate.) He interviewed Baby Face for his radio programme and Willette apparently told him that Chess wouldn't let him record, although he had a contract with them.

He was saying that Baby Face was signed to Chess after the Argo LPs, but Chess wouldn't record him? Or was he signed earlier but Chess never recorded him?

I was very happy to secure a copy of Baby Face's Vee Jay 45, Why/Can't Keep From Loving You. He doesn't sound like an instrumentalist who can just carry a tune, but has a strong Charles Brown/Ray Charles thing going on. I still can't decide if the dominant influence is Brown and I hear Ray only because they both came out of the church, or if Baby Face was influenced separately.

Now if I could just find that other 45 he recorded on Hollywood Records.

No - Argo was one of the Chess brothers' labels. I don't know which Chess wouldn't let him record.

MG

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Definitely worth checking out, yes!

He also appears on a trio date by Grant Green that's pretty good, and his two Argo releases have recently been released on yet another spanish or andorran outfit (check dustygroove.com, they list it) and are worth checking out, too! (That label that did the Argos has quite an ok look, btw, much better than Definitive or Lonehill or any of those, although they're slowly improving, too.)

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You could ignore Baby Face Willette but it would be your loss!

'Face to Face' is one BN album that can be rated essential!

willet_baby_facetofac_101b.jpg

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You could ignore Baby Face Willette but it would be your loss!

'Face to Face' is one BN album that can be rated essential!

willet_baby_facetofac_101b.jpg

I have and like all of them, but it's "Behind the 8 Ball" (Argo) that's my favorite!

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You could ignore Baby Face Willette but it would be your loss!

'Face to Face' is one BN album that can be rated essential!

willet_baby_facetofac_101b.jpg

But it's really all about Fred Jackson, wouldn't you say?

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But it's really all about Fred Jackson, wouldn't you say?

It's the combination that makes this splendid!

Fred Jackson ruled for too short a time!

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Baby Face has a son living in Milwaukee?

Wow...

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