6. Basin Street Blues (W.C. Handy)
Duke Ellington & his Orchestra
Ray Nance (t,voc), Clark Terry (t), Quentin Jackson (tb), Russell Procope (cl), Duke Ellington (p), Jimmy Woode (b), Jimmy Johnson (d)
Kongresshaus Zürich (Switzerland), October 9, 1959
Recorded by Swiss Radio, Source: Swiss Radio Broadcast/1999
This concert (which is also circulating in video format, sometimes said to be from "Germany 1959") was re-broadcasted in 1999, another homage to the great old man. On this tune half of the band sits out, and the others have a lot of fun - not sure who's giving comments on the second trumpet solo, Duke himself?
Jimmy Woode, btw, has been living in Switzerland for decades now, as far as I know, appearing several times as a sideman at the Bern Jazzfestival.
I absolutely love this track, nothing they could do wrong at this point. Nance, Terry, Butter... and it's great to hear Procope getting a bit of solo space, too!7. Mood Indigo (Ellington-Bigard-Mills)
Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Dave Liebman (ss), Jean-François Jenny-Clark (b), Elvin Jones (d)
Ravenna Jazz 1985, Teatro Estivo Rocco Brancaleone, Ravenna (Italy), July 4, 1985
audience recording, source: EZtree/2004
Continuing with more Ducal music. I was totally awe-struck when I heard this cut the first time. Mangelsdorff is so good here! Jenny-Clark and Elvin were frequent collaborators, and Liebman doesn't get in the way.
I mostly included this to have Elvin present on my BFT (not just in that final vocal snippet, but playing), but Mangelsdorff alone deserves that this should be heard. I hear a lot of humour going on in his playing.
Elvin plays great here, too, in my opinion. Even if rather sparse, he builds, and he has a weight that other drummers never achieve, yet still he's dancing. When he finally doubles (after the soprano starts intruding for the first time), this does swing a lot!
Jenny-Clark has a nice solo spot (though I'm not so fond of that bass sound - pretty eighties, lacking depth and lacking... well, bass... but that's probably at least partially the fault of the recording, not of him).8. Blood Count (Billy Strayhorn) [mono]
Andy Scherrer (ts), William Evans (p), Isla Eckinger (b), Dré Pallemaerts (d)
MIDEM 2000, Hotel Carlton, Cannes (France), January 26, 2000
Recorded by Swiss Radio (DRS 2/RSR 2/RSI 2), source: Swiss Radio Live Broadcast
Scherrer is the most important Swiss modern mainstream tenor player. Born 1946, Scherrer made his debut record as a leader only a few years ago ("Second Step" on TCB), and has since been leading this quartet with yet another Bill Evans at the piano (and a great one, in my opinion). Isla Eckinger, bassist, is another important personality of Swiss jazz. He played with, it seems, everybody. Drummer Dré Pallemaerts is Belgian and is also part of Bill Carrothers entourage.
Andy Scherrer is a highly self-critical artist (this, partially, explains his late debut on record) and one of the most impressive improvisors around these days. Scherrer's second disc (again on TCB) was dedicated to Mal Waldron, while his third disc, featuring a different line up, is an homage to Joe Henderson ("Serenity", Unit Records). These, and of course John Coltrane, are some of the most important influences on his playing, but he is beyond being an epigone. By other Swiss musicians, he is most highly regarded and considered a grand-seigneur.
His performance of Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count" is a masterpiece, I won't say no more, it's a deeply felt and masterly executed performance of a classic tune. [I do realize now that many of you disagree here, but...]
Here's a photo of the master:
Andy Scherrer performing with the Vienna Art Orchestra, © 2002 by Dirk Stockmans9. Koko (Duke Ellington)
John Lewis meets Hank Jones
John Lewis (p), Hank Jones (p), George Mraz (b), Lewis Nash (d)
Jazzfestival Bern 1999, Kursaal Bern (Switzerland), May 9, 1999
Recorded by Swiss Radio (DRS 2), source: Swiss Radio Broadcast/1999
This then is the last Ducal cut, and it features one of my favourite pianists, the swinging John Lewis. The second pianist (and I'd say the second to solo) is Hank Jones, yet another of those avatars of style.
I love how they arranged this one, you can actually almost hear the Ellington sections coming in an out.
I had planned to include another cut from this concert, "Django" (with Lewis the only soloist), but had to omit that for reasons of space.
Edited by king ubu, 27 March 2005 - 07:20 AM.