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JSngry

Paul Gonsalves - HUMMINGBIRD

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gonsal_paul_hummingbi_101b.jpg

http://www.dustygroove.com/jazzcd2.htm#384219

A session recorded in England ca. 1969/70 with, a.o., Kenny Wheeler & Stan Tracey. Tune selection is very nice, and very varied.

Paul sounds pretty loaded on this one. For most players, that would not necessarily be a good thing, but a loaded Paul could often result in some incredible feats of tenoristical daring, and such is the case here. A lot of what he plays here falls every bit as much into the "how the hell did he DO that?" category as do the wilder flights of Lockjaw Davis. If you're a tenor player, a tenor geek, or both, this is one that you GOTTA hear.

Not a perfect album by any stretch of the imagination. The accompanying musicians don't particularly do it for me (mileage will probably vary considerably on that one, though), and on a few tunes they shoulder the lion's share of the performance. And a few times, Paul weaves on and off mike. So if you're looking for one of those records that sounds like EVERYBODY CAME IN TO EXECUTE WITH AN EYE TOWARDS POSTERITY, well, this ain't it, especially since the piano sounds like it has already BEEN executed...

But if you want to hearr more than a few moments of some pretty amazing tenor playing, here it is.

Edited by JSngry

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Thanks for the tip, Jim. I've been wanting to do a Gonsalves show for the past year or two and have been picking up titles here & there... will add this one to the list.

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That astronomy link is outtasight! Thanks Jim for making it available.

I see they mention the album with Paul Quinichette but have no photo or details.

Must really be rare that one! Great album that was recorded in New York in 1974 and was released on the French label Communication (don't know of any other release by this outfit). Very nice date where Gonsalve and Quinichette are part of the orchestra led by French drummer Gerard 'Dave' Pochonet.

Taft Jordan, Matthew Gee, Dill Jones are among the other players that show up on several tracks.

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I can vouch that this new 'Hummingbird' reissue sounds great - one of a very fine initial batch of Derams from Dutton Vocalion, all very scarce on original vinyl. You could do worse than buy the whole batch of them (minus the Terry Durham).

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Paul sounds pretty loaded on this one.

Probably. He sounds well out of it on some of the tracks but strangely the playing is very appealing. Reminds me quite a bit of Tony Coe at times.

The accompanying musicians don't particularly do it for me (mileage will probably vary considerably on that one, though), and on a few tunes they shoulder the lion's share of the performance.

Style-wise its a fairly typical Brit modern/mainstream date of the late-60s. I find Kenny Wheeler's playing on the session up to his usual fine standard and of course there's Stan Tracey on drums, making an excursion from the 'black hole' of Scotts (where he was house pianist at the time and dealing with his own demons) and adding his usual witty backing.

Anyone notice that 'Benny Goodman' is on drums? :g

Edited by sidewinder

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So THAT'S who "Benny Goodman" is!

Now, who's the mystery 2nd tenorist on the final cut?

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Indeed, there is definitely a second tenor player in the ensembles !

Bearing in mind the timeframe of the session and the fact that Stan Tracey is on piano, I wonder if the 'mystery tenor' might perhaps be Bobby Wellins?

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1 hour ago, king ubu said:

So you're saying that "Benny Goodman" is Stan Tracey really @sidewinder?

Did I say Stan Tracey on drums? Silly me - piano of course. There was also a Brit ‘Benny Goodman’ who played drums in this era.

On 06/06/2005 at 3:16 PM, JSngry said:

So THAT'S who "Benny Goodman" is!

 

Now, who's the mystery 2nd tenorist on the final cut?

Or maybe Jackie Sharpe?

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Ah, ok - I missed that Tracey is on piano on some cuts (too few, to be honest, not that big on Branscombe I'm afraid) and you had me confused! So that Benny Goodman dude is for real, good to know, I have been wondering whenever/wherever I'd stumbled over his name if it wasn't a nom-de-plume.

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Yes - He was of the same era as Ronnie Scott, early UK bebopper (I think he might have been involved with Club Eleven). Not sure if ‘Benny’ was his real first name or if it became his inevitable moniker.

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On 2/9/2020 at 6:39 AM, sidewinder said:

Did I say Stan Tracey on drums? Silly me - piano of course. There was also a Brit ‘Benny Goodman’ who played drums in this era.

Or maybe Jackie Sharpe?

I assumed it was an overdub but I need to relisten as it's been a while since I've had this on deck...

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cool, good to know! 

need to revisit, as it's been years since I regularly spun it.

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Change of setting, similar personnel, is so much better, I think.
 

 

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Benny Goodman was a real person.

His real name was David and he played with most of the leading UK modernists between the early 1950s and early 1970s, as well as a stint in the unclassifiable band of Sandy Brown and Al Fairweather. 

He later career was blighted by serious drug addiction and he existed on the fringes of the underworld.

His death circa. 1975 was very grisly: he was discovered dead in a public toilet trussed up with barbed wire.

And yes, it IS Jack Sharpe playing the second tenor part on the final track.

According to Dave Green, who played on several tracks from the album, the sessions for 'Hummingbird' were chaotic and substance-fuelled, taking place late at night.

Interviewed in 'Melody Maker', Tony Faulkener - who composed the title track - thought the album the 'worst record [Gonsalves] has ever made.'

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Poor old Benny Goodman. Has anyone written more than a footnote or two about Jack Sharpe? Intriguing figure, what with playing with Tubby etc, sorting out Paul Gonsalves and working as a London cabbie. 
 

anthony 

london 

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