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Teasing the Korean

Let's Talk About Gary McFarland Now!

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A great talent - every time I hear some of his music that I didn't know before I am amazed. The sheer quantity of his recordings is frightening, but its diversity... he could write very subtle and sophisticated stuff and make it sound like easy listening.

http://dougpayne.com/gary1.htm

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Anyone who likes "The October Suite" may want to check out Gary's soundtrack for "Eye of the Devil," aka "13." It is not written for a jazz soloist and ensemble, but it shares some of the same thematic and textural aspects. It was slated for an LP release concurrent with the film's release, but was pulled, presumably because of the post-production issues that plagued the film's release. It's a tad pricey, but it's a limited edition that will go out of print at some point in the near future.

http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/8950/EYE-OF-THE-DEVIL/

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/cds/detail.cfm/CDID/395/Eye-of-the-Devil/

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Anyone who likes "The October Suite" may want to check out Gary's soundtrack for "Eye of the Devil," aka "13." It is not written for a jazz soloist and ensemble, but it shares some of the same thematic and textural aspects. It was slated for an LP release concurrent with the film's release, but was pulled, presumably because of the post-production issues that plagued the film's release. It's a tad pricey, but it's a limited edition that will go out of print at some point in the near future.

http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/8950/EYE-OF-THE-DEVIL/

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/cds/detail.cfm/CDID/395/Eye-of-the-Devil/

The piece he wrote for solo harp in Eye of the Devil was the same melody that he used in one of the pieces of "The October Suite".

I just read an interview with Jack Reilly in his book "The Harmony of Bill Evans, Vol. 2", where he laced into TOS, and other thirdstream compositions (especially Gunther Schuller's work) for either not being classically well constructed enough, or not being real jazz vehicles.

He concluded that only his own compositions successfully welded the two idioms together in the correct fashion. :w

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I will look for Latin Shadows AND The Eye of the Devil asap. Thanks for the recommendations!

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Couldn't access the Filmscore Monthly site, but when I saw that amazon.de had a copy of The Eye of the Devil in stock, I hit the button. Thanks for pointing this out.

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The disc arrived today, spininng it right now. Amazing stuff! If all film scores were that great ... thanks for pointing this out. MacFarland's music grows one me more and more. What a talent. The way he wrote the whole score around that one, beautiful melody ...

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In the wake of Japanese Atlantic reissues on sale I ordered a copy of Essence: John Lewis Plays The Compositions And Arrangements Of Gary McFarland for less than seven € - what a great album! Some of the best McFarland I ever heard. And how farsighted John Lewis was to feature him! Highly recommended for all lovers of his music. Great playing throughout, featuring Richard Davis, Jim Hall, among others.


61BoBpfoEXL.jpg

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Word.

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OMG, what personnel!

Featuring John Lewis, piano ; the composer, arranger, conductor. #1, 4, 6: John Lewis, piano ; Nick Travis, Louis Mucci and Freddie Hubbard, trumpets ; Mike Zwerin, trombone ; Bob Swisshelm and Bob Northern, French horns ; Don Butterfield, tuba ; Billy Bean, guitar ; Richard Davis, bass ; Connie Kay, drums. #2, 5: John Lewis, piano ; Harold Jones, flute ; Eric Dolphy, alto flute ; Phil Woods, clarinet ; William Arrowsmith, oboe ; Loren Glickman, bassoon ; Don Stewart, bassett horn ; Gene Allen, baritone sax ; Jim Hall, guitar ; Richard Davis, bass ; Connie Kay, drums. #3: John Lewis, piano ; Eric Dolphy, alto sax ; Benny Golson, tenor sax ; Jimmy Giuffre, baritone sax ; Herb Pomeroy, trumpet ; Gunther Schuller, French horn ; Jim Hall, guitar ; George Duvivier, bass ; Connie Kay, drums.

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It's a great little album - if only McFarland had played some vibes, too - his playing and John Lewis' would have been a great pairing!

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Searched the web for more affordable McFarland and bought a few since my last post, and all were great or at least very nice:

  • Soft Samba - McFarland had a genuine feeling for bossa nova, certainly much deeper than your average American jazz musician
  • How to succeed in business without really trying - was lucky in finding a cheap used copy on amazon, great scores, highly individual approach to big band writing
  • Soft Summer Breeze - a compilation of stuff from the mid-sixties includig the very rare Prestige 45 with Jobim.
  • the trombone bossa album with Bob Brookmeyer - nice, but there is not enough variety in the rhythm section
  • the album with Bill Evans - how much he makes of this small, unusual line-up, and what an original approach to vibes

I will have to get more - but some is still not on CD, or out of print.

Some questions:

- how is the Tijuana album with Clark Terry?

- what percentage of the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band Box Set is McFarland arangements?

Thanks, as always ...

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Some questions:

- how is the Tijuana album with Clark Terry?

- what percentage of the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band Box Set is McFarland arangements?

The album with CT is a commercial-oriented program executed very well and with the extroverted spirit you'd expect. Commercial, yes, but not at all phoned in.

IIRC, McFarland only did 2-3 charts for Mulligan, but they are of prime quality.

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The only chart I remember by GM for for Mulligan's band was "Willie", written for that trombone player he used to play with.

When I used to gig with Joe Cocuzzo, he said GM used to write each part especially for the player, and would even write the player's name on each part.

On the LP GM did with Bill Evans, Evans was going through some dope issues, and didn't prepare at all for the album.

He wound up sight reading, and sight improvising the entire session.

I'm still waiting for word on the McFarland documentary...

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The only chart I remember by GM for for Mulligan's band was "Willie", written for that trombone player he used to play with.

When I used to gig with Joe Cocuzzo, he said GM used to write each part especially for the player, and would even write the player's name on each part.

On the LP GM did with Bill Evans, Evans was going through some dope issues, and didn't prepare at all for the album.

He wound up sight reading, and sight improvising the entire session.

I'm still waiting for word on the McFarland documentary...

At least two more McFarland Mulligan CJB charts -- "Weep" and Chuggin.'" Don't recall "Willie" (that would be for Willie Dennis) being recorded.

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Saw McFarland in 1965 at the Down Beat Festival in Chicago. He led the "festival orchestra" and they played each night of the 3 day event. Each set included a tune or two with one of the festival headliners; Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. McFarland arranged Blue Monk and Straight No Chaser for Monk, but Thelonious refused to play on Blue Monk because it was in the wrong key.

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The only chart I remember by GM for for Mulligan's band was "Willie", written for that trombone player he used to play with.

When I used to gig with Joe Cocuzzo, he said GM used to write each part especially for the player, and would even write the player's name on each part.

On the LP GM did with Bill Evans, Evans was going through some dope issues, and didn't prepare at all for the album.

He wound up sight reading, and sight improvising the entire session.

I'm still waiting for word on the McFarland documentary...

At least two more McFarland Mulligan CJB charts -- "Weep" and Chuggin.'" Don't recall "Willie" (that would be for Willie Dennis) being recorded.

also Bridgehampton South and Bridgehampton Strut on Mulligan '63.

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Thanks, a search in Lord yielded the same results.

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61HgQTFJsCL._SL1200_.jpg

Brand new reissue on ACE - elaborate essay by Doug Payne, excellent remastered sound. It is amazing how contemporary this music still sounds, and timeless at the same time. The mono LPs of both and Japanese CD of the Soft Samba album sound great, but this makes the most of it. Time to call a late summer party with this music!

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Mike, That's a great new cd. I love The In Sound and the Soft Samba cd.  McFarland was the epitome of cool. He was a great arranger and I even like some of his non jazz stuff like "Wendy & Bonnie".  It's great to revive and old thread when it's about someone who really needs to be remembered.

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Last night I was jamming with a friend, and he wanted me to sing the melody to a tune he didn't know. I started singing it, and he came in on the chords to the song, and I started playing the melody with my guitar while i was still vocalizing, like GM used to do with his vibes. I thought it sounded okay, and had visions of reviving GM's style in the 21st century.

After the tune was over, I asked my friend what he thought of the vocalizing/playing, and he said it sounded alright. I probed deeper, and asked him if he thought it would sound good if I did it on a gig. He said, no. I asked him if it would sound good in a recording session, and he said, no. I told him I wanted to bring back McFarland's style in the 21st century, and he said, no. So much for the GM revival.

I still haven't seen the doc...

Edited by sgcim

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2 hours ago, sgcim said:

Last night I was jamming with a friend, and he wanted me to sing the melody to a tune he didn't know. I started singing it, and he came in on the chords to the song, and I started playing the melody with my guitar while i was still vocalizing, like GM used to do with his vibes. I thought it sounded okay, and had visions of reviving GM's style in the 21st century.

After the tune was over, I asked my friend what he thought of the vocalizing/playing, and he said it sounded alright. I probed deeper, and asked him if he thought it would sound good if I did it on a gig. He said, no. I asked him if it would sound good in a recording session, and he said, no. I told him I wanted to bring back McFarland's style in the 21st century, and he said, no. So much for the GM revival.

I still haven't seen the doc...

When I have had friends over, I have sometimes played "A Martini Built for Two" from the Hugo Montenegro Man from UNCLE soundtrack album and sang along doing my best Gary Mac imitation.  With worldless vocals, it sounds remarkably like a Gary McFarland track!  Learn the melody and try it at home! 

 

 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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I'm very fond of Gary's albums and have virtually all of them. He was brilliant, and very original.

My favorite album is "The In Sound". It is very intense, especially "Fried Bananas", a real cooker, with a fine solo by Bobby Brookmeyer. "Bloop Bleep" has a superb bass riff that Mongo Santamaria later used on "You And Me Baby". 

On the famous "Soft Samba", it is exciting to hear Tom Jobim's patented guitar chording on "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "La Vie En Rose" - if only the latter went on longer. I looped that in Virtual DJ to extend it.

The "Today" album is magnificent, with a superb cast. 

Gary's last album, "Butterscotch Rum", drew some criticism from the purists, but has a memorable "Salvation Army Rag".

Doug Payne's online material is very valuable, and led me to some rare singles.

The scoring on "Soft Samba Strings" is worthy of Gil Evans, especially the opening track. I hope the original tapes of that project still exist. Some of it was recorded in England and then Rudy van Gelder added piano and other instruments to it. Unfortunately, he laid a rare egg and the added parts are off by a quarter-tone. It sounds dreadful. If the separate parts still exist, this problem could be fixed.

The part recorded in England was done during an extended visit when Gary also did a session with Zoot Sims, and the music for the "13" movie (which is strictly listen-once for me).

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