Teasing the Korean

Pianist Lou Levy

43 posts in this topic

Also, Red, the rhythm section on "The Dolphin" is Levy/Monty Budwig/Victor Lewis. You probably were thinking of/meant to say the "West Coast Sessions" Getz double album, which is in part Levy/Vinnegar/Levey, in part Levy/Vinnegar/Manne.

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Also, Red, the rhythm section on "The Dolphin" is Levy/Monty Budwig/Victor Lewis. You probably were thinking of/meant to say the "West Coast Sessions" Getz double album, which is in part Levy/Vinnegar/Levey, in part Levy/Vinnegar/Manne.

Oops - yes - wasn't clear...the two things I listened to were 1) The Dolphin (Levy/Budwig/Lewis); and 2) TSS - side A Levy/Vinegar/Levey, side B Allison/Farmer/Segal...I'm afraid I know next to nothing about Getz etc. - does that mean that my TSS is a compilation?

I think what felt a bit 'clunky' to me about the Allison rhythm section was actually Segal's ride cymbal - much less crisp than Levey on the flip side...although I don't know enough to tell whether that might be the way it was recorded more than anything...

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Also, Red, the rhythm section on "The Dolphin" is Levy/Monty Budwig/Victor Lewis. You probably were thinking of/meant to say the "West Coast Sessions" Getz double album, which is in part Levy/Vinnegar/Levey, in part Levy/Vinnegar/Manne.

Oops - yes - wasn't clear...the two things I listened to were 1) The Dolphin (Levy/Budwig/Lewis); and 2) TSS - side A Levy/Vinegar/Levey, side B Allison/Farmer/Segal...I'm afraid I know next to nothing about Getz etc. - does that mean that my TSS is a compilation?

I think what felt a bit 'clunky' to me about the Allison rhythm section was actually Segal's ride cymbal - much less crisp than Levey on the flip side...although I don't know enough to tell whether that might be the way it was recorded more than anything...

The original TSS LP consists of:

1. All The Things You Are

2. Pocono Mac

3. Down Beat

4. To The Ends Of The Earth

5. Bye Bye Blues

Unfortunately my TSS LP is missing about a half-inch deep triangle of vinyl, which means you have to place the needle that far in on each side. But then I listened to it a lot over the years before whatever caused that little disaster. I know TSS is available in Japan on CD for about $27, but I've never seen a copy in a store, where impulse might take over. About Levey versus Segal, I agree, but Segal's somewhat languid ride cymbal feel (which I'm sure is a choice on his part) plays a big part in that loping groove that makes TSS what it is.

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Thanks Larry! Don't know what I bought then (can't complain - the music's wonderful, and it cost me 50p in a store clearance :)) - the tracks are as follows:

Side A - Recorded NY July 12, 1957 - Getz/Allison/Farmer/Segal

1. This Can't Be Love

2. Time After Time

3. Smiles

4. All God's Chillun Got Rhythm

Side B - Hollywood August 2 1957 - Getz/Levy/Vinnegar/Levey

1. All the Things You Are

2. To the Ends of the Earth

3. Bye Bye Blues

4. Down Beat

Seems to be issued by something called the World Record Club - T467.

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lunarcy, the dolphins, and lost in the stars are among my favorite well worn recordings.

do i remember stan remarking that lou was his favorite pianist?

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Thanks Larry! Don't know what I bought then (can't complain - the music's wonderful, and it cost me 50p in a store clearance :)) - the tracks are as follows:

Side A - Recorded NY July 12, 1957 - Getz/Allison/Farmer/Segal

1. This Can't Be Love

2. Time After Time

3. Smiles

4. All God's Chillun Got Rhythm

Side B - Hollywood August 2 1957 - Getz/Levy/Vinnegar/Levey

1. All the Things You Are

2. To the Ends of the Earth

3. Bye Bye Blues

4. Down Beat

Seems to be issued by something called the World Record Club - T467.

OK -- that's weird, because as you can see from my previous post, the titles you list above as being played by Getz/Levy/Vinnegar/Levey in Hollywood are in fact from TSS and are played by Getz/Allison/Farmer/Segal in New York (all the members of that rhythm section were New York-based; all the members of the other rhythm section were Hollywood-based). On the other hand, your saying that Levey's ride cymbal is much "crisper" than Segal's is correct, Levey having maybe the crispest ride cymbal ever heard before the dawn of the drum machine. I assume you just made an error in transcription or in cutting and pasting. Otherwise, I'm baffled.

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Thanks for the detail, Larry.

Surprised to hear that about the Fresh Sounds label. I have a stereo pressing of Mundell Lowe's "TV Action Jazz" from Fresh Sounds that is superb. When did they get their act together?

In my experience, never -- or not often enough so that you could rely on them. One of the surest giveaways to their frequent ... laziness, sloppiness, just don't care-ness, call it what you will, is not merely how bad some of their transfers or needle-drops sound if you know the original LPs but also that volume levels tend to vary a good deal when (as if often the case) two LPs, or parts of two LPs, are gathered on one Fresh Sounds CD. The recent Fresh Sounds reissue of Seldon Powell's two Roost LPs is typical. I'm not saying that there are no decent-sounding Fresh Sounds CD reissues, but how hard can it be to make volume levels consistent? I can only assume that no one (or no one with a brain) is listening, or that the person who is listening can't be bothered.

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In my experience, never -- or not often enough so that you could rely on them. One of the surest giveaways to their frequent ... laziness, sloppiness, just don't care-ness, call it what you will, is not merely how bad some of their transfers or needle-drops sound if you know the original LPs but also that volume levels tend to vary a good deal when (as if often the case) two LPs, or parts of two LPs, are gathered on one Fresh Sounds CD. The recent Fresh Sounds reissue of Seldon Powell's two Roost LPs is typical. I'm not saying that there are no decent-sounding Fresh Sounds CD reissues, but how hard can it be to make volume levels consistent? I can only assume that no one (or no one with a brain) is listening, or that the person who is listening can't be bothered.

I should have been more clear. The album I'm speaking of is an LP on Spanish RCA which has a "Fresh Sounds" sticker on the back. I thought the two were somehow related. Lots of RCA jazz and oddball instrumental albums have been coming out on RCA Spain CDs also.

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Thanks Larry! Don't know what I bought then (can't complain - the music's wonderful, and it cost me 50p in a store clearance :)) - the tracks are as follows:

Side A - Recorded NY July 12, 1957 - Getz/Allison/Farmer/Segal

1. This Can't Be Love

2. Time After Time

3. Smiles

4. All God's Chillun Got Rhythm

Side B - Hollywood August 2 1957 - Getz/Levy/Vinnegar/Levey

1. All the Things You Are

2. To the Ends of the Earth

3. Bye Bye Blues

4. Down Beat

Seems to be issued by something called the World Record Club - T467.

OK -- that's weird, because as you can see from my previous post, the titles you list above as being played by Getz/Levy/Vinnegar/Levey in Hollywood are in fact from TSS and are played by Getz/Allison/Farmer/Segal in New York (all the members of that rhythm section were New York-based; all the members of the other rhythm section were Hollywood-based). On the other hand, your saying that Levey's ride cymbal is much "crisper" than Segal's is correct, Levey having maybe the crispest ride cymbal ever heard before the dawn of the drum machine. I assume you just made an error in transcription or in cutting and pasting. Otherwise, I'm baffled.

Larry - mea culpa! I'll plead tiredness! I'd indeed transcribed the info incorrectly, and it's as you said - 'All the Things...' etc. is by the Allison team, whilst Side A is the Levy section.

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Lou Levy is ony of my all-time favorite Modern jazz pianists, both as an accompanist and with his own solo recordings from his heyday in the 50s.

A lot of obvious recommendations have been made above but one has only been mentioned in passing - his "Solo Scene" LP on RCA, and two so far have been bypassed unless I overlooked something:

Both "Lou Levy Plays Baby Grand Jazz" on Jubilee 1101 (1959) and the "Lou Levy Trio" on Nocturne (1954, issued later as a Fresh Sound LP and as part of the "Complete Nocturne Recordings Vol. 1" 3-CD set by Fresh Sound) are well worth a listen.

BTW, re- "the Andorran thieves", that Nocturne CD set was made with the full blessing and support of Harry Babasin himself so evidently no theft going on there AT ALL!!!

My own RCA/Fresh Sound reissued of "Jazz In Four Colors" is spinning right now, and I find the sound rather crisp and clear. Different pressings, maybe? (The small print says something about being reissued by RCA of Spain so the consent of RCA seems to have been obtained - who would risk a major lawsuit by making false claims about the involovement of one of the majors of the industry?)

And for those who have complaints about that "Most Musical Fella" reissue there always is the "all-legal" ;) French RCA reissue in the "Jazz Line" series (if you do not mind the nondescript "updated" cover).

If it had not been for the stupid, lazy, indiferent, couldn't care-less attitude of the U.S. label owners all through the 80s (and then some) no Fresh Sound would have been needed anyway. But that's not the topic here.

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I strongly recommend "Jazz in Four Colors" on RCA Victor and Conte candoli and Lou Levy "West Coast Wailers" on Atlantic (although the highlights of this fantastic record are tenorman Bill Holman choruses IMO)

"Fire in the West" features Lou as a sideman, and its a very brilliant session led by virtuoso altoman Herb Geller. You can buy everything from Lou Levy.

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Spring is here (companion to The Dolphin) also shows Levy at his prime. The tenor player ain't too bad either.

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Solo Scene is very good. Not as romantic as I expected, and quite a heavy touch, IIRC.

About Fresh Sound and the RCA reissues, apart from doing his own reissues on Fresh Sound, Jordi Pujol has produced quite a few reissues for BMG Spain. He also did at least one ABC-Paramount LP for Spanish WEA (Vinnie Burke) in the 80s.

F

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I've been listening a lot lately to Warne Marsh (All Music--Nessa).... Lou Levy's playing has been catching my attention. Pleased to see a thread devoted to him, I'm just discovering him...he plays 'sideways' as noted earlier in this thread, in a good way.

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