Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
montg

swing stars in the '50s & 60s

69 posts in this topic

Lately, I've been REALY digging the Vanguard sessions from the early 50s of Buck Clayton and Vic Dickenson. Sometimes, I've found later sessions by swing era stars veer a little too closely to the cocktail crowd (slower tempos, less chance-taking). But these sessions have all the excitement of the 30s and 40s plus the added advantages of high fidelity and artists at their mature peaks. I'm curious to hear others' opinions about some great sessions from swing era stars recorded iin the 50s and 60s. I seem to remember a thread like this on the old BNBB but, of course, it's been vaporized. Can't read vapors. postscript (I love Edmond Hall on these Vanguard sessions)

Edited by montg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well there are many.....

The Buck Clayton Jam Sessions to name a few

Jazz Studio One... possibly the first 'studio recorded " Jam session

Joe Newman,Bennie Green, Frank Foster, Paul Quinichette, Hank Jones, Johnny Smith, Ed Jones, Kenny Clarke.. to use Smiths pseudonym.. Its a Gasser

Buck Clayton's Songs for Swingers on Columbia

All the Stanley Dance Felsteds.. well nearly all.. the Cozy Cole I find a little weak

and then there's........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Swingin' With Pee Wee," with Buck Clayton (in great form), Tommy Flanagan, Wendell Marshall, Osie Johnson and sublime Russell. Originally on Swingville, it's now on OJC, with another Russell date added. Just listened to it this weekend, and it's as hot and fresh as ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of great stuff hasn't made it to cd. . . in my opinion at least.

I am glad to see Pee Wee mentioned here. I almost always find his presence an indicator of a great session.

I'll toss out the three lps that Joe Newman did midfifties for RCA. . .which were all reissued on a two cd set by RCA France and USA. . . Excellent stuff in all ways from personnel to performance to recording quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not too familiar with the Felsteds. Are any on CD?

And while I'm asking, I'm not familiar with the Jazz Studio One (first recorded jam session). Is this from Norman Granz or something else?

Edited by montg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stanley Dance's Felsted series was largely responsible for the mainstream revival of the late 50s. There are some very recordings, Buddy Tate, Dicky Wells, Johnny Hodges come to mind. They have been out on cd but I've not come across them lately. Bob Weinstock followed with the fine Swingsville series. A favourite of mine here is Tiny Grimes "Callin' The Blues". I guess a lot of these have appeared on OJC releases.

One of the offshoots of the revival were tours by bands like "Jazz From A Swinging Era". It was good to see players like Buck Clayton, Dickie Wells, Earle Warren, Buddy Tate etc while still near the top of their game.

Edited by JohnS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another Swingville gem now on OJC -- Coleman Hawkins' "Hawk Eyes" with Charlie Shavers, Ray Bryant, Tiny Grimes, et al. The fours between Hawkins and Shavers on the title track are one of the great moments in jazz. Another from the same source in a similar vein -- Hal Singer's "Blue Stompin'" with Shavers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pianist Claude Hopkins led some fine dates for Prestige Swingville. I'm especially partial to the one featuring Buddy Tate and Emmett Berry. In fact the whole Swingville catalogue is worth a listen to, though not everything in it is first rate. The problem with these Swingville sets, IMO, is that they often used a somewhat thin front-line, probably as an economy measure, and that they frequently used Tommy Flanagan (pretty much the Prestige "house pianist" during this period), who was not the most appropriate accompanist for the swing generation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of favorites from Fantasy: Tiny Grimes with Coleman Hawkins (Prestige) and the Coleman Hawkins All Stars, both from the '50s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's definitively not from the 50s or 60s, but it COULD be (and ubu LOVE it!):

B00004S5G9.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

The Mosaic is a great one, too! And musically, there is not that huge a difference.

While I'm not very strong on the question asked here, some favorites have been mentioned already:

- the Buck Clayton Jam sessions (gotta Mosaic, love it!)

- Jazz Reunion (Hawk, Pee Wee, Brookmeyer, Emmett Berry

Then Clark Terry might fit the category, too (although maybe he's a little bit too young?), but both of my recommendations are maybe too modern for this thread:

- his Candid date is great

- his Emarcy debut LP (reissued in the VEE series)

Harry Edison "Swinger" & "Mr Swing" - the only leader dates of his I've got, but two very good albums (also in the VEE series).

Hawk made many albums that fit the category. Favorites might be the "Hawkins! Eldridge! Hodges! Alive!" and "Hawkins and Eldridge at the Opera House" albums:

B0000046LS.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpgB0000046SX.03.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

The Verve catalogue certainly holds dozens of great records to fit in here. All the Hodges and Webster recordings, the Benny Carter stuff, Eldridge etc. Oh, yes, the Hawkins encounters Webster is another perrennial favorite of mine!

Two more:

B000024HSU.03.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

B000024RLB.03.LZZZZZZZ.gif

ubu

Edited by king ubu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ben Webster & Sweets Edison, with Hank Jones leading the rhythm section, on Columbia. Nice stuff, & one of the best "My Romance"s on record.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

33994.jpg

Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart, Coleman Hawkins, Bud Freeman, Lawrence Brown, J. C. Higginbotham, Hank Jones, Billy Bauer, Milt Hilton, Gus Johnson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Back To Back" with Ellington, Hodges, a noble and virtually cliche-free H. Edison, Les Spann, Al Hall, Jo, Jones. Died and gone to Heaven music.

About T. Flanagan on those Swingville dates, not being a big Flanagan fan (too bland by and large on most modern dates IMO), I think he's often just what's called for on Swingville, as he moves back in the direction of Teddy Wilson and puts some spine in his style. Certainly the relatively modern backing Russell gets on "Swingin' with Pee Wee" has a lot to do with the success of that date. On the other hand, I can certainly see that Sir Charles Thompson would have/should have been a first choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Back To Back" with Ellington, Hodges, a noble and virtually cliche-free H. Edison, Les Spann, Al Hall, Jo, Jones. Died and gone to Heaven music.

As is "Side by Side." :tup

Another great date here.

c63831q94id.jpg

Edited by catesta

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Budd Johnson also made a nice Felsted record.

And one for Riverside:

d99102m5je5.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does RUSHING LULLABIES count?

BEN WEBSTER & ASSOCIATES. HELL YEAH!!!!

Half (or more!) of the Granz-era Verve catalog, or so it seems.

Tell you what - if it's got Jo Jones on it, I'm game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't ignore any of the Columbia Rushing dates or the Master Jazz dates - many are reissued by New World. You can get the NW stuff from their website. It's a shame they have not reissued the Julian Dash date with Jimmy Shirley.

Also explore the French Black & Blue catalog. It is "hit or miss" but the hits are wonderful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To add to the wonderful stuff mentioned above....

There is an obscure Ruby Braff LP called "You're Getting to be A Habit With Me" on BELL label. It's absolutely terrific and deserves reissue. Ruby's 50s stuff on RCA and Vanguard are great too.

Also a Bethlehem lp called "The Many Angles Of John Letman" by Trumpeter John Letman. Great session with Panama Francis, Kenny Burrell, Dick Wellstood and Bill Pemberton.

Of course anything by Johnny Hodges fits the bill.

It's a drag the Jimmy Rushing's "The Smith Girls" on Columbia hasn't seen reissue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not too familiar with the Felsteds.  Are any on CD

Some of the Felsteds made it to CD, mainly in Europe, but not all, and those that did are OOP by now

Dance came to the USA specifically to record Mainstream musicians for records to be released in Britain. The Clayton Columbias and Vanguard sets were a huge success. Felsted, in the Brunswick group ( I think) wanted to feed off the popularity of this kind of music and the musicians involved

There were nine albums.. not each beig by one particular group

Rendezvous With Rex

.. two groups based around Rex Stewarts leadership.. one fairly typical Ellingtonian small group sound, the other a bit " mellower"

Earl's Backroom & Cozy's Caravan

..one side by an Earl Hines Quartet and the other by a Cozy Cole Septet.

This is my least favourite of the albums basically because the Cole is centered around Caravan as a drum solo. The Hines has, as one would expect, excellent piano, but the rest of the group is weak.

Bones for the King

a group of trombonists with Dicky Wells as the leader. Vic Dickenson, Benny Morton and George Mathews filling out the front line. on one side of the LP, and a Wells led octet with Buck Clayton, Buddy Tate and Rudy Rutherford on the other

Well's 1937 Paris sessions had been a well received 12" Lp in Britain around this time.. made him a natural for the leader spot.

Blues A La Mode

Under Budd Johnsons leadership. One side a septety with Charlie Shavers, Vic Dickenson and Al Sears ( on baritone), the other a quintet with Shavers.

Swingin' Like Tate

Buddy Tate as the leader of two groups. Side 1 with an octet based around Buck Clayton, Dicky Wells and Earle Warren

Side 2an Octet featuring what was Tates working band at the time ( 1958) with Pat Jenkins on trumpet, Eli Ribinson and Ben Richardson on clarinet and alto.

The High and Mighty Hawk

A hawkins Quintet with Clayton and Hank Jones piano

A Classic wit a long blues ( 11 mins) often cited as an example of a Hawkins 12 bar outing to refute those debates where the protaginists declare that Hawk couldn't play the blues. Buck is excellent throughout too.

All About Memphis

A combination of Buster Bailey Dates

Side one,A Quartet feature for Bailey

Side 2 A septet with Herman Autrey, Vic Dickenson and Hilton Jefferson added

Cue for Saxophone

A typical Ellingtonianian small group.. Hodges, Procope,Baker, Jackson..etc led by Hodges under the name of Cue Porter.. due to cintractual reasons and therefore issued under Billy Strayhorns name, but in feell it is definitely a Hodges datw

Trombone Four in Hand

Back to a Trombone foursome under Wells leadership.. Dickenson, Morton and Mathews, Kenny Burrell on guitar on one side of the LP.

Due to typing one finger specialist, I kinda short changed the rhythm sections but Skip Hall shows up a lot on piano (and organ on some.. his organ veers towards the skating rink in my opininion). Everett Barksdale does nice in the guitar seat, Major Holley shows up on bass.. Slamming it a bit here and there and Jo Jones shows up in various sets without throwing his cymbal at anyone.

All in all a fairly succesful set of albums that fit the threads criteria

Make a good Mosaic ( I'm currentlybusy on my own interpretation of that, which is why they came to mind)

These albums were very well received by the British Jazz press and the record buying public that another Jazz writer, Albert McCarthy visited America to try to repeat the efort with a similar set of albums. 12 were released on RCA, three were comps under the Swing Today title.. vols 1-3, the rest were under different musicians names, of whom perhaps Vic Dickenson was the most prominent at the time.. those Vanguards went over very big in the British Isles.. though I don't know if any of the 12 were issued under his leadership

I have some of these, not all I know JazzBo has the Eddie Barefield.. he bought a set of three on Ebay ( I had the other two and chose not to bid against him)

Anybody have a full list of the series???

They too would make a nice Mosaic

Edited by P.D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And while I'm asking, I'm not familiar with the Jazz Studio One (first recorded jam session). Is this from Norman Granz or something else?

Jazz Studio One

with the personnel listed above.. Johnny Smith was there as Sir Jonathon Gasser was recorded in 1953.

It had nothing to do with Norman Granz or JATP.

It was recorded for Brunswick or maybe Decca in the USA

There were only two tunes recorded

Side one was Tenderley.. introduced by typical Smith guitar at a slow ballad tempo. Each musician joins in and solos, leading up to an uptempo bit, with each soloist again taking their turn, then splitting some choruses, culminating about 20 mins later with Smith pulling it back to the opening tempo

Side 2 is a 12bar called Lets Split.. uptempo simple blues riff, again with indivdual solos, leading to chase choruses..All the musicians perform at their peak.

This album made me a big fan of the participants, especially Newman, Green, Foster, Smith and Quincehette ( at that time, 1953 when it was new on the market, I hadn't heard much of Pres and was nort really aware of Quinichette's " idolatry") and I have remained so since

Unfortunately this has never made it to CD ( with the usual caveat about Japan) that I am aware of.

Brunswick went on to record 5 more Jazz Studio sets, 2 throgh 4 were typical West Coast sets,based around Jimmy Giuffre, Mulligan and other L.A. musicians that one would expect, 4 was a Jack Millman set with similar West Coast personnel. 5 was led by Ralph Burns and 6 was a David Amram / Georde Barrow " experimental " session.

Only Jazz Studio one fits into the theme of the thread.. the others a good, but as mentione, typical West Coast sets.. I haven't heard the Amram ( 6 )

None have made it to CD except number 4 which was reissued by Fresh Sounds under Jack Millmans name, and not the Jazz Studio title.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the other hand,  I can certainly see that Sir Charles Thompson would have/should have been a first choice.

I was also thinking of Sonny White, Billy Kyle, Red Richards, and Ellis Larkins as folks who might have made interesting contributions to various mainstream dates. White in particular was a much-neglected musician for his entire career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To add to the wonderful stuff mentioned above....

There is an obscure Ruby Braff LP called "You're Getting to be A Habit With Me" on BELL label. It's absolutely terrific

This has also recently been reissued by Fresh Sounds.

c3155.jpg

Edited by P.D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.D. - Where can you order Fresh Sounds from?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks P.D.! I had no idea the Felsted catalog was that rich. I seem to remember coming across the High and Mighty Hawk on CD some time ago. I passed it up--turns out to have been a shortsighted move..maybe I can track it down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.