jeffcrom

The Jazz Version of....

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Another one that should be on the list is Oliver Nelson's Impressions Of Phaedra (United Artists 1509) which contains his interpretations of the score from Jules Dassin's 1962 film, Phaedra.

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Just finished listening to a 1969 album I was completely unaware of before I saw a copy for sale on Ebay recently: The Sounds of Broadway/The Sounds of Hollywood by Curtis Amy, on the Palomar label. Amy plays tunes from a variety of musicals and movies, including some songs I had never heard before, like "Guess Who I Saw Today," from New Faces of 1952.

The album is okay, but it's not as good as it could have been. Horace Tapscott is on piano, and Onzy Matthews did the arrangements. But Amy is the only soloist, and on many of the tunes sticks pretty closely to the melody. So not great, but an interesting album.

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...some songs I had never heard before, like "Guess Who I Saw Today," from New Faces of 1952.

The signature Nancy Wilson song? I had no idea it went back to 1952!

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...some songs I had never heard before, like "Guess Who I Saw Today," from New Faces of 1952.

The signature Nancy Wilson song? I had no idea it went back to 1952!

The depths of my ignorance are astounding. I've never heard the Nancy Wilson version.

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That said, I cannot find that idea of doing "jazz versions" of musical or movie scores to be half-baked at all. Considering that a LOT of the all-time jazz standards originated as Broadway, musical or other show tunes written for a quite different musical concept, it speaks for the richness of the musical "raw material" that they have lent themselves so well to the jazz treatment. So wasn't it only logical to apply the same approach not only to individual tunes but to the entire "body" of tunes of a given musical or movie (considering this "body" might have been intended as a "unit")?

I agree completely.

Your comments remind me of a conversation I had with a board member not too long ago. I agree with you whole heartedly as is apparent in my comments below. I had picked up Herbie Hancock's Joni's Letters on a whim and it reminded me how jazz players had utilized pop music and show tunes. It made the music much more accessible to much wider audience, IMHO. I picked up on those thoughts and well; here it is.....

I picked up Herbie Hancock's Joni Letters on the cheap at HP a short time back. Blushingly,I have to admit I have been enjoying it. I have a weird take on what Herbie has been doing recently.

As for the Joni Letters, my take on that is different. It is not a hard core "jazz" date. It is very nice, and Wayne is really good as always. What I like about it is the concept. If you will note, Hancock has been playing around with this idea of the "new" jazz standards for a little while. This is his second or third attempt along these lines and I think it works here,the best thus far. (Listening to it right now and I just heard Wayne quote from"Adams Apple") ....Anyway, I think it is Herbie's attempt to reach a much broader audience and still stay true to the craft. Taken in that context it is simply brilliant and I think it was the reason it won the grammy for best record of the year.

Old line jazz listeners will find it boring I think, enjoyable maybe,rather nice, possible, not JAZZ as we like it; but as a way to introduce the craft to new listeners I find it more than intriguing. It definitely includes all the necessary elements to entice, but does not stray so far away to scare the listener away.....I have said before that I believe jazz began to lose its audience when pop music went to rock and roll. Although we can all cite jazz artists who have attempted to take the current pop/rock music and jazz it up, few of us, I think, would consider it a success. With a few exceptions, it is not very interesting. Therefore, it is becoming difficult to introduce new listeners to jazz. In the old days, the jazz artists used the pop world and broadway tunes as a pathway into the jazz idiom. From there, the jazz artist could introduce new sounds and original pieces and we all know where it goes from there. In modern times, even broadway tunes are not particularly conducive to jazz improvisation. I think Hancock is trying to save the craft in a way....even if he does not realize that is what he is trying to do. He is hunting a way in to the pop listener; just like the old guys who used popular and show tunes to capture interest. From that perspective this is an extremely interesting record. It strikes that balance rather nicely and may open ears just enough to get a few new converts through the doors.

On top of that I have always liked Joni Mitchell and so it is easy for me, but I really find it interesting what is going on here with two of the most important jazz figures from the hey day of jazz still active on the scene. I think they are doing a big service to all of us who love the music. You have to develop an ear for jazz. That takes time, and if it is not enjoyable the listener will give up. I have found this project very interesting. I didn't pick it up for the longest time because of the negative responses it received on the board and because of my past experiences with jazz artist trying to do "cross over" stuff. This is cross over but it is the real thing and I have found it very interesting.... very well done for what it is. It is not stretching the music; but in a way it is... it going full circle in a way but staying very true to all the places that jazz has gone over the last 60-70 years.

My thoughts FWIIW......... :lol::lol:

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I was caught off guard by how much I enjoyed that album. I picked it up off Amie St. (RIP) in one of those what-the-hell moments, and now I find it gets played a couple times a month.

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I'm a fan.

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McFarland's wasn't the only jazz version...

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Peter King (tenor); Les Condon (trumpet); Gordon Beck (piano); Kenny Napper (bass); Tony Kinsey (drums)

Earlier, Kinsey recorded a few songs from My Fair Lady that came out on a Decca 7-inch...

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Bob Efford (tenor); Les Condon (trumpet); Bill Le Sage (piano,vibes); Pete Blannin or Lennie Bush (bass); Tony Kinsey (drums)

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How about the uncategorizable Scots clarinetist Sandy Brown's "Hair At Its Hairiest" (Fontana SJF 1921)? Quite a band, with Kenny Wheeler on trumpet, George Chisholm on trombone, Johnny (sic) McLaughlin on guitar, Lenny Bush bass and Bobby Orr on drums. Issued on CD as Lake LACD 160.

Quite a cover shot (which I don't know how to include) of Brown in a sporran and naught else but the bass clarinet he's holding. At least, I think that's what it is. I HOPE that's what it is.

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I used to have one or both discs by Franco Ambrosetti, called "Movies" and "Movies, Too".

Interesting selection of tunes, as I'm now recalling from seeing the links above.

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How about the uncategorizable Scots clarinetist Sandy Brown's "Hair At Its Hairiest" (Fontana SJF 1921)? Quite a band, with Kenny Wheeler on trumpet, George Chisholm on trombone, Johnny (sic) McLaughlin on guitar, Lenny Bush bass and Bobby Orr on drums. Issued on CD as Lake LACD 160.

Quite a cover shot (which I don't know how to include) of Brown in a sporran and naught else but the bass clarinet he's holding. At least, I think that's what it is. I HOPE that's what it is.

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Hardcore sporran !

I suppose one's "Gentlemen Friends" aren't really protected unless safely shielded by a knee-length sporran.

Track 4 on the album is, "Easy To Be Hard" ; I'd say the cover gives the lie to that !

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w/ Kenny Wheeler and John McLaughlin?? Would have never guessed in a million years from the cover. Damn!

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w/ Kenny Wheeler and John McLaughlin?? Would have never guessed in a million years from the cover. Damn!

Not only Kenny and Johnny (sic), but George Chisholm -- he who recorded 6 sides with Fats Waller back on August 21, 1938. And they all sound fine together... "Styles" be damned. Jazz is Jazz.

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wow...

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Has anyone mentioned Bobby Bryant's "Hair" (Bob Brookmeyer did the arrangements, I think)? Not bad! (That, and his other World Pacific LP, "Earth Dance," seem to have disappeared in the CD age.)

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Shorty Rogers is credited w/the charts for the Bryant, iirc.

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Shorty Rogers, that's right. Anyway, it's not bad! But like many Pacific Jazz/World Pacific albums of that period (like Ernie Watts' "Love Dance," Freddie Robinson's "The Coming Atlantis," Wilton Felder's "Bullitt," Bryant's "Earth Dance") - except for a stray track here or there - it's apparently long gone.

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The Internets is your friend...

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Looking forward to the Jazz Version of 200 Motels...

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