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BLINDFOLD TEST #5 - answers

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Some comments regarding track 3:

I thought it was Joe Farrell - and not George Coleman - who did the tenor solo. I admit that they sound somewhat alike to me, but someone who knows his George Coleman better than me perhaps could help me out here... :)

I compared the track 'Mr. Jones' (which was track #3 on John's disc) with 'Whew', which is the only other track from that session on which Farrell plays tenor. I'm not quite certain (obviously), but to me it sounded as if soloist number two on that track is Coleman, and the first soloist is Farrell. The tenorist on 'Mr. Jones' sounds more similar to Farrell, and is located at the same place in the sound mix as Farrell is on 'Whew'.

The liner notes for the Mosaic (unfortunately I don't have the LP releases of 'Poly-Currents' and 'Mr. Jones' so I don't know what they say) which are written by Dave Liebman states that it's Farrell soloing on 'Mr. Jones'. Of course Liebman may be mistaken on that point. What do you others think?

Calling all George Coleman fanatics!

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Some comments regarding track 3:

I thought it was Joe Farrell -

Hey wow! Me too, nowthatyoumentionit!

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Al,

WRT track 4: yes.

WRT track 5: I did warn you that Jim likes to screem at times.

WRT track 8: this is by no means representative for the CD album I took it from. I'm hoping someone can point me towards more stuff in the vein of this track

Thanks for the comments. I listened to track 8 (the Dewey track) and I'm curious about it now. Maybe the library will have it!

And if I forgot to mention it before, this is one HELLUVA compilation. Even moreso, now that I know who’s who and what’s what!

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Some comments regarding track 3:

I thought it was Joe Farrell -

Hey wow! Me too, nowthatyoumentionit!

Well, ok. In the 70s (last time I heavily listened to this stuff), it sounded like, uh... I don't remember. It was the 70s... ;)

In my car, over some $9.95 headphones on the office PC, and through my so-so computer speakers at home, it sounded like George. A LOT.

But I just played it on my "real" system (not necessarily that much of an improvement, btw...) for the first time (I seldom get to do any listening that's not "on the run" in some form or fashion), and yeah, it's Farrell. Unmistakably so.

And - I just A-B'ed the Lp with John's BFT, and although the LP is a bit wetter (and a lot brighter), it still is umistakeably Farrell. Go figure THAT! :g

So much for depending on your memory and for sound quality never mattering... :blink:

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In all honesty, what probably happened was that I heard the first few notes of the head, knew that I knew the tune, remembered it being George, even though it wasn't (for some strange reason, I always think that this tune is on COALITION, which is my favorite George w/Elvin, on "Yesterdays", so there's probably some weird mis-wired mind-association going on), and went thru the thing just assuming that it was him. The cheapo reproduction systems certainly didn't do anything to shock me out of my delusion, but, bottom line, I just got lazy on this one. My bad.

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Thanks John for this one and honestly... some of the tracks have been spinning around in my player even in my car... some Lucky Thompson (more or less unknown to me until this) and Max Roach (somehow have not paid attention to him as I should do) is already on my wishlist...

on #4 I saw that amazon is naming this a "in Asia"... Here... ist that the one you're refering too ? as this is a must have to me (EDIT: have never heard much of his earlier recordings which I will surely change now... ups my wife asks about budget :D )

what I was pretty much puzzled about is #8 as I found out that its hidden somewhere in my treasury but somehow has not found its way out of the dark.. shame on me ... :mellow:

cheers, Tjobbe

Edited by tjobbe

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Ok, this is freaky. I'm walking around the house doing chores with John's disc playing, and "Mr. Jones" comes on. Damned if, from a distance and filtered through a wall or two, Farrell doesn't sound like George again. :blink:

To complicate matters, there are spots where Farrell plays some Coleman-esque licks, and their tones get similar enough in the upper register to where a little tampering with the overtones, like listening thru indirect and/or sub-standard means, and they DO begin to sound alike unless you're listening closely and carefully.

Which leads me to a flashback as to why I stopped listening to Elvin's bands so much back in the day - there seemed to be a de facto "Elvin Tenor Vocabulary" that everybody who played with him in the late-60s/early 70s used to one degree or another, from Coleman, Farrell, & Frank foster on thru Liebman & Grossman. I mean, it's beautiful, but after a while, it all starts to sound, if not the same, at least a little similar, if you know what I mean. It's a necessary thing to go through, and it's always good to come back to it, but having this bit of confusion reminds me why I gave it up as heavy, regular listening.

But to those who have asked, yeah, get the Mosaic. There's a ton of good stuff on there, a fair amount of great (and yes, this cut is one of them, never mind me and my personal head trips), and the worst is still ok. Those bands Elvin led back in the day were hugely influential and popular in a lot of circles, the players created a template of sorts for a lot of contemporary jazz, and you need to hear them and know about them if you haven't already. Better to get into it and sort it all out for yourself than to never have known about it at all.

And no matter what else is going on, there's Elvin, and that's enough by itself.

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I reall enjoy these BF tests for the new music I am exposed to and also for the fresh view I get of some "old favorites." It's amazing how different a tune can sound out of the context of its original album.

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Well, I guess in some ways I'm fortunate that life got too busy for me to even get around to putting my foot in my mouth. I have now officially joined the club wherein one fails to recognize tracks (3 in this case) that one has in one's own collection. For me those were #'s 2, 7, and 15.

This test was extremely difficult for me (I love a good piano too, and of course it's pure blasphemy to omit the GUITAR! ;) ). By the time I got to #13, I was actually proud that I recognized it as "It Never Entered My Mind" (never would have guessed the artists, though). All in all a very humbling experience. I think the most tantalizing track for me (in terms of curiosity and possible future exploration) might be #1. But I really need to go back and listen to the whole thing again...

Thanks again, John.

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Track 15: I have the complete Galaxy recordings of Art Pepper.... and now I know I should listen to it MORE FREQUENTLY!!! :huh:

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Next on my wish-list: something by Quartet Out. How could I get those releases, Jim?

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WRT to the Farrell/Coleman thing, I myself had my doubts; decided it was Coleman at one point and never looked back. You all confirming my guess (most notably also Mr Sangrey) took care of any little grain of doubt I still might have had. This guy also seems to think it is Coleman BTW.

Now the BFT becomes all the more interesting as people guessed Coleman when it isn't him and did not when it IS him (on the Slide track). Go figure... :blink::wacko:

Jim, are you sure it's Farrell and not Alexander? :g

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Thanks for sending the disc John. I'm out of my depth here but enjoyed having a go. I did get just a very little here and there but what really gets me is why I didn't recognise Stanley Turrentine. Tommy I would expect to miss but I'd have said Stanley should be unmistakable. Grrrrr.....

I'll console myself by thinking about tomorrow!

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Thanks for sending the disc John. I'm out of my depth here but enjoyed having a go. I did get just a very little here and there but what really gets me is why I didn't recognise Stanley Turrentine. Tommy I would expect to miss but I'd have said Stanley should be unmistakable. Grrrrr.....

I'll console myself by thinking about tomorrow!

And you can console yourself in that Stan didn't take a solo so it was hard to guess his tenor right.

Thanks for weighing in with some remarks on your first BFT. I hope you will join us next time. My hunch is you know and recognize much more than you are willing to admit- :tup

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on #4 I saw that amazon is naming this a "in Asia"... Here... ist that the one you're refering too ? as this is a must have to me (EDIT: have never heard much of his earlier recordings which I will surely change now... ups my wife asks about budget :D )

Yes, that's the one. I listened to the album again last night, and man! this is great, great stuff. I wasn't lying when I answered Big Al's question: GROOVE is written in capital letters here.

This and the sister-release (One) Tension(!) both suffer from unclear album titles. The spine says Now Jazz Ramwong, the front cover adds that stuff about Quartet in Asia 1964. In case of Tension! there are also versions that have One Tension on the front cover. No matter what these are called: it's FABULOUS music.

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thanks for the clearification... already ordered !

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WRT to the Farrell/Coleman thing, I myself had my doubts; decided it was Coleman at one point and never looked back. You all confirming my guess (most notably also Mr Sangrey) took care of any little grain of doubt I still might have had. This guy also seems to think it is Coleman BTW.

Now the BFT becomes all the more interesting as people guessed Coleman when it isn't him and did not when it IS him (on the Slide track). Go figure... :blink::wacko:

Jim, are you sure it's Farrell and not Alexander? :g

Yeah, it's Farrell. The liner notes on the LP say so, and liner notes never lie. :g See my comments above about "Elvin Tenor Vocabulary". This is a good case in point. Listen to George on the rest of the album, and listen to him w/Miles, or anywhere else and you might hear what I mean.

Now, there's a near-classic version of "Laura" on an Enja album of Elvin @ the Village Vanguard w/Coleman & Little (and on "Mr. Jones", Hannibal on trumpet). George plays his ass off, and his vocabulary is laced with many of the same licks/devices that Farrell uses here. It's the "New York Tenor" sound that became the de facto way to play for generations of young players, especially those who had a "jazz education" background. If that implies a certain similarity, so be it. Coleman and Farrell are both strong, personal players whose work stands on its own merits, but I think you can see in a cut like this the beginnings of the stylistic homogenization that lay not too further up the road.

And yeah, I still love this cut and this (and those) albums. It's what they led to that I have some ambivalence about. But that's certainly not the "fault" of anybody heard here!

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Yeah, it's Farrell. The liner notes on the LP say so, and liner notes never lie. :g

are those the same liners that do not really say that much besides that Farrell plays tenor, which is interesting information considering he is heard playing the flute as well on the album; the same liners in short that made me doubt who was playing the solo and in the end made it possible for me to opt for Coleman? :g

I am probably the first one to be fooled on his own Blindfold Test.

(there's an honour even YOU can't take away from me Mr Testa! :g)

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No doubt Farrell found a tenor voice more of his own during the seventies. I love his playing with the original Return to Forever group, but actually I find him even greater on flute than on sax on those albums. I admit he still must have been more under the influence of George Coleman and others at the end of the 60s, but strangely enough I dig his tenor playing on those Elvin dates more than most of what came after! Could it be that he (Farrell) was adapting very much (some would say too much) to the various situations he played in back then? I think he sounded different with Corea in 1966 ('Tones for Joan's Bones'), and then again different with Jaki Byard in 1965. Now, I'm not particularly involved by Byard's playing so it's been a while since I listened to those albums, but I remember I thought Farrell played much better on the Corea album.

Edited by Daniel A

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Could it be that he (Farrell) was adapting very much (some would say too much) to the various situations he played in back then?

No doubt, since Farrell was also a very busy session musician during the same time. That's the very nature of that beast.

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Could it be that he (Farrell) was adapting very much (some would say too much) to the various situations he played in back then?

No doubt, since Farrell was also a very busy session musician during the same time. That's the very nature of that beast.

Aw my gawd - I do not visit this board for one day and there's a helluva discussion going on!

There's so much to say about this Great BT disc that I hardly know where tp start, so I pick up where Jim has left the ball: Farrell and Coleman and all the other saxists Jones employed for his Blue Note dates.

I think it is not just Farrell adapting, but the spirit of Trane hovering over the Jones Bands of the time. All of the tenor players on Jones Blue Notes showed even more Coltrane influences than outside of that band, as if they felt they had to at least partially step into his shoes, and since there were two of them on many an album, the company of a colleague doing this reinforced the Trane Traits (now how's this for a song title?) in each of them: Joe Farrell, Frank Foster, George Coleman, Dave Liebman, Steve Grossman - Joe Berendt said in his Jazz Book the latter two played Coltrane x 2 in the Jones band - one of the few instances where I think he got the idea. If you listen to Coleman on the Jones session with Lee Morgan as the only other horn, he's a lot more like his typical self there - he had just joined the band as the second horn, before that is was the trio with Farrell and Garrison, whose death may have unvoluntarily enforced the change in concept. I always thought that, although I had the Mr. Jones album with this track, which has no liner notes at all, just personnel listings, the first soloist was Farrell followed by Coleman - you have this on many of these sessions that the change goes almost unnoticed because they play off of each other so much.

There's only two occasions where Jones employed a piano and/or guitar player for his Blue Notes, on the later sessions that were on the Mr. Jones album (I would really like to know the reason why they reissued the title track, perhaps to lack of enough material - this was released after the Lighthouse sessions, which were recorded only later) and on the vault issue The Prime Element, although there is a live album with Gene Perla, Frank Foster, Joe Farrell and Chick Corea recorded September, 1971. Jan Hammer was the pianist in both cases, and he does not appear "pianistic" with his very lean sound and conept. The focus on all these sessions is on horns and rhythm - Jones chose a very clearly playing conga drummer with rock-solid timing and clear, loud sound in Cándido Caméro. There is one moment on "5/4 Thing" on the Coalition LP, where Jones play with an almost arhythmic quality over Cándido's solid beat. The liner notes on the twofer The Prime Element had some fitting remarks on this. The title track has Elvin soloing in a similar fashion over a complex African multi-beat drum ensemble - but he is with them all the time, as his rhythmical cue for the next part is absolutely on time.

Many find the hand drums a little to very much obtrusive - but that underpins my observations about the problems in perceiving the African part of the musical heritage that is called jazz. These Blue Notes were to Jones what the Orgy in Rhythms etc. albums were to Blakey - an exploration of a heritage, not just the use of some latin inflections. Remember Coltrane was on that path when he died?

Perhaps I should start a thread on the Elvin Jones Blue Note sessions. I think they are largely underrated.

Edited by mikeweil

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Perhaps I should start a thread on the Elvin Jones Blue Note sessions. I think they are largely underrated.

Mike, I am in a hurry and cannot react to all you wrote. But just catching the last remark of your post, check this link I posted earlier. It's a nice write up of Elvin's BN stuff (though admittedly I havent't had a chance to read through it myself yet)

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Very good points, Mike.

FWIW, MERRY GO ROUND employed piano as well as guitar, IIRC.

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there seemed to be a de facto "Elvin Tenor Vocabulary" that everybody who played with him in the late-60s/early 70s used to one degree or another, from Coleman, Farrell, & Frank foster on thru Liebman & Grossman. I mean, it's beautiful, but after a while, it all starts to sound, if not the same, at least a little similar, if you know what I mean.

Well, Jim, that's your way of saying it from a tenorist's view! Just what I tried to say.

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FWIW, MERRY GO ROUND employed piano as well as guitar, IIRC.

Of course, forgot about that, I had these as LPs, except for Merry-Go-Round, and this has Corea and Hammer alternating, and Yoshiako Masuo on guitar. Sold them to get the money for the Mosaic, which I still have to order - the Blue Mitchell claimed priority - and before that, the Giuiffre, the Hamilton :rolleyes: !!!

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