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Michael Weiss

Great Bands You Saw Live

49 posts in this topic

I saw a quartet of George Coleman, Barry Harris, Gene Taylor and Philly Joe Jones at the Tin Palace, NYC around 1980.

At a benefit at the Village Gate I saw a sextet that included Tommy Turrentine, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, Billy Higgins or AT (don't remember)

** Didn't hear it obviously, but I wish the two tenor group Johnny Griffin and John Gilmore had in Chicago recorded.

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This band almost recorded (different bassist IIRC) but not like on this night at the Gate of Horn in Chicago, circa 1957: Ira Sullivan, Johnny Griffin, Jodie Christian, Victor Sproles, and Wilbur Campbell. What made it so special is that on several tunes, particularly an unreal "Night in Tunisia," Ira played trumpet and then after he and J.G. had soloed, picked up his tenor and engaged in an intense friendly battle with J.G.

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This band almost recorded (different bassist IIRC) but not like on this night at the Gate of Horn in Chicago, circa 1957: Ira Sullivan, Johnny Griffin, Jodie Christian, Victor Sproles, and Wilbur Campbell. What made it so special is that on several tunes, particularly an unreal "Night in Tunisia," Ira played trumpet and then after he and J.G. had soloed, picked up his tenor and engaged in an intense friendly battle with J.G.

That band recorded for Delmark.

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This band almost recorded (different bassist IIRC) but not like on this night at the Gate of Horn in Chicago, circa 1957: Ira Sullivan, Johnny Griffin, Jodie Christian, Victor Sproles, and Wilbur Campbell. What made it so special is that on several tunes, particularly an unreal "Night in Tunisia," Ira played trumpet and then after he and J.G. had soloed, picked up his tenor and engaged in an intense friendly battle with J.G.

That band recorded for Delmark.

Oops. And I've got the record, too.

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Ornette, Al McDowell, Tony Falanga, Denardo and Bill Frisell, at Ornette's Meltdown at Southbank Centre, London. Frisell worked perfectly in the fabric of that sound.

Another interesting unrecorded Ornette lineup:

Global Expression Project: Ornette Coleman Trio with Charnett Moffett and Denardo Coleman, with special guests Badal Roy, Sultan Khan and Probaker Karaker

Henry Threadgill's Society Situation Dance Band, North Sea Festival 1997

I've seen Mark Helias's Open Loose with both Eskelin & Malaby on tenor--I don't believe this two tenor lineup recorded.

Dizzy & Mingus as special guests with Sonny Rollins

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Jimmy Deuchar (tpt), Slide Hampton (tbn), Johnny Griffin (tnr), Dave Cliff (gtr), Peter Ind (bs) and Al Levitt (dms) at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester 1980s.

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at Sweet Basil in the 1990a:

Roswell Rudd/Doc Cheatham/Don Byron - yes, same group.

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In New York (1965), the Wayne Shorter quartet with Herbie Hancock, Richard Davis and Joe Chambers (no recording of those four together), also the Gary McFarland sextet with Joe Farrell and Eddie Gomez.

At Slug's (1967), Jackie McLean quartet with Lamont Johnson, Scotty Holt AND Rashied Ali.

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Fascinating but not great: Andrew Hill, Roscoe Mitchell, Wilbur Ware and Thurman Barker.

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no recording yet of Gerald Cleaver's amazing quintet (saw them last DEC) which is playing again in May:

May 11th - Cornelia Street Cafe

Gerald Cleaver, drums; Darius Jones, alto saxophone; Brandon Seabrook, guitar; Cooper-Moore, piano & diddly-bow; Pascal Niggenkemper, bass

for me the best show of a band with no recording might have been Evan Parker-Mark Dresser-Bobby Previte or maybe Joe Lovano-Mark Dresser-Gerry Hemingway

another great band whih might be similar to a later Andrew Hill recording - I saw Andrew's Quintet maybe late 90's - I remember that the band members were not announced before the gig and that I believe Hill had not played with a working band for quite some time - certainly not in NYC.

With Marty Ehrlich, some young tenor player who I don't remember, Scott Colley and Billy Drummond - was @ The Kniiting Factory main stage and they were amazing - especially Ehrlich and Drummond.

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Bob Neloms, Michael Carvin, James Newton, and Ronnie Boykin - Tin Palace, late 1970s.

Percy France, Bob Neloms, Leroy Wlliams - West End Cafe, same era.

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At Slug's (1967), Jackie McLean quartet with Lamont Johnson, Scotty Holt AND Rashied Ali.

510KEqRk43L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

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There is indeed one quartet track on this record.

Bertrand.

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Fascinating but not great: Andrew Hill, Roscoe Mitchell, Wilbur Ware and Thurman Barker.

I vas dere, Charley.

Also, at a club on Stony Island Ave., Roscoe, Maurice McIntyre, Ajaramu, and Claudine Myers.

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I was at this show at Hot House that somebody else wrote up:

"the New Horizon Ensemble consisting of saxophonist and leader Ernest Dawkins, trumpeter Maurice Brown, trombonist Steve Berry, bassist Darius Savage, and drummer Isaiah Spensor. The six special guests were an even bigger surprise: Roscoe Mitchell, Ari Brown, an unidentified musician on saxophones, Dee Alexander and Taalib Din Zayid on vocals, and a second bassist, unidentified."

http://users.rcn.com/jazzinfo/1105/27thChicago.html

I can't remember, but maybe Bankhead was the second bassist?

I've also seen Dee Alexander with Douglas Ewart's ensemble.

The highlight of one of the festival jams at the Record Mart was Fred Anderson's trio (Aoki & Drake) plus Dawkins, Ari Brown and Malachi Thompson.

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CrayBand79SFBF.jpg

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Robert Cray Band @ San Francisco Blues Festival, 1979.

They did record a kind of lackluster, slick studio session in L.A. with a few other musicians, but man were they great on stage.

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Wow, there have been so many over the years. I'll just list a few:

-Stan Kenton 1972 - first time I'd ever heard a jazz band or a live band or a big band. They were awesome....

-Maynard Ferguson - I saw him several times in the late 70s. Yeah he played some wanky fusoid stuff, but man, he ALWAYS had a cranking' band, and balance the crap with some great arrangements.

-Weather Report - several times. Probably the best show was the tour for Heavy Weather.

-Ornette and Prime Time -I've seen them several times. Excellent energy and they were LOUD! =:-)

-Wayne Shjorter quartet- awesome band and Wayne is one of my favorite musicians

-Frank Zappa - I was lucky to catch one of the first shows of his last tour before they got to Europe and he disbanded. 5 horns and 7 or 8 other guys -- the music was a combination of Zappa's work and other classics and went from Thing Fish to Stolen Moments to L'Histoire du Soldat. It was scarily well done.

Buena Vista Social Club - the whole big band plus 4 or 5 people out front singing and playing. Bad ass cuban music and I don't think anybody on stage was under 60.

Miles Davis - at Kix. I had never seen Miles and thought I wouldn't when he retired. When the Kix shows were announced I bought tickets for the second set on Saturday, but I was first there at the beginning of the first show. I fully expected Miles to blow a note or two and spend most of the night banging on an organ and scowling. When the first show started there was a tractor trailer in front and the doors swung open to reveal Teo Macero inside what was a mobile studio. They had the monitors on pretty loud so I heard the first show and saw the second one....and I was amazed -- Miles was playing his ass off!

Peter Gabriel - the 'Up' tour. I had been wanting to see him for years and I was NOT disappointed. Best/most interestingly staged show I've every seen. And I really dig the music.

bigtiny

Edited by bigtiny

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Wow, there have been so many over the years. I'll just list a few:

Looks like you missed the subtitle: ...that never recorded

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Lee Konitz and Al Cohn at the Jazz Showcase. Also at the Showcase, Lee with Jodie Christan, Steve Rodby, and Wilbur Campbell.

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Larry, I expected you to mention the Konitz, Atlas, Campbell gig.

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Here are a few:

A quartet of Evan Parker, George Lewis, Alex von Schlippenbach,and Paul Lovens. I know that they all recorded together in different combinations, but I don't think they ever recorded as a quartet. If I'm wrong, someone here will correct.

A Tom McDermott Quartet with Rick Trolsen, Matt Perrine, and Shannon Powell. The comment above also applies here. This was as good as any band I ever heard in New Orleans.

Delta harmonica player Willie Foster with Frank Frost and Sam Carr.

Dizzy Gillespie with Max Roach's M'Boom percussion ensemble.

Edited by jeffcrom

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-Wayne Shjorter quartet- awesome band and Wayne is one of my favorite musicians

Swedish or Norwegian?

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At Slug's (1967), Jackie McLean quartet with Lamont Johnson, Scotty Holt AND Rashied Ali.

510KEqRk43L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Shame on me for overlooking that fine album :blush:

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I heard the longtime Chicago trio led by pianist John Campbell with bassist Kelly Sill and drummer Joel Spencer countless times both on their own and backing up so many visiting stars (Woody Shaw, Red Rodney, Dave Liebman, Eddie Harris and on) and it still drives me nuts that they never got recorded as a threesome, especially in the 1980s. That was a remarkably telepathic, exciting and versatile trio -- far superior than so many "national" bands in mainstream idioms -- with a very personal take on the bebop\post-bop language and an interesting repertoire that swept through a lot of piano players' best writing, from Bud Powell to Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Cedar Walton and more. I also heard them many times as a quartet with former Chicago saxophonist Ed Peterson playing Ed's music and with yet another Chicagoan, tenor saxophonist Ron Dewar, a personal hero, who on his inspired nights in those days played with a truly astounding level of iauthority coming out of '60s Sonny Rollins but WAY past imitation.

I cherish the cassette tapes I have all of this that prove the point but wish there were commercial recordings. They would have turned a lot of heads.

Edited by Mark Stryker

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