Milestones

Blakey's Blue Note live recordings (and others)

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Free For All sounds live...so there!

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Free For All sounds live...so there!

Well, yes, that's it exactly. So many of the great Blue Notes capture an intensity and inspiration in the studio that we associate with "live" playing and yet with a focus and precision that you don't always get live. Perfect balance. How? Preparation, rehearsal, a pool of musicians completely comfortable with each other musically and personally and their shared idiom captured at a particular point in their lives and the history of the music when everybody shared similar values and were playing and recording together ALL the time. Not to say that you didn't get an extra spark sometimes with a live performance, but BN so often made such magical records in the studio that they didn't necessarily need to always go on location to get more out of a group of musicians.

Edited by Mark Stryker

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At least in the 1950s, the height of hard bop and west coast, almost nobody was doing much live concert or club recordings. Brubeck was an exception.

Possible thought...maybe because live music was so common, being asked to buy a record of what you could go out an hear live seemed kind of a con?

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I also noticed that BN recorded Blakey live on much more occasions than other musicians.

About the other artists: Yes, "Night of the Cookers" with Hubbard was one of my first from the other live recordings.

I´d like to mention "On View at Five Spot" by Kenny Burrell, also with Blakey. A nice little thing.

Others: Horace Silver at the Village Gate

Kenny Dorham at Bohemia

Donald Bird at the Half Note

Stanley Turrentine at Minton´s

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I also noticed that BN recorded Blakey live on much more occasions than other musicians.

About the other artists: Yes, "Night of the Cookers" with Hubbard was one of my first from the other live recordings.

I´d like to mention "On View at Five Spot" by Kenny Burrell, also with Blakey. A nice little thing.

Others: Horace Silver at the Village Gate

Kenny Dorham at Bohemia

Donald Bird at the Half Note

Stanley Turrentine at Minton´s

A lot of those are special recordings, they have a wonderful feel: Burrell, Dorham, Byrd, Turrentine. A thought: I think Horace tried some of the same tracks in the studio before recording at the Gate. Could it be that Alfred heard the material and thought it would sound better recorded live? He seemed to put as much care into the live dates as into the studio ones, such as bringing Grant Green in to the Turrentine date.

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At least in the 1950s, the height of hard bop and west coast, almost nobody was doing much live concert or club recordings. Brubeck was an exception.

Possible thought...maybe because live music was so common, being asked to buy a record of what you could go out an hear live seemed kind of a con?

One of the first selling points of LPs was that, liberated from the 3-minute 78, you could finally truly approximate what people sounded like in live performance. But of course that doesn't quite get at the idea we have in jazz of the primacy of the "live" performance as a more authentic reflection of the heart of the music, or at least a typically more exciting representation of it. Would be interested to hear from some of our veteran board members if they remember how record buyers or advertising approached the initial wave of live LPs. Were there any jazz sides from the 78 era that were "live" and was the fact that they were live trumpeted it as a selling point? The Goodman Carnegie Hall concert I think was first issued as an early LP in 1950. What were, in other words, the very first live jazz recordings? Brubeck's Blackhawk and Storyville sides were from 52, yes? Could the popularity of those specifically spurred BN to do Blakey at Birdland in 53, or was the idea of live recording more just in the air. The Massey Hall concert is in there too. On another front, certainly, live radio broadcasts were a feature of the music going back forever, and anybody with ears knew that, say, Bird's broadcasts were showing a remarkable side of his genius you didn't get in the studio. Basie, Ellington and for that matter Goodman, Shaw and others also came across differently in live broadcasts too. Interesting - the "cult" of the live performance document in jazz -- origins, influence, meaning. Discuss.

Edited by Mark Stryker

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At least in the 1950s, the height of hard bop and west coast, almost nobody was doing much live concert or club recordings. Brubeck was an exception.

Possible thought...maybe because live music was so common, being asked to buy a record of what you could go out an hear live seemed kind of a con?

I don't think this makes a lot of sense because

A. Even at the height of jazz performance opportunities, for jazz fans outside of the major cities, the opportunities weren't quite so commonplace.

B. Wouldn't fans appreciate a document of a live performance that they can enjoy anytime rather than a memory to summon?

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At least in the 1950s, the height of hard bop and west coast, almost nobody was doing much live concert or club recordings. Brubeck was an exception.

Possible thought...maybe because live music was so common, being asked to buy a record of what you could go out an hear live seemed kind of a con?

One of the first selling points of LPs was that, liberated from the 3-minute 78, you could finally truly approximate what people sounded like in live performance. But of course that doesn't quite get at the idea we have in jazz of the primacy of the "live" performance as a more authentic reflection of the heart of the music, or at least a typically more exciting representation of it. Would be interested to hear from some of our veteran board members if they remember how record buyers or advertising approached the initial wave of live LPs. Were there any jazz sides from the 78 era that were "live" and was the fact that they were live trumpeted it as a selling point? The Goodman Carnegie Hall concert I think was first issued as an early LP in 1950. What were, in other words, the very first live jazz recordings? Brubeck's Blackhawk and Storyville sides were from 52, yes? Could the popularity of those specifically spurred BN to do Blakey at Birdland in 53, or was the idea of live recording more just in the air. The Massey Hall concert is in there too. On another front, certainly, live radio broadcasts were a feature of the music going back forever, and anybody with ears knew that, say, Bird's broadcasts were showing a remarkable side of his genius you didn't get in the studio. Basie, Ellington and for that matter Goodman, Shaw and others also came across differently in live broadcasts too. Interesting - the "cult" of the live performance document in jazz -- origins, influence, meaning. Discuss.

You are forgetting JATP.

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And Gene Norman ... and that Elk's Auditorium concert.

But then you'd have to turn and change disc every other second ...

Other question: usually things only came to jazz a few years late, did live recording of classical concerts start earlier? (of course there's another nimbus there - like not even Horowitz would play several sets a night for two weeks at Carnegie Hall ... so you can't really compare, but still ...)

Edited by king ubu

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At least in the 1950s, the height of hard bop and west coast, almost nobody was doing much live concert or club recordings. Brubeck was an exception.

Possible thought...maybe because live music was so common, being asked to buy a record of what you could go out an hear live seemed kind of a con?

One of the first selling points of LPs was that, liberated from the 3-minute 78, you could finally truly approximate what people sounded like in live performance. But of course that doesn't quite get at the idea we have in jazz of the primacy of the "live" performance as a more authentic reflection of the heart of the music, or at least a typically more exciting representation of it. Would be interested to hear from some of our veteran board members if they remember how record buyers or advertising approached the initial wave of live LPs. Were there any jazz sides from the 78 era that were "live" and was the fact that they were live trumpeted it as a selling point? The Goodman Carnegie Hall concert I think was first issued as an early LP in 1950. What were, in other words, the very first live jazz recordings? Brubeck's Blackhawk and Storyville sides were from 52, yes? Could the popularity of those specifically spurred BN to do Blakey at Birdland in 53, or was the idea of live recording more just in the air. The Massey Hall concert is in there too. On another front, certainly, live radio broadcasts were a feature of the music going back forever, and anybody with ears knew that, say, Bird's broadcasts were showing a remarkable side of his genius you didn't get in the studio. Basie, Ellington and for that matter Goodman, Shaw and others also came across differently in live broadcasts too. Interesting - the "cult" of the live performance document in jazz -- origins, influence, meaning. Discuss.

You are forgetting JATP.

Yes, I've got JATP Volume 1 in 78 format - an album of three 12" records on Asch. The notes inside the cover made a lot out of the fact that this music is the "real deal" - more authentic and exciting than even studio jam sessions.

And of course, big chunks of the July 6, 1947 LA Elks Auditorium concert/dance were issued on the Bop label. In the notes to the 3-CD Bopland reissue, producer Ralph Bass is quoted in a letter as saying that these recordings were superior to the "formal and stiff" JATP records.

And the Modern label issued lots of records from Gene Norman concerts on 78. I don't know if they issued albums like the JATP and Bop stuff, but I've got several single records of Gene Norman selections. Some aren't labeled as live recordings, but I've seen others that say something like, "Recorded live at Just Jazz concert" on the label.

(I had already started this post when king ubu replied, so sorry about the overlapping content.)

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One of the reasons I love 'this' music is that even the majority of studio albums are recorded live and all those blue notes especially are live to 2 tracks. There might be the odd 2 takes spliced together or Richard Bock cutting out extra solos but the sound you hear is 5 guys interacting in real time. When I started getting into music in the 80s the fact that a jazz group were in a room, recorded pretty much live (pre Teo) was so refreshing compared to the rock I listened to carefully worked up over weeks/months in a studio...

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Oops -- yeah, I overlooked JATP from the '40s. Pivotal. Wonder what's in the Granz bio relating to this. Will look later.

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Was MINGUS IN WONDERLAND originally a Blue Note recording?

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No. I think it was UA.

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And in between UA & BN, there was SS

JFN76330.jpg

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I imagine most of us think of the live records on Blue Note as his main legacy.

No. The opposite is probably true, this is a minority opinion.

Hmm... there's the great Bohemia recording of the original Messengers, there's Birdland with Brownie - at least those are staples. Then I'm very fond of the hippsippy chicken 'n dumplins double set with a returning Mobley, there's the other Birdland double set w/Shorter, which by comparison both to that band's studio sets and the other live sets I never really warmed to that much ... then there's Three Blind Mice (United Artists, right?), and next the fine Limelight one with Frank Mitchell, and by 1968 another label caught the band with Billy Harper ... plenty to choose from, really. But no desert island material except for the first two. My essential Blakey would be a mix of studio and live - first I'd pick the Bohemia material, next Free for All ... and that band, at that point in time, would be my big wish for a live recording to turn up.

The boldfaced passage written by Ubu is a more elegant way of rejecting the "live records on BN = main legacy" assertion than my own. :)

For what it's worth, I don't think Moanin' would make my Blakey top 10 discs list.

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I imagine most of us think of the live records on Blue Note as his main legacy.

No. The opposite is probably true, this is a minority opinion.

Hmm... there's the great Bohemia recording of the original Messengers, there's Birdland with Brownie - at least those are staples. Then I'm very fond of the hippsippy chicken 'n dumplins double set with a returning Mobley, there's the other Birdland double set w/Shorter, which by comparison both to that band's studio sets and the other live sets I never really warmed to that much ... then there's Three Blind Mice (United Artists, right?), and next the fine Limelight one with Frank Mitchell, and by 1968 another label caught the band with Billy Harper ... plenty to choose from, really. But no desert island material except for the first two. My essential Blakey would be a mix of studio and live - first I'd pick the Bohemia material, next Free for All ... and that band, at that point in time, would be my big wish for a live recording to turn up.

Although not on Blue Note, UGETSU is a live recording of this band, recorded 8 months before FREE FOR ALL.

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And yet it doesn't quite come off. I find it among the least compelling Blakey albums up to 1964.

Whereas FFA is one of the best.

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God, there are so many great live recordings...this could certainly be another topic altogether.

For starters, here is some stuff that I just find essential:

Miles Davis in Europe (plus much else by Miles)

Great Concert of Mingus

Coltrane at Vanguard

Monk at Town Hall

Blakey at Birdland

Duke at Carnegie Hall

VSOP quintet

En Route--Scofield

Jazz at Massey hall

Randy Weston at Monterey

Playing--Old and New Dreams

Rabo de Nube--Charles Lloyd

Full House--Wes Montgomery

...it could go on endlessly...

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God, there are so many great live recordings...this could certainly be another topic altogether.

For starters, here is some stuff that I just find essential:

Miles Davis in Europe (plus much else by Miles)

Great Concert of Mingus

Coltrane at Vanguard

Monk at Town Hall

Blakey at Birdland

Duke at Carnegie Hall

VSOP quintet

En Route--Scofield

Jazz at Massey hall

Randy Weston at Monterey

Playing--Old and New Dreams

Rabo de Nube--Charles Lloyd

Full House--Wes Montgomery

...it could go on endlessly...

It already has -

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