Milestones

drummerless groups

75 posts in this topic

I am first of all a big fan of jazz drumming. Nevertheless, I sometimes go for the soft side represented by the drummerless group. I am thinking not of solos or duos, but groups at least three in number. Most such configurations I have enjoyed are that size. My favorite would have to be Jimmy Giuffre 3 (the one "The Train and the River," "Crawdad Suite," etc). Giuffre is the pioneer in this kind of group, and perhaps the pinnacle. I have not heard a lot of the later trio with Bley and Swallow, though I do like Fly Away Litlte Bird, which must be among his last recordings.

Another good one is Power of Three by Michel Pettrucianni, Jim Hall, and Wayne Shorter (though Shorter is absent on several tracks). Jim Hall is indeed one of the great figures in drummerless groups. We should also include Something Special; and there is quite a bit of drummelress work among the Telarc records (though often solo or duo).

I don't think I would include records that use overdubs.

Anyway, I am curious to hear your drummerless recommendations.

Edited by Milestones

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One of my favorites is the Lucky Thompson Trio on ABC- Paramount (LT, Oscar Pettiford, and guitarist Skeeter Best). Another nice one with Pettiford is the Teddy Charles all-Ellington-pieces trio date on Jubilee, with Hall Overton on piano. Jim Hall's own first album on Pacific Jazz with Carl Perkins and Red Mitchell is a gem. Beware the version where Dick Bock had Larry Bunker dub in drum accompaniment.

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The Trio - Billy Bean, Hal Galper, Walter Norris

Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Malachi Favors on Nessa and other labels

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The Oscar Peterson trio with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown

Edited by Guy

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Giuffre? The pioneer? I guess the OP has never heard of Nat King Cole. Or Red Norvo.

Edited by JETman

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Bechet - Spanier Big Four and the Delta Four with Roy Eldridge and Joe Marsala.

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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Vandermark's Free Fall trio, which I think was patterned somewhat after Giuffre's trio.

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True, one has to credit Nat Cole and Oscar Peterson. I guess I'm thinking of a group where there's at least one horn or reed.

There is also the News for Lulu group of Zorn, Lewis, Frisell. Kind of cool, but I find a little goes a long way.

Edited by Milestones

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Art Ensemble of Chicago without a drummer?

There's also the String Trio of New York, though I don't think I've found one album I'd call a true masterpiece.

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True, one has to credit Nat Cole and Oscar Peterson. I guess I'm thinking of a group where there's at least one horn or reed.

Lester Young with Nat Cole and Red Callender

Edited by Guy

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The Oscar Peterson trio with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown

Esp. the Stratford Shakespearean Festival one IMO.

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It occurs to me that The World Saxophone Quartet (when they actually are a quartet) belongs here too.

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I was just listening to this; wonderful stuff:

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Leave us not forget the excellent and almost forgotten Clarence Profit Trio, which I believe pioneered the piano-guitar-bass format. Nothing on YouTube, but some of the group's work can be found on Spotify. Profit was a very "advanced" player, as they say; dig him on "Tropical Nights," for example. Intimations of Monk at times.

New York, February 15, 1939
Clarence Profit Trio: Profit (piano); Billy Moore (guitar); Ben Brown (bass).

  • Don't Leave Me
  • There'll Be Some Changes Made
  • I Got Rhythm
  • Down Home
  • Tropical Nights
  • Tea For Two


New York, November 29, 1939

  • Body and Soul
  • The Blues (rejected)


New York, January 5, 1940

  • Body and Soul
  • I Didn't Know What Time it Was


New York, September 11, 1940
Jimmy Shirley replaces Billy Moore

  • Dark Eyes
  • Times Square Blues
  • Hot and Bothered
  • Azure


The 9/11 session was for Decca, the rest Brunswick/Columbia

Clarence Profit was born in New York City on June 26, 1912. Herman Profit, his father, played piano professionally, his cousin was pianist Sinclair Mills. Clarence was only 3 when he began playing piano and he led a 10-piece band while still in his teens; they played various New York venues, such as the Bamboo Inn, the Alhambra, and the Renaissance. He worked with guitarist Teddy Bunn in the Washboard Serenaders group during 1930 and '31. One reason why he is relatively obscure is that he visited his grandparents in Antigua in the 1930s, remaining in the West Indies for 4 or 5 years. He led his own band in Antigua and Bermuda, among other places, returning to New York City in November, 1936. There he formed a trio which had great success at clubs like George's Tavern, New York (1937-39); the Ritz Carlton, Boston (1938); and, back in New York, the Yeah Man Club and Café Society (1939), the Village Vanguard (1940 and 1944), Kelly's Stables (1940-43), Performers' and Music Guild Club (1942). Profit also co-composed "Lullaby in Rhythm" with Edgar Sampson. He died in New York City, Octiber 22, 1944.

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Surprised no one's mentioned Ahmad Jamal's original trio with Ray Crawford, guitar; Israel Crosby, bass.

Also, same instrumentation, Jimmy Raney: Wisteria (w/Tommy Flanagan, George Mraz).

Tom Harrell has been touring under the name Trio of Life, with members of his quintet (Danny Grissett, piano; Ugonna Okegwo , bass). They are as yet unrecorded.

Edited by fasstrack

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Glenn Ferris' trios on Enja: trombone, cello and bass.

MI0000162878.jpg

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Django!

Hear hear. And that same Gypsy Jazz format, usually solo and ryhthm guitars, violin, bass, sometimes horns----popularized by Django, Grapelli, et. al is still madly popular worldwide.

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41JJR94X08L.jpg

Ron Carter - The Golden Striker, with Russell Malone and Mulgrew Miller. I know that some critics weren't very enthusiastic about this one, but I've always really liked it. As someone who was just getting into jazz at that time, I wanted to hear Ron Carter, and it was my first album featuring any of the musicians involved. The playing is impeccable, the camaraderie is apparent and the song selection is strong.

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Ron Carter - Jazz, My Romance, with Kenny Barron and Herb Ellis. This is a loose date with some tasty playing from all three.

41h4hgSWIgL._SY300_.jpg

Ray Brown/Monty Alexander/Russell Malone - I haven't pulled this one out in a while. According to Allmusic, this was Brown's last session. It might have been my first time hearing Ray Brown (unless it was on Peterson's Night Train).

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Also, the Anthony Davis / Abdul Wadud / James Newton trio.

MI0002518373.jpg

MI0002757900.jpg

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Armstrong's original Hot 5

In a similar vein, Clarence Williams' Blue Five, with Bechet and Armstrong, "Santa Claus Blues" -- that Bechet solo!

And the Blue Five with the incredible "Texas Moaner"

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Clearly a lot of great stuff. I'd forgotten about some of these records (usually trios) in my own collection.

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