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Jack Wilson, Pianist

45 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, mjzee said:

I wonder how Jack Wilson got to Blue Note.  His first BN album wasn't produced by Lion or Wolff, instead by Jack Tracy.  All west coast musicians.  Not a typical BN production.

A Bobby Hutcherson connection perhaps? - via the Gerald Wilson Orchestra.

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Jack Tracy was working with Limelight, and had done albums for them with Gene Harris, Les MCann, Art Blakey, a.o. Looks like in 1967, he got on with Liberty and the Pacific Jazz/World Pacific team, and Liberty is probably who put him on blue Note for however long he was on there (he also did Coldwater Flat). How that pertains to Jack Wilson specifically, I don't know.  But Wilson had a reputation as a "musician's musician", so between that and Tracy already working with McCann and getting ezposure to the LA thing, I can see that hookup developing. As it pertains to Blue Note specifically, that's at least 50/50 irrelevant at that point. It was all Liberty there for a little bit.

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24 minutes ago, sidewinder said:

A Bobby Hutcherson connection perhaps? - via the Gerald Wilson Orchestra.

FWIW, looking through the personnel for every album Wilson was ever on (before his BN debut), Bobby Hutcherson is the only musician (that I see) who ever specifically had leader-dates for Blue Note.  There were a tiny handful of others who were sideman on various BN dates (Carmell Jones and Charles Tolliver were the only two I think I saw), but Hutcherson was the only one with more significant recording experience for BN.

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52 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Jack Tracy was working with Limelight, and had done albums for them with Gene Harris, Les MCann, Art Blakey, a.o. Looks like in 1967, he got on with Liberty and the Pacific Jazz/World Pacific team, and Liberty is probably who put him on blue Note for however long he was on there (he also did Coldwater Flat). How that pertains to Jack Wilson specifically, I don't know.  But Wilson had a reputation as a "musician's musician", so between that and Tracy already working with McCann and getting ezposure to the LA thing, I can see that hookup developing. As it pertains to Blue Note specifically, that's at least 50/50 irrelevant at that point. It was all Liberty there for a little bit.

The other interesting note is that Wilson's second BN album, Easterly Winds, is solid classic BN, from the band, to the recording at Rudy's, to the cover by Reid Miles and Francis Wolff.  Produced by Duke Pearson (after Lion's retirement).

R-2856433-1312236020.jpeg.jpg

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48 minutes ago, mjzee said:

The other interesting note is that Wilson's second BN album, Easterly Winds, is solid classic BN, from the band, to the recording at Rudy's, to the cover by Reid Miles and Francis Wolff.  Produced by Duke Pearson (after Lion's retirement).

R-2856433-1312236020.jpeg.jpg

The cover picture on the newly-issued "Call Me -- Jazz From The Penthouse" comes from the same photo session by Francis Wolff. Same tie, shirt, pants -- even the same Jack Wilson! ^_^

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So I'm listening to the two Blue Note albums I have:  Something Personal and Easterly Winds.  I got these years ago, not knowing anything about Jack Wilson, and I think I listened to them only once.  (Sorry; I have accumulated too many albums.)

As soon as I put on Something Personal, I knew instantly that this was not Rudy Van Gelder.  The piano really rang, and the bass had a lot of presence.  Sure enough, I checked the credits, and it was recorded in LA.  It is a nice recording, despite what sounded like a little distortion in places.  

Then I put on Easterly Winds, and there was that Englewood Cliffs sound.  Pure Blue Note, meaning I had to hit the mono switch to bring up the bass and piano a little.  

Very nice records, though.  I wonder if the one tune about the parkway at 5 pm inspired "The World is a Ghetto." 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Teasing the Korean, when you say "albums" do you have the actual vinyl records or the CDs?  Cuscuna had Something Personal remixed for the 90s Blue Note Conn CD, so perhaps the original 1966 stereo mixdown had some distortion which you are hearing.  I don't recall any distortion on the CD remix reissue.

IIRC, the 1996 CD reissue of Something Personal was a remix from the 4-track session tapes (recorded in Los Angeles).  The CD does not contain the original stereo mix published on LP circa 1966.  The 1996 CD also marked the first release of the outtake, Mr. Day (a Coltrane composition), also recorded at those L.A. 1966 sessions.  If you like Harbor Freeway 5 p.m., Wilson cut a faster version on his debut 1963 Atlantic LP with Roy Ayers (listen below). 

More info can be found about Jack Wilson in this Organissimo megathread: -->

Harbor Freeway (1963 version)

One and Four (aka Mr. Day)

 

Edited by monkboughtlunch

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39 minutes ago, monkboughtlunch said:

Teasing the Korean, when you say "albums" do you have the actual vinyl records or the CDs?  Cuscuna had Something Personal remixed for the 90s Blue Note Conn CD, so perhaps the original 1966 stereo mixdown had some distortion which you are hearing.  I don't recall any distortion on the CD remix reissue.

The CDs.  The distortion wasn't major, but I heard it in a few places.  Maybe I'm distorting. 

 

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Just now, Teasing the Korean said:

The CDs.  The distortion wasn't major, but I heard it in a few places.  Maybe I'm distorting. 

 

If you dig the Wilson stuff with Ayers, the 1963 Atlantic album is worth searching out.  It was published in Japan on CD (a beautiful remaster) just a few years ago.

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3 minutes ago, monkboughtlunch said:

If you dig the Wilson stuff with Ayers, the 1963 Atlantic album is worth searching out.  It was published in Japan on CD (a beautiful remaster) just a few years ago.

Thanks for the heads up!

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Curiously, I was listening in the car yesterday to a trio session with Jack Wilson, Leroy Vinnegar and Philly Joe Jones.

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On ‎30‎.‎01‎.‎2019 at 9:09 PM, mjzee said:

The other interesting note is that Wilson's second BN album, Easterly Winds, is solid classic BN, from the band, to the recording at Rudy's, to the cover by Reid Miles and Francis Wolff.  Produced by Duke Pearson (after Lion's retirement).

R-2856433-1312236020.jpeg.jpg

That's the Reid Miles cover that looks like a Patrick Roques cover.

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1 hour ago, king ubu said:

That's the Reid Miles cover that looks like a Patrick Roques cover.

Or that's the Reid Miles cover that looks especially like the inspiration for several of Patrick Roques' covers.

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On 5/4/2016 at 2:07 PM, Ted O'Reilly said:

Jack was a topic here before...  Through it, his family got in touch with me about the solo recordings I had done of him.  I sent them the masters, but I don't know if they wish to do anything with them.  A very nice man, and fine pianist...

I've enjoyed your recording of Jack from the 1987 live gig in Canada.  Can you talk about the recording process?  Nice stereo mic'ing on the piano.  Jack's playing is great.  Was it recorded to digital or analog?  Multi-track or direct to stereo two track? 

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Two AKG 414 condenser microphones, direct to a Sony TCD-D10 digital recorder.  No mixer, no EQing, absolutely whatever the mics picked up.  Since there were no audience mics, so the crowd at the club sounds somewhat distant and smaller.

For solo piano, I have always tried to make it sound like I'm the one playing the piano, so the mics are at about ear level as one's sitting at the keyboard, and 8-10 inches apart (head width? :) ) and a few inches back from where the hammers hit the strings, though that kind of depends on the player.  Some are pounders, some are strokers...

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Ted, wonder if you kept track of how many sessions you recorded at The Montreal Bistro and at other venues have been issued on  CD.

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3 hours ago, Ted O'Reilly said:

Two AKG 414 condenser microphones, direct to a Sony TCD-D10 digital recorder.  No mixer, no EQing, absolutely whatever the mics picked up.  Since there were no audience mics, so the crowd at the club sounds somewhat distant and smaller.

For solo piano, I have always tried to make it sound like I'm the one playing the piano, so the mics are at about ear level as one's sitting at the keyboard, and 8-10 inches apart (head width? :) ) and a few inches back from where the hammers hit the strings, though that kind of depends on the player.  Some are pounders, some are strokers...

Great job and superb recording!  Were any additional Wilson songs or sets recorded beyond what is on the album on iTunes?  

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17 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

Ted, wonder if you kept track of how many sessions you recorded at The Montreal Bistro and at other venues have been issued on  CD.

Hmmm....  I'd have to think about that.  Probably in the 30 to 40 range.  That'd be out of around 500 events.

15 hours ago, monkboughtlunch said:

Great job and superb recording!  Were any additional Wilson songs or sets recorded beyond what is on the album on iTunes?  

I think not.  I gave Sandie everything I had.  I haven't done a cross-check of what I sent and what she has made available.  There might have been the same tunes from two different occasions, and a choice was made.  That is up to her.  For the performance series at the Cafe des Copains, and the following Montreal Bistro I usually recorded two sets of about 45 to 55 minutes, and chose an hour's worth for broadcast.  I always asked the player if there was anything they didn't want to use...

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On 13.2.2019 at 10:44 PM, Ted O'Reilly said:

For solo piano, I have always tried to make it sound like I'm the one playing the piano, so the mics are at about ear level as one's sitting at the keyboard, and 8-10 inches apart (head width? :) ) and a few inches back from where the hammers hit the strings, though that kind of depends on the player.  Some are pounders, some are strokers...

:tup:tup:tup

Edited by mikeweil

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