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mhatta

The Lost Dauntless Session of Philly Joe Jones w/ Elmo Hope, John Gilmore

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Recently I realized that Michael Fitzgerald's excellent Philly Joe Jones Leader Entry lists the following unissued session:

Date: September 1963
Location: New York City
Label: Dauntless

Philly Joe Jones (ldr), John Gilmore (ts), Tommy Turrentine (t), Charles Greenlee (tb), Elmo Hope (p), Larry Ridley (b), Philly Joe Jones (d)

a.     [unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Lord CDROM 8.0 lists this session with no further details.

I'm a huge fan of Philly Joe, Elmo Hope and John Gilmore, so this looks very interesting.  There is an excellent recording called "Sounds from Rikers Island", also recorded in 1963 for Audio Fidelity (Dauntless' parent company?) by the similar personnel.

Does anybody know the whereabouts of Dauntless tape vault?  Is there any possibility that the session tape survives?

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Don’t know unfortunately. But The Rikers Island sessions are fantastic. Really dig Elmo Hope and John Gilmore. Two underrated figures in jazz.

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I heard the Rikers Island only on tape once. Remember a very far out Night in Tunisia, but I think bad recorded. Well I don´t care for bad sound quality as a stone bebopper and used to rusty sound of Birdland Tapes etc , .

Remember also 2 great vocals "It shouldn´t happen to a dream" with Earl Coleman. Hope is just fantastic comping the singer, he should have done that more often.

And a funny "Groovin High" with I don´t know who doin some really funny scat.

But can someone tell me the story behind that Rikers Island. I always knew that this was a jail, and I read somewhere that Philly J J was incarcerated there in 63. Was that record made in jail ?

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it was not recorded in prison but apparently briefly after PJJ and Hope were released from Riker's island... I just looked into this dissertation on PJJ

https://rucore.libraries.rutgers.edu/rutgers-lib/40418/

where the author claims he couldn't find definite proof that PJJ was in there but that this seemed plausible. (For Hope, the situation seems a bit clearer.) Going by Nat Hentoff's liner notes, this session was a joined project of producer Sid Frey and of Walt Dickerson who wanted to highlight these problems and give some exposure to musicians that had fallen through the cracks... from the liner notes, it is unclear whether everybody who plays on the album had been through drug problems and incarceration (Gilmore? Boykins?). A few of the musicians had not been heard of much since the late 40s so they are likely candidates: Earl Coleman, the scat vocalist Marcel Daniels (who recorded with Gene Ammons in the 40s just like Coleman), and sax player Freddie Douglas (who played with Hope and PJJ in Joe Morris band)

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That interview is a treasure trove of history. THANK YOU for posting the link, Niko!

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Great stuff.

I'm going to reread 4 Lives In The Bebop Business.

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