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Larry Kart

The New York Rhythm Section

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That is -- Hank Jones, Barry Galbraith, Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson, NYC studio mainstays in the mid-1950s. Rec. 1956 for Epic -- another Epic LP had them backing (on separate tracks) Jimmy Cleveland, Gene Quill, and Donald Byrd; the four Cleveland performances  from that LP are included here. My expectations were on the modest side, but these 21 tracks are nicely varied in mood and quite interesting in detail, with all hands at or near the top of their game.

51jmarE4YDL._AC_US218_.jpg

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I was surprised to read in Milt Hinton's autobiography (Bass Lines-- with many photos) that he thought he didn't do enough jazz sessions.  It seemed to me  that the NY Rhythm Section was on half the records from the late '50s that I owned. 

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4 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

That is -- Hank Jones, Barry Galbraith, Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson, NYC studio mainstays in the mid-1950s. Rec. 1956 for Epic -- another Epic LP had them backing (on separate tracks) Jimmy Cleveland, Gene Quill, and Donald Byrd; the four Cleveland performances  from that LP are included here. My expectations were on the modest side, but these 21 tracks are nicely varied in mood and quite interesting in detail, with all hands at or near the top of their game.

51jmarE4YDL._AC_US218_.jpg

I searched for that LP for many years, before it was finally re-issued. It offered another too rare opportunity to hear the great jazz studio guitarist of the 50s, Barry Galbraith featured as a soloist, rather than the countless studio sessions he played back then, which would offer at best, one chorus or less of his swinging, linear style.

Galbraith only recorded one album as a leader, "Guitar and the Wind", on which he used Osie Johnson and Milt Hinton, and Eddie Costa rather than Hank Jones. This could've been because it was one of those small group sessions of that time that featured arrangements (Billy Byers and Al Cohn), and Costa was a legendary sight reader of fast, intricate arrangements.

Galbraith's LP also featured Urbie Green, and the wonderful, slightly out of tune flute of Bobby Jaspar, playing such rarities as Raksin's "Love is for the Very Young" (probably the first jazz recording of it), and Osie Johnson's, "Ya Gotta Have Rhythm".

Galbraith's playing career was cut short by a painful nerve disease that left him unable to play the guitar on the same level  that he did in the 50s.

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Galbraith's reading of "He Was Too Good To Me" on the "New York Rhythm Section" album is lovely. 

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17 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Galbraith's reading of "He Was Too Good To Me" on the "New York Rhythm Section" album is lovely. 

Yeah, Barry's approach to solo guitar playing was very unique. They put out a few books of his solo arrangements. He studied with George Russell before GR went off the wall with his LCC, 

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I have a French CBS double CD reissue combining these two LPs:

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The latter included some tracks with the four backing Conte Candoloí, Gene Quill, Seldon Powell, or Jimmy Cleveland, but also some from other groups - Ronnel Bright, Ray Bryant, Sahib Shihab. Columbia recorded a number of sessions that did not produce enough material for a whole LP and ended up in such compilations.

There was a third LP:

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There never was a reissue with all the material involving the Rhythm Section - the Candoli tracks are on a Fresh Sound CD with other sessions of the trumpeter. 

I like the ballad tracks best - there is a nice Milt Hinton feature on "I'm Gettin' Sentimntal Over You".

I always wondered what happened to Galbraith .....

p.s. I cannot find any Donald Byrd tracks with them ...?

Edited by mikeweil

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Must have been wrong about them recording with Byrd. Maybe I was thinking of an ABC-Paramount various individual horns players plus rhythm album of the same era.

Yup -- it's this one:

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Creed-Taylor-Presents-Know-Your-Jazz/release/9029479

Rhythm section is Billy Taylor, Oscar Pettiford, Kenny Clarke.

Bought it 62 years ago for $3.98. Long gone now.

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Nat Pierce in for Hank Jones.

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I jammed with these guys regularly. No recordings, fortunately.

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54 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Nat Pierce in for Hank Jones.

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I jammed with these guys regularly. No recordings, fortunately.

Was Nat doing his neo-Basie shtick there or comping in a more orthodox manner?

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his comping was/is totally compatible with anybody.

I played with these guys too:

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But for real, the best educational experience was playing with these guys:

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Best section I've ever played with, ever.

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3 hours ago, JSngry said:

But for real, the best educational experience was playing with these guys:

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Best section I've ever played with, ever.

Bob Wilber on tenor. Hmm. Didn't know he'd ever played that horn.

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He did a solo or two on the record (Side 1 was minus the alto, Side 2 minus the tenor) and sounded pretty comfortable on the instrument. What was real fun was that in the "charts" for each tune, the solos were notated, so if you hear them on one side and wanted to play them on the other, there they were. Wilber's (he might have just had one, not sure, on a track called "Freemanition", a tribute to Bud Freeman) was/were easy to read, but Seldon Powell's, with their slippery bebop phrasing fully notated (more or less) were hard as hell, at least until the adjustment was made to use the ears more than the eyes.

Really, between the charts and the bios and the explanations of all the various tunes, that was a wonderfully educational play-along record, much more impactful than a simple rhythm section laying out changes for you to fuck up at will without necessarily hearing anything wrong. If ever anybody would take the two sides of the record and perfectly sync them up so that we could hear the full section with all solos (it's the same takes on each side), I'd be in for a copy. I mean, jeeezis, look at that line up, how do they not make for a great section. And on different tunes, you'd have different parts to play. If you covered both sides, you'd have had experience reading lead alto, 2nd alto, plus 1st & 2nd tenor parts. No skating along playing ead all the way, it really gave you experience in navigating harmony parts and voicings, all that good stuff that you don't really learn any other way than by playing in a section. It's becoming an increasingly irrelevant skill, but I still really enjoy hearing a good section.

Oh, the rhythm section was Dick Wellstood, George Duvivier, and Panama Francis. You could do worse...

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9 hours ago, JSngry said:

his comping was/is totally compatible with anybody.

I played with these guys too:

R-7925845-1524344866-5519.jpeg.jpg

R-5140526-1385584253-2624.jpeg.jpg

But for real, the best educational experience was playing with these guys:

R-3220514-1321044596.jpeg.jpg

Best section I've ever played with, ever.

Congrats!  I played with Sonny Rollins, Ray Brown, and Shelly Manne when I turned Way Out West into a quartet session.  My comping is very tasteful and varied, and luckily for all involved, there was no space for me to solo.  

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