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chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez

extensive baby face article

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This is unbelievable. Not the story but that someone put it all together. Fantastic.

And now I want to know, since Ace has done a comp or two of the Dolphin labels how the hell have those two earliest tracks never been reissued?  Nor have the Vee Jays ... total mystery given the fame that he did acquire in the reissue years for his BN recordings. 

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Thanks so much for sharing, Chewy--about as deep a dive into Baby Face Willette as we're ever likely to get.

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Damn!  Just time enough for a cursory glance now. Clearly I'm going to have to spend an hour digging into this sometime.  What a treasure trove of info!

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¡Gracias por el artículo, Sr Chew!

This, as was said, is about as much as we will ever know. What a tragic story. 

My favorite of the four Blue Note albums is, far and away, "Here 'T'is". I'm not certain why this session had such a great and consistent groove, but it's probably the person and sound of Lou Donaldson. And now, we have an extra track from that session which is of the same high standard. Baby Face uses Freddie Green voicings when comping, where the top note of a chord moves a semitone at the chord change. This is a highly effective technique, simple but powerful.

Must chase up the Argo material, no doubt readily available in the Rice Krispie format.

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i have this single sided promo copy and do you know what it is cut hotter than the lp i think,  i have compared

 

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you really think face played as far as Cuba?  Thats the last place id expect to see him play, but there you go-

is this the only released vee jay item- so theres a whole session of this stuff, probably lost?  (remember that giant stash of tapes on ebay the other year)

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Edited by chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez

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A terrific article, well written and illustrated by Bobby Tanzillo; he deserves a lot of credit. Thanks for the link Chewy. 

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I just ran into this article out there while looking for information on Baby Face's years on the Chicago scene in the late '60s for a friend who is involved in the jazz education world there.  It really a stunning piece of research and a wonderful article about a masterful musician about whom much too little information has been available for so long.  Bobby Tanzilo is to be congratulated.

Tanzilo's article clarifies or settles a number of questions about Willette's background and life beyond his recordings that have been rolling around for years.  Fascinating that his sisters also recorded for a major gospel label.  And the information about his father, the pro-segregation Arkansas radio preacher known as Prophet Willett, also served to help close another odd circle in my research on the voting rights movement in the south (another snippet of information here: https://bit.ly/2Rko5nv)  It was a connection that I never would have made.  

Listening on this cold dreary NYC afternoon to the wonderful Behind the 8-Ball, and deeply loving it.

Edited by Al in NYC

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