HutchFan

Playing Favorites: Reflections on Jazz in the 1970s

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Weekly Recap - PLAYING FAVORITES: Reflections on Jazz in the 1970s 

Red Garland – Feelin' Red (Muse/32 Jazz, 1979)
Dexter Gordon – Nights at the Keystone (Blue Note, 2 LPs, 1985)
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – In this Korner (Concord, 1978)
Walter Norris & Aladár Pege – Synchronicity (Enja/Inner City, 1979)
Jean-Luc Ponty – Cosmic Messenger (Atlantic, 1978)
Steve Kuhn – Non-Fiction (ECM, 1978)
Jaki Byard – Family Man (Muse/32 Jazz, 1979)

 

Some brief write-ups on the blog this week. Nothing major.  

As always, feedback welcomed.  :) 

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Nice Dex set.  Tough to pick just one from his 70s output.  And I like the Byard.

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The Dexter is good. I am a big fan of George Cables and that particular band. 

The Blakey is pretty good as I recall.  

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You must be getting close to the end. How many more weeks' recaps do we have to look forward to? I will miss them. 

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12 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

You must be getting close to the end. How many more weeks' recaps do we have to look forward to? I will miss them. 

The last entry will be on December 31, 2020.  So there's about ten more weeks to go. 

I'll likely post a few more things after that though.  Some wrap-up type stuff. 

Plus I'll post my list of other records that could've been included in the survey, some of which I have heard, many of which I haven't.

 

 

Edited by HutchFan

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As with all things Organissimo, this blog has been a (well-spent) drain on my pocketbook 😎

I have found this decade to be extremely rich and deep and thanks HutchFan, for taking the time to point out a bunch of things that were previously unknown to me.  It has also prompted me to pull out stuff that had been sitting dormant in my vinyl collection.  When I started buying jazz (early 80s), this was the only era that was really in print, at least in the middle of Kansas.

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33 minutes ago, Eric said:

When I started buying jazz (early 80s), this was the only era that was really in print, at least in the middle of Kansas.

Tough era to start, lots of young guys in nice suits and hats doing polite albums on major labels.  And cassettes at that.   The CD revolution later in the decade into the 90's was a miracle.

 

Hot House Flowers (album) - Wikipedia

  popsike.com - RARE JAZZ funk soul LP KENT JORDAN "NO QUESTION ABOUT IT"  ORIG US COLUMBIA 84 - auction details

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Not sure that this would be my Dexter choice from the 70s, not even slightly, but if the goal was to focus on Post-Return, my only choice for Top Choice would be Manhattan Symphonie! Same thing, only not too much of it!

also not sure why there needs to be any Blakey 70s album on this list (but I get it). However, this, nor any of these NextGen Messengers would be on it. Instead, I would go strait to - and stay - at the Anthengain/Buhania combo on Prestige, records that actually sounded contemporary-in-the-continuum at the time - Woody Shaw/Carter Jefferson/Cedar Walton. RHODES!!!!! UBER 70s!!!!

Once that band (such as it was) quit, it was never the same in that way The Bobby Watson bands made some good(enough) records, but that Pomeranov guy and that Schnitter guy never even started to do it for me. Too bad that Watxon & Williams kinda passed me by in the process, but oh well...time has allowed me to get on top of that.And by the time the overalls came of...it didn't get interesting again foe me until 1984's New York Scene. And after that, I pretty much stopped caring, the memories didn't need defiling.

5 minutes ago, felser said:

Tough era to start, 

Can't speak for Kansas, but this was a GREAT era for cutout bins and the glories therein. and also the first real beginnings of non-niche used stores (at least here). You go back and look at the Schwann catalogs of the very early part of the decade and look at the deletions...SO many of them ended up in cutout bins throughout the 70s and into the 80s. And the longer they didn't sell, the more marked down they got (and the more likely you were to find them in Woolcos than any actual record store. Hell, I didn't start routinely paying full price for over 50% of my collection WELL into the 90s, maybe even the 2000s.

Bottom Feeders' Glory Days!

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

also not sure why there needs to be any Blakey 70s album on this list (but I get it). However, this, nor any of these NextGen Messengers would be on it. Instead, I would go strait to - and stay - at the Anthengain/Buhania combo on Prestige, records that actually sounded contemporary-in-the-continuum at the time - Woody Shaw/Carter Jefferson/Cedar Walton. RHODES!!!!! UBER 70s!!!!

Once that band (such as it was) quit, it was never the same in that way The Bobby Watson bands made some good(enough) records, but that Pomeranov guy and that Schnitter guy never even started to do it for me. Too bad that Watxon & Williams kinda passed me by in the process, but oh well...time has allowed me to get on top of that.And by the time the overalls came of...it didn't get interesting again foe me until 1984's New York Scene. And after that, I pretty much stopped caring, the memories didn't need defiling.

Can't speak for Kansas, but this was a GREAT era for cutout bins and the glories therein. and also the first real beginnings of non-niche used stores (at least here). You go back and look at the Schwann catalogs of the very early part of the decade and look at the deletions...SO many of them ended up in cutout bins throughout the 70s and into the 80s. And the longer they didn't sell, the more marked down they got (and the more likely you were to find them in Woolcos than any actual record store. Hell, I didn't start routinely paying full price for over 50% of my collection WELL into the 90s, maybe even the 2000s.

Bottom Feeders' Glory Days!

With you on Dexter, give me the best of the Steeplechase's for the decade.  I also am glad for "Homecoming", with the Woody Shaw/Louis Hayes group doing the honors.  They were one of my favorites of the era.

I like Anthenagin/Buhaina also, dig Cedar's Rhodes and Mickey Bass's electric bass, as well as the Woody/Jefferson front like.  I also really like this one for Watson's playing and Watson and Walter Davis's writing ("Time Will Tell" is one of my all-time favorites).   I'm with you on Schnitter and Pomeranov.  They were certainly competent, but not inspiring.    Wynton actually brought some real fire to that group at first when he joined, for a while.   The "Live at Bubba's" semi-bootlegs are my favorites.  Things really blanded out with the recordings on Concord (as if that's a surprise).

  Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - Gypsy Folk Tales - Amazon.com Music

I wasn't finding a lot of great cutouts by the 80's (I did in the 70's), but was finding a lot of wonderful used records.   

 

 

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I'm seeing that Ornette was covered back in February, so I'm wondering when, how,  or if harmolodics are going to be covered. Tales of Captain Black maybe? The decades almost over!

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3 hours ago, JSngry said:

Can't speak for Kansas, but this was a GREAT era for cutout bins and the glories therein. and also the first real beginnings of non-niche used stores (at least here). You go back and look at the Schwann catalogs of the very early part of the decade and look at the deletions...SO many of them ended up in cutout bins throughout the 70s and into the 80s. And the longer they didn't sell, the more marked down they got (and the more likely you were to find them in Woolcos than any actual record store. Hell, I didn't start routinely paying full price for over 50% of my collection WELL into the 90s, maybe even the 2000s.

Bottom Feeders' Glory Days!

I can't even count the number of Blue Notes I bought as cutouts while in high school, 1977-81, in Bloomington, Indiana. They were all 70s United Artists pressings (either White or Black b) and while in recent years I've replaced many of them with earlier and better pressings, I still have a lot of them from that era. Most I bought from a hip record store where an older cat (trumpet player) who worked there took a shine to my enthusiasm and started calling me when new batches would come in. But in a not unrelated note, I bought Sonny's "A Night at the Village Vanguard" at a fucking K-Mart!

Coda: My Dexter pick from the decade is Swiss Nights Vol. 1. 

Edited by Mark Stryker

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55 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

I can't even count the number of Blue Notes I bought as cutouts while in high school, 1977-81, in Bloomington, Indiana. They were all 70s United Artists pressings (either White or Black b) and while in recent years I've replaced many of them with earlier and better pressings, I still have a lot of them from that era. Most I bought from a hip record store where an older cat (trumpet player) who worked there took a shine to my enthusiasm and started calling me when new batches would come in. But in a not unrelated note, I bought Sonny's "A Night at the Village Vanguard" at a fucking K-Mart!

Coda: My Dexter pick from the decade is Swiss Nights Vol. 1. 

4 hours ago, JSngry said:

Can't speak for Kansas, but this was a GREAT era for cutout bins and the glories therein. and also the first real beginnings of non-niche used stores (at least here). You go back and look at the Schwann catalogs of the very early part of the decade and look at the deletions...SO many of them ended up in cutout bins throughout the 70s and into the 80s. And the longer they didn't sell, the more marked down they got (and the more likely you were to find them in Woolcos than any actual record store. Hell, I didn't start routinely paying full price for over 50% of my collection WELL into the 90s, maybe even the 2000s.

Bottom Feeders' Glory Days!

Now I do remember - say from 1985 onward - buying a bunch of the Blue Notes Mark describes from JayBee Jazz out of St. Louis.  They would mail you a list.  Forgot all about that.  And I bought some vintage Blue Notes off other lists - including a beautiful original copy of Our Thing for something like $30, which seemed enormous at the time.

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RE: cut-out bins at lower-end stores (Woolworth's, etc.) -- my success increased by knowing which day of the week the rack jobber came to re-fill.  I'd run over after school every Wednesday and pick-up mono Verves for 57cents (with punch holes on the lower left cover front).  The only Blue Note among my Woolworth grabs was Sam Rivers' 'A New Conception' and I had no idea who he was.  (Yes, I've still got it.)

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I remember the local WH Smith newsagent store having a big sale of cutouts in the mid 1970s which I used to raid after school. Most of them 50p each. I picked up some US Atlantic’s (Clarence Wheeler, Von Freeman), a couple of the Prestige twofers and a Eddie Henderson Capricorn. Still have them. There were tons of Stax  in there which wasn’t of interest. No Blue Notes - very elusive here at the time until the first lot of 1977/78 domestic reissues followed by ‘Jazz File’.

I suspect that a lot of those Atlantic/Stax were used as shipping ballast !

Edited by sidewinder

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9 hours ago, Eric said:

Now I do remember - say from 1985 onward - buying a bunch of the Blue Notes Mark describes from JayBee Jazz out of St. Louis.  They would mail you a list.  Forgot all about that.  And I bought some vintage Blue Notes off other lists - including a beautiful original copy of Our Thing for something like $30, which seemed enormous at the time.

Infation factor between 1985 and now is 2.42, so that is like a $72 album today.  It was enormous, but a great choice!

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Our Thing was a tough one back in the day, the one Joe BN that went OOP early and was not in any store. I got lucky and found a copy in the campus radios station's "jazz" library ca. 1976 or so, and traded, like two John Klemmer impulse! records for it. I kinda felt bad about such a lopsided deal, but otoh, that's where they were at, Joe was still very much a cult figure, "Blue Note" was full-frontal New Note, and John Klemmer was making a lot of noise for the nowsoundlazzkids and the station had not yet been serviced with his records. So hey.

Every time I think of this story, and a few others like it, it reminds me of how some of the records that we take for common these days were once the province of a very few, a very select and limited audience, people who were the hippest of the hip. Our Thing, Unity, Indestructable, etc. They were released, sold a few copies, and then went OOP, not to come back until the CD era. It boggles the mind sometimes.

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Our Thing was a tough one back in the day, the one Joe BN that went OOP early and was not in any store. I got lucky and found a copy in the campus radios station's "jazz" library ca. 1976 or so, and traded, like two John Klemmer impulse! records for it. I kinda felt bad about such a lopsided deal, but otoh, that's where they were at, Joe was still very much a cult figure, "Blue Note" was full-frontal New Note, and John Klemmer was making a lot of noise for the nowsoundlazzkids and the station had not yet been serviced with his records. So hey.

Every time I think of this story, and a few others like it, it reminds me of how some of the records that we take for common these days were once the province of a very few, a very select and limited audience, people who were the hippest of the hip. Our Thing, Unity, Indestructable, etc. They were released, sold a few copies, and then went OOP, not to come back until the CD era. It boggles the mind sometimes.

Yes to all of this. I never had "Our Thing" until it was reissued in the 1980s on LP when Blue Note was reactivated. I had heard about "Unity" for years before one guy in my circle managed to cop a cassette from someone  c. 1985. "Shades of Redd." "True Blue" "Hubcap," "A New Jazz Conception," "Happenings," Leapin' and Lopin," "Sonny Clark Trio," all of the Lee Morgan BN dates before "The Cooker" -- these were all super scarce because they went out of print so fast. 

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Our Thing, Unity, Indestructable, etc. They were released, sold a few copies, and then went OOP, not to come back until the CD era. It boggles the mind sometimes.

All 3 of those came out in Europe in the early/mid-80s on the French Pathe Marconi pressings, which is when I first bought/heard them. Mana from Heaven !

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All I can say is that I am thankful to have started my interest in jazz as CDs took off as a format and resulted in so many reissues, plus plentiful Liberty or UA BNs in bins where I shopped - Vintage Vinyl and Euclid Records in St Louis, then Papa Jazz in Columbia SC.

It was when I got my hands on Japanese BN LPs from the Jazz Record Center that I got a much better understanding of what else had come out back when, but fortunately the internet and Amazon came along ...

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5 hours ago, JSngry said:

Every time I think of this story, and a few others like it, it reminds me of how some of the records that we take for common these days were once the province of a very few, a very select and limited audience, people who were the hippest of the hip. Our Thing, Unity, Indestructable, etc. They were released, sold a few copies, and then went OOP, not to come back until the CD era. It boggles the mind sometimes.

"A Fickle Sonance" was the holy grail for me.  Even Jerry Gordon at 3rd St. Jazz didn't have that one around.  

Edited by felser

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I guess one positive feature of being "old" is that I was around when all those Blue Notes came out on LP.

I bought them all plus many others. Now have them all on CD.

My favorite Dexter from the 70's would be a tie between - The Panther on Prestige, and Swiss Nights 1 o Steeplechase.

My favorite Art Blakey / Jazz Messengers from the 70's would probably be - Backgammon. That one has Bill Hardman and Albert Dailey, both of whom I very much like.

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25 minutes ago, Peter Friedman said:

I guess one positive feature of being "old" is that I was around when all those Blue Notes came out on LP.

I bought them all plus many others. Now have them all on CD.

Same here! I started collecting LPs intensively in the seventies, due to lack of money before - exams in 1966!

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21 hours ago, felser said:

Tough era to start, lots of young guys in nice suits and hats doing polite albums on major labels.  And cassettes at that.   The CD revolution later in the decade into the 90's was a miracle.

 

 

  popsike.com - RARE JAZZ funk soul LP KENT JORDAN "NO QUESTION ABOUT IT"  ORIG US COLUMBIA 84 - auction details

Kent Jordan is a fine musician, not deserving of mockery. I've seen him live several times in the last few years, leading his own group and mostly with Kidd Jordan. They are a dynamic team.

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22 hours ago, JSngry said:

also not sure why there needs to be any Blakey 70s album on this list (but I get it). However, this, nor any of these NextGen Messengers would be on it. Instead, I would go strait to - and stay - at the Anthengain/Buhania combo on Prestige, records that actually sounded contemporary-in-the-continuum at the time - Woody Shaw/Carter Jefferson/Cedar Walton. RHODES!!!!! UBER 70s!!!!

Once that band (such as it was) quit, it was never the same in that way The Bobby Watson bands made some good(enough) records, but that Pomeranov guy and that Schnitter guy never even started to do it for me. Too bad that Watxon & Williams kinda passed me by in the process, but oh well...

Blakey's on the list because I dig the records he made in the 70s. 

I'm surprised you gents don't like Bobby Watson/James Williams Messengers. I think they were TIGHT! IMO, the LPs they made for Concord and Timeless are excellent and very under-appreciated.

I like Blakey's Prestige LPs from the earlier part of the decade, but they aren't nearly as compelling to me as the band heard on In This Korner ... Honestly, I don't like the band with Wynton as much either. For example, I'd take either volume of In My Prime over the much more well-known Album of the Year.

 

22 hours ago, JSngry said:

Not sure that this would be my Dexter choice from the 70s, not even slightly, but if the goal was to focus on Post-Return, my only choice for Top Choice would be Manhattan Symphonie! Same thing, only not too much of it!

I could have EASILY chosen Manhattan Symphonie or one of the SteepleChases (say, The Apartment or maybe Lullabye for a Monster). They're GREAT records.

But I think there's something special about the LIVE vibe at the Keystone. ... And, more than anything else, it's the LP that I pull from the shelf more frequently than those others. It's my favorite. 

 

Edited by HutchFan

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