HutchFan

Playing Favorites: Reflections on Jazz in the 1970s

974 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, HutchFan said:

I think our gripes with Concord are sometimes true.  Maybe even often true.  But they're not always true.  (I, for one, love those Art Blakey Concords.)

But I know exactly what you're talking about.  What is that!?!?

Interesting how much impact a producer, a label can have.

 

Cool beans. :tup 

 

Some of those Concord LPs were also available in Austria. I never before had heard the Name Ross Tompkins, but purchased one featuring Ross Tompkins with  Joe Venuti, when I heard it in a club and asked the owner what it is. 

From Art Blakey on Concord I only have "In this Korner", which is great. 

In General those labels from the 70s that focussed on acoustic jazz like Pablo and Concord had their own rules...

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Edited by Gheorghe

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The comparison to Pablo is apt. Carl Jefferson liked a particular style and recorded/supported those artists.

Hearing that the Ross Tompkins has Al Cohn I will certainly seek it out. The latter period of Cohn's career holds many delights and I'd like to hear it all ...

otherwise just the Lockjaw from this week's list here.

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There was something about Concord's mixing that took the punch out, especially in the drums. Not the presence, just the punch.

And given the drummers they often used, that was not something that they could afford to do. It's like the old Woody Allen joke about his mom ran all her cooking through the "flavor remover". That's the #1 problem for Concord records with me.

But they did it anyway and now they own everything, so...if it's a bad choice and it succeeds, maybe it's not a bad choice after all.

That bad taste can be a good choice...there's a pattern there across time..."life is not fair", I think it's called?

 

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The list of Concord recordings I like would be very lengthy. The Maybeck piano series has many terrific albums, in my opinion. 

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Just now, Peter Friedman said:

The list of Concord recordings I like would be very lengthy. The Maybeck piano series has many terrific albums, in my opinion. 

Good point about the Maybecks. And the McPartland Piano Jazz broadcast releases, that was a good series.

Rightly or wrongly, though, I don't think of those as "Concord records" as much as I do Concord side projects.

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52 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Good point about the Maybecks. And the McPartland Piano Jazz broadcast releases, that was a good series.

Rightly or wrongly, though, I don't think of those as "Concord records" as much as I do Concord side projects.

I would have to say "rightly and wrongly". The Piano Jazz was just a licensing thing, so yeah, not really "Concord" at all. But Maybeck was a series of Concord releases with great acoustics and often equally great performances.  Whatever his faults, Carl Jefferson must have OK'd that concept and execution.

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A quick search would seem to imply that Dick Whittington had bought the house and then opened it for public concerts. I would think that Whittington had enough of a name and reputation to network with Jefferson and get that deal done.

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Here's the story of how the Maybeck series got started as reported in the San Francisco Examiner in 1992. Joanne Brackeen deserves the credit for the initial inspiration, but Jefferson -- reluctantly at first -- soon recognized the opportunity. Interesting stuff. 

---

"One pianist who responded to the Maybeck mystique was Joanne Brackeen, an old friend of Whittington's who was scheduled for a  Bay Area concert in June 1989. Trying out the hall the afternoon of her nighttime gig, Brackeen; was so excited about it that she i phoned her record-label boss, Carl Jefferson of Concord Jazz Records, and insisted that her upcoming album be recorded at Maybeck that night. Jefferson, though he had not yet visited the hall, agreed without really believing it could be done on such short notice. But engineers Bud Spangler and Ron Davis, accustomed to live recording for the See's Candy jazz series on Sunday nights on KJAZ, brought digital audio equipment in at 5 p.m. and taped the session. The results of Brackeen's excited pianistics on Maybeck's Yamaha S400B small concert grand reportedly exceeded even Jefferson's no-compromise reputation for audio excellence. Brackeen's 'Live at Maybeck Recital Hall' became the first in a series of Concord issues honoring the format."

---

A quick Detroit-related footnote:

The Bud Spangler cited in the story is the Detroit-bred drummer, radio producer/broadcaster and audio engineer who appeared on a few Strata LPs and was the guy responsible for broadcasting some of the Strata Concert Gallery concerts on WDET public radio, including the Mingus appearance that was recently released commercially. He's also the uncle of the Detroit drummer and Organissimo board member RJ Spangler.

 

Edited by Mark Stryker

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Coda: One of my favorites in the series is by my old friend John Campbell. Here' he swings the hell out of Just Friends toggling between keys.

 

.

 

Edited by Mark Stryker

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24 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

Here's the story of how the Maybeck series got started as reported in the San Francisco Examiner in 1992. Joanne Brackeen deserves the credit for the initial inspiration, but Jefferson -- reluctantly at first -- soon recognized the opportunity. Interesting stuff. 

---

"One pianist who responded to the Maybeck mystique was Joanne Brackeen, an old friend of Whititington's who was scheduled for a  Bay Area concert in June 1989. Trying out the hall the afternoon of her nighttime gig, Brackeen; was so excited about it that she i phoned her record-label boss, Carl Jefferson of Concord Jazz Records, and insisted that her upcoming album be recorded at Maybeck that night. Jefferson, though he had not yet visited the hall, agreed without really believing it could be done on such short notice. But engineers Bud Spangler and Ron Davis, accustomed to live recording for the See's Candy jazz series on Sunday nights on KJAZ, brought digital audio equipment in at 5 p.m. and taped the session. The results of Brackeen's excited pianistics on Maybeck's Yamaha S400B small concert grand reportedly exceeded even Jefferson's no-compromise reputation for audio excellence. Brackeen's 'Live at Maybeck Recital Hall' became the first in a series of Concord issues honoring the format."

 

Good stuff!  Thanks, Mark!  :tup 

 

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24 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

...the See's Candy jazz series on Sunday nights on KJAZ...

 

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I definitely wouldn't part with a single one of the albums Stan Getz made for Concord.

2 minutes ago, JSngry said:

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See's Candies were also the major "sponsor" of Bud Spangler's "Sunday Night Suites" show on KCSM radio as well as the Stanford Jazz Festival.

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3 minutes ago, duaneiac said:

I definitely wouldn't part with a single one of the albums Stan Getz made for Concord.

See's Candies were also the major "sponsor" of Bud Spangler's "Sunday Night Suites" show on KCSM radio as well as the Stanford Jazz Festival.

Lotta money in caramel suckers. 

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I only know of See's sponsoring of Riverwalk Jazz...this sounds like something, uh, altogether different. Was it syndicated at all?

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I think Bud Spangler's KCSM program was only heard locally.  It was an hour long Sunday night show in which he presented concerts -- usually recorded by his own Syntropy Audio company --  from various Bay Area venues.  Hopefully those shows were preserved, but I have no idea if KCSM or Mr. Spangler's estate owns the rights to them.

I saw Jim Cullum's band recording a "Riverwalk Jazz" program at Stanford one year and Mr. Charles Huggins, the president of See's, was in the audience.  I guess he was a big fan of that band.

Edited by duaneiac

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18 hours ago, HutchFan said:

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

Bunky Green – Places We've Never Been (Vanguard, 1979)
Steve Lacy Five – The Way (hat Hut, 1980)
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis – The Heavy Hitter (Muse/32 Jazz/Savoy, 1979)
Poncho Sanchez – Poncho (Discovery, 1979)
Daniel Humair – Triple Hip Trip (Owl, 1979)
Denny Zeitlin – Soundings (1750 Arch, 1978)
Ross Tompkins – Ross Tompkins and Good Friends (Concord, 1978)

 

More amazing saxmen: Bunky, Lacy, Lockjaw, and Al Cohn. (Cohn's magisterial sound is the reason you need to hear that Ross Tompkins LP.)

The Daniel Humair is a somewhat unconventional trio with David Friedman (vib) and Harvie Swartz (b).  Very cool.

The Poncho Sanchez is his debut disc, and Clare Fischer plays a prominent role.  If you like Fischer's Latin Jazz (as a leader or with Cal Tjader), it's well worth tracking down.  "Morning"!!!

The Denny Zeitlin is an exploratory and thoughtful solo piano outing.  I dig it.

 

Chronology-wise, we're now into 1979.  In the home stretch, just a few more weeks to go.  

 

As always, I welcome your feedback.  :) 

 

There are two on this list that I like. The Ross Tompkins with Al Cohn, and the Lockjaw Davis album.

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I didn't post a recap last week, so here are the entries from the last two weeks.

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

Jerry Gonzalez – Ya Yo Me Curé (American Clavé/Pangea/Sunnyside, 1980)
Hank Jones – Bluesette (Black & Blue, 1979)
Joe Newman – I Love My Woman (Black & Blue, 1979)
Buck Hill – Scope (SteepleChase, 1979)
Gordon Beck – Sunbird (JMS, 1979)
Jessica Williams – Orgonomic Music (Clean Cuts/CD Baby, 1981)
Andrew Cyrille, Jeanne Lee, Jimmy Lyons – Nuba (Black Saint, 1979)

Stephane Grappelli – Young Django (MPS, 1979)
Miroslav Vitous – First Meeting (ECM, 1980)
Richie Beirach – Elm (ECM, 1979)
[Wadada] Leo Smith – Spirit Catcher (Nessa, 1979)
Joanne Brackeen – Keyed In (Tappan Zee, 1979)
McCoy Tyner - Horizon (Milestone, 1980)
Jack DeJohnette – Special Edition (ECM, 1980)

 

So much AMAZING music, all from 1979.  Style-wise, the entries are all over the place -- from Hank Jones & Joe Newman to Wadada & Cyrille/Lee/Lyons.  The glorious caravan of jazz!

"Player of the Week" goes to Jack DeJohnette.  The title of his Special Edition album is no lie!  Also, he appears on Richie Beirach's Elm and Joanne Brackeen's Keyed In, two stinkin' fantastic piano trio LPs. ... Not to mention his work with Miles, Konitz, Abercrombie, Dave HollandGeorge Benson, Gary Peacock, Arthur Blythe, Kenny Wheeler, and on and on.  If I'm playing my favorite music from the 1970s (and beyond), then there's a damn good chance I'm listening to Jack DeJohnette!

 

Edited by HutchFan

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The Buck Hill is I think the only Steeplechase of his I don't own, and I have had plans to secure the Hank Jones but never have done so.

If the Joe Newman is the CD reissue in the "Definitive" series then I do have that. If it isn't ... I should look into what's on that one and see about getting it.

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5 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

The Buck Hill is I think the only Steeplechase of his I don't own, and I have had plans to secure the Hank Jones but never have done so.

If the Joe Newman is the CD reissue in the "Definitive" series then I do have that. If it isn't ... I should look into what's on that one and see about getting it.

All three of those are choice!  I can't imagine you NOT enjoying them, Dan. :) 

Regarding Hank Jones: As I wrote on the blog, Jones is probably most associated with the Great Jazz Trio (particularly during the latter half of the 70s), but I think his albums with George Duvivier and Alan Dawson -- the two Black & Blue releases, Bluesette and Compassion -- are MUCH better records in terms of fit.  (RC and Tony with Hank Jones just doesn't work for me.  With McCoy or Herbie? Yes.  With Hank Jones? No.  YMMV, of course.)

 

Edited by HutchFan

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Horizon is your favorite Tyner album of the 70s?

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HutchFan, that's a good McCoy Tyner album, with heavy John Blake presence.  What about it made it your Tyner pick for the decade?  

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4 hours ago, JSngry said:

Horizon is your favorite Tyner album of the 70s?

 

4 hours ago, felser said:

HutchFan, that's a good McCoy Tyner album, with heavy John Blake presence.  What about it made it your Tyner pick for the decade?  

Gents -- Did y'all read the write-up about Horizon on my blog?  Gives some insight into my choice.

So, yes, Horizon is my favorite McCoy record of the decade.  And, if I hadn't chosen Horizon, I probably would have gone with Sama Layuca. I realize that neither of these are particularly popular or well-known, relative to other McCoy records from the 70s.  But they're the discs that I like best and play most frequently.

 

Which McCoy album would you have picked?

 

Edited by HutchFan

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46 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

Which McCoy album would you have picked?

Either or,  Both are irreplacable:

Enlightenment (McCoy Tyner album) - Wikipedia

Sahara (McCoy Tyner album) - Wikipedia

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Yeah, that makes sense.  They're almost certainly the most important McCoy records -- from a historical point of view.

Plus, you heard these as they were being released, right?

 

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