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BillF

Playing Favorites: Reflections on Jazz of the Later 1940's

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Bought this used French 10" LP in 1961. An all-star cast, I think you will agree: Moody, McGhee, Milt, Hank Jones, Ray Brown, J C Heard.

Very early for Hank J. I can't think off-hand of an earlier recording by him. Always like J C H's explosive drumming. Reminds me of what they said about Krupa during World War 2: "Dropped more bombs that the U S Air Force". :D

Is this a forgotten date? I never hear anything about it. Anyone else know it?

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That's a selection of the DIAL dates recorded by McGhee in 1946. I have his entire Dial output on Spotlite LP SPJ131 - "Trumpet at Tempo" from their "The Dial Masters" mini-series (yes, the good old trusty Spotlight label ;)).

That Jazztone LP (J-1026) was a direct reissue of French Vogue LD.062 which had the same tracks.

 

P.S. Excellent idea for a new thread! ;)

 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Ah, yes, the Spotlite label! 

Prior to it starting, in the 1960s, Charlie Parker's Dial recordings came out in dribs and drabs on various budget LPs. It was a most unsatisfactory situation, with variable sound and in no organized order. The original Dial label only lasted about 6 years, and its recording masters were lost. All that survived were the issued 78 singles and a few 10" and 12" LPs - fortunately, a lot of alternate takes were issued.

Tony Williams, in England, got in touch with Dial's owner, Ross Russell, and they collaborated on a comprehensive series of complete Parker LPs, taken from the best original Dial 78s and LPs that could be located. I was delighted when I heard about that. The series ended up being seven LPs, and the source material was of a pretty high standard throughout.

But it should never have been like that. The New York City items were recorded at W.O.R. Studios, the place then used by Blue Note. The Blue Note masters still exist today, and so should those of Dial.

I'll leave it to others to add more reminiscences. Spotlite still exists, and, of course, its material has been issued on CDs.

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50 minutes ago, Shrdlu said:

Ah, yes, the Spotlite label! 

Prior to it starting, in the 1960s, Charlie Parker's Dial recordings came out in dribs and drabs on various budget LPs. It was a most unsatisfactory situation, with variable sound and in no organized order. The original Dial label only lasted about 6 years, and its recording masters were lost. All that survived were the issued 78 singles and a few 10" and 12" LPs - fortunately, a lot of alternate takes were issued.

Tony Williams, in England, got in touch with Dial's owner, Ross Russell, and they collaborated on a comprehensive series of complete Parker LPs, taken from the best original Dial 78s and LPs that could be located. I was delighted when I heard about that. The series ended up being seven LPs, and the source material was of a pretty high standard throughout.

But it should never have been like that. The New York City items were recorded at W.O.R. Studios, the place then used by Blue Note. The Blue Note masters still exist today, and so should those of Dial.

I'll leave it to others to add more reminiscences. Spotlite still exists, and, of course, its material has been issued on CDs.

Yes, the sound on those pre-Williams Parker Dials was terrible. In 1961 I was listening to them on a French label (forgotten what it was). When the Williams discs came along in the 70s I bought 5 of the 7. (I omitted Earl Coleman and the sides with Red Norvo). 

Tony Williams was pretty active in the 70s promoting the jazz he loved here in the UK. He brought Joe Albany to Manchester and I think the Al Haig session I went to was also his doing.

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Great Label - what a treasure trove! I did a quick net search but it would appear to be inactive ... anybody know if it's still going?

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R-7498287-1448297988-3200.jpeg.jpg

Another beautiful one from my youth - beautiful both in format and the music, of course. A weakened Fats, but still beautiful. And nice compositions - I hear quite a number of covers, particularly of "Nostalgia". Who was Don Lanphere? I used to wonder. Didn't hear of him again until Organissimo days. And the perfect bop rhythm section of Al, Tommy and Max. Now all the alternative takes are available on this, but that little EP is more romantic, somehow:

51bDg7-HHOL.jpg

 

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I think Don Lanphere toured the UK back in the late 70s/early 80s. Will have to check Jazz Journal - remember him being interviewed.

’Trumpet at Tempo’ - still have the Spotlite LP, will dig it out.

That Esquire 45 is a second edition I think. :D  I think it was Clunky who said he had a 78 of the ‘Wailing Wall’.

Edited by sidewinder

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3 hours ago, BillF said:

R-7498287-1448297988-3200.jpeg.jpg

Another beautiful one from my youth - beautiful both in format and the music, of course. A weakened Fats, but still beautiful. And nice compositions - I hear quite a number of covers, particularly of "Nostalgia". Who was Don Lanphere? I used to wonder. Didn't hear of him again until Organissimo days. And the perfect bop rhythm section of Al, Tommy and Max. Now all the alternative takes are available on this, but that little EP is more romantic, somehow:

51bDg7-HHOL.jpg

 

The Incredible Thing About a then semi obscure Don Lanphere I read on some liner notes from a Miles Davis Album, that one fan was lucky to meet a quite talkative Miles Davis for some nice informal conversation at the bar of a club. Miles was not rude as usual and they talked About Sports, cars, women and so on and when Miles asked the fan from where he is and he said "Wenatchee" (the town where Don Lanphere lived and run a record store or something like that) , Miles , who had an Incredible Memory just said "Say hello to Don Lanphere" ! 

But the last Studio session was just the end of the Story. 

Fats together with Don Lanphere played on a 1948 Dial session with Earl Coleman, which is just Wonderful. Besides the fact that I love the voice of Coleman and like very much the Instrumentation behind him, it was that Incredible "Move" in two takes. It was told that Fats and Max Roach just wanted to test the bloodyoung and white Don Lanphere who really hold his own on it. 

Here, on this Xanadu LP is the whole session: Move in two takes, and the Earl Coleman tunes "As Time Goes By", "Guilty" etc. ….., just Wonderful ! 

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Edited by Gheorghe

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39 minutes ago, Gheorghe said:

The Incredible thing about a then semi obscure Don Lanphere I read on some liner notes from a Miles Davis Album, that one fan was lucky to meet a quite talkative Miles Davis for some nice informal conversation at the bar of a club. Miles was not rude as usual and they talked about sports, cars, women and so on and when Miles asked the fan from where he is and he said "Wenatchee" (the town where Don Lanphere lived and run a record store or something like that) , Miles , who had an incredible memory just said "Say hello to Don Lanphere" ! 

 

No, that was in the Prestige twofer "First Sessions 1949/50". (Great late 40s bebop compilation, BTW ;) )

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Maybe I´ve forgotten where I read it. It could have been also on a Prestige twofer that had the "Dig" session on it.

But good idea, Miles Davis: 

This was brandnew in 1977 when I became interested in late forties bop (odd enough, I got to listen to Parker through Eric Dolphy, via "Parkeriana" (Mingus 1964). 

My third Bop LP (after Parker´s "Savoy Mastertakes" and the Bellaphone "Jazztracks" also Parker) was THIS ONE.

This is really a treasure: Miles playing fast and in high register equal to Diz or Fats, and interesting the very modern stuff of James Moody, almost ahead of his time.

My favourite tenor player during that time was Dave Liebman and when I heard some really freakish phrases by James Moody I said "almost like Dave !". 

The first moment of listening was a shock Moment for me !!!!!! I began to spin the LP and heard a voice in french tellin´ something about gothic cathedrals, Bach and Mozard and thought they have packed the wrong LP in the cover !!!!!!!!

This three LPs with those covers were my "ticket" to late 40´s bop. I must say I love and listen much to the styles that came after that , Hardbop, Free, Electric Jazz, but Always had some Point where I returned to vintage bop…..

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Edited by Gheorghe

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The Spotlite Dial LPs may have begun in the late 60s. I was in Australia when I got them, and I left permanently at the end of 1971. I remember that Vol. 7, the session with J.J. Johnson, came out a bit later than the other 6 LPs. (I don't like the mute that J.J. uses for most of the session: it destroys his lovely open sound. Only on "How Deep Is The Ocean?" does he play open, and, for me, it proves my point emphatically.)

To answer a question above, Tony Williams and Spotlite are still going, though I doubt that much new material has come out in the last few years. He did put out alll the Dial recordings, including the items in the first post in this thread.

Other companies have issued some Dial items since Tony's definitive LPs, but they can't sound any better, because all the masters were lost in the 1950s and Tony had to rely on Dial 78s and LPs for virtually everything. (Tony told me that on the phone years ago.)

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The Spotlite Bird/Dial LPs were all rebundled into a super super deluxe Warner Brothers box set, in anticipation of a Charlie Parker biopic starring Richard Pryor that never got off the ground. One of those things where you had to carpe diem in a BIG hurry. Fortunately, I had a good paying summer job and a connection at a good record store, so I was able to.

Some of the material was put out on Roulette, in the Echoes Of an Era series, but god only knows the provenance of that...however, there was one side of one of the LPs that was just four ballads in a row, and that still makes for one of the most satisfying listening experiences I know.

There was also at least one Charlie Parker Records LP of Bird/Dial, which one would hope would have been of legit sourcing. But it was kinda reverbed up to no real good end.

The Spotlite LPs, though were unsurpassed in terms of annotation, and equaled only by the WB box in terms of completeness (which makes sense, because the WB box WAS the Spotlite LPs).

 

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1 hour ago, Gheorghe said:

Maybe I´ve forgotten where I read it. It could have been also on a Prestige twofer that had the "Dig" session on it.

You are right. It was on the "Dig" twofer. (BTW, the "fan" that you alluded to in the Don Lanphere episode was scribe Doug Ramsey)

Re- the Miles Paris Jazz Festival LP, indeed it was my first Miles LP (the Birth of the Cool recordings were not in print at the time I bought this one) and was quite an ear opener. As for the starting introduction, maybe you ought to have had a glance at the liner notes too. ^_^ Fidelity is so-so but the atmosphere is excellent. It also might make for interesting listening if those interested in that festival also check out the one below featuring the swdish all star band of 1949 that made a HUGE splash at that festival and sort of put Sweden on the international post-war jazz map.

https://www.discogs.com/Parisorkestern-1949-Swedish-Jazz-All-Stars/release/12268504

 

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42 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Some of the material was put out on Roulette, in the Echoes Of an Era series, but god only knows the provenance of that...however, there was one side of one of the LPs that was just four ballads in a row, and that still makes for one of the most satisfying listening experiences I know.

There was also at least one Charlie Parker Records LP of Bird/Dial, which one would hope would have been of legit sourcing. But it was kinda reverbed up to no real good end.

The Spotlite LPs, though were unsurpassed in terms of annotation, and equaled only by the WB box in terms of completeness (which makes sense, because the WB box WAS the Spotlite LPs).

 

The Echoes of an Era series was a TERRIBLE mess. Whatever I have seen from that series was just a hodgepodge of senseless combinations of various incomplete sessions that left you scrambling for other releases to find the missing session tracks. Good for starters at that time (I picked up the Stan Getz twofer in my starting years) but a pain in the butt if you were after the full sessions. 

Charlie Parker Records all in all releasesd three LPs' worth of Dial material by Bird but these were odd assemblies. For some reason (cashing in??) they took several of the quintet tracks that been reissued on "Bird Is Free" and reissued them again under Miles Davis' name on "Many Miles of Davis". The duplicates even showed up on the C.P. Records box set of a few years ago. Oddly those C.P. Records LPs seem to have remained on the market for quite some time. I remember buying "BIrd Symobls" (my first Bird Dials) and "Bird is Free" at a local record shop (not usually known for a huge import section) in 1976/77.

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5 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

The Echoes of an Era series was a TERRIBLE mess. Whatever I have seen from that series was just a hodgepodge of senseless combinations of various incomplete sessions that left you scrambling for other releases to find the missing session tracks. Good for starters at that time (I picked up the Stan Getz twofer in my starting years) but a pain in the butt if you were after the full sessions. 

The first set (white covers/busts) were indeed that. The second (purple covers/busts) not so much. And the ones after that were solid, full LPs.

Regardless of that, hey:

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If there's a better < 15 minute 12" LP side in jazz (in English OR Spanish), I've yet to hear it!

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The first half with Cootie Williams from 1944 would be OOT here, but fitting to the thread dig the All Star Session from Royal Roost from December 1948: 

Little Benny Harris (tp), J.J. Johnson (tb), Budd Johnson (ts), Buddy DeFranco (cl), Lee Konitz (as), Bud Powell (p), Chuck Wayne (g), Nelson Boyd (b) and Max Roach (dr). 

A picture of that session is in the book Ira Gitler "Jazz Masters of the 40´s", and I remember when I bought that book (in Switzerland !) we looked at that picture and said "if this event would have been recorded....", and decades later I got it on this CD

Download (5).jpg

Another All Star summit at Carnegie Hall one year later, Chrismas 1949. What a wealth of music here. Before I purchase this I only knew the Parker Set, it was on side B of a Musidisc of Parker "Broadcasts".......

Download (6).jpg

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1 hour ago, Gheorghe said:

 Chrismas 1949. What a wealth of music here. Before I purchased this I only knew the Parker set, it was on side B of a Musidisc of Parker "Broadcasts".......

Download (6).jpg

Another relatively early purchase , triggered not least of all by the (possibly somewhat embellished) description of that Christmas broadcast scene in Ross Russell's "Bird Lives". ^_^

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Did you guys get Alamac over there?

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R-5855037-1404576582-4310.jpeg.jpg

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8 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

 

odd enough, I got to listen to Parker through Eric Dolphy 

 

 

 

 

With me it was the other way round. Before I left school in 1958 at the age of 18 I was a firm Parker fan and owned 2 of a 5 Parker Savoy set on London American that looked like this:

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When I first heard Ornette on a Radio Luxembourg broadcast (BBC was never too keen on jazz) in the spring of 1959 I thought this was some sort of insane Bird and went around saying this is how Parker must have sounded in the Camarillo institution.^_^ However I very rapidly became a fan for both Ornette and Dolphy and bought many albums featuring them.

 

 

7 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

I remember that Vol. 7, the session with J.J. Johnson, came out a bit later than the other 6 LPs. (I don't like the mute that J.J. uses for most of the session: it destroys his lovely open sound. Only on "How Deep Is The Ocean?" does he play open, and, for me, it proves my point emphatically.)

 

Over all these years I never thought of this, but how right you are!

Come to think of it, the Parker quintet didn't fare too well with the addition of a trombonist. Tommy Turk is a bit of a disaster on the "Passport" "Visa" session, don't you think?

Edited by BillF

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6 hours ago, JSngry said:

Did you guys get Alamac over there?

R-5855037-1404576582-4166.jpeg.jpg

R-5855037-1404576582-4310.jpeg.jpg

Found a Bird Alamac record, although not from the 40s: Bird with the Herd - 1951

2E309B17-AADE-4F44-9673-F3FB47221914.jpeg

Edited by Brad

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Those Alamac were quite expensive over her. At the then most famous Viennese Jazz Shop "Red Octopus" they had them both. I only purchased "Bird with the  Herd" since I already had the Carnegie Concert on a Musidisc LP (all the tunes minus the last "Now is the Time", and I didn´t want to spend more then 200 șilingi only for one tune). 

18 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

The Spotlite Dial LPs may have begun in the late 60s. I was in Australia when I got them, and I left permanently at the end of 1971. I remember that Vol. 7, the session with J.J. Johnson, came out a bit later than the other 6 LPs. (I don't like the mute that J.J. uses for most of the session: it destroys his lovely open sound. Only on "How Deep Is The Ocean?" does he play open, and, for me, it proves my point emphatically.)

To answer a question above, Tony Williams and Spotlite are still going, though I doubt that much new material has come out in the last few years. He did put out alll the Dial recordings, including the items in the first post in this thread.

Other companies have issued some Dial items since Tony's definitive LPs, but they can't sound any better, because all the masters were lost in the 1950s and Tony had to rely on Dial 78s and LPs for virtually everything. (Tony told me that on the phone years ago.)

The Spotlite albums were wonderful, I didn´t know they came out so early, I bought most of them in the late 70´s. 

Here is one we liked particularly: Listen how great Howard McGhee and Brew Moore are on this. We spinned this LP very much. I´d invite let´s say two other fans from High School or college, and  would cook some improvised "South of the Border" dish, tiggered maybe be Ross Russell´s "Bird" from the first chapter where he describes the Mexican Dinner Bird ate. Well, in my case it was something that should have been "Huevos Rancheros", together with a lot of Beer and Tequila afterwards. That was the mood we were in when we listened to "Afro Cuban". 

Download (7).jpg

Edited by Gheorghe

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7 hours ago, Brad said:

Found a Bird Alamac record, although not from the 40s: Bird with the Herd - 1951

2E309B17-AADE-4F44-9673-F3FB47221914.jpeg

Bird's learning the bridge on "Four Brothers" is one of the most remarkable recorded jazz moments I've heard!

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14 hours ago, JSngry said:

Did you guys get Alamac over there?

R-5855037-1404576582-4166.jpeg.jpg

 

I cannot recall the Alamacs were available at our (often very well-stocked) record shops in the late 70s or early 80s. However, I found out later that the compilations of quite a few Alamacs had also appeared on the French Musidisc jazz series LPs which were plentiful (and very affordable) here. So the contents of these budget labels must have circulated between various record companies. The Alamacs must have been available in Europe, though, as I bought them secondhand in the 90s over in London  (and there were more of them than could have been imported privately). Being U.S. imports, they probably (as Gheorghe rightly said) were rather expensive and therefore too expensive for what they were.

"Bird with the Herd -1951" is a gem indeed.

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8 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

 

Being U.S. imports, they probably (as Gheorghe rightly said) were rather expensive and therefore too expensive for what they were.

 

That´s right ! Our Record Store Red Octopus had a lot of US and Japan Imports. The normal price for LP was 163 Schillings, and I remember there was some Japan-Import and the price was advertised with 350 Schillings and they added the word "Leider !" (Sorry). 

And yeah, as Bill said, Bird learning the tricky bridge of "Four Brothers". 

Now, my friends...... how about "some bones" ? 

 

 

Download.jpg

 

Download (1).jpg

Edited by Gheorghe

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4 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

That´s right ! Our Record Store Red Octopus had a lot of US and Japan Imports. The normal price for LP was 163 Schillings, and I remember there was some Japan-Import and the price was advertised with 350 Schillings and they added the word "Leider !" (Sorry). 

And yeah, as Bill said, Bird learning the tricky bridge of "Four Brothers". 

Now, my friends...... how about "some bones" ? 

 

 

Download.jpg

 

Download (1).jpg

Really like the Winding album, especially for Brew Moore.

Less familiar with the Johnson. I think I know it as Origins: Savoy Sessions.

A few more anecdotes.

At a private session in a friend's house leading British bassist Andrew Cleyndert seemed to hesitate at the bridge of "Four Brothers", but stoutly rejected my later suggestion that he wasn't too sure of it, while admitting that the changes moved in an unexpected direction. But when I told him that Bird had fluffed it (he hadn't heard the record) he seemed to regard it as an honorable error! :D

The guys we're currently talking about are a long way back, so I'm pleased to have heard in the flesh Cecil Payne (in a club in Leeds in the 60s), Kai (at the Giants of Jazz concert in London in 1971) and Max (with his quintet in a Manchester club in about 1967).

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