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Justin V

Lesser-Known Leaders with Well-Known Sidemen

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I thought it'd be interesting to discuss albums where the sidemen are bigger names the leader.  It'd be an interesting way to dive deeper into the discographies of musicians we are familiar with while discovering others we may not know.  I'll start with:

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Peter Tomlinson - Momentum: I've played this album a ton since I bought it a few months ago.  It has a core rhythm section of Anthony Cox and Jimmy Cobb, with Dick Oatts and Dave Douglas appearing on three songs and guitarist Richie Hart appearing on two others.  Two other tracks feature bassist Lou Pappas and drummer Peter O'Brien, with percussionist Lou Varuzzo, Jr. appearing on one of those tracks.

Tomlinson, who studied with Barry Harris, Mulgrew Miller and Warren Bernhardt, has co-led one other recording with guitarist Peter Einhorn and has appeared on a few other recordings, but this is his only date as the sole leader.  6 of the 8 songs here are originals and the arrangements throughout are thoughtful.  It is an impressive debut by a musician whose skills as a pianist, composer and arranger should have been documented more in the subsequent years.  

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Posted (edited)

These two immediately come to mind:

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I've never heard anything else from Canadian saxophonist Glen Hall, but he's supported by a KILLER rhythm section on this 1979 recording.

 

And the same rhythm team also appears on this CD:

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Flugelhornist Ed Sarath appears with Dave Liebman and Brackeen, McBee & Hart on this 1990 Owl recording.

 

Edited by HutchFan

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There is a quite obscure CD (& leader) Russell Baba: Earth Prayer.  With Andrew Hill on piano!  Hill very rarely recorded as a sideman, particularly this late in his career (1992).  I did track this down (and may even still have it).  I truly can't remember that much about the music, and it is likely for Hill completists only.

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Posted (edited)

What a great thread idea. The first person I thought of was Dmitry Baevsky. I know his first couple of albums featured Jeremy pelt, Jimmy Cobb, David Wong and I think Tootie Heath. Edit: it was Cedar Walton, not Tootie
 

I pounced on the copy of Baba that was on Discogs. Thanks for the heads up. 

Edited by jcam_44

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My first thought was Earle Spencer.

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There must be a million of them. When I made my only CD as a leader back in 2004, I asked for advice from a well known musician on how could get it put out on a decent label. He told me to hire a well-known player as a sideman. He said one of his students just hired Herbie Hancock as a sideman, and it got picked up by some label. I decided not to follow his advice, because I didn't like the song order he insisted I use.

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So are some of these what used to be called "vanity projects"?

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Roots Vinyl Guide

Nothing Is v2.0: Jothan Callins & The Sounds of Togetherness ...

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How many "with Joe Henderson" records are allowed on this thread?

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

How many "with Joe Henderson" records are allowed on this thread?

We’d better cap it at 15, or 20 tops.

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All Members | Discogs

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In 1998 bassist Greg Cohen got Donald Bailey and Gerry Wiggins for the rhythm section of his second album, and Teddy Edwards as the horn:

https://www.discogs.com/Greg-Cohen-Moment-To-Moment/master/977055

(There are several others with Teddy that easily fit in this thread, I guess he dug the cash or wanted to help younger players.)

 

Earl Washington got some heavy hitters on one of his Workshop Jazz albums:

 

earl washington.JPG

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Jonathan Klein had Thad Jones, Jerome Richardson, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Grady Tate for the 1968 release "Hear, O Israel". 

1755601a.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

 

Jimmy Woods - Conflict w. Carmell Jones, Harold Land, Andrew Hill, George Tucker, Elvin Jones.

Jimmy-Woods-conflict-e.jpg

 

Perhaps, Eric Kloss - "In The Land of the Giants" with Booker Ervin, Jaki Byard, Richard Davis, Alan Dawson.

or "Consciousness" w. Pat Martino, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack De Johnette

Eric-Kloss.jpg

 

Edited by Marzz

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13 minutes ago, Joe said:

Ha! Looks like we simultaneously thought of this LP!

I didn't even look I thought it was a double posting.

:g

 

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14 hours ago, JSngry said:

How many "with Joe Henderson" records are allowed on this thread?

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Rebecca Coupe Franks (tp,flhrn) Joe Henderson (ts) Kenny Barron (p) Leni Stern (g) Buster Williams (b) Ben Riley (d)

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Just spun Shedrick Mitchell - Introducing Shedrick Mitchell and it falls in this category. Sherman Irby, Stephon Harris, Reggie Washington, Mark Shim, Ali Jackson and Eric Harland. Even with the revolving cast it sounds very uniform and complete as an album. Wonderful disc. 

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51GPTEnQGYL.jpg

cosign on the Jothan Callins as well, very nice album.

Kloss might not be as well known today, but Prestige was certainly pushing him as a "young lion" back in the 1960s. Excellent player.

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4 hours ago, Joe said:

Ha! Looks like we simultaneously thought of this LP!

I should have been the first!!!!! My wife distracted me when I was posting (pick up the kids from the kindergarten - woman, don't you see I am BUSY?!?!)!!!!! For 17 years since I joined this forum I was waiting for this moment - to be the first one to post about this (mediocre) Chris Fagan album when THE RIGHT MOMENT COMES!!!  And then some American Joe posts about it a split second before I do!!!!!! Americans were not even supposed to be awake at that time!!!! What an abject humiliation!!!!!! Have no choice but to quit this forum in disgrace now (might have to consider a divorce too)!!!!!!!

What a coincidence, though .    

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Posted (edited)

R-5654270-1545417447-3169.jpeg.jpg Worth Waiting For by P.J. Perry (CD, Jan-1992, Jazz Alliance)

Canadian P.J. Perry may be a lesser known altoist, but he's a fine player. 

Also, strikes me that even the best-known jazz musicians enjoy a nice payday as a side-person.  

Another. Top rate jazz players often had club dates in Toronto, thereby giving Canadian musicians the chance to record with them during the day. Again, a nice pay-day. 

alchetron.com/cdn/art-ellefson-02f46557-03df-4a...

 

With Jimmy Cobb in mind

Cover art: Mark Eisenman

Lesser known does not mean lesser quality. All these are fine recordings. 

 

Edited by John Tapscott

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