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Larry Kart

John Swana's "Philly Gumbo"

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Maybe the only post-bop date that I know that doesn't sound like a "post-bop" date if you know what I mean but just is. Swana is his own man, an urgent/genuine linear player not unlike Bill Hardman, the late tenor man Bootsie Barnes  probably never left the semi-Mobely-esque bag he came up in (he  also reminds me some of a mostly forgotten Chicagoan, Nicky Hill), and the rhythm section is excellent, as is the writing, mostly originals.  

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:tup

Do you have Volume 2 Larry? Just realized that its Bootsie and Larry McKenna on the later record, many years before they were co-leaders on Cellar Live.

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Wish I did, but when I looked Vol. 2 was too pricey ($37.50). I got Vol. 1 through Tommy's Jazz Criss Cross offer for $14 IIRC, along with some other Criss Cross titles, all worthwhile. I'll get for the Barnes-McKenna CD now (thanks for the heads up)  and maybe add the McKenna/Sam Taylor. I have one of Taylor's own CDs, which was very good.

 

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Bootsie Barnese (Barnes, not Collins) was a fun listen.

so was Nickie Hill.

You get to talking about guys like that, hey, I'm in. FLAYVA!!!!!

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Posted (edited)

I'd forgotten about this one. Swana's Criss Crosses are almost always worth a listen. Character-ful, and he can do that puckish thing without falling into Dave Douglas-ish preciousness.

Edited by Joe

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Nicky (not Nickie) Hill can be heard at his best on that live Charlie Parker memorial concert album  held under Joe Segal's aegis, with Ira Sullivan the featured artist and two fine rhythm sections -- Jodie Christian, Donald Garrett, and Wilbur Campbell and Dorrel Anderson alternating on drums. I was there and was thrilled to the roots of my being. Nicky was, as Dexter said of Mobley, so hip. He sounded, maybe, like a cross between the Hankenstein and Wardell Grey. Heard him a lot back in the day -- sadly, he was somewhat erratic for the usual reasons, messed up too much. But when you heard him when he was on, in the good sense -- whoa! Very heady, and as the saying goes, he could swing you into bad health.

61P1mhRUUwL._AC_UY218_.jpg

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John Swana's Bright Moments is a wonderful album.

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Looks promising except for Eric Alexander.

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Prejudice! John has gathered around him some of the most outstanding players in today's (well 2007 anyway) music.

All this IMHO of course.;)

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1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

Nicky (not Nickie) Hill can be heard at his best on that live Charlie Parker memorial concert album  held under Joe Segal's aegis, with Ira Sullivan the featured artist and two fine rhythm sections -- Jodie Christian, Donald Garrett, and Wilbur Campbell and Dorrel Anderson alternating on drums. I was there and was thrilled to the roots of my being. Nicky was, as Dexter said of Mobley, so hip. He sounded, maybe, like a cross between the Hankenstein and Wardell Grey. Heard him a lot back in the day -- sadly, he was somewhat erratic for the usual reasons, messed up too much. But when you heard him when he was on, in the good sense -- whoa! Very heady, and as the saying goes, he could swing you into bad health.

61P1mhRUUwL._AC_UY218_.jpg

Sorry about the spelling...but yeah, I've found him on some "out of the way" records and he never fails to open up the door and invite me in to the party. My kinda player, for sure.

First heard him on the Max/Clifford Bee Hive Columbia thing from the 70s, remember that one? There was a little bit of Sonny and a LOT of nicky hill, and what was lost...was anything "lost", really? Just a different lens is all, that guy played GREAT. 

I thought he was some guy I was never going to see on a record.  And for several decades, that held true. but then the clouds lifted and, ok, yeah, Nicky Hill's on a few records after all!

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Prejudice or learned experience, take your pick. Second-hand George Coleman doesn't work for me. Influence is one thing -- this IMO is another.

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19 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Sorry about the spelling...but yeah, I've found him on some "out of the way" records and he never fails to open up the door and invite me in to the party. My kinda player, for sure.

First heard him on the Max/Clifford Bee Hive Columbia thing from the 70s, remember that one? There was a little bit of Sonny and a LOT of nicky hill, and what was lost...was anything "lost", really? Just a different lens is all, that guy played GREAT. 

I thought he was some guy I was never going to see on a record.  And for several decades, that held true. but then the clouds lifted and, ok, yeah, Nicky Hill's on a few records after all!

Sure do remember the Beehive thing. I'll have to listen again, but I'm not sure Nicky wasn't in better shape on "Bird Lives!" The Beehive pairing of Clifford and Max, though, was almost beyond belief. 

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32 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

….but I'm not sure Nicky wasn't in better shape on "Bird Lives!"

yeah, I'm not either, but to somebody who had never heard him before and was still discovering "regional" players like this, it was good enough for me to take note of the name and the playing. Close enough!

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Thanks Larry for reminding me of this excellent date. Both volumes of Philly Gumbo are available to stream on Spotify. Search under album title because the artist is listed as "Various Artists".

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9 hours ago, sonnymax said:

Thanks Larry for reminding me of this excellent date. Both volumes of Philly Gumbo are available to stream on Spotify. Search under album title because the artist is listed as "Various Artists".

thanks, now playing it!

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On 8/26/2020 at 11:09 AM, Larry Kart said:

Wish I did, but when I looked Vol. 2 was too pricey ($37.50). I got Vol. 1 through Tommy's Jazz Criss Cross offer for $14 IIRC, along with some other Criss Cross titles, all worthwhile. I'll get for the Barnes-McKenna CD now (thanks for the heads up)  and maybe add the McKenna/Sam Taylor. I have one of Taylor's own CDs, which was very good.

 

The Barnes/McKenna "'The More I See You"  arrived today -- very good so far. A bit puzzled, though, about who's who because they sound rather similar. A note on the jacket says that Barnes is panned to the left and McKenna to the right, which fits my sense of who they are stylistically based on a few prior encounters with their work -- Barnes more long-lined and elusive/adventurous harmonically and rhythmically, McKenna  more gruff in tone and foursquare in his phrasing. albeit they both swing hard. The liner notes by tenor man Sam Taylor mention one track and say that Barnes solos first there, but the player who solos first on that track is on the right. Anyone have a clue as to how to sort this out?

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21 hours ago, BillF said:

Prejudice! John has gathered around him some of the most outstanding players in today's (well 2007 anyway) music.

All this IMHO of course.;)

The hell with it; I just ordered "Bright Moments" despite Alexander's presence. I do, however, love Grant Stewart's playing -- to me the difference between him and and Alexander defines the difference between being influenced by other playrers (in Stewart's case Rollins and Mobley) and then building something fresh, personal , and "in the now" on that versus virtually reproducing another man's licks and breath, where in Alexander's case one wonders (at least I do)  why not go back to the original that's being emulated and forget about the near Xerox copy? Also this sort of and degree of emulation just feels creepy to me. 

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So Eric's position in the present day galaxy of jazz stars is completely misplaced? All those record company executives who helped him make scores of albums were wrong? A seasoned jazz listener with 63 years experience like me hasn't got a clue?

I'm confident I'd score 100% on a name-the-tenorman blindfold test featuring Eric and George Coleman.

Yes, of course Coleman is an influence, but also others like Dexter, Coltrane, Bird and Eddie Harris, whom Eric names. And after that there is of course Eric. A couple of phrases and I know it's him and can say that of very few of today's people.

Let's hope your new record purchase will lift the veil from your eyes (ears rather). ;)

 

 

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11 minutes ago, BillF said:

So Eric's position in the present day galaxy of jazz stars is completely misplaced? All those record company executives who helped him make scores of albums were wrong? A seasoned jazz listener with 63 years experience like me hasn't got a clue?

I'm confident I'd score 100% on a name-the-tenorman blindfold test featuring Eric and George Coleman.

Yes, of course Coleman is an influence, but also others like Dexter, Coltrane, Bird and Eddie Harris, whom Eric names. And after that there is of course Eric. A couple of phrases and I know it's him and can say that of very few of today's people.

Let's hope your new record purchase will lift the veil from your eyes (ears rather). ;)

 

 

This is no different from the endless, and utterly unenlightening, debates about OP.  Obviously a lot of people like EA, just as a lot liked OP and wanted to make records with them.  Some don't think he adds anything to his influences (and I do think the one overarching influence is Big George). BillF thinks otherwise.

So ... I hope someone programs an all Coleman and EA BFT to test Bill's statement ... and I really wish Bill and others wouldn't write things like "Let's hope your new record purchase will lift the veil ..."  No one changes their mind on command and in the end why should it matter?

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I hope the fog lifts someday so we can see the vastness of the sky again. Then we can gauge with accuracy how tall a real giant is, instead of just looking at tall people and being impressed.

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On 8/27/2020 at 0:45 PM, BillF said:

So Eric's position in the present day galaxy of jazz stars is completely misplaced? All those record company executives who helped him make scores of albums were wrong? A seasoned jazz listener with 63 years experience like me hasn't got a clue?

I'm confident I'd score 100% on a name-the-tenorman blindfold test featuring Eric and George Coleman.

Yes, of course Coleman is an influence, but also others like Dexter, Coltrane, Bird and Eddie Harris, whom Eric names. And after that there is of course Eric. A couple of phrases and I know it's him and can say that of very few of today's people.

Let's hope your new record purchase will lift the veil from your eyes (ears rather). ;)

 

 

And I do hope you'll take note of what I said about Grant Stewart and his influences and where he's gone with them versus Alexander and his influences and where he's gone with. them. If it's all pretty much the same to you, so be it. It isn't to me. And I have 66 years of experience, and boy what I learned in those extra three years! ):

BTW, when Stewart hit me the way he did, I was a bit surprised, because i heard the Rollinisms and Mobleyisms right off and thought that that would be it. But no.

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I guess I'm easy. I ordered both of the Swana CDs under discussion. :P

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3 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

So ... I hope someone programs an all Coleman and EA BFT to test Bill's statement ...

That one would be easy - Alexander would always be the one who almost sounds like Coleman. Coleman would be the one who always sounds like Coleman.

It's not complicated, really, it's not.

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I very much enjoy Eric Alexander's playing. I hear a variety of influences definitely including Dexter. By no means does he sound like a copy of George Coleman to my ears. Have seen Eric live a number of times and have quite a few of his recordings.  

I may slightly prefer Grant Stewart's tenor playing, but Eric is, for me, one of the very best tenor players on the scene today.

 

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