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Larry Kart

Liner note bingo

27 posts in this topic

What album from the 1950s by a prominent jazz musician had liner notes that included this two-sentence paragraph: "Well, so much for gallimaufry,. So much for guile"?

Bonus round: Who wrote those  notes?

Triple bonus: If you read those notes back in the day, or at any time since then,  did you honestly know what "gallimaufry" was?

 

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Posted (edited)

No idea what album but was this written by Ralph Gleason, maybe?

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Not Gleason but someone of the same vintage.

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Nope. -- don't think Martin has an arch bone in his body, except in his foot that is.

2 hours ago, BillF said:

Ira Gitler?

Ira could be clever and even cute, but not pretentious, like this probably is.

I should add that this damn phrase popped back into my head after a welcome absence of many decades, and maybe I'm trying to exorcise it. Also, if it is kind of lifted pinky pretentious, one of the reasons it stuck in my head is that artist whose album these notes adorn is utterly without pretense of any sort.

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Who was the guy who did all those interviews with Brubeck on the earliest Storyville broadcasts? Nat Hentoff?

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Think it was John T. McClellan, a Boston journalist. But not him.

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George T. Simon often waxed on with elite phrases like this.

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1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

Think it was John T. McClellan, a Boston journalist. But not him.

Just checked, and in 1952-53, it was indeed Nat Hentoff, and sounding very, VERY silly, playing alliteration games that make you want to severely curtail his freedom of speech, no questions asked.

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Leonard Feather could be a real jerk...

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7 minutes ago, sgcim said:

Leonard Feather could be a real jerk...

Just ask Jutta Hipp.

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While we are name calling, the other name that somehow came to mind when I read your initial post was:

Bill Coss?

 

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Any hints on the album?

I've browsed through the reviews in the Down Beat Record Reviews and found one more name there who seems to have had a penchant for cleverish-witty comments and plays on words every now and then. But I am not going any further with the guesswork for now, particularly since offhand I wouldn't know to what extent that reviewer also wrote liner notes ...

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George Hoefer?

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

George Hoefer?

Nope. 

 

OK, I'm calling the game  on account of the White Sox are losing to the Twins. It's from John S. Wilson's notes for "Lee Konitz Inside Hi-Fi" (Atlantic, 1957)

The notes begin:

"There is more than guile and gallimaufry in the design and title which decorate the front pages of this album. [IIRC, it show an image of Lee inside the tubes and wires of a hi-fi system.] With full justice -- and an equal lack of imagination -- the set might have been called 'Lee Konitz In Hi-Fi,' since to be in high fidelity ((hi-fi) appears to. be the current high fashion [high fashion.] But the Messsers Atlantic Recording Corporation have no pash for fash, The Messers, are probing, inquiring and utterly incorrigible gentlemen and when the enclosed performances were being recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's sound atelier  it occurred to them that Konitz might look particularly intriguing (even more than he normally does) if he climbed inside Van Gelder's maze of wires, eggbeaters, thermostats, and retrogavitators. The is the real inside story of how Lee Konitz managed to get inside hi-fi and those who are familiar with the work of that great other inside man, John Gunther, will find that Konitz others a slight different kind of report. The essential split in th two styles is that Gunther takes notes while Konitz gives them.

"Well, so much for gaiilimaifry. So much for guile." etc.

John must have been hitting the battle real hard at the NY Times when he wrote the above,

P.S. "gallimaufry"IIRC is a confused mixture.

John Gunther is a semi-forgotten author-journalist who wrote a series of once popular "Inside" books about foreign countries and regions.

BTW, "Lee Konitz Inside Hi-Fi" is a fine album, with Lee playing tenor on sIx tracks (with Sal Mosca, Peter Ind, and Dick Scott) and alto on four (with Billy Bauer, Arnold Fishkind, and Scott).

P.S. "Sound atelier"?

 

 

 

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Damn, my father used to have that album. It had a tune called "Cork 'n Bib, named after a jazz club that actually existed in Lawnguyland, where I grew up. I remember wanting to go there when I found out about it, but it was long closed by then. I worked a lot with the pianist on the Woody Herman album "East Meets West" and he used to be the house pianist at the Cork 'N Bib. He said Sonny Rollins played there and told the P-B &D to go home, and he played the whole gig there-solo!

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The pianist was Mike Alterman?

Speaking of fairly obscure Herman pianists, I've always liked the work of Norm Pockrandt on "Jackpot!" (Capitol) by the swinging octet that Woody brought to Las Vegas in 1955. Cy Touff IIRC is featured nicely on the album. I believe that it was this little band's pairing of Touff and Kamuca that led to Cy's tasty Pacific Jazz album with Kamuca and Flores, the one with Johnny Mandel's "Keester Parade."

  • Bass – Monte Budwig*
  • Clarinet – Woody Herman.
  • Drums – Chuck Flores.
  • Piano – Norman Pockrandt.
  • Tenor Saxophone  – Richie Kamuca.
  • Trumpet – Cy Touff, Dick Collins, Johnny Coppola

71nRux65fiL._AC_UY218_.jpg

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Well, I certainly wouldn't have searched there ...

No wonder ...
My LP of this is the French pressing on Versailles - totally different cover and French (and France-specific) liner notes.

39357044ha.jpg

And an EP excerpt of this that I have (below) on Swedish Metronome has severely abridged liner notes that begin way down on lthe left column of the original LP liner notes (as displayed on Discogs) which isn't immediately apparent if you haven't seen the LP notes. No gallimaufry, no guile for us "Yurpeens" ...

39357045qe.jpg

39357046rd.jpg

(And search me why a previous owner of that EP blackened out the "neurotic" in Konitz' "neurotic relationship ..." with his alto :D)

P.S. Did you really mean John S. Wilson was hitting the "battle" and not the bottle? :w
Anyway, the liner note portion you gave reads like fun.

 

 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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10 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Nope. 

 

OK, I'm calling the game  on account of the White Sox are losing to the Twins. It's from John S. Wilson's notes for "Lee Konitz Inside Hi-Fi" (Atlantic, 1957)

The notes begin:

"There is more than guile and gallimaufry in the design and title which decorate the front pages of this album. [IIRC, it show an image of Lee inside the tubes and wires of a hi-fi system.] With full justice -- and an equal lack of imagination -- the set might have been called 'Lee Konitz In Hi-Fi,' since to be in high fidelity ((hi-fi) appears to. be the current high fashion [high fashion.] But the Messsers Atlantic Recording Corporation have no pash for fash, The Messers, are probing, inquiring and utterly incorrigible gentlemen and when the enclosed performances were being recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's sound atelier  it occurred to them that Konitz might look particularly intriguing (even more than he normally does) if he climbed inside Van Gelder's maze of wires, eggbeaters, thermostats, and retrogavitators. The is the real inside story of how Lee Konitz managed to get inside hi-fi and those who are familiar with the work of that great other inside man, John Gunther, will find that Konitz others a slight different kind of report. The essential split in th two styles is that Gunther takes notes while Konitz gives them.

"Well, so much for gaiilimaifry. So much for guile." etc.

John must have been hitting the battle real hard at the NY Times when he wrote the above,

P.S. "gallimaufry"IIRC is a confused mixture.

John Gunther is a semi-forgotten author-journalist who wrote a series of once popular "Inside" books about foreign countries and regions.

BTW, "Lee Konitz Inside Hi-Fi" is a fine album, with Lee playing tenor on sIx tracks (with Sal Mosca, Peter Ind, and Dick Scott) and alto on four (with Billy Bauer, Arnold Fishkind, and Scott).

P.S. "Sound atelier"?

 

 

 

Geesh, Wilson’s notes are reprinted in the Tristano/Konitz/Marsh Mosaic anchored around your essay. I last had that set out a year ago or so, but I was focused on the Tristano sides at the time. John S. Wilson’s name pops up a lot on bibliographic indexes that I get from Jazz Institut. IU’s music library has a couple of late 1950s jazz-record collecting guides by him—fairly pedestrian iirc from a couple of glances through them. 
 

And John Gunther! “Semi-forgotten” may be politely generous in 2020, but many years ago I picked up a used copy of his 1947 book Inside U.S.A. for $2, a curiosity buy that I still haven’t gotten around to reading—it’s been gathering dust on a shelf of reference material for a long-term fiction project. Looking at his Wikipedia entry, I see that he was a Chicago native. Also learned that Arthur Schlesinger Jr. had praise for Inside U.S.A. when it was reprinted in 1997. I would have guessed that Gunther was stealing a march on the Federal Writers Project state guides (a fascinating genre in and of itself), but apparently he got the ball rolling on this concept in 1936 with Inside Europe, at a time when work on the FWP state guides was just beginning.

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50 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

John S. Wilson’s name pops up a lot on bibliographic indexes that I get from Jazz Institut. IU’s music library has a couple of late 1950s jazz-record collecting guides by him—fairly pedestrian iirc from a couple of glances through them. 
 

What do you mean - "pedestrian"? :P

Remember the era and the target group of these books.
I have "The Collector's Jazz - Traditional and Swing" (1958), bought on a whim through eBay in a job lot of papers. Sure, it is no "All Music Guide to Jazz" thing - but could there have been in the 50s? To be honest, I find it quite in the tradition of "The Jazz Record Book" (Smith and Ramsey, 1943), and certainly other guides such as "Jazz on 78" and "Jazz on LP" issued as a (obviously biased <_<) guide by the Decca Group were not more enlightening overall. Products of their time but interesting time capsules anyway as they allow us to observe how the recordings were seen then. Come to think of it, and browsing through that "Traditional and Swing" volume right now, I find some of Wilson's comments on the artists and recordings quite enriching as well as amusing as they put things into perspective (at times a quite candid one).
That said, and as for "pedestrian", if OTOH you can give me a hint on the existence of an "overdrive top gear jet-age motoring" record guide from those late 50s (catering to a similiar public) then please do let me know and I will go out of my way to source a copy for my "old paper collection". ;)

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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The Mosaic box reprints all the original liner notes IIRC. Trust the boys at Mosaic to be thorough.

5 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Well, I certainly wouldn't have searched there ...

No wonder ...
My LP of this is the French pressing on Versailles - totally different cover and French (and France-specific) liner notes.

39357044ha.jpg

And an EP excerpt of this that I have (below) on Swedish Metronome has severely abridged liner notes that begin way down on lthe left column of the original LP liner notes (as displayed on Discogs) which isn't immediately apparent if you haven't seen the LP notes. No gallimaufry, no guile for us "Yurpeens" ...

39357045qe.jpg

39357046rd.jpg

(And search me why a previous owner of that EP blackened out the "neurotic" in Konitz' "neurotic relationship ..." with his alto :D)

P.S. Did you really mean John S. Wilson was hitting the "battle" and not the bottle? :w
Anyway, the liner note portion you gave reads like fun.

 

 

Sorry -- I meant "bottle. That "neurotic relationship to the alto" may have been Max Harrison's bright idea. I know I've seen that phrase before. Did Max write these notes? Can't imagine what that "neurotic relationship" might have involved. Did L:ee take his horn to bed with him?

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Well, from what I was able to decipher on Discogs, the left column (at the very least) of these liner notes on the Metronome EP came from John S: Wilson's liner notes on the Atlantic LP (and it was there that I was able to check up on the missing "neurotic" word.)

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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