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Essential John Gilmore?

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It was either on this site or another (Hoffman or a blog - or maybe a liner note somewhere) that someone told of an anecdote in which Clifford Jordan was asked why he and Gilmore didn't record another date together and Jordan's response was something along the lines of he tried but "The Bright One wouldn't be too happy about it." So that may be a clue as to why his discography is devoid of his own leader dates and why his sideman appearances with other artists are few. 

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My personal favorite John Gilmore is his solo on "Thoughts Under a Dark Blue Light" (from "The Great Lost Sun Ra Albums: Cymbals & Crystal Spears", recorded in 1973).

Very shaky, ragged performance overall, but Gilmore still pours everything he got -- Some Ammons, some freeky stuff, etc.

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1 hour ago, ghost of miles said:

Here’s an early Night Lights show that I did:

Away From The Spaceways: John Gilmore

It focuses on his few Ra-less dates, many of which have been mentioned above.

Thanks for reposting this. An ideal soundtrack to the thread

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8 hours ago, Д.Д. said:

He's a sideman on Dizzy Reece's "From In to Out" (a live recording from 1970), which is pretty good. 

great record. I recall that being Dizzy's favorite among his own records.

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5 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

The two 1978 Horo double-LP’s of the Sun Ra Quartet (with Michael Ray, and Luqman Ali on percussion) - are pretty stunning. Track down this material, by hook or crook, however you can.

New Steps was available ~8 years ago on a superb grey-market silver-disc CD (with fine liners even), Unfortunately Other Voices Other Blues hasn’t seen any similar sort of CD release, but there was a grey-market 3LP are issue of both double LP’s together (iirc), I forget the title - no idea of quality, but it’s probably pretty good I’d think.

I have that boot CD of New Steps, and Also an original LP set of OVOB that I got back in college, part of a set of ~35 Arkestra albums I bought as a bundle for $150 (including several Saturns) - a lucky find, to be sure.

All this Horo quartet material is pretty stunning (all of it studio recordings) - and important for the Gilmore quotient, but especially also for the Michael Ray (imho).

Yesss ....

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25 minutes ago, clifford_thornton said:

great record. I recall that being Dizzy's favorite among his own records.

I forgot about that one! Thanks! 

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Is there any kind of story about how Gilmour ended up with that short stint with the Jazz Messengers? Especially it being a European tour, and all.

If nothing else, the burning question is whether he bought (had to buy) that killer suit he’s in on that BBC broadcast - ?  (Certainly not Arkestra-issue attire, putting it mildly.)

Did Gilmore ever mention it? - playing with Lee Morgan?

Come to think of it, were/are there any published Gilmore interviews, of any sort? (Off to google to see if I can find any.)

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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2 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

If there any kind of story about how Gilmour ended up with that short stint with the Jazz Messengers? Especially it being a European tour, and all.

If nothing else, the burning question is whether he bought (had to buy) that killer suit he’s in on that BBC broadcast - ?  (Certainly not Arkestra-issue attire, putting it mildly.)

Did Gilmore ever mention it? - playing with Lee Morgan?

Come to think of it, were/are there any published Gilmore interviews, of any sort? (Off to google to see if I can find any.)

This collection mentions several.  I just checked John Szwed's Sun Ra bio, and page 204-205 contains this passage about Gilmore and Blakey:

As some of the musicians began to get a taste of the opportunities New York offered they began to feel restless and ignored.  Rehearsals were not enough.  John Gilmore spent hours every day practicing, then going out at night to hear lesser saxophonists making money:  "I'd been walking around New York and I wasn't working anywhere, and half the cats were out there playing my ideas," he told DownBeat.  "I said, 'What is this?  Here I am not working, and they're working, and they're stealing my ideas."  When Lee Morgan recommended him to Art Blakey as the Jazz Messengers were leaving for a tour of Japan and Europe, he accepted the offer and left the Arkestra.  But his bitterness even carried over into the Blakey band, and annoyed Blakey to the point where he let him go:

I criticized him because he'd be talking the way he was thinking.  The way he thought about life and what he believed in and why he would put down other people.  I didn't think it was right.  He was young and running off the top of his head, don't tell me that Lester Young steals from him, or Coltrane steals from him--that's not true.  He's off... I wasn't concerned about his playing, he'd be telling me about his fans on Mars or Jupiter, but I said it's the fans on this planet we're concerned with, not back there.

The Blakey quote is from a July 1981 Cadence interview.  Szwed doesn't specify when the DownBeat article with the Gilmore quote appeared.  

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18 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

This collection mentions several.  I just checked John Szwed's Sun Ra bio, and page 204-205 contains this passage about Gilmore and Blakey:

As some of the musicians began to get a taste of the opportunities New York offered they began to feel restless and ignored.  Rehearsals were not enough.  John Gilmore spent hours every day practicing, then going out at night to hear lesser saxophonists making money:  "I'd been walking around New York and I wasn't working anywhere, and half the cats were out there playing my ideas," he told DownBeat.  "I said, 'What is this?  Here I am not working, and they're working, and they're stealing my ideas."  When Lee Morgan recommended him to Art Blakey as the Jazz Messengers were leaving for a tour of Japan and Europe, he accepted the offer and left the Arkestra.  But his bitterness even carried over into the Blakey band, and annoyed Blakey to the point where he let him go:

I criticized him because he'd be talking the way he was thinking.  The way he thought about life and what he believed in and why he would put down other people.  I didn't think it was right.  He was young and running off the top of his head, don't tell me that Lester Young steals from him, or Coltrane steals from him--that's not true.  He's off... I wasn't concerned about his playing, he'd be telling me about his fans on Mars or Jupiter, but I said it's the fans on this planet we're concerned with, not back there.

The Blakey quote is from a July 1981 Cadence interview.  Szwed doesn't specify when the DownBeat article with the Gilmore quote appeared.  

What year was this tour?

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1 hour ago, ghost of miles said:

I wasn't concerned about his playing, he'd be telling me about his fans on Mars or Jupiter, but I said it's the fans on this planet we're concerned with, not back there.

:lol:

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1 hour ago, Dub Modal said:

What year was this tour?

Circa 1964-65, not sure of exact dates.

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7 hours ago, mhatta said:

My personal favorite John Gilmore is his solo on "Thoughts Under a Dark Blue Light" (from "The Great Lost Sun Ra Albums: Cymbals & Crystal Spears", recorded in 1973).

Very shaky, ragged performance overall, but Gilmore still pours everything he got -- Some Ammons, some freeky stuff, etc.

That''s a great one. The first Gilmore that captivated me was on Nothing Is--Dancing Shadows.

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