BrianB

Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder

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1 hour ago, clifford_thornton said:

It is an iconic album in the Blue Note catalog, and the title track is very listenable. 

and danceable, which might help account for it being so hard to find used - people other than hard core jazz fans buy it too.

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2 hours ago, BrianB said:

How’d this become so popular? I enjoy it (clearly) but didn’t know it was so elusive or expensive! 

It was already getting to be a hit, and the title tune was used in a Dodge(?) commercial during the World Series.

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29 minutes ago, clifford_thornton said:

yeah, orchestral version IIRC, but yeah.

Orchestral? :o  Does footage still exist? Like, on YouTube??

Edit: this doesn’t appear to be it:

 

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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20 hours ago, JSngry said:

It was already getting to be a hit, and the title tune was used in a Dodge(?) commercial during the World Series.

Jim, can you say more about the timing around this?

It's interesting that neither SEARCH FOR THE NEW LAND nor TOM CAT included a "Sidewinder" knock-off, but then the next 3 albums (RUMPROLLER, GIGOLO, CORNBREAD) all did... and all 3 were recorded before the 1965 World Series.  So clearly Morgan and Lion thought they had a winning formula on their hands before the Chrysler ad aired.

I'm curious whether anyone has done "census" of these "boogaloo" type pieces and around when they started becoming a feature on straight-ahead jazz albums.  Was "The Sidewinder" a cause or a symptom?

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Not the usual sort of arrangement:

 

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39 minutes ago, Guy Berger said:

 

I'm curious whether anyone has done "census" of these "boogaloo" type pieces and around when they started becoming a feature on straight-ahead jazz albums.  Was "The Sidewinder" a cause or a symptom?

Couldn't you say that Watermelon Man was the start of the "Blue Note Boogaloo" (more than a year earlier)? 

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21 hours ago, JSngry said:

It was already getting to be a hit, and the title tune was used in a Dodge(?) commercial during the World Series.

Of course at first I was thinking wow that’s cool people discovering jazz now because of a commercial. But then I remembered despite as long as this year has felt, there’s been years in the past that aren’t 2020 when this could’ve happened :lol:

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Daniel A said:

Couldn't you say that Watermelon Man was the start of the "Blue Note Boogaloo" (more than a year earlier)? 

Doh.  Of course!  Can't believe I forgot about that.

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On 9/22/2020 at 11:26 AM, Guy Berger said:

Jim, can you say more about the timing around this?

It's interesting that neither SEARCH FOR THE NEW LAND nor TOM CAT included a "Sidewinder" knock-off, but then the next 3 albums (RUMPROLLER, GIGOLO, CORNBREAD) all did... and all 3 were recorded before the 1965 World Series.  So clearly Morgan and Lion thought they had a winning formula on their hands before the Chrysler ad aired.

I'm curious whether anyone has done "census" of these "boogaloo" type pieces and around when they started becoming a feature on straight-ahead jazz albums.  Was "The Sidewinder" a cause or a symptom?

I've been working on an imaginary mega-box of Blue Note Groove Things (so formulated to be a little broader than Son 0f sidewinder, but still have some parameters - no walking basslines, no shuffles).  and I'd say the first recording that had all the pieces in place was Donald Byrd's  "Pentecostal Feeling" from Free Form, which was recorded in December, 1961 but not issued til much later (4 or 5 years IIRC).  There were things that had some of the pieces or were in some way a precedent, but to my ears "Watermelon Man" was the first issued and "The Sidewinder" opened the gates to a slew of knockoffs, but not til it had become huge and the distributors were clamoring for it.  I could go on, but I'll leave it here for now.  It is almost entirely a BN thing, to my ears, unless you include the later sort of groove centered on Idris/Leo's drumming, then it's BN and Prestige.

Edited by danasgoodstuff

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Looking at my Joel Whitburn Billboard chart books and the Cuscuna/Ruppli BN discography, I see this picture: 'The Sidewinder' album was released in July, 1964 (recorded late 1963) charted on the pop album charts in October of 1964, a full year before the 1965 world series, and eventually reached #25, a stunning achievement.  'Search for the New Land' (February 1964) and 'Tom Cat' (August 1964) were recorded prior to 'The Sidewinder' charting, and were obviously held back while 'The Sidewinder' was selling so well.  The first Morgan album recorded after the success of 'The Sidewinder' had commenced was 'The Rumproller' (April 1965), and that adopted the lessons learned from 'The Sidewinder'.  Several (though not all) Subsequent Morgan albums followed the same path for a number of years.  Some magnificent ('The Gigolo', 'Infinity'), others less so, until he broke free of the formula with 'Live at the Lighthouse'.    'Search For The New Land' is spectacular, and did eventually make it out a few years later.

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I’ve always considered Herbie Hancock’s ‘Blindman, Blindman’ as one of the first of this type of thing - it was even promoted on the album’s cover. An obvious attempt to create a Jazz “hit.”  Of course, the Blue Note catalog is filled with pre-‘Sidewinder’ numbers that had wider appeal, often showing up on jukeboxes, not necessary in that ‘boogaloo’ style, but funky and with some commercial appeal - “Back at the Chicken Shack,” “Moanin,” Horace Silver...

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6 minutes ago, DMP said:

I’ve always considered Herbie Hancock’s ‘Blindman, Blindman’ as one of the first of this type of thing - it was even promoted on the album’s cover. An obvious attempt to create a Jazz “hit.” 

More like a "follow up hit" to "Watermelon Man".

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On 10/2/2020 at 8:34 PM, felser said:

Looking at my Joel Whitburn Billboard chart books and the Cuscuna/Ruppli BN discography, I see this picture: 'The Sidewinder' album was released in July, 1964 (recorded late 1963) charted on the pop album charts in October of 1964, a full year before the 1965 world series, and eventually reached #25, a stunning achievement.  'Search for the New Land' (February 1964) and 'Tom Cat' (August 1964) were recorded prior to 'The Sidewinder' charting, and were obviously held back while 'The Sidewinder' was selling so well.  The first Morgan album recorded after the success of 'The Sidewinder' had commenced was 'The Rumproller' (April 1965), and that adopted the lessons learned from 'The Sidewinder'.  Several (though not all) Subsequent Morgan albums followed the same path for a number of years.  Some magnificent ('The Gigolo', 'Infinity'), others less so, until he broke free of the formula with 'Live at the Lighthouse'.    'Search For The New Land' is spectacular, and did eventually make it out a few years later.

And, ironically or not, Search was the next best seller for Lee after Sidewinder.  They certainly tried to get similar hits for others on the label, Hank for one, but the next most successful thing on the label was Horace's Song For My Father and that, while certainly groovy in its own way, wasn't an attempt to replicate SW it was just Horace being Horace.

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5 minutes ago, danasgoodstuff said:

 it was just Horace being Horace.

And all the better for it.

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On 10/3/2020 at 0:54 PM, danasgoodstuff said:

And, ironically or not, Search was the next best seller for Lee after Sidewinder.  They certainly tried to get similar hits for others on the label, Hank for one, but the next most successful thing on the label was Horace's Song For My Father and that, while certainly groovy in its own way, wasn't an attempt to replicate SW it was just Horace being Horace.

show me this commercial- 

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2 hours ago, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

show me this commercial- 

Nobody seems to have that commercial. It only ran that one time and it sounds like the copyright lawsuit stopped it from being shown again. I've searched for it for many years and never found it. I figured that since it was during a World Series game, but no, no footage seems to exist from this.

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Per Wikipedia:

 

Television coverage of the 1965 baseball World Series included an advertisement by Chrysler that featured a version of Morgan's recording.[8] Morgan was watching the program, did not know that his composition was to be used, and found out the next day that its use had not been authorized.[8] After Morgan threatened to sue, Chrysler agreed not to show the advertisement again and settled the case.[8]

 

[8] Perchard, Tom (2006) Lee Morgan: His Life, Music and Culture, Equinox, p. 159.

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I did see a video of that commercial one time but I couldn't tell you where or when and I don't think it was on YouTube.

 

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Once.

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Sonic Boom (Lee Morgan album) - Wikipedia

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