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BlueSpirits

Booker Ervin

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It is hard for me to describe just how much I love this man's playing. His tone, compositions, ability to go a bit "out" yet still remain rooted in soulful blues. I get chills when I hear him play.

I would say he is my favourite tenor of all time, probably just ahead of Joe Henderson and the Coltrane. I recently was looking at a top 50 sax players of all time list (I know, those things are ridiculous) and he wasn't even on there?!

His Book Series are incredible, and when paired with Jaki Byard the magic just happens. And there is even an organ tie-in as he played on a couple Don Patterson albums, as well

 

I'm new here, and just wondering...any love for "The Book" ? 

 

 

 

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I'm a big fan.  Among his own records, I love Freedom Book the best, and after that usually go to his sterling work with Charles Mingus and Randy Weston. 

He died pretty young--about the same age as Coltrane.  It is certainly tough to rival the work and legacy of Trane. 

But Booker's profile 50+ years later should be higher than what is is now.

  

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A big plug for The Quest by Mal Waldron. Booker with Eric Dolphy. 

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For sure, I don't really think anyone can rival the work and legacy of Trane, but I totally agree that he should have a bigger profile. I was reading somewhere that it's because he wasn't an innovator, but more just a truly great sideman, one of the so-called journeymen of jazz that so-often get overlooked. Perhaps that is a fair statement, but I do think he came up with something quite unique in his use of the blues vocabulary in a more exploratory way than usual. And his tone is quite unique- it's so loud and bold and he plays ferociously, almost like Jackie Mclean at times.

Glad to hear from another big fan!

 

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5 minutes ago, BlueSpirits said:

For sure, I don't really think anyone can rival the work and legacy of Trane, but I totally agree that he should have a bigger profile. I was reading somewhere that it's because he wasn't an innovator, but more just a truly great sideman, one of the so-called journeymen of jazz that so-often get overlooked. Perhaps that is a fair statement, but I do think he came up with something quite unique in his use of the blues vocabulary in a more exploratory way than usual. And his tone is quite unique- it's so loud and bold and he plays ferociously, almost like Jackie Mclean at times.

Glad to hear from another big fan!

 

I like Booker too, maybe not to the level shown here but I am always reminded of our Chuck Nessa's description of his solos: There were two - fast and slow. :g

 

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Probably my favorite booker records (as leader) are The In-Between and what has been come to be known as Tex-Book Tenor. Both on Blue Note.

But to trifectaulate the pairing, add in Horace Parlan's Happy State Of Mind.

Chuck's comment is accurate, but so is another one that gets less referenced - he important, not for what he played, but for how he played it.

Not going to say with certainty that I have every Booker Ervin record or record that he's on, but if I see one that I don't have, I get it.

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I guess this would fall into the "slow" category. Love this tune. 

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The Freedom Book + The Space Book ❤❤❤ !!!

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6 minutes ago, Dub Modal said:

 

I guess this would fall into the "slow" category. Love this tune. 

Oh yeah! One of my favourites. See what I mean?! It's bluesy, but it's just a bit weird and strange.

 

I also really love this one, though it's pretty straight.

 

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1 minute ago, BlueSpirits said:

Oh yeah! One of my favourites. See what I mean?! It's bluesy, but it's just a bit weird and strange.

 

I also really love this one, though it's pretty straight.

 

Yeah, that's nice. Got a noir feel to it. I've never dipped into that album but will have to. The ensemble playing is right on point. 

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35 minutes ago, soulpope said:

The Freedom Book + The Space Book ❤❤❤ !!!

An excellent Prestige twofer.

30 minutes ago, Dub Modal said:

Yeah, that's nice. Got a noir feel to it. I've never dipped into that album but will have to. The ensemble playing is right on point. 

Nice arrangements by Teddy Edwards too !

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I love Booker Ervin, and though it has been alleged he cannot play chord changes real well, check this out:

 

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Booker 'n Brass...if such things matter to you, get the LP to supplement the CD. Belden took all the reverb off, and at first I though it was a different record...just sayin', that record was obviously geared towards getting airplay, and the reverb was part of that. The CD is an altogether different effect. I like them both, but they are different "records". Same music, same playing, obviously. But dry and wet are...opposites, right? So.

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12 minutes ago, AllenLowe said:

I love Booker Ervin, and though it has been alleged he cannot play chord changes real well, check this out:

 

I recall reading something like that as well, that he struggles over chord changes and so ended up moving towards a more modal approach in compositions. I really don't hear that at all. Most of all he makes me feel something, ain't that the point?

8 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Booker 'n Brass...if such things matter to you, get the LP to supplement the CD. Belden took all the reverb off, and at first I though it was a different record...just sayin', that record was obviously geared towards getting airplay, and the reverb was part of that. The CD is an altogether different effect. I like them both, but they are different "records". Same music, same playing, obviously. But dry and wet are...opposites, right? So.

Interesting! Thanks for that info. I'm currently on the hunt for all Booker LPs, as it goes.

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when I worked for Don Schlitten in the middle 1970s he just went into a feeling of....joy? Complete happiness, or whatever else,  whenever Book's name came up. And I agree, as there are maybe a handful of other horn players with that level of soul.

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58 minutes ago, AllenLowe said:

when I worked for Don Schlitten in the middle 1970s he just went into a feeling of....joy? Complete happiness, or whatever else,  whenever Book's name came up. And I agree, as there are maybe a handful of other horn players with that level of soul.

Yeah, I don't know what it is, but Booker hits me like no other. Would I argue that he is "better" than Coltrane? No. I just love the fact that someone not so heralded can hit me so deep. It was such a great discovery for me. The only other guys I can think of that make me feel that way are Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw and Bobby Hutcherson, in their playing, compositions, everything. It's a certain unnameable something.

 

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I understand that. Each of those artists have a cohesive concept and a recognizable style that distinguishes them. I haven't been bitten by the Booker bug as hard as others have--there's something in the "cry" of his work that I hear too often and wish he would not employ it as often. I think he learned a lot from his time with Mingus. Another saxophonist from a Mingus combo that I wish had the recording opportunities that Booker had was Shadi Hafi. I really really like his playing. . . and wish there were a lot more recordings.

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1 hour ago, BlueSpirits said:

Yeah, I don't know what it is, but Booker hits me like no other. Would I argue that he is "better" than Coltrane? No. I just love the fact that someone not so heralded can hit me so deep. It was such a great discovery for me. The only other guys I can think of that make me feel that way are Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw and Bobby Hutcherson, in their playing, compositions, everything. It's a certain unnameable something.

 

Are you hip to Billy Harper? He's got that same vibe. I consider him a more or less direct link to Booker in terms of sound, the way that put the air into and out of the horn.

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Both Billy Harper and Booker Ervin were from Texas.  It is good to see his art discussed decades after his death.  Saved from obscurity.

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26 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Are you hip to Billy Harper? He's got that same vibe. I consider him a more or less direct link to Booker in terms of sound, the way that put the air into and out of the horn.

I know I have heard him before, did he play with Woody Shaw, maybe? But I have never gone into his discography at all. Time for me to do so!

 

I knew it was a good thing for me to join this site, haha. I'm becoming hip to so much good stuff it's almost overwhelming. I have no one to talk jazz with in real life..All my friends are strictly rockers or metalheads, for some reason.

Edited by BlueSpirits

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You know you're going to go broke and then blame us, right? :g

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Haha, it's all good. This is the year I decided to really get into a lot of jazz that I probably overlooked or slept on. I'm going all out for a new vinyl setup, then to track down all that elusive plastic...:g

 

I do have a question! How do you guys not get overwhelmed by the amount of music there is to check out? For example, I'm trying to make my way through all of Bobby Hutcherson's discography, but as I am doing that I discover a new guy, then another, then another...and it's like.....there's probably some Coltrane albums I haven't even heard yet! And I will keep spinning the same vinyl over and over because I love it, but then feel like I could be missing out on some other album. And don't get me started on keeping up with new cats coming out there days! There's still so much back catalogue to go through! Of course it's great fun and such a gift to have all of this amazing music to discover, but sometime I feel like I need a system, ahha,

Edited by BlueSpirits

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There's a lot of fine work by Billy Harper on several Randy Weston records; that's mainly how I know his playing.

BlueSpirit, in regard to your last point or question...that's the joy of it, one thing leading to another.  That's the process of trying to dig up all the records by a particular artist, including the obscure ones.  It's following Larry Goldings (organ), who does not have a lot of leader dates but who can be found on many records.

It's not frustration...it's joy!

And you should love the fellowship here at Organissimo. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Milestones said:

There's a lot of fine work by Billy Harper on several Randy Weston records; that's mainly how I know his playing.

BlueSpirit, in regard to your last point or question...that's the joy of it, one thing leading to another.  That's the process of trying to dig up all the records by a particular artist, including the obscure ones.  It's following Larry Goldings (organ), who does not have a lot of leader dates but who can be found on many records.

It's not frustration...it's joy!

And you should love the fellowship here at Organissimo. 

 

Agreed. it is joy. I'm a bit OCD with my music collecting, haha, hence why sometimes it can be overwhelming for me. But yes, I cannot think of a cooler thing than say, when I really dug the trumpet on Booker's The Blues Book, (and I discovered Booker through Mingus), so it led me to Carmell Jones, which led me to Harold Land, which led me back To Bobby H. It's an amazing thing.

And I love the community already!

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