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John L

Tete Montoliu on Impulse! ???

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I still stumbled on this very intriguing item in the Lord discography.  I wonder if we will ever get to hear some of it?

  Live, "Village Gate", New York, April 21, 1967
  Blues Impulse (unissued)
  Solar        -
  I remember Clifford        -
  Falling in love with love        -
  Tune up        -
  It could happen to you        -
  Blues in F        -
  Where are you ?        -
  Unknown piano solo        -
  Unknown title        -
  'Round midnight        -
  Unknown original title        -
  Unknown title        -
  Falling in love with love        -
  Don't blame me        -
[M9954.20]Full musician list Your CollectionAdd
same pers. 
  Live, "Village Gate", New York, April 22, 1967
  Solar Impulse (unissued)
  Stella by starlight        -
  I can't get started        -
  Just friends        -
  The things we did last summer        -
  Blues        -
  Whisper not        -
  You've changed        -
  Unknown title        -
  Oleo        -
  A night in Tunisia        -
  Dia inolvidabli        -
 

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Probably burned up in that fire.

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11 minutes ago, bresna said:

Probably burned up in that fire.

Yea, I was thinking that too. 

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Davis/Elvin, somebody find the ashes and reconstitute them, please.

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31 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Davis/Elvin, somebody find the ashes and reconstitute them, please.

Yes, that is the point.  I don't believe that trio was otherwise recorded.  

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I'd be ok with finding just the bass and drum parts, if it came to that.

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Zev Feldman will find a backup copy. He will not release it though because it will have no commercial potential.

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Was this booked as a Tete Montoliu date at the Gate?

Anybody got some kind of archive prowess to check that out?

 

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13 hours ago, JSngry said:

Was this booked as a Tete Montoliu date at the Gate?

Anybody got some kind of archive prowess to check that out?

 

I just looked at Google Books for "Village Gate" listings in NY Magazine, but they only go back to 1968.

Someone with newspapers.com access might find something.

Honestly though I don't know why you would question it unless you think they rented the room during the day to record?

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New York Daily News, April 34, 1967 (two days after the night of the recording). So Tete was playing opposite Blossom Dearie and did good enough business that he was held over. 

9EFD1FB6-33EE-4114-9587-9CF03A9BA4F4.jpeg

Edited by Mark Stryker

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Any idea who would have been managing him, to get him that booking? And where did he go after that? Was his plan to stay, or was this just a visit?

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Ok, let's get things straight on Tete Montoliu's first stay in the United States:

Tete travelled to New York for a dinner-dance program of the Spain-United States Chamber of Commerce called "An Evening In Barcelona" to be held on April 1, 1967, together with vocalist Núria Feliu. 

On April 3 a private party at Willis Connover's apartment was held to present Tete Montoliu to the New York jazz scene. Reportedly, Gil Evans, Dave Brubeck and Bob Thiele were present.

Although he arrived with no American commercial commitments, Tete Montoliu was quickly signed by agent Ivan Black for a night club engagement at the Village Gate (Top of the Gate) and for a recording session for Impulse Records.

In "Tete. Casi Autobiografía", Miquel Jurado mentions that Montoliu's stay in New York lasted for three months. Tete Montoliu, in an interview published in Quàrtica Jazz #1 (January 1981), refers to two months and a half. 

The Ivan Black Papers, the New Yorker, the NYTimes ("Cabaret Tonight" section, April 11, 1967)  and a brief notice in the Daily News (April 10, 1967) confirm that Montoliu's engagement at the Top of the Gate started on Tuesday, April 11, 1967.

The last performance must have taken place on June 10, according to the New Yorker. Certainly, in June 13, Montoliu was not playing at the Top of the Gate, since both the NYTimes (June 13, 1967) and  the New Yorker (June 17, 1967 issue) list the Mose Allison Trio and pianist-comedienne Patty Bowen.

This is the review in the NYTimes (April 15, 1967) by John S. Wilson:

“Montoliu, Spanish Jazz Pianist, Brings His Quiet Stylism to U.S
(…) The most noticeable influences to be heard in his playing are the late Art Tatum, who came from Toledo (Ohio), and Bill Evans. Like Mr. Tatum, who was partly blind, Mr. Montoliu has remarkable technical dexterity, which he uses to create long, complex lines that flow over and through each other, weaving patterns that become almost hypnotic. To this he has added a meditative, reflective quality that stems from Mr. Evans.
The total effect is a moving mosaic made up of bits and pieces of melody and rhythm that never goes directly forward but gives an impression of steady, billowing propulsion. In the process, Mr. Montoliu deepens the airy cascades of Mr. Tatum’s style and enlivens the Evans-like mulling.
Control, polish and quiet understatement color his performances. Each piece is a beautifully finished cameo, but, over a full evening, this eventually builds a sense of restraint. One keeps hoping that Mr. Montoliu will burst out of his neat, compact frameworks and give his virtuosity wider latitude (…).”

Artists sharing the bill with Tete at the Top of the Gate during this period included Blossom Dearie (four weeks), Marian McPartland Trio (three weeks) and Mose Allison Trio. 

Sources: The New Yorker, The Villager, Variety, Billboard, New York Times, New Yorks Amsterdam News, Daily News. The Ivan Black papers at the NY Public Library. Miquel Jurado biography on TM.
 

More to come on the Impulse! recording.

Edited by EKE BBB

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Thank you!

Never heard of Ivan Black, nor of Patty Bowen being a comedienne as well as a pianist, but there's always something new to learn!

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As regards the recording session for Impulse!:

 

Reportedly, Tete was asked by Bob Thiele to choose a bassist and a drummer, and indeed he did!

The recording sessions took place at the Top of the Gate on April 21 and April 22. Some sources incorrectly list this session as recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio.

I have had access to the session logs (#1542 and #1543), and they do not list which tunes were performed.

Since early 2020, Lord online discography provides the list of recorded titles, which are not far from the standard setlist that Tete Montoliu was playing on those days. However, I have asked Tom Lord but he has not been able to provide the source of this information. 

I interviewed Richard Davis in 2006, but he had no memories of this session. 

According to MJ, Tete Montoliu asked Bob Thiele not to issue this recording since he was not very pleased with his own playing. However, he reportedly kept a tape of the recorded session, which he subsequently destroyed. In any case, such tape was not found after his passing in 1997.

And finally (and surprisingly), Tete Montoliu is included in the December 1967 issue of Billboard magazine within the Record Talent Edition list of recording artists of the year, under the label Impulse!
 

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EKE - Many thanks for all this information!!

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Indeed, went for a total (for me) WTF? to a total OIC! in literally minutes!

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7 hours ago, JSngry said:

Thank you!

Never heard of Ivan Black, nor of Patty Bowen being a comedienne as well as a pianist, but there's always something new to learn!

Is this really Patti Bown, or maybe someone else?

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