ghost of miles

George Coleman In Baltimore 1971 (Left Bank) out Nov 27/Dec 11

90 posts in this topic

I am surprised no one is asking what will happen to the tapes Blue Note chooses not to release. How and when do we get to hear them? This has been doing on for years. Loyola University in Baltimore had made an arrangement which would have resulted in some archiving system, possibly including public auditioning options for researchers, but Left Bank got cold feet and pulled out. All we got out of this was the Walter Namuth/Mickey Fields CD.

This project has never come to anything coherent, because the record industry and researchers have goals that are polar opposites. I have some ideas as to how to make everyone happy, but I doubt anyone will listen to me. Of course some funding is needed, but that should not be a deal breaker.

Upping this. We are talking about 200-300 tapes here. Maybe 20 will come out. What happens to the others?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Housing them at Loyola would have the logical route.

If BN wants to sit on them, there's nothing to be done, right?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the label's description: 

Neatly summing up the collection in an interview with Weeds, the band leader’s student and self-defined disciple Eric Alexander succinctly sums up The George Coleman Quintet in Baltimore: “It’s about the music and the music is f___ing great.” :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is/was the "Left Bank" that got cold feet? Can names be named?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A handful of members, one of whom just died. It may be mostly the one guy who is 77.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, bertrand said:

I am surprised no one is asking what will happen to the tapes Blue Note chooses not to release. How and when do we get to hear them? This has been doing on for years. Loyola University in Baltimore had made an arrangement which would have resulted in some archiving system, possibly including public auditioning options for researchers, but Left Bank got cold feet and pulled out. All we got out of this was the Walter Namuth/Mickey Fields CD.

This project has never come to anything coherent, because the record industry and researchers have goals that are polar opposites. I have some ideas as to how to make everyone happy, but I doubt anyone will listen to me. Of course some funding is needed, but that should not be a deal breaker.

Upping this. We are talking about 200-300 tapes here. Maybe 20 will come out. What happens to the others?

 

Heaven only knows but in terms of releasable tapes what are we talking about? I understood that a lot of the tapes had quality issues or were several generations removed (IIRC).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

Heaven only knows but in terms of releasable tapes what are we talking about? I understood that a lot of the tapes had quality issues or were several generations removed (IIRC).

All the more reason to place the unusable ones in an archive for research purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had to get up at 3:45 to sign up for a place in line, but it paid off!

F0E5BB1B-542E-46E6-B0D8-024B458C153D.jpeg

Edited by Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Eric said:

Had to get up at 3:45 to sign up for a place in line, but it paid off!

F0E5BB1B-542E-46E6-B0D8-024B458C153D.jpeg

How do you like it? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Eric said:

Had to get up at 3:45 to sign up for a place in line, but it paid off!

F0E5BB1B-542E-46E6-B0D8-024B458C153D.jpeg

Well do report .. and were  you being too careful or do you know that Black Friday jazz releases are going to sell out quickly where you live? (I guess if you know they are only getting one in stock that changes the calculation but when the Three Sounds LP was being released I was on line at opening ... and everybody went to the rock/pop section for Black Friday items and I got what I came for - and the second copy never sold, to my knowledge, before the location was closed during a consolidation of that local chain (three stores into 2).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

Well do report .. and were  you being too careful or do you know that Black Friday jazz releases are going to sell out quickly where you live? (I guess if you know they are only getting one in stock that changes the calculation but when the Three Sounds LP was being released I was on line at opening ... and everybody went to the rock/pop section for Black Friday items and I got what I came for - and the second copy never sold, to my knowledge, before the location was closed during a consolidation of that local chain (three stores into 2).

Well of course my turntable is in the shop, so listening will come a little later.  I can speak to the packaging and booklet, which is superb.  Some nice photos of George, both by Francis Wolff and at the Famous Ballroom, albeit with Wynton Kelly, not this gig.

The booklet starts with 5-6 paragraphs from Cory Weeds - I didn’t realize the Zev Feldman connection and that they had also worked together on the Cannonball Seattle record.  Feldman contributes his notes and then Michael Cuscuna has a nice essay.  Then Weeds has a long interview with Coleman, who describes his performance as “satisfactory” although based on the online clips I would say it is much more than that.  Coleman talks about his time with Roach/Brown and the other band members on the current album.  He also talks about his time with Lee Morgan and of course with Miles.  
 

Feldman then interviews John Fowler, who first became involved with the Left Bank Jazz Society at age 20, eventually becoming president and a member of the board.  A ton of good info about the organization and in particular another one of his associates, Vernon Welsh who actually started recording the artists, always with their permission and providing them with their own copies of the tapes.  He talks about the Baltimore jazz scene, how the Jazz Society operated, how they presented shows - just a fascinating level of detail.

Finally there is a Weeds interview with Eric Alexander about his relationship with Coleman, how it came to be via Harold Mabern, who was one of Alexander’s professors at the time.  Some funny anecdotes, particularly about his first lesson with George and the financial arrangement.

The whole thing is really well done, informative and exudes warmth and fellowship throughout.  

Towards the end of the Alexander interview, Weeds let out they are working on a Harold Land set from sessions from 1962 - 1965.

As for as hitting the place early - I have never been able to find titles at any of the KC stores after the fact. So starting with the last RSD drop, I have been following the drill with the largest record store in town.  You get there at 4:00, get in line and then are assigned a number and time to return and get your stuff (I was number 11).  Maybe overkill, but I have gotten what I wanted the past two times.  Was also able to get the Sonny Rollins and the Bill Evans this time around.  Got both Dexter Gordon’s, the Miles and the Mingus last time around.

 

 

Edited by Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Eric said:


 

Feldman then interviews John Fowler, who first became involved with the Left Bank Jazz Society at age 20, eventually becoming president and a member of the board.  A ton of good info about the organization and in particular another one of his associates, Vernon Welsh who actually started recording the artists, always with their permission and providing them with their own copies of the tapes.  He talks about the Baltimore jazz scene, how the Jazz Society operated, how they presented shows - just a fascinating level of detail.

Finally there is a Weeds interview with Eric Alexander about his relationship with Coleman, how it came to be via Harold Mabern, who was one of Alexander’s professors at the time.  Some funny anecdotes, particularly about his first lesson with him and the financial arrangement.

The whole thing is really well done, informative and exudes warmth and fellowship throughout.  

PS - towards the end of the Alexander interview, Weeds let out they are working on a Harold Land set from sessions from 1962 - 1965.

 

 

Thanks Eric.

This last bit is most interesting ... the news about the Land set - wish I had time to look up the details of Land dates in those years right now ... the EA part makes me wonder how old Eric was at the time. Did his obvious Coleman-isms come because he was already into his playing or because they met thru Mabern?

And last but certainly not least, its interesting to know that there were tapes that all the leaders (I assume) got a copy of. Two copies of all these cassettes are out there but none of the artists/estates have them anymore? If they could be found you might have better fidelity especially if some of these infamous 30 cassettes or so are actual later generations dubs. I always assumed that the organization recorded and those were the sole copies.

Edited by Dan Gould

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile - over the Pond - this one is conspicuous by its absence. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The RSD vinyl still seems to be up for sale at Jazz Messengers. Just ordered a copy ! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I preordered the CD, I assume it will have the exact same booklet and essays.

How wonderful to hear that Fowler finally sat down and got into some detail, something that none of us who have been dealing with him in the last 10 years gave been able to do. It was all just generalities and vague recollections with approximate dates. The recording of the panel I was on is now available for anyone who wants to listen. Some of my friends who were listening in real time gave up before the end.

I am a detail-oriented guy, and I have been trying to make a coherent list for years of what took place, what was recorded and where the existing tapes might reside. I have made a little bit of progress despite much pushback, but I feel confident making these statements:

1) Artists were almost certainly not always given copies of the recording. Possibly sometimes, but certainly not always.

2) There is no one stop shopping. However many tapes existed over the years have been scattered. Some are certainly lost, others in places no one has thought of looking yet. Was there ever a master list of everything that was recorded? I sure would like to know.

One example: Sunenblick was never required to send back the 20 tapes he got, he got them outright. How Left Bank could have agreed to this blows my mind. Now Sunenblick is dead. Do the Math.

On my end, I am following any leads I can get and have been successful in rescuing at least one recording. I will continue on this quest despite whatever misinformation may be out there. As Dan pointed out, if there were copies given to artists, they must be tracked down.

Bertrand. 

Edited by bertrand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can listen to the conference here:

https://www.baltimorejazz.com/baltimore-jazz-conference-2020/

In case I appear somewhat flustered: I was told two minutes before the start that there was a gag order on talking about the tapes or any archival plans for the future. My mistake for having the courtesy of sharing a copy of my notes with the panelists before hand, perhaps I should have blindsided them. Normally never a good approach for a meeting, but this might have needed to be an exception...

Just as an example of how effed up this has all been, here is how I first got involved: in the mid-90s, after I discovered a number of unrecorded Lee Morgan tunes at the Library of Congress, someone hipped me to Left Bank and that they recorded a lot of their gigs and that Lee played there a lot, and that maybe he played some of the unrecorded pieces at the gigs. In addition, some/all the tapes were or had been on repository at Morgan State U., presumably for researchers to audition and answer questions such as this one. I was put in touch with Leon Manker, a member who as it turns out did a lot of the booking until he got too old. It was a brief call: are you with a record label? No. And then he hung up. I should have said yes, I am with Green Note records.

Anyway, fast forward 25 years, I have not heard a note of Lee in Baltimore (the Fresh Sound CD is from Left Bank DC) and in fact they are claiming that Joel Dorn had all the Lee tapes and never returned them (5-7 concerts worth). I contacted Adam Dorn, the son, who was adamant that everything had been returned. If you look at the liner notes to the Etta Jones CD, you will see that at some point Fowler uncovered a stash of tapes he had misplaced (still no Morgan, alas). My guess is there are still other stacks in the homes of various people, and I know of at least one stack that is lost for good (don't ask).

So no matter what liner notes may say, there is a history of disorganization and poor decision-making involved with Left Bank. We cannot change the past, but we can think of the future. Between Blue Note and Cory Weeds and Resonance, only a handful of CDs will come out in the next few years. So what happens to rest of the tapes? Presumably, the labels had to have these digitized so they could pick what they wanted to put out. Is there any reason the digital copies cannot be placed for researchers to audition in some archive, e.g. Library of Congress, Smithsonian, Loyola, Hopkins or another Baltimore institution? The Morgan State thing fell apart, but I am sure there is part of that story I don't know yet. I did visit a couple of years ago, no one there now knew anything but apparently the place was a mess in the 80s. This would not prevent commercialization of some of the recordings. Look at the Newport Collection at the Library of Congress. Researchers can audition in person, and some have been released commercially. Is there one single person on the planet who will say: 'I won't buy this CD because I can just fly to DC and listen to it at the Library of Congress'. There is ZERO loss of commercial potential with this approach.

Ultimately, someone from a label has to come around to my point of view. A 5-minute chat with Don Was could change a lot of things.

Bertrand. 

 

 

Edited by bertrand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just given the LP a spin and I like it. Nothing too profound, pretty much a blowing session but a good one and in good, clear sound.

Fine version of ‘Body and Soul’ by George on side 2, a feature for his circular breathing technique. 

Echo the comments above about the nice LP production and booklet. Very glad to have it !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Listening right now and enjoying—can second the comments about the packaging and playing above. Surprised that the CD is only 46 minutes long, though. Was that all that Feldman and Weeds thought was worthy of release, or all that they had in terms of tape? If so, understandable... I just hope it wasn’t a matter of discarding usable performances because of the accompanying single-LP vinyl release.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knockout performance by Coleman on “Body and Soul,” and really digging Albert Dailey’s playing on this date as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

Listening right now and enjoying—can second the comments about the packaging and playing above. Surprised that the CD is only 46 minutes long, though. Was that all that Feldman and Weeds thought was worthy of release, or all that they had in terms of tape? If so, understandable... I just hope it wasn’t a matter of discarding usable performances because of the accompanying single-LP vinyl release.

Lots of possible scenarios when it comes to Left Bank. I do know that sometimes portions are not usable. Probably partly because they dragged their feet about digitizing, The vinyl theory is plausible also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even a lot of the Left Bank material that has seen release through the years has not so great sound quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry Gross had a feature on the George Coleman album today by Kevin Whitehead. Danny Moore had a really fat sound and was burnin'!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a pretty good record. I'm playing it more than once, more than twice, more than chicken soup with rice. This is a pretty good record.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2020 at 6:19 PM, ghost of miles said:

Knockout performance by Coleman on “Body and Soul,”...

I'm listening to this and hearing George getting to some places that Warne got to in terms of harmony/harmonic rhythm...means nothing except that those places are there, for real there, and that it's not "magic", it's work, and openness to not just see what's there, but to actually go there.

No, it's not for everybody, but it's not NOT for anybody either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JSngry said:

I'm listening to this and hearing George getting to some places that Warne got to in terms of harmony/harmonic rhythm...means nothing except that those places are there, for real there, and that it's not "magic", it's work, and openness to not just see what's there, but to actually go there.

No, it's not for everybody, but it's not NOT for anybody either.

Cool!

Gotta get that.  :tup 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.