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Night of the Cookers


Brad
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Bertrand,

The memory always goes first. I could have sworn it was Merritt, but maybe I'm confusing the occasion with other dates that I saw The Mesgrs. For sure it wasn't Workman because Reggie is a little guy, and we had to move the front seat forward for the bass player to give him more room in the back. It may have been Sproles. The other members of the band were Wayne, Curtis Fuller and either John Hicks or Cedar on piano. They were staying at the Vine Lodge Motel which was only a few blocks away from The Manne-Hole in Hollywood.

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Cali, Sidewinder,

Both Sproles and Merritt are tall guys, so either fits the bill.

If Wayne and Curtis were in the group as well, then we have the two following options (since it is not Reggie):

1. It was Merritt, and then the gig would have been 1961 or 1962. Jymie was still in the group for a while after Curtis joined. Bobby Timmons was on piano for the first sextet record (on Impulse!), then was replaced by Walton. Reggie replaced Jymie later, after a couple of Blue Notes.

2. It was Sproles, and then it would be 1965. In that case, Wayne was about to be replaced by John Gilmore - this might have been one of his last gigs. Cedar was also about to replaced by Hicks. There are no recordings of a sextet with Shorter and Sproles, at least that I know of.

Mike Fitzgerald's chronology could probably help us solve this mystery (it might tell us when Blakey played at that club), but I can't get to it right now.

Very interesting!

Bertrand.

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Fascinating, Bertrand ... this is starting to develop like something out of Sherlock Holmes ! B) :g

Incidentally, the only reference I can see to a 1965 Blakey session with Sproles is 'Soulfinger' on Limelight. Recorded in May, it has Lucky Thompson on tenor and soprano. John Hicks was still in the band for this date ..

Edited by sidewinder
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The mystery deepens. Mike F's chronology has an entry for Feb 27-March 8th 1964 at the Manne-Hole, followed by the Jazz Workshop in San Fran. The line-up is Morgan, Shorter, Fuller, Walton and Workman. First listing entries for Hicks and Sproles are in October 1964...

:wacko::rfr

Edited by sidewinder
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I have the vinyl version of Night of the Cookers, Vol.I. Can't say I like it much. Overly frenetic, overly loud, no real shape to the performances.

Questions: Isn't there a Vol.2 (I think there is) and is it more of the same? Are both performances on CD together? Was wondering if the comments on the posts above refer to the vinyl version or a CD version.

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The Night of the Cookers that I have is a domestic Blue Note doubletime release - 2 CDs. So yes, the answer to your question is that there is a volume 2 and it's pretty much more of the same.

The Spanish Blue Note series that's being sold through Fresh Sounds has the volumes as two separate CDs.

You know what I hate about those old Blue Note doubletime releases is that idiotic band that annonces DOUBLETIME 2CDs for one low price. I totally ruins the cover artwork. Shame on them. :tdown

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Since I was checking out which version I had, I decided to give this one a spin. I agree with Brad's assessment. It doesn't cook. At all. It's not terrible, but it's far from good, IMO. I guess I'd say it's listenable and certainly interesting from the standoint that it's Morgan and Hubbard, though neither distinguishes himself her. The songs just seem to ramble on forever. The solos are disjointed and all over the place. The band just never clicks.

This used to get HUGE buck on ebay. I wonder how many buyers were disappointed after dropping $30 or so on this one.

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  • 2 months later...

f55031fsif2.jpg

On the background of this picture is someone who has a bandage all around his head, as someone who has been injured. His face is cut on the "Etcetera" cover (see above) but it is NOT in the book. Unfortunately, it is much darker printed in the book than on the CD booklet, but it seems to me that this man could really be Lee Morgan. We know Lee is on 4 of the 6 tracks from "Night Dreamer", and on the picture, he sat next to Shorter. Judging by their position, it cannot be Elvin Jones (there's no drum in front), it cannot be Reggie Workman (no bass) and it doesn't seem to be McCoy Tyner sitting at the piano. So, could it be Lee ? Could you check into the book and let me know what you think about it ?

Additional evidence from the Art Blakey, Indestructible (RVG) liner:

morgan_bandage.jpg

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According to this Wayne discography:

http://www.jazzdisco.org/shorter-dis/c/

Indestructible is 4/15/64, 4/16/64, 4/24/64 and 5/15/64. Night Dreamer is 4/29/64.

So we now have almost irrefutable evidence that between 4/15/64 and 5/15/64, Lee Morgan was wearing some sort of bandage around his head.

Here are the people who might know something:

Wayne Shorter

Curtis Fuller

Cedar Walton

Reggie Workman

McCoy Tyner

Elvin Jones

Anyone intimate friends with any of the people above?

I'll add it to my ever-growing list of questions to ask Wayne Shorter (question #1 on the list: When was Golden Boy recorded?).

Bertrand.

Edited by bertrand
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Who woulda thunk there's be such a clear picture of Lee with the bandage on his head, in one of the new RVG's!!!!!

Man, the plot thickens!!! B)

I don't suppose Michael would have any idea, by any chance?? If so - Kevin - could you mention some of this to him next time you trade e-mails with him, or talk to him by phone??

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I know this may seem like a ludricous comment, but I'll mention it anyway: perhaps the thing on Lee's head isn't a bandage at all, maybe it's a headband or other piece of headgear. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

If the white band is indeed a bandage, then maybe the wound(s) happened in a conflict with a drug dealer (pure speculation on my part, but it's definitely possible).

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Re: Shelly's Manne-Hole gig - I do think some appearances are being confused here.

Forgetting about who may or may not have been onstage, if I understand correctly, there were only 3 passengers in the car: Lee, Blakey, Merritt (we think).

I'd be interested to talk further to determine if there are any personal circumstances or recollections that would determine date, season, etc. (Though in Los Angeles it's not very likely that you'd remember that it was winter because the guys had heavy coats and therefore had a hard time fitting into the car.)

Unfortunately, knowing the club doesn't help since the Manne-Hole opened in late 1960 and continued at that location until 1972.

Mike

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interesting speculation about the bandage/headband in the "Indestructible" liners. I thought it was a headband, when I looked at the booklet, whatever the case that is a SMOKIN' album. B) "The Egyptian" almost sustains the type of energy on "Free For All" especially when Wayne is just hanging on to that one note towards the end of his solo. I should pick up "Free For All" even if it is not available as an RVG domestically or otherwise.

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  • 8 months later...

I finally get to weigh in on these performances. I recently picked up the TOCJs, and I'm certainly glad I listened to them first. The remastering does save the set IMHO.

I disagree with mostly everyone who has bashed this record. While it's not 5-star by any stretch, it really isn't that bad. Certainly, not frentic like described. The tracks do drag on, and Morgan sounds a bit underwhelming, but I don't mind the overall product. If you can find it cheap (and apparently it still gets big bucks on Ebay), I'd check it out. If you can find the TOCJs/JRVGs all the more power to you.

It's also possible that I simply didn't expect anything from these discs...maybe, that's why I don't mind them!

Edited by undergroundagent
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  • 2 months later...

Yikes! Get down, man. Get the fuck down! This session, The Night of the Cookers, flat out, in your face, COOKS.

Night of the Cookers is, to me, a good, old-fashioned, jamband, jammy, jam. It doesn't get any better than this. This is hot, bold, fresh, raw, no holds barred, right out on the ragged edge, spontaneous, exciting, and inspirational music. This baby COOKS. The music twists, turns, drops out, pops back in, but gives up nothing.

I'm surprised by the negative comments this title has received. For what? I get to hear Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, James Spaulding, and Pete LaRoca play the living hell out of these tunes. The crowd is going freaking apeshit and so am I. There is nothing getting past this crowd. At the end of LaRoca's solo on Jodo, somebody is yelling, "Pete Sims, Pete Sims!"

I'd let out a shriek if I thought anybody would hear me. I thought I was familiar with the playing of Morgan and Hubbard. However, Night of the Cookers adds an entirely new dimension. What's up with Spaulding? He plays, on this session, like I've never heard him play.

Night of the Cookers reminds me of the Davis Quartet's Plugged Nickel sessions, the avante garde of John Coltrane, and, with Big Black on the congas, the jazzier side of Widespread Panic. All wrapped up in a Blue Note package. Just incredible. This is an amazing set of music. I've never heard these players sound so natural, inspired, and gut wrenching raw. It's as if Hubbard was saying, "You want the live experience? THIS is the live experience."

Edited by wesbed
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Yikes! Get down, man. Get the fuck down! This session, The Night of the Cookers, flat out, in your face, COOKS.

Night of the Cookers is, to me, a good, old-fashioned, jamband, jammy, jam. It doesn't get any better than this. This is hot, bold, fresh, raw, no holds barred, right out on the ragged edge, spontaneous, exciting, and inspirational music. This baby COOKS. The music twists, turns, drops out, pops back in, but gives up nothing.

I'm surprised by the negative comments this title has received. For what? I get to hear Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, James Spaulding, and Pete LaRoca play the living hell out of these tunes. The crowd is going freaking apeshit and so am I. There is nothing getting past this crowd. At the end of LaRoca's solo on Jodo, somebody is yelling, "Pete Sims, Pete Sims!"

I'd let out a shriek if I thought anybody would hear me. I thought I was familiar with the playing of Morgan and Hubbard. However, Night of the Cookers adds an entirely new dimension. What's up with Spaulding? He plays, on this session, like I've never heard him play.

Night of the Cookers reminds me of the Davis Quartet's Plugged Nickel sessions, the avante garde of John Coltrane, and, with Big Black on the congas, the jazzier side of Widespread Panic. All wrapped up in a Blue Note package. Just incredible. This is an amazing set of music. I've never heard these players sound so natural, inspired, and gut wrenching raw. It's as if Hubbard was saying, "You want the live experience? THIS is the live experience."

Great post! Similar to what I thought when I first heard it. Makes me want to spin it again, has been some time...

ubu

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I really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really wish you guys would quit saying such good things about this, causing me to want to get the damn thing after all! :g

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