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Super bands


Stevie Mclean
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I am curious to hear what you think think the most stacked lineups are. If you could make your own ideal band who would be in it? Has that band ever recorded, and if so, did it meet your expectations?

it might also be interesting to describe the opposite scenario, bands that you wouldn't expect to fit but actually come together really well.

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2 minutes ago, Stevie Mclean said:

Making a legendary band:

1. Miles gets a band together

2. Replace Miles

Yep, but Miles was irreplaceable .... so still believe it was an incredible individual effort by Freddie Hubbard to step .... which still doesn't seem being overly appreciated ....

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IMO, the most amazing assemblages of soloists were in various incarnations of Duke Ellington's bands.  Consider:

- Ellington (as pianist, composer, and bandleader)
- Harry Carney
- Johnny Hodges
- Paul Gonsalves, Ben Webster, Jimmy Forrest, Harold Ashby
- Barney Bigard, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton
- Bubber Miley, Rex Stewart, Cootie Williams, Ray Nance, Clark Terry, Shorty Baker, Cat Anderson, Taft Jordan
- "Tricky Sam" Nanton, Juan Tizol, Lawrence Brown, Tyree Glenn, Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, Booty Wood 
- Wellman Braud, Jimmy Blanton, Junior Raglin, Oscar Pettiford, Jimmy Woode
- Sonny Greer, Louie Bellson, Sam Woodyard
- Adelaide Hall, Ivie Anderson, Betty Roché, Al Hibbler, Herb Jeffries
- Billy Strayhorn (composer, arranger)

Without a doubt, each of these artists were made "greater than the sum of their individual parts" by being part of Ellington's orchestra.  

But still... "super bands" for sure.  :) 

 

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The "super-band" is pretty common, is it not?   Just about all of Miles' groups were super-bands, and what else would you call Coltrane's "classic quartet"?  Many labels would get together 4-6 great players and cut a record.  Thinking of the prime Blue Note days, most records (other than those by Blakey and Silver) were not by working bands.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Milestones said:

The "super-band" is pretty common, is it not?   Just about all of Miles' groups were super-bands, and what else would you call Coltrane's "classic quartet"?  Many labels would get together 4-6 great players and cut a record.  Thinking of the prime Blue Note days, most records (other than those by Blakey and Silver) were not by working bands.

 

 

Yeah that is very true, which gives you so much selection to pick YOUR super-band. Which one of the many stacked bands has all of your absolute favourite players? Did it work or was just another all star jam session struggling to find a direction? I am more interested in forum users personal opinions on these bands, rather than simply discussing the fact that there have been numerous super-bands on record.

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A one-time super-band I liked a lot was the one led by McCoy Tyner on 44th Street Suite.  Here we have Tyner, Arthur Blythe, David Murray, Ron Carter, and Aaron Scott.  Of course, Scott was Tyner's regular drummer and McCoy and Ron Carter were hardly strangers.  Also, Blythe and Murray connected on several occasions.  But it's a pretty distinctive quintet, and man do they kick it on "Bessie's Blues"--and there is some exciting, fairly free playing on Side 2.

Edited by Milestones
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I've been wanting to hear Pat Metheny and Joe Lovano get together.  Pat has worked with some impressive tenors, such as Michael Brecker, and Chris Potter.  Joe has recorded with many guitarists (several of my own favorites).  It's surprising this has not yet happened.  They were both on a Charlie Haden latin record, but never on the same track.

 

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2 minutes ago, Milestones said:

I've been wanting to hear Pat Metheny and Joe Lovano get together.  Pat has worked with some impressive tenors, such as Michael Brecker, and Chris Potter.  Joe has recorded with many guitarists (several of my own favorites).  It's surprising this has not yet happened.  They were both on a Charlie Haden latin record, but never on the same track.

 

My biggest pet peeve is seeing two of my favourites on the same record only to discover they don't play together. 

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Nice idea for a thread.

Interesting to consider two eras when it was quite common for record companies to try to engineer all star groups. 

In the 1970s there were a number of all star records, often under a title that referenced the label (CBS All Stars, etc) and often live. A mixed batch of jams for stadium audiences. @CJ ShearnI think wrote a nice blog post about the era recently. That record, with an eye catching turn from Mark Shim on tenor, is one of the few straight ahead records from the era that I really enjoy.

There were also a number of all star groups during the Young Lions era. OTB probably the most famous. Those also tend to underperform, although I think the New Directions group with the slightly younger Young Lions did better.

7 hours ago, Stevie Mclean said:

Yeah that is very true, which gives you so much selection to pick YOUR super-band. Which one of the many stacked bands has all of your absolute favourite players? Did it work or was just another all star jam session struggling to find a direction? I am more interested in forum users personal opinions on these bands, rather than simply discussing the fact that there have been numerous super-bands on record.

Just to confirm, is the point that the groups have to be made up of existing A listers, rather than star making groups like the First Quintet or AEC? So Old and New Dreams and VSOP but not Ornette's Atlantic Quartet or Davis' Second Quintet?

Edited by Rabshakeh
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Regarding newly formed "Supergroups" the first incarnation of Steps  consisting of Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd, Mike Mainieri, Eddie Gomez and Don Grolnick should fit .... also Sphere with Charlie Rouse (ts) + Kenny Barron (p) + Buster Williams (b) + Ben Riley likely would qualify ....

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