Jump to content

Black Lion?


Recommended Posts

Some are good. Some are less-so.


I like the couple of Wardell Gray discs and the Charles Tollivers. There's some nice Dexter Gordon and one good Bud Powell (Strictly Confidential). Top marks to Kenny Dorham's West 42nd Street (which is actually Rocky Boyd's, but that's another story). The Randy Weston (Berkshire Blues) is quite enjoyable as is the Dollar Brand (Anatomy of a South African Village). Teddy Wilson plays well on his (Blues for Thomas Waller) and the two Hamp Hawes discs are also good (Live at Montmrtre and Blues for Bud). Duke Pearson in a trio (Bag's Groove)!

Other reasonably good ones that I have dimmer memories of include the Art Ensemble (Tutankhaman and The Spiritual), a Don Byas (Walkin'), Dave Burrell, Sonny Stitt (Autumn in New York), Paul Bley (Touching) and Joanne Brackeen (Invitation). Other predictible sessions from Bill Coleman, Stephane Grapelli and Earl Hines. I think the Buddy Tate and Brew Moore (Svingtet 14) were pretty good too.

There's an Ayler (Goin' Home) that didn't grab me, and a pretty typical Eddie Vinson (Jamming the Blues), a Philly Joe Big Band (Mo Joe) and a Jimmy Witherspoon with Jay McShann that's what you'd expect.

Dimmer memories still of the Oliver Lake (Heavy Spirits), Ted Curson (Tears for Dolphy).

One you've probably already got on some other label: the Nat Cole/Buddy Rich sessions (Anatomy of a Jam Session).

Almost forgot another nice one: Cliff Jackson (Carolina Shout)

Dang, what am I forgetting? Well, that's off the top of my head. If you want to know any more about any of these, I'll happily give them a mind-refreshing spin. I suppose that's a testimony for Black Lion's overall quality right there.

By the way, don't pay much for any of these: they're typically US$3-5, new or used.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to expand on Bebop's comments regarding Dexter, most people think of the 3 discs recorded at the Montmartre Jazzhuis in July 1967 when they think of Dex's Black Lions. They are, IMO, among the best live Dexter you'll find anywhere. Thre's another Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray disc called Citizens Bop. Very nice disc indeed. I also picked up a Hampton Hawes live at the Montmartre Jazzhuis because Dex appears on one track. Also a nice disc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, don't pay much for any of these: they're typically US$3-5, new or used

Why do these go so cheap?

Because they're cut outs.. I don't think the company exists anymore

There were a lot available at


2.99 each.. at that price you can take a chance

Some of them had no better sound than an old LP, from which they may have been taken ( Joe Newmans.. I Fell Like A Newman especially )

but others are fine.

Edited by P.D.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Almost forgot another nice one: Cliff Jackson (Carolina Shout)

Since you mention the Cliff Jackson set, may I be so bold as to shamelessly add three more sessions of mine sold to Alan Bates (Black Lion was originally his label):

Elmer Snowden Sextet (I think he called it [i[saturday Night Fuish Fry) with Roy Eldridge, Bud Freeman, Ray Bryant, Tommy Bryant, and Jo Jones.

Bud Freeman Quartet with Dave Frisshberg (making his record debut), Bob Haggart, and Don Lamond.

Howard McGhee, Sharp Edge, with George Coleman, Junior Mance, George Tucker, and Jimmie Cobb.

Bates told me about an evening when he went to Slugs to hear Sun Ra, whom he owed some royalties. At one point, Sun Ra walked between the tables, dramatically waving about a pot of incense, and looking very Cardinal-like. When he reached Alan's table, he discreetly swooped his head down, breezing past Alan's ear as he whispered: "Where the fuck are my royalties?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By far the best ones (IMHO) are the 2 different Tolliver dates, and the 2 different Cowell dates.

The sound quality on Cowell's "Brilliant Circles" is only so-so (and that's being very polite about it), but the music is absolutely top-notch. "Brilliant Circles" has some of the best 'adventuresome'-type playing from Woody Shaw, plus a rare appearance by Tyrone Washington!!

All four are 'must-have' items, IMHO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 2 Charles Tollivers are both worth picking up - "Grand Max" (live) and "The Ringer". Both are really solid quartet dates with the incendiary CT on trumpet. Grand Max is ALWAYS on ebay - so if nothing else, you could pick it up there.

Absolutely agree!

Stanley Cowell's Brilliant Circles is also excellent, but the sound quality is very poor.

I happen to like Ayler's Going Home - it's a set of spirituals and is more straight ahead than his other work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should also mention that http://www.broinc.com/ has both of the Andrew Hill "Freedom" titles on CD for only $3.99 each.

Spiral: Webster & Kaper, Invitation. Andrew Hill, Tomorrow; Laverne; The Message; Today; Spiral; Quiet Dawn. (Andrew Hill {piano}, Lee Konitz {saxes}, Ted Curson {trumpets}, Cecil McBee {bass}, Art Lewis {drums} et al. Rec.1974-75)

Add to cart | Price: $ 3.99 | Country: GERMANY | D/A code: A | Code: FCD 41007 | BRO Code: 106055 | Label: FREEDOM

| Genre: Jazz

Live at Montreux (solo-piano): Ellington, Come Sunday. Andrew Hill, Snake Hip Waltz; Nefertisis; Relativity. (Andrew Hill, solo-piano. Rec. Montreux, 7/20/75)

Add to cart | Price: $ 3.99 | Country: GERMANY | D/A code: A | Code: FCD 41023 | BRO Code: 106053 | Label: FREEDOM

| Genre: Jazz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though not jazz, certainly, they also have the Henze "Trumpet Requiem" (as I like to call it), which is one of the most amazing 20th Century classical orchestral works I've ever heard. At only $4, take a chance!!!

Henze, Requiem (9 sacred concertos for piano solo, trumpet concertante & chamber orchestra. Ueli Wiget, piano. Hakan Hardenberger, trumpet. Ensemble Modern/ Metzmacher)

Add to cart | Price: $ 3.99 | Country: AMERICA | D/A code: D | Code: SK 58972 | BRO Code: 25775 | Label: SONY/CBS

| Genre: Misc.Concerti

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 of Dexter's Black Lions have been reissued by 1201: Take the A Train (excellent sound) and Body and Soul. I've seen them quite a bit on ebay for cheap prices.

There's also an excellent 2 Cd set Black Lion put out called "Sunset Swing". If you see this grab it; it's worth the money. I got this from Ebay, from a seller I think called cello700 or cello7000 and he may have a couple extra lying around. Here's an amg review:

This CD contains 22 generally exciting performances from jazz's transitional years. While the music technically falls into the swing idiom, one can often hear the influence of bop (and even early rhythm & blues) creeping in. Nine different groups are heard from. Trumpeter Howard McGhee and tenor-saxophonist Charlie Ventura head a sextet, the 16-year old pianist Andre Previn makes his recording debut on a trio version of "California Clipper" and joins trumpeter Buddy Childers, altoist Willie Smith and the tenor of Vido Musso in a sextet, McGhee, Willie Smith and tenor great Lucky Thompson join forces on another date, guitarist Les Paul is heard in a sextet with trumpeter Harry Edison, pianist Arnold Ross duets with bassist Red Callender, trumpeter Emmett Berry, trombonist Vic Dickenson and altoist Lem Davis swing in a sextet and drummer Ray Bauduc leads an unidentified group. Recommended. — Scott Yanow

Edited by Brad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would also give Black Lion a try. They have some great sets.

Speaking of Berkshire Record Outlet, have any of you picked up any of those classical boxsets on the Brilliant Classics Label? I got a few of them and I've been very happy with them. They average out to about $2 a cd.

I picked up a 40 cd set of Mozart, Wagner's Ring, some Bach sets.

I want to pick up the Haydn set sometime.


Edited by AfricaBrass
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Tears for Dolphy" (by Ted Curson) is a very good one.

And "My Name is Albert Ayler" too. Has one of the most moving takes on "Summertime"

And how come no one has mentioned one of my perennial favorites:

Roswell Rudd, Flexible Flyer

then, as far as I know, 1201music is the label which nowadays does 24-bit remastered reissues of former Black Lion stuff. They give their discs new titles, but the music is the same. They have the Ben Webster stuff, some Kessel, Grapelli, Gordon, Wilson, Stitt, Ayler's "Witches & Devils" and some more (they have a website, by the way, 1201 music)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...