Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus (1956)

FrontCover1Saxophone Colossus is a studio album by American jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins. It was recorded on June 22, 1956, with producers Bob Weinstock and Rudy Van Gelder at the latter’s studio in Hackensack, New Jersey. Rollins led a quartet on the album that included pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Max Roach. Saxophone Colossus was released later that year by Prestige Records to critical success and helped establish Rollins as a prominent jazz artist.

In 2017, Saxophone Colossus was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”

There are five tracks on the album, three of which are credited to Rollins. “St. Thomas” is a calypso-inspired piece named after Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands. The tune is traditional and had already been recorded by Randy Weston in 1955 under the title “Fire Down There”. (In the booklet provided with the boxed set, The Complete Prestige Recordings, Rollins makes it clear that it was the record company that insisted on his taking credit.) In any case, the piece has since become a jazz standard, and this is its most famous recorded version.

Finally, “Blue 7” is a blues, over eleven minutes long. Its main, rather disjunct melody was spontaneously composed. The performance is among Rollins’ most acclaimed, and is the subject of an article by Gunther Schuller entitled “Sonny Rollins and the Challenge of Thematic Improvisation”. Schuller praises Rollins on “Blue 7” for the use of motivic development exploring and developing melodic themes throughout his three solos, so that the piece is unified, rather than being composed of unrelated ideas.

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The original 22 June 1956 session was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder.
In a contemporary review for Down Beat, Ralph J. Gleason wrote:

“Almost as if in answer to the charge that there is a lack of grace and beauty in the work of the New York hard-swingers comes this album in which Rollins displays humor, gentleness, a delicate feeling for beauty in line, and a puckish sense of humor. And all done with the uncompromising swinging that has characterized them all along.” (by wikipedia)

Sonny Rollins recorded many memorable sessions during 1954-1958, but Saxophone Colossus is arguably his finest all-around set. Joined by pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Max Roach, Rollins debuts and performs the definitive version of “St. Thomas,” tears into the chord changes of “Mack the Knife” (here called “Moritat”), introduces “Strode Rode,” is lyrical on “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” and constructs a solo on “Blue Seven” that practically defines his style. Essential music that, as with all of Rollins’ Prestige recordings, has also been reissued as part of a huge “complete” box set; listeners with a tight budget are advised to pick up this single disc and be amazed. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Max Roach (drums)
Sonny Rollins (saxophone)
Doug Watkins (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. St. Thomas (Rollins) 6.48
02. You Don’t Know What Love Is (de Paul/Raye) 6.29
03. Strode Rode (Rollins) 5.15
04. Moritat (Mack The Knife) (Weill) 10.06
05. Blue 7 (Rollins) 11.14

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Os Brasileiros – Na Europa (1957)

FrontCover1An all-star ensemble that was equally adept in samba, forro and choro. Trio Irakitan provide earnest vocals in front of a band that featured Abel Ferreira – clarinet, Sivuca on accordion, and solid samba rhythms by Pernambuco do Pandeiro and drummer Dimas, along with some percussion by the Irakitan crew. (by www.discogs.com)

A joyful, upbeat album by an all-star ensemble that was equally adept in samba, forro and choro. Trio Irakitan provide earnest vocals in front of a band that featured Abel Ferreira – clarinet, Sivuca on accordion, and solid samba rhythms by Pernambuco do Pandeiro and drummer Dimas, along with some percussion by the Irakitan crew. It’s all really fun stuff; in some ways I prefer the instrumental numbers where Ferreira and Sivuca deftly meld choro and forro. This album documents one of the numerous tours of Brazilian artists in Europe, and inspired the group to record at least one other album. Be great to see this in digital reissue some day!  (by slipcue.com)

Trio Irakitan

Personnel:
Abel Ferreira (clarinet)
Pernambuco do Pandeiro (percussion)
Sivuca (accordion, guitar )
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Trio Irakitan (vocals):
Edson Reis de França – Paulo Gilvan – João Manoel de Araújo Costa Netto

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Tracklist:
01. Maracangalha (Caymmi) 2.11
02. Brasileirinho (Azevedo) 2.00
03. A Fonte Secou (Monsueto/Lauar(Marcléo) 2.46
04. Carrapicho (Teixeira) 2.30
05. No Paraiso das Mulatas (de Morais) 1.45
06. Vai na Paz de Deus (Alves/Domingues) 2.39
07. Nega (Gomes/Teixeira) 2.47
08. Vai Com Jeito (de Barro) 1.49
09. O Baião Em Paris (Teixeira) 2.08
10. Zezé (Teixeira/da Rocha) 3.24
11. Mulata Mulata (Martins/Amorim) 2.16
12. Fantasia Carioca (Santiago/Vermelho) 1.43

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Sivuca
Severino Dias de Oliveira popularly known as Sivuca

 

 

 

Dave Pell – A Pell Of A Time (1957)

FrontCover1David “Dave” Pell (February 26, 1925 – May 7, 2017) was an American jazz saxophonist and bandleader. He was best known for leading a cool jazz octet in the 1950s.
Pell first played in his teens with the big bands of Tony Pastor, Bob Astor, and Bobby Sherwood, and then moved to California in the middle of the 1940s. There he played on Bob Crosby’s radio show in 1946, and was a member of Les Brown’s band from 1947 to 1955.

In 1953, he began working with his own ensembles, mostly as an octet: Pell on tenor sax, another saxophone (either a baritone or an alto), trumpet and trombone, guitar, and a piano-bass-drums rhythm section).[2] Among the octet players were Pepper Adams, Benny Carter, Mel Lewis, Red Mitchell, Marty Paich, Art Pepper and, early his career, John Williams. These ensembles recorded in the 1950s for Atlantic, Kapp, Coral, Capitol, and RCA Victor; alongside this, he played as a sideman for Shorty Rogers, Pete Rugolo, Benny Goodman, and Gene Krupa. He also produced in the 1950s and 1960s for Tops, Uni and Liberty; among his credits in production were some singles by Gary Lewis & the Playboys.

In 1961, Pell switched to alto sax and clarinet for I Remember John Kirby, a tribute album to bassist/bandleader Kirby who led a successful small group in the 1930s and ’40s.

Pell was the recording session leader for the 1965 hit song “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)”, performed by Los Angeles studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew but attributed to The T-Bones.
In the 1970s, he assembled the group Prez Conference, a Lester Young tribute ensemble. In the 1980s, he returned to the octet format, and played on and off into the 1990s. (by wikipedia)

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The Dave Pell Octet was one of the great cool jazz bands of the mid- to late ’50s. This fairly rare LP found Pell altering the personnel greatly, with Pell and pianist/arranger Marty Paich being the only holdovers. In addition, the arrangements of Paich, Bill Holman, Paul Moer (who, like trombonist Ray Sims, is a substitute on three songs), and Jack Montrose are opened up, and the musicians take much longer solos than on Pell’s earlier albums. With trumpeter Jack Sheldon often starring and there being some excellent spots for baritonist Pepper Adams, this is a rather different album by the Dave Pell Octet, a bit harder-charging and more hard bop-oriented while still retaining the identity of the original group. Worth searching for. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
Pepper Adams (saxophone)
Bobby Burgess (trombone)
Tom Kelly (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)
Marty Paich (piano)
Dave Pell (saxophone)
Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Tommy Tedesco (guitar)
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Paul Moer (piano on 02., 05. + 07.)
Ray Sims (trombone on 02., 05. + 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Jazz Goes To Siwash (Holman) 4.31
02. Suze Blues (Paich) 3.07
03. Grey Flannel (Paich) 6.41
04. Angel Eyes (Brent/Dennis) 5.38
05. G Tune (Moer) 2.42
06. Sandy Shoes (Pell) 5.18
07. Cameo (Montrose) 4.11
08. Love Me Or Leave Me (Kahn/Donaldson) 7.14
09. Them There Eyes (Tauber/Pinkard/Tracey) 5.19

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Art Farmer & Quincy Jones – Last Night When We Were Young (1957)

LPFrontCover1Last Night When We Were Young is a studio album by trumpeter Art Farmer, with an orchestra of strings arranged and composed by Quincy Jones. It was recorded in two sessions in 1957.
The beauty of Art Farmer’s tone is well featured on this out of print ABC/Paramount album. Farmer is backed by a string orchestra arranged by Quincy Jones as he plays lyrical solos on eight standards and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Tangorine.” Farmer mostly sticks close to the melodies but he makes such tunes as “Two Sleepy People,” “Ill Wind,” and “When I Fall in Love” sound fresh and pretty. (by Scott Yanow)

This album be renamed “Art for Lovers”. It’s a change of pace from his bop orientated ’50s lps on prestige- and a welcomed one at that. I’m usually cautious of “horns and strings” albums but this one works because Quincy Jones keeps the arraingments tasteful without allowing the strings to become overwhelming. Art’s fans will not be disappointed because his trademark beautiful warm and fuzzy tone is on dislpay throughout the first nine tracks. Of lesser importance are the last four jazzy tracks recorded earlier in ’53 with some swedish allstars. (by John W.)

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Personnel:
Addison Farmer (bass)
Art Farmer (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Barry Galbraith (guitar)
Osie Johnson (drums)
Hank Jones (piano)

Arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones

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Tracklist:
01. Two Sleepy People (Carmichael/Loesser) 3.20
02. Someone To Watch Over Me (Gershwin) 3.34
03. I Concentrate On You (Porter) 2.51
04. I´ll Wind (Arlen/Koehler) 3.42
05. Last Night When We Were Young (Arlen/Harburg) 2.58
06. Out Of This World (Arlen/Mercer) 4.11
07. When I Fall in Love (Young/Heyman) 3.32
08. Tangerine (Schertzinger/Mercer) 2.46
09. What’s Good About Goodbye? (Arlen/Robin) 3.39
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10.  Pogo Stick (Jones) 6.17
11. Liza (Gershwin) 5.34
12. Jones Bones (Jones) 5.40
13. Sometimes I’m Happy (Caesar/Grey/Youmans) 5.52

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Chuck Berry – After School Session (1957)

FrontCover1Chuck Berry, who with his indelible guitar licks, brash self-confidence and memorable songs about cars, girls and wild dance parties did as much as anyone to define rock ’n’ roll’s potential and attitude in its early years, died on Saturday. He was 90.

The St. Charles County Police Department in Missouri confirmed his death on its Facebook page. The department said it responded to a medical emergency at a home and he was declared dead after lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.
While Elvis Presley was rock’s first pop star and teenage heartthrob, Mr. Berry was its master theorist and conceptual genius, the songwriter who understood what the kids wanted before they did themselves. With songs like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” he gave his listeners more than they knew they were getting from jukebox entertainment.
His guitar lines wired the lean twang of country and the bite of the blues into phrases with both a streamlined trajectory and a long memory. And tucked into the lighthearted, telegraphic narratives that he sang with such clear enunciation was a sly defiance, upending convention to claim the pleasures of the moment.
In “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “You Can’t Catch Me” and other songs, Mr. Berry invented rock as a music of teenage wishes fulfilled and good times (even with cops in pursuit). In “Promised Land,” “Too Much Monkey Business” and “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” he celebrated and satirized America’s opportunities and class tensions. His rock ’n’ roll was a music of joyful lusts, laughed-off tensions and gleefully shattered icons. (by Jon Parles, The New York Times)
ChuckBerry4Chuck Berry’s music has transcended generations. He earns respect to this day because he is truly an entertainer. Berry, also known as “The Father of Rock & Roll,” gained success by watching the audience’s reaction and playing accordingly, putting his listeners’ amusement above all else. For this reason, tunes like “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybellene” and “Memphis” have become anthems to an integrated American youth and popular culture. Berry is a musical icon who established rock and roll as a musical form and brought the worlds of black and white together in song.
Born in St. Louis on October 18, 1926 Berry had many influences on his life that shaped his musical style. He emulated the smooth vocal clarity of his idol, Nat King Cole, while playing blues songs from bands like Muddy Waters. For his first stage performance, Berry chose to sing a Jay McShann song called “Confessin’ the Blues.” It was at his high school’s student musical performance, when the blues was well-liked but not considered appropriate for such an event. He got a thunderous applause for his daring choice, and from then on, Berry had to be onstage.

Berry took up the guitar after that, inspired by his partner in the school production. He found that if he learned rhythm changes and blues chords, he could play most of the popular songs on the radio at the time. His friend, Ira Harris, showed him techniques on the guitar that would become the foundation of Berry’s original sound. Then in 1952, he began playing guitar and singing in a club band whose song list ranged from blues to ballads to calypso to country. Berry was becoming an accomplished showman, incorporating gestures and facial expressions to go with the lyrics.
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It was in 1953 that Chuck Berry joined the Sir John’s Trio (eventually renamed the Chuck Berry Combo), which played the popular Cosmopolitan Club in St. Louis. Country-western music was big at the time, so Berry decided to use some of the riffs and create his own unique hillbilly sound. The black audience thought he was crazy at first, but couldn’t resist trying to dance along with it. Since country was popular with white people, they began to come to the shows, and the audience was at some points almost 40 percent white. Berry’s stage show antics were getting attention, but the other band members did their parts as well. In his own words: “I would slur my strings to make a passage that Johnnie (Johnson) could not produce with piano keys but the answer would be so close that he would get a tremendous ovation. His answer would sound similar to some that Jerry Lee Lewis’s fingers later began to flay.”

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Later in 1955, Berry went on a road trip to Chicago, where he chanced upon a club where his idol, Muddy Waters, was performing. He arrived late and only heard the last song, but when it was over he got the attention of Waters and asked him who to see about making a record. Waters replied, “Yeah, Leonard Chess. Yeah, Chess Records over on Forty-seventh and Cottage.” Berry went there on Monday and discovered it was a blues label where greats like Howlin’ Wolf and Bo Diddley recorded. He didn’t have any tapes to show, but Chess was willing to listen if he brought some back from St. Louis. So Berry went home and recorded some originals, including the would-be “Maybellene,” then called “Ida May,” and drove back to Chicago later that week to audition. Much to Berry’s surprise, it was that hillbilly number that caught Chess’ attention. Berry was signed to Chess Records and in the summer of 1955, “Maybellene” reached #5 on the Pop Charts and #1 on the R&B Charts. Through Chuck Berry, Chess Records moved from the R&B genre into the mainstream and Berry himself was on his way to stardom.

ChuckBerry3Berry continued his success with such hits as “Brown-Eyed Man,” “Too Much Monkey Business,” “Memphis,” “Roll Over, Beethoven!” and “Johnny B. Goode.” “Johnny B. Goode” is Berry’s masterpiece, as it brought together all the elements of Berry’s unique musical sound. It cemented his place in rock history and led to fame in the 1950s. His popularity garnered him television and movie appearances and he toured frequently.
Berry’s incredible success is due to his ability to articulate the concerns and attitudes of his audience in his music. At the height of his success, Berry was a 30-year-old black man singing to a mostly white, teenage audience. Dubbed the “Eternal Teenager,” Chuck Berry’s knowledge of the pop market made it possible for him to break color barriers and play to an integrated audience.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Berry’s music was the inspiration for such groups as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Berry had a number of comeback recordings and in 1972 had the first and only #1 Pop Chart hit of his career with “My Ding-A-Ling. 1986 fittingly saw him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the very first inductee in history. As a tribute to his pervasiveness in the realm of rock, a clip of “Johnny B. Goode” was chosen played in the Voyager I spacecraft, proving Chuck Berry and his rock legacy are truly out of this world. (taken from his Website)
After School Session is Chuck Berry’s debut album, released in May 1957 (see 1957 in music) by Chess Records as LP 1426. It was the second LP record released by Chess.
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The first song on the original version of After School Session to be released was “Wee Wee Hours”, the B-side of “Maybellene”, issued in July 1955. It peaked at number 10 on Billboard magazine’s R&B Singles chart. The next song to be released was “Together We Will Always Be”, the B-side of “Thirty Days”, in September 1955. The next two songs released were “No Money Down” backed with “Down Bound Train”, in December 1955, the former peaking at number 8 on the R&B Singles chart. In May 1956, “Drifting Heart” was released as the B-side of “Roll Over Beethoven”. Berry’s next single, “Too Much Monkey Business” backed with “Brown Eyed Handsome Man”, was released in September 1956; these songs reached number 4 and number 5 on the R&B Singles chart, respectively. “Havana Moon”, the B-side of “You Can’t Catch Me”, was released in November 1956. The last single from the album to be released was “School Day (Ring Ring Goes the Bell)” backed with “Deep Feeling”, in March 1957, with the former reaching number 1 on the R&B Singles chart and number 3 on the Hot 100.

The songs on After School Session were taken from Berry’s first five sessions for Leonard and Phil Chess. “Wee Wee Hours” was the first to be recorded, on May 21, 1955. “Together (We’ll Always Be)” was recorded in September 1955. At the next session, on December 20, 1955, Berry recorded “Roly Poly” (also known as “Rolli Polli”), “No Money Down”, “Berry Pickin'”, and “Down Bound Train”. The third session was on April 16, 1956, when he recorded “Too Much Monkey Business”, “Brown Eyed Handsome Man”, and “Drifting Heart”. “Havana Moon” was recorded on October 29, 1956. The last session took place on January 21, 1957, when he recorded “School Days” and “Deep Feeling”.(by wikipedia)
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Chuck Berry’s debut LP (60 years old !!!) is fairly strong musically, as well as having a really cool cover (a still shot of Berry, guitar slung in front of him, from the movie Rock, Rock, Rock!). After School Session was just the second long-player ever issued by Chess — only the soundtrack to the movie Rock, Rock, Rock! preceded it. This May 1957 release made Berry something of a late-bloomer among rock & roll’s foundation performers — he’d had his first recording session two years earlier, in May of 1955, and by the spring of 1957, Bill Haley already had a handful of LPs to his credit, Elvis Presley was gaining on him, and Clyde McPhatter’s version of the Drifters was represented on album, with numerous others soon to join their ranks. Berry had actually enjoyed only two major pop (i.e. rock as opposed to R&B) chart hits at the time: “Maybellene” in the summer of 1955, and “Roll Over Beethoven,” which had just made the Top 30 in the summer of 1956. It was “School Day,” the lead-off track here, that heralded his successful 18-month assault on the Top 40, opening a string of hits that included “Rock and Roll Music,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and “Carol,” and resulted in the release of After School Session — the title offers curious multiple meanings, incidentally, intended to attract Berry’s teen audience in the most innocent of terms (in connection with the rock & roll cuts), but also subtly invoking more daring “extra-curricular” activity in its blues and ballads, and older, post-teen concerns.
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In those days, as a policy, Chess’ rock & roll and blues LPs were comprised of previously existing single sides, and, thus, beyond the current single, the songs leap wildly across different sounds and styles — impromptu blues (“Deep Feeling”), and dance (“Roly Poly,” “Berry Pickin'”), instrumentals are interspersed with a trio of rock & roll jewels, “Too Much Monkey Business” and “No Money Down,” with their accents on the joys and textures of teenage life, which somehow didn’t catch on among mainstream listeners as singles, and the piercing, provocative “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” which showed how easily Berry could broach sensitive or provocative material if it were masked by a hot enough beat and loud enough guitar, bass, and drums; and we take detours into blues (“Wee Wee Hours,” “Downbound Train”), ballads (“Together (We’ll Always Be),” “Drifting Heart”), and even calypso music (“Havana Moon”). All of it was recorded in four separate sessions spread across almost two years; the rock & roll numbers and the guitar-driven instrumentals out-class most of the blues and ballads, but there’s nothing here that could be classed as “filler,” either — a lot of British Invasion bands wore out copies of these same sides learning their basic repertory, and domestic roots rockers could have done worse than to listen to “Downbound Train” or “No Money Down.” (by Bruce Eder)
Chuck Berry Portrait
Personnel:
Fred Below (drums)
Chuck Berry (guitar, vocals, steel guitar on 02.)
Willie Dixon (bass)
Ebby Hardy (drums)
Johnnie Johnson (piano)
Jimmy Rogers (guitar)
Otis Spann (piano)
Jasper Thomas (drums)
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L. C. Davis (saxophone on 03. + 12.)
Jerome Green maracas  on 15.)
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Tracklist:
01. School Days 2,43
02. Deep Feeling 2.21
03. Too Much Monkey Business 2,56
04. Wee Wee Hours 3.05
05. Roly Poly (aka Rolli Polli) 2.51
06. No Money Down 2.59
07. Brown Eyed Handsome Man 2.19
08. Berry Pickin’ 2.33
09. Together (We Will Always Be) 2.39
10. Havana Moon 3.09
11. Downbound Train 2.51
12. Drifting Heart”  2:50
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13. You Can’t Catch Me 2.44
14. Thirty Days (To Come Back Home) 2.25
15, Maybellene 2.19

All songs written by Chuck Berry.

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R.I.P.:
Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017)
We all had to thank !

Miles Davis – Miles Ahead (1957)

frontcover1Miles Ahead is an album by Miles Davis that was released in 1957 by Columbia Records. It was Davis’ first collaboration with arranger Gil Evans following the Birth of the Cool sessions. Along with their subsequent collaborations Porgy and Bess (1959) and Sketches of Spain (1960), Miles Ahead is one of the most famous recordings of Third Stream, a fusion of jazz, European classical, and world musics. Davis played flugelhorn throughout.

Evans combined the ten pieces that make up the album into a suite, each flowing into the next without interruption; the only exception to this rule was on the title track since it was placed last on side A (this has been corrected on the CD versions). Davis is the only soloist on Miles Ahead, which features a large ensemble consisting of sixteen woodwind and brass players. Art Taylor played drums on the sessions and the then current Miles Davis Quintet member Paul Chambers was the bassist.

A fifth recording date involved Davis alone (re-)recording material to cover or patch mistakes or omissions in his solos using overdubbing. The fact that this album originally was produced in mono makes these inserted overdubbings rather obvious in the new stereo setting.

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Original frontcover

Miles reportedly was unhappy about the album’s original cover, which featured a photograph of a young white woman and child aboard a sailboat. He made his displeasure known to Columbia executive George Avakian, asking, “Why’d you put that white bitch on there?”[10] Avakian later stated that the question was made in jest. For later releases of the record, however, the original cover-photo has been substituted by a photograph of Miles Davis.

The Penguin Guide to Jazz gave Miles Ahead a four-star rating out of a possible four stars, and called the album “a quiet masterpiece… with a guaranteed place in the top flight of Miles albums.”[8] Of Davis’ flugelhorn, Kevin Whitehead of Cadence wrote that it “seemed to suit [Davis] better than trumpet: more full-bodied, less shrill, it glosses over his technical deficiencies.”[9] The Penguin Guide, on the other hand, opined that “the flugelhorn’s sound isn’t so very different from his trumpet soloing, though palpably softer-edged…. [S]ome of the burnish seems to be lost.” (by wikipedia)

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Gil Evans + Miles Davis

This album is perhaps most significant for the process it set in motion — the collaboration between Gil Evans and Miles Davis that would produce Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain, two of Davis’ best albums. That said, this album is a miracle in itself, the result of a big gamble on the part of Columbia Records, who put together Evans and Davis, who hadn’t worked together since recording the critically admired but commercially unsuccessful sides that would later be issued as The Birth of the Cool. Columbia also allowed Evans to assemble a 19-piece band for the recordings, at a time when big bands were far out of fashion and also at a time when the resulting recordings could not be released until two years in the future (because of Davis’ contractual obligations with Prestige). Davis was also expected to carry the album as its only soloist, and manage not to get lost among a cast of supporting musicians that included a huge horn section. To a large extent, he succeeds. Evans’ arrangements in particular are well-suited to the format, and cd1he and Davis formed a deep and close partnership where ideas were swapped back and forth, nurtured, and developed long before they were expressed in the studio. Davis gets off to a great start, with the hyper-kinetic “Springsville,” which seems to almost perfectly embody Evans’ and Davis’ partnership with its light, flexible exchanges between soloist and orchestra. He is strongest on the ballads, though, where his subdued and wistful tone rises high above the hushed accompaniment, especially on “Miles Ahead” and “Blues for Pablo” (which foreshadows the bluesy, Latin-tinged sound of Sketches of Spain). The upbeat “I Don’t Want to Be Kissed (By Anyone but You)” is another strong song, but shows the weakness of the format as Davis intersperses a charming, bright, technically challenging solo with a blasting horn section that occasionally buries him. It is a fine end, however, to an album that gave a hint of the greatness that would come as Evans and Davis fine-tuned their partnership over the course of the next several years. (by Stacia Proefrock)

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Barney Wilen (ts), Miles Davis (t), René Urtreger (p, hidden), Pierre Michelot (b), Kenny Clarke (d)
during the concert in  the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, December 8, 1957

Personnel:
Danny Bank (clarinet)
Bill Barber (tuba)
Joe Bennett (trombone)
Jim Buffington (french horn)
John Carisi (trumpet)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Jimmy Cleveland (trombone)
Sid Cooper (flute, clarinet)
Miles Davis (flugelhorn)
Bernie Glow (trumpet)
Taft Jordan (trumpet)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Lee Konitz (saxophone)
Tony Miranda (french horn)
Tom Mitchell (trombone)
Louis Mucci (trumpet)
Romeo Penque (flute, clarinet)
Frank Rehak (trombone)
Ernie Royal (trumpet)
Willie Ruff (french horn)
Art Taylor (drums)

Arranged and conducted by Gil Evans

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Tracklist:
01. Springsville (Carisi) 3.27
02. The Maids Of Cadiz (Delibes) 3.53
03. The Duke (Brubeck) – 3:35
04. My Ship (Weill) – 4:28
05. Miles Ahead (Davis/Evans) – 3:29
06. Blues For Pablo (Evans) – 5:18
07. New Rhumba (Jamal) – 4:37
08. Medley Pt. 1: The Meaning Of The Blues (Troup/Worth) 2.48
09. Medley Pt. 2: Lament (Johnson) 2.14
10. I Don’t Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone but You) (Elliot/Spina) 3.05
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11. Springsville (Remake take 7) (Carisi) 3.16
12. Blues For Pablo (Take 1) (Evans) 3.32
13. Meaning Of The Blues-Lament (Rehearsal) (Troup/Worth) 5.10
14. I Don’t Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You) (Alternate take) (Elliot/Spina) 3.11

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Jackie Gleason – All I Want For Christmas (1969)

frontcover1John Herbert “Jackie” Gleason (February 26, 1916 – June 24, 1987) was an American comedian, actor, and musician who developed a style and characters in his career from growing up in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1956, Gleason released his first Christmas record. Capitol Records describes Gleason’s “Merry Christmas” as “a rich, rewarding album in the gentlest spirit of the season for all who treasure the memories and the sentiments and the romance of Christmas time.”  Capitol goes on to say:

“The arrangements in this album are unique ones, for Jackie Gleason has augmented his large orchestra with an electric celeste, whose fragile sound adds a new dimension to songs well-loved.  Playing it is Hercules, an outstanding master of the instrument.  Complementing these orchestral arrangements are the Keith Textor Singers, with vocalise performances that indeed express the mood of a merry, merry, Christmas.”

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In 1967 he released his second christmas album ” ‘Tis the Season” ;

Capitol Records describes ” ‘Tis the Season” as “music for the Christmas quiet hours with the celebrated touch of Gleason.”  They go on to say:

“Among the many delights of Christmas, one of the most satisfying moments of all comes when, shopping done, the last guest waved goodbye, you relax in front of a glowing fire, a glass of something warming in your hand, a favorite record revolving on the turntable, somebody special held close, and wait for old Santa to appear in some appropriate manifestation.

For that kind of moment, Jackie Gleason provides some of the most melodic of the popular Christmas songs, in his most familiar mood: twin string orchestras, sparked here with the gently intriguing accents of oboe, accordion, English horn, French horn, and bells. Each of the songs, even the usually upbeat “Let It Snow” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” are perfromed by Jackie at a dreamily reflective tempo conducive to Yuletide reverie.

And, of course, there’s that magical extra Gleason touch, typical for Jackie. Each holiday song features the sparkling solo contribution of one of these star instrumentalists: Charlie Ventura on tenor sax, Buddy Morrow on trombone, or Pee Wee Erwin on trumpet.

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With that kind of inducement, better have an extra hassock on hand. Old Santa’s apt to settle down and listen a while.”

The two-record set, “All I Want for Christmas,” is an abridged version of Jackie Gleason’s first two Christmas releases. (“Merry Christmas” and “Tis The Season”)  For this reissue, Capitol Records deleted four of the original fourteen songs from “Merry Christmas” and one of the ten songs from ” “Tis The Season.”

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Jackie Gleason on trumpet

Personnel:
Jackie Gleason Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Christmas Moon (Roberts/Katz) 3.18
02. Let It Snow!, Let It Snow!, Let It Snow! (Styne/Cahn) 3.16
03. Blue Christmas (Hayes/Johnson) 4.04
04. Snowbound For Christmas (Chorney/H.Shrager/S.Shrager) 3.19
05. It’s Christmas Time All Over The World (Martin) 3.46
06. That’s What I Want For Christmas (Lawrence) 3.11
07. December (Rinker/Huddleston) 3.22
08. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Connor) 3.06
09. Christmas Island (Moraine) 3.24
10. You’re All I Want For Christmas (Moore/Ellis) 3.06
11. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (If Only In My Dreams) (Ram/Gannon/Kent) 2.24
12. Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 3.43
14. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.30
15. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (Gillespie/Coots) 2.31
16. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Martin/Blane) 2.43
17. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) (Tormé/Wells) 3.05
18. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (Berlin) 3.25
19. Happy Holiday (Berlin) 2.31
20. Winter Wonderland (Smith/Bernard) 2.49
21. The Story Of A Starry Night (Hoffman/Livingston/Curtis) 2.58

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