Bennie Green – The Swingin’est (1958)

FrontCover1.jpgBennie Green, 16 April 1923, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 23 March 1977, San Diego, California, USA. After playing locally for a while during his teenage years, trombonist Green joined the bebop-orientated Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines band in 1942. He continued to be associated with Hines until the early 50s, his spells with the band being interrupted by military service and periods working with Charlie Ventura, the band co-led by Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt and the small groups he led himself. In the late 60s he was briefly with Duke Ellington, then settled in Las Vegas, where he worked in various hotel and casino house bands. Green’s playing ranged widely, encompassing the swing-era style prominent during his formative years; he was one of only a few trombonists to adapt comfortably to bebop, and he also played R&B. (by

The Swingin’est is an album by American trombonist Bennie Green and saxophonist Gene Ammons recorded in 1958 and released on the Vee-Jay label.[1] The album has also been released under the title Juggin’ Around.The Swingin’est is an album by American trombonist Bennie Green and saxophonist Gene Ammons recorded in 1958 and released on the Vee-Jay label. The album has also been released under the title Juggin’ Around.


The emphasis is on the blues and very basic chord changes on this relaxed jam session. With trombonist Bennie Green leading an octet that also includes the tenors of Gene Ammons and Frank Foster, trumpeter Nat Adderley, Frank Wess on tenor and flute and a rhythm section led by pianist Tommy Flanagan, everyone has plenty of opportunities to solo. (by Scott Yanow)

Oh, how I love the exciting world of Jazz … and here´s a wonderful example … listen to the great flute solos of Frank Wess and to “Jim Dog” and you´ll know what I mean.

Enjoy all these old tunes (recorded on one day !)

Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York City on November 12, 1958


Alternate frontcovers

Nat Adderley (cornet)
Gene Ammons (saxophone)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Frank Foster (saxophone)
Bennie Green (trombone)
Albert Heath (drums)
Eddie Jones (bass)
Frank Wess (saxophone, flute)


01. Juggin’ Around Foster) 6.30
02. Going South (Foster) 10.42
03. Jim Dog (Ammons) 7-04
04. Sermonette (Adderley/Hendricks) 4.18
05. A Little Ditty (Wess) – 4:01
06. Swingin’ For Benny (Green) – 12:10
07. Juggin’ Around (alternate take) (Foster) 6.46
08. Jim Dog (alternate take) (Ammons) 7.30
09. Sermonette (Adderley/Hendricks) – 4:18 Bonus track on CD reissue



Sonny Clark – Cool Struttin’ (1958)

FrontCover1.jpgCool Struttin’ is a 1958 album by jazz pianist Sonny Clark. Described as an “enduring hard-bop classic” by The New York Times, the album features alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, trumpeter Art Farmer and two members of the Miles Davis Quintet, drummer Philly Joe Jones and bassist Paul Chambers. According to The Stereo Times, the album enjoys “a nearly cult status among hardcore jazz followers”, a reputation AllMusic asserts it deserves “for its soul appeal alone”.

Originally released on LP in 1958 by Blue Note, the album has been re-released on CD many times by Blue Note and EMI, also featuring two bonus tracks. In 1991, Blue Note released a Christmas themed CD called Yule Struttin’ with a cover derived from the sleeve design for this album. (by wikipedia

Recorded in 1958, this legendary date with the still-undersung Sonny Clark in the leader’s chair also featured a young Jackie McLean on alto (playing with a smoother tone than he had before or ever did again), trumpeter Art Farmer, and the legendary rhythm section of bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones, both from the Miles Davis band. The set begins with one of the preeminent “swinging medium blues” pieces in jazz history: the title track with its leveraged fours and eights shoved smoothly up against the walking bass of Chambers and the backbeat shuffle of Jones. Clark’s solo, with its grouped fifths and sevenths, is a wonder of both understatement and groove, while Chambers’ arco solo turns the blues in on itself. While there isn’t a weak note on this record, there are some other tracks that stand out, most notably Miles’ “Sippin’ at Bells,” with its loping Latin rhythm.


When McLean takes his solo against a handful of Clark’s shaded minor chords, he sounds as if he may blow it — he comes out a little quick — but he recovers nicely and reaches for a handful of Broadway show tunes to counter the minor mood of the piece. He shifts to both Ben Webster and Lester Young before moving through Bird, and finally to McLean himself, riding the margin of the changes to slip just outside enough to add some depth in the middle register. The LP closes with Henderson and Vallée’s “Deep Night,” the only number in the batch not rooted in the blues. It’s a classic hard bop jamming tune and features wonderful solos by Farmer, who plays weird flatted notes all over the horn against the changes, and McLean, who thinks he’s playing a kind of snake charmer blues in swing tune. This set deserves its reputation for its soul appeal alone. [Some reissues include two bonus tracks: “Royal Flush” and “Lover.” (by Thom Jurek)

Sonny Clark.jpg

Paul Chambers (bass)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

Jackie McLean (Saxophone)


01. Cool Struttin’ (Clark) 9.23
02. Blue Minor (Clark) 10.19
03. Sippin’ At Bells (Davis) 8.18
04. Deep Night (Henderson/Vallée) 9.34
05. Royal Flush (Clark) 9.00
06. Lover (Hart/Rodgers) 7.01



Louis Armstrong And The Sy Oliver Choir – Louis And The Good Book (1958)

BrunswickFrontCover1.jpgLouis and the Good Book is a 1958 jazz and spirituals album by Louis Armstrong.

Singles included “I’ll String Along with You” / “On My Way (Out on My Traveling Shoes)” 1959, also known as I’m On My Way.

An unusual album in the Louis Armstrong canon, this collection of gospel songs, spirituals, homilies, and comic vignettes was the only religious album this determinedly secular musician recorded. Backed by a gospel vocal group led by the celebrated jazz arranger Sy Oliver, Armstrong performs a variety of religious-themed favorites, including “Ezekiel Saw De Wheel,” “Go Down Moses,” and “Didn’t it Rain,” as well as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot“. There’s an affecting version of the traditional spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.

Louis made many divine recordings, but this 1958 LP was the only one specifically devoted to spiritual songs. At times joyous, solemn, whimsical and moving, this uplifting classic Spirituals.

GermanLabels1970.jpgI highly recommend this album as representative of Armstrong’s religious devotions and background. The accompanying singers are excellent and his vocals as well as instrumentals solo’s are simply perfection….

Reverend Eatmore is comedy in a most refined and humorous mode that can be enjoyed when listened to numerous times….

His rendition of “Motherless Child” is heartfelt and poignant given Armstrongs own background… (Edward J. Cox)

This 1958 recording contains eighteen wonderful spirituals with the Sy Oliver choir and two mock “sermons.” Louis Armstrong is obviously having a ball and enjoying every second he’s singing and playing his trumpet. The choir is excellent and the whole recording just works; it’s one to play over and over again. (Joe Graphics)


Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)
Everett Barksdale (guitar)
George Barnes (guitar)
Hank D’Amico (clarinet)
Barrett Deems (drums)
Edmond Hall (clarinet)
Mort Herbert (bass)
Billy Kyle (piano)
Dave McRae (clarinet)
Nickie Tagg (organ)
Trummy Young (trombone)
The Sy Oliver Choir conducted by Sy Oliver


01. Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen (Traditional) 3.01
02. Shadrack (MacGimsey) 2.46
03. Go Down Moses (Traditional) 3.39
04. Rock My Soul (In The Bosom O Abraham) (Huey) 2.57
05. Ezekiel Saw The Wheel (Traditional) 2.32
06. On My Way (Got On My Travelin’ Shoes) (Chapman/Carroll) 3.04
07. Down By The Riverside (Traditional) 3.10
08. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Traditional) 3.09
09. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child (Traditional) 3.29
10. Jonah And The Whale (MacGimsey) 2.40
11. Didn’t It Rain (Traditional) 2.50
12. This Train (Tharpe) 2.27




Louis Armstrong asked Richard Nixon to carry his bags through customs.
The bags had marijuana in them.

I guess this was the first and last time, Mr. Nixon did a great Job !

Cuadro de Jotas – Music From Sunny Spain (1958)

FrontCover1The music of Spain has a long history and has played an important role in the development of Western music and has greatly influenced Latin American music. Spanish music is often associated with traditional styles such as flamenco and classical guitar. While these forms of music are common, there are many different traditional musical and dance styles across the regions. For example, music from the north-west regions is heavily reliant on bagpipes, the jota is widespread in the centre and north of the country, and flamenco originated in the south. Spanish music played a notable part in the early developments of western classical music, from the 15th through the early 17th century. The breadth of musical innovation can be seen in composers like Tomás Luis de Victoria, styles like the zarzuela of Spanish opera, the ballet of Manuel de Falla, and the classical guitar music of Francisco Tárrega.

The jota (Spanish: [ˈxota]; Catalan: [ˈdʒɔta]; Aragonese: hota [ˈxota] or ixota [iˈʃota]; Asturian: xota [ˈʃota]; Galician: xota [ˈʃɔta]; old Spanish spelling: xota[1]) is a genre of music and the associated dance known throughout Spain, most likely originating in Aragon. It varies by region, having a characteristic form in Aragon (where it is the most important[1]), Catalonia, Castile, Navarre, Cantabria, Asturias, Galicia, La Rioja, Murcia and Eastern Andalusia. Being a visual representation, the jota is danced and sung accompanied by castanets, and the interpreters tend to wear regional costumes. In Valencia, the jota was once danced during interment ceremonies.

Man and woman dancing Jota aragonesa, traditional Spanish dance. Created by Gustave Dore, published on Le Tour Du Monde, Paris, 1867

The jota tends to have a 3/4 rhythm, although some authors maintain that the 6/8 is better adapted to the poetic and choreographic structure. For their interpretation, guitars, bandurrias, lutes, dulzaina, and drums are used in the Castilian style, while the Galicians use bagpipes, drums, and bombos. Theatrical versions are sung and danced with regional costumes and castanets, though such things are not used when dancing the jota in less formal settings. The content of the songs is quite diverse, from patriotism to religion to sexual exploits. In addition to this, the songs also have the effect of helping to generate a sense of local identity and cohesion.

The steps have an appearance not unlike that of the waltz, though in the case of the jota, there is much more variation. Furthermore, the lyrics tend to be written in eight-syllable quartets, with assonance in the first and third verses. (by Wikipedia)


Alternate frontcover

And this is a rare single, recorded by the house band (a quartett) of a restaurant in Madrid called “Casa de Aragon”

And we hear a lot of this tradtional Jota Dance songs … enjoy this beatiful music !


01 Jota De Albalate (Tradicional) 3.07
02. Seguidillas De Lecinena (Barrenechea) 1.37
03. Bolero De Caspe (Larregla) 2.10
04. Jotas De Picadillo (Tradicional) 3.09
05. Jotas De Estilo (Tradicional) 3.08

All songs were arranged by A. L. Merinero




Harry Belafonte – To Wish You A Merry Christmas (1958)

FrontCover1To Wish You a Merry Christmas is an album by Harry Belafonte Recorded May 27, 31, June 1, 3 and 8 of 1958 in Hollywood. Conducted by Bob Corman. Millard Thomas and Laurindo Almeida, guitarists. Produced and directed by Ed Welker.

To Wish You a Merry Christmas was originally released in 1958 as RCA Victor catalog number LPM/LSP-1887. The original LP cover featured an illustration of the Three Wise Men and a listing of the songs in front.

The mournful “Star in the East” begins with Harry’s lone voice shrouded in echo. Later, he’s accompanied by subdued choral backing. The mood is sustained on “Gifts They Gave,” a performance with spare orchestral support. Yet another gentle rendering on “Son of Mary,” which is also known as “What Child is This?” and in secular form, “Greensleeves.” Millard’s guitar can be heard among orchestra instruments on the sprighgtly “12 Days.” Almeida’s mandolin is lead on “Jesus Sleeps.” A mixed chorus sings a bit of “Joys of Christmas” at the beginning of the medley. After Belafonte does “Bethlehem” they reprise “Joys” then lead on “Deck the Halls.” One more verse of “Joys” precedes Harry’s “Noël” solo. “Joys of Christmas” concludes Side One.

Belafonte“Mary’s Boy Child” was featured on many RCA compilations over the years. It was written in 1956 for Harry’s AN EVENING WITH BELAFONTE (LPM 1402) album by Jester Hairston. He also composed “Amen” and was a supporting actor on TV’s THE AMOS ‘N’ ANDY SHOW. Harry’s version was a #1 hit in Britain that same year. “Silent Night” is fairly orthodox stylistically and features twin guitars. The chorus fades in at the top of “Christmas is Coming.” They rondo as Harry sings lead on what is a variation of “A’soalin’,” as heard on the two record IN CONCERT Peter, Paul & Mary album. For those who prefer straight folk music, “Mary, Mary” is the best example here. It’s just voice and two guitars and is most serene. “Jehovah” has the same structure as “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum.” This set’s final medley is initially its most energetic track. No label or content mention is given to “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” When Belafonte sang the musical adaptation of Longfellow’s “Bells,” it was a brand new song. Since 1958, this one’s become a Yuletide standard. (by  Annie Van Auken)

AlternateFrontCoverAlternate frontcover

Laurindo Almeida (guitar)
Harry Belafonte (vocals)
Frantz Casseus (guitar)
Millard Thomas (guitar)
unknown orchestra conducted by Robert DeCormier

01. A Star In The East (Carter/DeCormier/Okun) 4.17
02. The Gifts They Gave (Carter/DeCormier/Okun) 4.00
03. The Son Of Mary (Greensleeves) (Traditional) 3:24
04. The Twelve Days Of Christmas (Traditional) 3.49
05. Where the Little Jesus Sleeps (Traditional)  2.07
06. Medley: 5.54
06.1. Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem (Brooks/Redner)
06.2.Deck The Halls (Traditional)
06.3.The First Noel (Traditional)
07. Mary’s Boy Child (Hairston) 4.24
08. Silent Night (Gruber/Mohr) 3.37
09. Christmas Is Coming (Traditional)
10. Mary, Mary (DeCormier) 3:24
11. Jehovah the Lord Will Provide (Carter/DeCormier/Okun) 2.59
12. Medley: 4.32
12.1. We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Traditional)
12.2, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Corman/Okun)
13. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day (Cash/Longfellow/Marks) 3.05


Jeri Southern – Southern Breeze (1958)

FrontCover1Jeri Southern (August 5, 1926 – August 4, 1991) was an American jazz pianist and singer.

Born Genevieve Hering in Royal, Nebraska, Southern began playing piano at age three, and at age six started formal study in classical piano.[1] She studied classical piano and voice at Sacred Heart in Omaha, Nebraska, where she became interested in jazz.

After beginning her career at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, she joined a United States Navy recruiting tour during World War II. In the late 1940s, she worked in Chicago clubs where she once played piano for Anita O’Day. During this period, Southern became known for her singing, particularly for her renditions of torch songs.

She signed with Decca Records in 1951 and became known both for pop and jazz. The 1950s saw her at the height of her career. In 1955 her recording of “An Occasional Man”, reached #89 in the Billboard pop chart. In that decade she sang in a few films and in 1957 she had a Top 30 hit with “Fire Down Below.” The track peaked at #22 in the UK Singles Chart in June 1957. After her switch to Capitol Records, she had success doing interpretations of Cole Porter with Billy May arranging some of the more humorous examples.

In the 1960s she gave up the music industry to teach, and later moved to Hollywood, California to work on film composing with Hugo Friedhofer. She wrote Interpreting Popular Music At The Keyboard during her final years.

Southern died in Los Angeles of pneumonia in 1991, at the age of 64.(by wikipedia)

JeriSouthern2One mark of a great jazz vocalist is the material she picks. Jeri Southern was one of the great students of jazz-era song, and the material she chose for Southern Breeze is strong in two ways — they’re not only great songs, but they’re great for her. Never blessed with a strong voice, Southern instead realized the artistic advantages those qualities brought, and often chose torch songs or unlucky-in-love songs that accentuated her seeming weaknesses and everywoman qualities. With charts from arranger genius Marty Paich, Southern opens on a high note, the glib “Down with Love.” Yet to come are happy yet forlorn choices “Who Wants to Fall in Love” and “Because He Reminds Me of You” — Southern even finds the catch in “Crazy He Calls Me.” And in true West Coast fashion, the music features brass that swings lightly and a dynamic range that frequently plumbs the depths (including tuba and baritone sax), all possible thanks to Paich’s charts and able musicians including Georgie Auld, Don Fagerquist, and Bob Enevoldsen. Upbeat standards get their chance to shine as well — “Ridin’ High,” “I Like the Likes of You” — but most of Southern Breeze is gloriously melancholy. (by John Bush)

Georgie Auld (saxophone)
Frank Beach (trumpet)
Bud Clark (bass)
Jack Dulong (saxophone)
Bob Enevoldsen (trombone)
Don Fagerquist (trumpet)
Herb Geller (saxophone)
John Kitzmiller (tuba)
Mel Lewis (drums)
Bill Pittman (guitar)
Vince De Rosa (french horn)
Jeri Southern (vocals)

01. Down With Love (Harburg/Arlen) 3.15
02. Crazy He Calls Me (Russell/Sigman) 3.49
03. Lazy Bones (Mercer/Carmichael) 3.08
04. Who Wants To Fall In Love (Howard) 3.18
05. Then I’ll Be Tired Of You (Harburg/Schwartz) 3.50
06. Ridin’ High (Porter) 2.24
07. Because He Reminds Me Of You (Gordon/Revel) 3.16
08. Porgy (Fields/McHugh) 3.37
09. Are These Really Mine (Skylar/Saxon/Cook) 3.43
10. Isn’t This A Lovely Day (Berlin) 3.01
11. Warm Kiss (Robert/Fisher) 2.58
12. I Like The Likes Of You (Harburg/Duke) 2.55


Art Bakley and The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’ (1958)

ArtBlakeyFrontCover1Moanin’ is a jazz album by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers recorded in 1958.

This was Blakey’s first album for Blue Note in several years, after a period of recording for a miscellany of labels, and marked both a homecoming and a fresh start. Originally the LP was self-titled, but the instant popularity of the bluesy opening track “Moanin'” (by pianist Bobby Timmons) led to its becoming known by that title.

The rest of the originals are by saxophonist Benny Golson (who was not with the Jazz Messengers for long; this being the only American album on which he is featured). “Are You Real?” is a propulsive thirty-two-bar piece with a four-bar tag, featuring two-part writing for Golson and trumpeter Lee Morgan. “Along Came Betty” is a more lyrical, long-lined piece, almost serving as the album’s ballad. “The Drum Thunder Suite” is a feature for Blakey, in three movements: “Drum Thunder”; “Cry a Blue Tear”; and “Harlem’s Disciples”. “Blues March” calls on the feeling of the New Orleans marching bands, and the album finishes on its only standard, an unusually brisk reading of “Come Rain or Come Shine”. Of the originals on the album, all but the “Drum Thunder Suite” became staples of the Messengers book, even after Timmons and Golson were gone. Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in his meticulous Hackensack studios, this recording reflects the hallmark precision associated with that engineer, (on the reissue there is a brief conversation between Lee Morgan and Rudy Van Gelder going over Morgan’s solo.)

BlakeyThe album stands as one of the archetypal hard bop albums of the era, for the intensity of Blakey’s drumming and the work of Morgan, Golson and Timmons, and for its combination of old-fashioned gospel and blues influences with a sophisticated modern jazz sensibility.

A vocalese version of “Moanin'” was later written by Jon Hendricks, and recorded by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, as well as jazz vocalists Bill Henderson and Karrin Allyson. (by wikipedia)

Moanin’ includes some of the greatest music Blakey produced in the studio with arguably his very best band. There are three tracks that are immortal and will always stand the test Blakey2of time. The title selection is a pure tuneful melody stewed in a bluesy shuffle penned by pianist Bobby Timmons, while tenor saxophonist Benny Golson’s classy, slowed “Along Came Betty” and the static, militaristic “Blues March” will always have a home in the repertoire of every student or professional jazz band. “Are You Real?” has the most subtle of melody lines, and “Drum Thunder Suite” has Blakey’s quick blasting tom-tom-based rudiments reigning on high as the horns sigh, leading to hard bop. “Come Rain or Come Shine” is the piece that commands the most attention, a highly modified, lilting arrangement where the accompanying staggered, staccato rhythms contrast the light-hearted refrains. Certainly a complete and wholly satisfying album, Moanin’ ranks with the very best of Blakey and what modern jazz offered in the late ’50s and beyond. (by Michael G. Nastos)

Art Blakey (drums)
Benny Golson (saxophone)
Jymie Merritt (bass)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Bobby Timmons (piano)

01. Moanin’ (Timmons) 9.35
02. Are You Real (Golson) 4.50
03. Along Came Betty (Golson) 6.12
04. The Drum Thunder Suite (Golson) 7.33
05. Blues March (Golson) 6.17
06. Come Rain Or Come Shine (Arlen/Mercer) 5.49
07. So Tired (from “A Night In Tunisia, 1960) (Timmons) 6.33
08. Yama (from “A Night In Tunisia, 1960) (Morgan) 6.21