Thursday, July 04, 2013

End of June Listenings

Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges (Verve 1959) with Claude Williamson (p) Buddy Clark (b) Mel Lewis (d) Had this one on while I was preparing dinner. A nice casually swinging session.

Disc 1 from the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz had a bit of playtime over the week. Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith in particular. "Livery Stable Blues" & "Tiger Rag" from the Original Dixieland Jass Band and Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues" made the playlist too.

Sidney Bechet & Martial Solal Quartet "The Complete Recordings." These are two sessions from 1957.  The first (March) is with Lloyd Thompson (b) and Al Levitt (d). The second (June) has Pierre Michelot (b) and Kenny Clarke (d). While they don't have the fire of earlier sessions, Bechet's soprano tone is well documented on these sessions - the cleanest recordings I have of his by far. The repertoire is interesting - "All The Things You Are", "These Foolish Things", "Embracable You", "All Of Me", "Pennies From Heaven"- none of which I had heard Bechet perform. His playing seems more refined with less bravado.
The last 10 track are from a 1952 trio session with Lil Armstrong (p/v) and Zutty Singleton (d) These didn't get the repeated listenings - the "four-on-the-floor" was a bit overbearing for me. I will give them another chance though.

Steve Lacy Snips: Live at Environ (Jazz Magnet 2000) 2cds recorded at the NYC loft space Environ in 1976. This was Lacy's first solo concert in the USA. The fidelity isn't the greatest but the music more that makes up for it. The Tao suite gets a run through as does "The Four Edges" which I wasn't familiar with. A very nice birthday present.

Ted Brown Shades of Brown (Steeplechase 2007) Ted Brown (ts) Steve LaMattina (g) Dennis Irwin (b) Ted Brown has been on my radar since I first heard the "Intiuition" disc released under Lennie Tristano & Warne Marsh's name (it compiles Tristano's Capitol sides with a Marsh Quintet session from the mid 50's).  Since then, I have picked up his discs when I can. When I feel like listening to melodic, swinging improvisations, Brown is one of my go to players. I am particularly fond of this album - wonderfully intimate and relaxed sound to it. His tone is full of nuance and subtle inflections that I feel is missing in many players conception of tone. It's been wonderful to see him get some well over due attention in recent years.
He has recently released a couple of discs but I haven't got them yet.

Billie Holiday's version of "Miss Brown To You" has been getting plenty listens.  Does anyone know a "straight" version of this tune? Clarinetist Ron Hockett plays the melody pretty straight on Larry Eanet's album "Sunset Stomp" (Arbors Jazz 1999). I'd like to find a vocal version that sticks close to home base.

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