Tuesday, January 07, 2014

cold weather listening

Over the past week, I have been listening to a few discs from the Masters of Jazz series of tenor saxophonist Wardell Gray.

The disc starts out with some tracks with the Earl Hines Big Band from 1944 - some of his earliest recordings.

Live performances from Gene Norman produced "Just Jazz" concert in 1947 with players such as Howard McGee (trpt), Sonny Criss (as), Dodo Marmarosa & Errol Garner (p) - there is a picture from this concert on this Wardell Gray fan-site. From the same year, tenor duels with Dexter Gordon - "The Chase" & "The Hunt."

It's probably been over 10 years since I listened to more than just a track or two (mostly his work with Bird in 1947) of Gray's playing. I remember listening to one of his LPs (I think it was one of the Memorial Albums) at the Wellington City Library. At the time I was living a block away from the Library and would stop in regularly after school or dinner and listen to some LPs. Another LP I remember listening to quite a bit was Clifford Brown & Max Roach Live at The Beehive and some albums by Eric Dolphy too.

Then today, as temperatures dropped to -25C, a couple of albums from Al Cohn got some air time.

Cohn On The Saxophone (Dawn, 1956)
Frank Rehak (trb) Hank Jones (p) Milt Hinton (b) Osie Johnson (d)

Al Cohn's Tone (Savoy)
The album comes out of two sessions. The first, in July 1950, with George Wallington (p) Tommy Potter (b) Tiny Khan (d). The second is from June 1953 with Nick Travis (trpt) Horace Silver (p) Curly Russell (b) Max Roach (d)

Nice swinging, uncomplicated playing.

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