Jazz for aficionados

Jazz for aficionados

I'm going to review records in my collection, and you'll be able to decide if they're worthy of your collection. These records are what I consider "must haves" for any jazz aficionado, and would be found in their collections. I wont review any record that's not on CD, nor will I review any record if the CD is markedly inferior. Fortunately, I only found 1 case where the CD was markedly inferior to the record.

Our first album is "Moanin" by Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers. We have Lee Morgan , trumpet; Benney Golson, tenor sax; Bobby Timmons, piano; Jymie merrit, bass; Art Blakey, drums.

The title tune "Moanin" is by Bobby Timmons, it conveys the emotion of the title like no other tune I've ever heard, even better than any words could ever convey. This music pictures a person whose down to his last nickel, and all he can do is "moan".

"Along Came Betty" is a tune by Benny Golson, it reminds me of a Betty I once knew. She was gorgeous with a jazzy personality, and she moved smooth and easy, just like this tune. Somebody find me a time machine! Maybe you knew a Betty.

While the rest of the music is just fine, those are my favorite tunes. Why don't you share your, "must have" jazz albums with us.

Enjoy the music.
Chico Hamilton! Talk about a blast out of the past. Have a few of him on LP. Nothing on CD. That means he did not make a great impression on me. I listened to 'Mysterious Maiden'. Good mood music. New Age?? Did not grab my attention. To be the leader, he sure seems to disappear on some of his tracks.

BTW, when I saw the IMPULSE label, I thought, COLTRANE! :)

With a title like:
'The Kingdom Of Swing & The Republic of OOP BOP SH'BAM'

I was expecting something on the order of Sun Ra meets Gleen Miller! Turned out to be a very nice straight ahead session from the 92nd street Y in NYC. Another production by Dick Hyman.

Live recording. The audience seemed to be into it. Nice solos on several of the tracks. Good bass playing by Milt Hinton on 'Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho' Joe Wilder is on board on trumpet. One of my favorites.

An alternate title might have been 'Professionals at Work'. Another day at the office. Very good, but nothing spectacular. But then again this is essentially a pickup band. They don't play together as a rule. Sort of like the USA Basketball team.

Enjoyed the Chico Hamilton cuts, thanks.

One of my favorite Stan Getz recordings, this is surely one of, if not THE, most interesting of Stan Getz's records; and described by him as his favorite. I don't know how anyone can doubt Getz's genius after listening to this. Eddie Sauter wrote the orchestrations and left Getz only to improvise over the spaces in the pre-composed score. He is on fire. Roy Haynes on drums is equally brilliant. Rok, I think you should leave the room for a few minutes :-)

Now for something really special. Not available on record, but what a document this is! Two masters representing the epitome of the two very different styles that we have been discussing; playing side by side. Different, and equally brilliant; IMO. Rok, you can come back now :-)

Correction: "Flight" is orchestrated by Michel Legrand, not Eddie Sauter, who orchestrated another of Getz's great records with orchestra; "Focus".

Marqmike, your appreciation of my musical offering was a reward in itself. For that, here's another offering. It transports me to a special music lovers inner sanctum that's out of this world, where I find peace.





Enjoy the music.
Today's Gem:

Cannonball Adderley Sextet -- Lugano 1963

Nat adderley, yusef lateef, joe zawinul, sam jones, louis hayes

Cannoball's best group playing at their best, well recorded, before a live European audience! It don't get no better than this.

I have never heard a cannonball group play this, in your face, before. This is sort of like cannonball's magical moment that mingus had at antibes.

O-10 thinks 'something else' is cannonball's best and one of the best Jazz recordings ever. hmmmmmmmmmm. better check this one out.

Great soloing throughout the entire program. Good live ambience.

Just before they launch into 'trouble in mind', julian talks about the lack of the blues in 'modern' jazz. (Which is what really seperates the men from the boys!)

yusef and jones then proceed to tear the house down on 'trouble in mind'. yusef on oboe. he played flute, tenor sax and oboe during the set.

yusef (flute) and nat are also awesome on 'jive samba'

'Dizzy's business' and 'work song' also appear.

as julian is so fond of saying, "check it out"



You mentioned Kenny Barron in a previous post, so I thought I would give him a listen. Had not in a few years.

Kenny Barron -- Other Places

This CD passed my most difficult test. When you have a few thousand CDs of all genres, you tend to not suffer mediocrity very long. A track or two of saying nothing, and back on the rack it goes.

This CD was capitivating. I heard it all the way thru, and listened to the title track twice. This is just great music, well played. Wanna put your feet on the ottoman close your eyes with your favorite drink? This is the one!

Bobby Hutcherson is on board, but the entire group is great. I will have to seek out more of Mr Barron. Thanks for the tip.


No Rok, I didn't like it. While I'm a big fan of each individual musician that was in that group, I didn't like the music. That band sounded like "Bird" was leading it, are you sure he wasn't there. The man blowing that horn was not "Yusef lateef", but a musician who was getting paid to blow a certain type of music, that I call "stereotypical" jazz.

If that had been "Bird" and one of his groups, I would have appreciated that very same music, but it wasn't; it was an imitation of his music long after "Bird" has gone to that big band in the sky.

As you know, I'm also a big fan of "Horace Silver", but his live performances overseas can also produce what the audience expects as opposed to some creative music. Musicians had to make a living, and that's exactly what those musicians were doing.

Enjoy the music.
Kenny Barron was on several albums with Stan Getz-Anniversary, Serenity, People Time, and Bossas and Ballads. They had a real connection musically. Kenny is on a lot of stuff as a sideman and has done a lot of stuff as a leader.

"No Rok, I didn't like it"

you didn't like the Cannonball CD? I can't believe it!

on second thought I think you meant the thingy at the Y. I didn't like it very much either. BTW, Check out Kenny Barron!

All due respect to Dick Hyman and his little repertory group at the 92nd st. Y.I have this session fresh in my mind as i just found the lp at as swap meet for a buck and have owned the cd for many years.This music is representative of what was known as the "Jazz Party" circuit which enjoyed an audience in the 70's and 80's and struggled into the 90's and sputtered out as the new century came in.This idea was fostered by Dick Gibson who started his Colorado Jazz party in the late 60's.These were private Jazz festivals that usually hosted around 25 likeminded musicians and the audience was made up of older fans who could travel to these events and spend the weekend with some great players in intimate and casual settings.The players ranged from Swing era vets,seasoned traditional oriented players and much in between.The Eddie Condon school always had a place with some free swinging,hard driving,vein bursting playing.Pretty much a celebration of pre- Bop music.I heard many greats at some of these events,and got to hang out with the players in casual settings afterhours when many the bottom of a bottle was visible as the sun came up.Joe Venuti,Bud Freeman,lots of great players.We got to spend the afternoon with drummmer Gus Johnson and took him to the San Diego Zoo,that is a great memory as Gus stopped playing not too long after that and passed.We talked a lot about Charlie Parker, as he was the drummer with Jay McShann's Orchestra when Bird made those records for Decca and they traveled together.I was about the same age as the "younger" players who were invited.
One of those was the brilliant Warren Vache who performs on the Hyman recording.Warren was just hitting his late 30's and playing some remarkable trumpet and cornet,as he does on that recording,as a matter of fact he outplays everybody on that date,his solos are simply incandescent.Warm and intense like Bobby Hackett.With the wit and charm of Ruby Braff.He is such a gifted player who gets little recognition nowadays,this is a pity as his last few cd's are about as good brass playing as you can hear today.This is just meat and potatoes Jazz improvisation.People always lament that this kind of honest music has died out,well it is still alive in Warren Vache and you would do yourself a solid to seek out his most recent works.They are a thing of beauty.
Rok, I didn't give that total performance a listen the first time. Although they started off with "stereotypical jazz", after that, they went into some really fine music. Since what they played in the beginning was to warm up the audience, even that was understandable.

I saw and heard "Yusef Lateef" perform "Angel Eyes", that was magical. "Jive Samba" is one of my favorite tunes, and Nat Adderley was superb, he played his heart out. That extended version was fantastic, all of the musicians played beautifully; every last one of them was at the top of his game when this was performed.

That was a marvelous contribution, and here it is for others to enjoy.

Jazzcourier, thank you for the wonderful account. I could not agree more concerning Warren Vache; a wonderful player who does not receive the attention nor recognition he deserves. You do a great job of describing his attributes as a player. While necessarily built-into your excellent description, I would only add that he is one of those players that has such a strong sense of swing and musical pulse that allows the rhythm section to do much more than keep time; or could play with NO rhythm section. The horn becomes the rhythmic anchor and provider of the forward impetus in the music; reminescent of players like Clark Terry and Sonny Rollins in that regard. Here is a good example of this; with one of my favorite piano players:

Jazzcourier, Thanks for mentioning Warren Vache. I have been wanting to pick some of his music for a while. What is your opinion regarding his music with John Allred? I have heard good things about both men.
You have me confused now. You seem to be sayiong that Yusef was not in the group. Julian announced him by name on the Cd. He is listed in the notes. The youtube you sent was a concert in Germany. The one I 'reviewed' took place in Switzerland. You may have the two different performances confused. I realize groups often 'pickup' guys while touring overseas. Esp in Europe which at one time had a lot of American expatriates.

Thanks for your input. I just love to read details like the ones you related. It adds so much to the music, when you know the history. Thanks.

Rok, It's my fault that you're confused. When I said the man on that horn was not "Yusef Lateef", I meant it was him, playing music that was prescribed, and not his music; but that all cleared up later on when the "real" Yusef Lateef (according to my musical conception) appeared when he played the flute on "Angel Eyes".

In regard to "Switzerland or Germany" there was no difference in personnel. I looked at both on You tube, and you couldn't even tell the difference. I hope that clears everything up.

Enjoy the music.

Rok, to further confuse things, the CD you have doesn't have all the tunes I heard on the concert, but believe me "Switzerland and Germany" are the same in regard to the music, year, and musicians. It's just like they picked up the band and moved next door, they even had on the same type of clothes, no more confusion.
Rok, together we have answered a consistent question of Foster_9's. Why can't he ever find a CD or LP of the live performances? Everything we want is before CD's, and LP's had very constrictive time restraints, consequently, those live performances that went as long as 20 minutes on one song, could not be comfortably accommodated.

Switzerland or Germany, I'm glad I got to see that extended performance of "Jive Samba", and Joe Zawinul, does an incredible solo on "Angel Eyes". This was a very fortuitous mistake.

Enjoy the music, and keep em comin.

I second the appreciation mention of Warren Vache. I am always looking for overlooked jazz players and I plan to take a listen. There are just a lot of good players that are overlooked. I got turned on to French sax player Barney Wilen about a year ago, who recorded a couple of albums with Miles in the late '50s in Europe, including the Elevator to the Gallows soundtrack, and also with Art Blakey. He has some excellent recordings on the Venus label as a leader.
O-10. Again thanks for the cool, serene, happy music. I know it is called jazz but there is some peaceful soul in there. Thanks again for your sharing really sublime music.
Thanks for introducing me to Warren Vache, I'll get some of his recordings. Frogman thanks for the audio clip, Bill Charlap I'm familiar with and have seen him live twice in my town.

A really good Kenny Barron recording is "Live at Bradley's" there are two different CDs covering various sets . He's joined by Ben Riley and Ray Drumond.Exceptional playing and well recorded.

A lesser known but fine pianist is Tardo Hammer, he beautifully pays tribute to the wonderful music of Tadd Dameron.The CD is "look, stop and Listen" this is well played and very well recorded.
More on Warren Vache.The best Vache/ John Allred recording is "top self" Arbors ARCD 19399 This a a well thought out session with Tardo Hammer on piano(check out his own recordings,especially the Tadd Dameron collection) and leans to a tighly arranged program of some good lesser known tunes by Blue Mitchell and Clifford Brown and some more well known works by Cannonball,Golson,and Bud Powell mixed with some standards.This is a hot band leaning towards a definite Bop slant.The Vache/Allred "Live in Bern" Arbors ARCD 19369 is almost all standards and is a great blowing session,again with Hammer, and this time they work in two Horace Silver pieces into the program.Straight ahead blowing you could hang your laundry on,pardon me if i'm swinging!
Vache's most recent work is on the English Woodville label (WYCD 132)with a small group of Brits led by label ownwer Alan Barnes."The London session" is a terrific outing of mainly standards played expertly.Barnes is almost totally unknown in the states and is a wonderful multi-reed player with the alto and clarinet being his babies.I like his alto playing,a touch of Benny Carter and a bit of Art Pepper(he recorded a tribute album to Pepper a few years ago)he is a world class player waiting to be heard.The Woodville label has some great recordings but has no distribution in the U.S. so they have to be purchased directly from Alan,who will likely send you an email"Off to the post,enjoy the music!" you gotta love that.Vache is on fire on this session,these are good,but unknown players...unless you live in the U.K.
"Ballads and other cautionary tales" (Arbors ARCD 19430) is from 2011 and finds Warren again with Tardo Hammer and this time the much under rated Richard Wyands on piano.Houston Person is a guest on tenor on three tracks(a great rapport) and John Allred guests on a track.This is cornet playing of great emotional depth.Sentimental,ironic,a little wistful,passionate and full of the technical whoha to pull in off.Have not heard this kind of playing since the Miles/Red Garland sessions.
Warren Vache stays in his big boy pants for all these recordings,they are devine.
Thumbs up on Barney Wilen.Rare,but now downloadable,is "Barney" from 1959 on French RCA with Duke Jordan and Kenny Dorham...great session.A little off the beaten track,and a record that has bounced around to a few labels under different names is "Movie themes from france" from 1989.This is a quartet with Mal Waldron,Stafford James and Eddie Moore.You can pretty much guess the tunes and they are played in an almost calmly seductive manner.He was one of the poster boys of the French new wave cinema Jazz soundtracks.Of course,as mentioned,The Miles soundtrack is a masterpiece.I bought the dvd of the film with the bonus footage of Miles playing to the soundtrack and have to confess i have yet to watch it.I will do that this week and report back.First saw that film on the late,late show as a teenager when it played in the U.S. under the name "Frantic",which may have been the name of the novel it was based on.Hats off to Barney who slipped away in '96.
Jazz At The Philharmonic: Best Of The 1940's Concerts

well, lets see, we have: Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet, Charlie Parker, Willie Smith, Roy Eldridge, Hank Jones, Ray Brown, Buddy Rich, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat 'King' Cole, Les Paul, Gene Krupa, Jo Jones, Billie Holiday, and company.

Why can one possibly say? The sound quality was very good, all things considered. It being live and the 40's.

Most of the soloing was great, and I felt like an 'Ellington/Gonsalves at Newport' moment would break out at any minute.

Ella was awesome and never sang one word of English or any other language. She is like another instrument in the band.

Billie was as good as any singer not named Ella ccould be.

The liner notes of this CD are very interesting. There seems to have been a little controversy surrounding the entire JATP thingy. Two excerpts from the liner notes:

"great storytelling is a matter of mastering structure and pacing, not divine intervention. In bringing the Jam Session to a mass audience, Granz robbed it of it's mystery, and some critics never forgave him for it."

"If people liked it, it wasn't Jazz. Jazz has a cult mentality and Cannot deal with mass acceptance without feeling like a whore."

I must do some research into the whole JATP thing.
Comments on the two quotes are welcomed.


Jazz is not a single dish, it's a banquet, and I'm going to give you a sampling of some other treats in this same time frame, and genre.

Although everyone knows "Stan Getz", not everyone knows all the facets of Mr. Getz. "Focus" is his most unique album in my opinion. It just flows from one cut to the next. That continuity gives the complete album a certain "unity" as opposed to an album consisting of separate cuts. This is my favorite album by Mr. Getz, and I give you "I'm late, I'm late" from "Focus"


While Mr. Yusef Lateef could play "stereotypical" jazz on the tenor sax as well as any man alive, his personal musical tastes were not at all "stereotypical"; he always gave jazz a different twist. Although Lateef's main instruments are the tenor saxophone and flute, he also plays oboe and bassoon, both rare in jazz, and also uses a number of world music instruments, notably the bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, Xun, arghul, sarewa, and koto. He is known for his innovative blending of jazz with "Eastern" music. This is from one of my favorite albums by Yusef Lateef, "The Blue Yusef Lateef".


Next is "Ahmad Jamal", he influenced Miles; I don't think you can get a recommendation higher than that. Miles liked his use of space, he was never in a hurry. I liked the way he did standards, regardless how many times you heard one of these tunes, it always sounded new and fresh when Ahmad Jamal did it. First I give you "Moonlight in Vermont" followed by "Ahmads Blues".



I hope you've enjoyed my presentations, and I'm looking forward to yours.

Enjoy the music.

Lee Morgan, is one of the greatest "modern jazz" trumpet players ever in history. This is the consensus I've gotten after a lifetime of talking to other jazz aficionados. He was chosen when I picked Clifford Brown. I'll give you two of the many reasons why Lee Morgan has been chosen by consensus of many jazz aficionados: "A Night in Tunisia" and "Since I Fell For You".


Lenny Welch's "Since I Fell for You," reached number 4 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. That certainly ranks his version as one of the best. Lee Morgan's trumpet sings this song even better than Lenny Welch.

I don't think i would characterize Norman Granz as a "robber"...stealing the "mystery" of the jam session, and exposing it to the public? In reality, few were privy to the "Jam Session" as it was the musicians domain,lets say the hunting grounds for the lions and tigers of the late night,feasting on the young and unproven musician who had to prove they could stand next to the kings of the Jungle.This is one thing that eventually eroded Jazz was the lack of public humiliation to make youyrself a better player.How do you think the young Bopper's matured so quickly?...they played.played,played! Thank goodness for the Harlem spots like Minton's Playhouse and Clark Monroe's uptown house, where nighly jams brought the older players to joust with the youngsters,albeit the Boppers were working on their own" alchemy" of variations on the "changes".The question became what older established players would get with the new and adapt, and forge, the way to the new music.Such is the way in the veldt...eat or be eaten.The "Jam Session" was a proving ground....the story aboput Bird being gonged off the stage by a cymbal being thrown....over ten years later a similar humiliation would be suffered by Ornette Coleman in Los Angeles.
What Granz did,among MANY things,was bring the excitement of this competion to the public with a new found dignity,a showcase for the myriad of talents within the music..Bird,Prez,Ella,Tatum...he took the greats of the music and brought them to your town.
An amazing look at the reclusive and innovative Norman Granz is ..."Norman Granz....The man who used Jazz for Justice" University of California Press 2011.Author Tad Hershorn spent years just getting the interviews with Granz and finally suceeded and opened the mysterious world of this man.Hershorn is a member of the Rutgers based Institute of Jazz studies,his is a multi-layered,scholary approach.The evolution of the "JATP" concept is a major part of this book,the tours,players,recordings and the fight for the dignity of the musicians of "color",not always easy in the 1950's.He shares the details of Granz' musical adventures with an ease and a flow that make this great reading.You will come away with a respect for the man who realized that Art Tatum needed to sit in the studio and record over one hundred solo performances.He was among the very first who listened to the artist and gave them freedom.You will lament the unfulfilled sessions (Lester Young with strings and Charlie Parker and Art Tatum duets)You will be amazed at what one man accomplished for Jazz.

A very interesting and informative post. I don't agree with the following statement:

"This is one thing that eventually eroded Jazz was the lack of public humiliation to make youyrself a better player"

I don't think the 'public' was / is qualified to pass judgement on the players we are talking about. The Jazz players excelled in spite of the public, not because of it. And if the current public taste is any indication, it was a good thing. I think Jazz was 'eroded' by social change. (progress) Same thing that killed Boxing.

I did order the book about Ganz. It seems like it would be a good read. Thanks for the tip.

One of the JATP concerts was performed and recorded at the SYRIA MOSQUE. I could not believe it! Then I learned it was just a venue at which everyone from Sousa to Dylan to the Pittsburgh symphony had performed. Torn down and is now a parking lot on the Univerity of Pittsburgh campus. Never did get the name.


BTW, I have all of Tatum's solos. Thank you Ganz. I think? :)
Jazzcourier, Mintons, a small joint in New York city, could hardly be called a "Public forum". Rok, if the JATP is your concept of jazz, that was dead a long time ago. Some reasons for the death of jazz are quite controversial, some aren't, like economics for example.

Beyond the death of jazz in this country, it has evolved in other parts of the world. Here's one example of the evolution of jazz.


Enjoy the music.
Jazz musicians thrive on public acceptance,they need an audience,they need feedback,they need to test their mettle-constantly.Even the most anti-social,introverted musicians feel this way.One of the most private musicians i ever knew was Warne Marsh,a gifted (beyond words) saxophonist and an improvisor on par with the best.He was a man of few words,but when he did you know it was something of value and a life lesson.I asked him once what part the audience and listener played in his art and i was shocked by his reply..."It is everything to me.The listener is fifty percent of my world" We need to bethere as listeners,as an audience.For Art to suceed it has have it's audience.The value of discourse can't be discounted,and Art must have it's critics and it's public.
Jazz,like boxing,runs the peril of being dominated by lightweights.Where are the heavyweights?

I listened to both 'The Cooker' and 'Candy'. Both were excellent. The most amazing thing is that Morgan was only 19 when he recorded both.

On Candy, I agree with 'since I fell for you'. I also liked 'C.T.A.' The notes say this is his only recording with a Quartet.

On The Cooker, I liked 'night in Tunisia' and 'New-Ma 8:11'.
This was his 5th recording for Blue Note, and still not 20 years of age. WOW! Pepper Adams and Bobby Timmons were standouts on this CD also.

The notes say Miles and Gillespie were the only trumpet players ranked above him when he recorded these LPs. Still not 20.

A very insightful post; and I agree completely. This is one of two very common misconceptions about musicians held by many music lovers. This quote by Louis Armstromg addresses this point and shows that he cares deeply about what the audience thinks, and also touches upon the second misconception:

"If I don't practice for a day, I know it. If I don't practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don't practice for three days, the audience knows it"
- Louis Armstrong

The second common misconception is the idea that jazz musicians don't practice relentlessly; that their art is just the result of inspiration and innate talent. Clearly, there needs to be a great deal of innate talent. But, the greats were incredibly dedicated to the rudiments of playing their instrument and for years spent countless hours "woodsheding". Bird, by his own admission, spent one period of four years practicing 8-11 hours a day (!!!).

That was hilarious!!

When I opened it, I just happened to be listening to 'Boss Tenors' Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt.

Cosby is one funny guy! Thanks for sharing it.

Agree with your assessment of Lee Morgan-he was a great player. One of my favorites. I have the XRCD version of Candy and the sound is excellent. I was listening to his Tom Cat album yesterday, also the XRCD version, and it is very good.

Frogman, A professional jazz musician lived in my apartment for 3 months and he never practiced. I wont mention his name because every time it's mentioned, some clown pops out of the woodwork with garbage. In regard to,"If I don't practice for a day, I know it. If I don't practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don't practice for three days, the audience knows it".

For an entire summer, I chauffeured him and his lady friend to gigs at least 3 times a week. We were only at the apartment long enough to take care of the necessities of life, the rest of the time we were on a set, or digin a set. What astounded me more than anything, was when we arrived an hour before show time, and he was introduced to musicians he had never played with before. They would talk this musical gibberish, that meant absolutely nothing to me, "All right Mac, when I come in on the... and hit a chord on the piano, point to the drummer who seemed to know what he was talking about and go "Wham bang". They would do this for an hour, while I watched in fear of every thing turning out lousy.

When they played as if they had been together for years, I was all ways truly astonished. Those performances never failed to mesmerize yours truly. Each performance was uniquely different from the last one. I had surgery that summer, and he entertained me during my recuperation time, with stories about his life as a professional jazz musician; that was an unforgettable summer.
"Rok, if the JATP is your concept of jazz, that was dead a long time ago"

Well, I guess I was duped into thinking it was Jazz. But it did say Jazz on the cover of the CD. And the reviews I read said it was Jazz. But the thing that really sucked me in, was the guys in the band!

I thought I read somewhere that Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Ella Fitzgerald etc.... were Jazz musicians. I guess not. Boy, I feel like a chump now.

But I do want to thank you for exposing me to some 'real' Jazz. That Youn Sun Nah is something!! And to think, I used to think Ella Fitzgerald could sing!! I see now I have been misled. I spent three years in Korea and never knew they did Jazz, let along at such a high level. WOW!!

Thanks O-10. I think, for the first time, I completely and truly understand your concept of Jazz. What can one say? (amadeus)

Pnmeyer, what's most astounding about my assessments and recommendations, is the fact that they are making me aware of all the CD's not currently in my collection.

Enjoy the music.

"We", like the music and musicians we admire, are individualistic, and nobody's going to take that away from us. With this thought in mind, I sought a musician we could all agree on, and I think Mr. Gene Ammons meets that criteria. Here are two of my favorites by "Jug", as his friends called him.


"Hitting The Jug" and "The Happy Blues"


Enjoy the music.
Orpheus10, there are exceptions to every rule; as I am sure you would agree. Actually, Art Pepper was one, he seldom practiced. But, as a rule, jazz musicans practice, or practiced, a great deal. If your jazz musician friend is able to do what you describe, I am certain that at some point he put in the hours.

Thanks for the Bobby McFerrin links. Great stuff.
I tried to stop doing my 'reviews', but the public outcry was so great, that I was forced to continue. So, by popular demand, todays listen.

'The Quintet' -- Jazz At Massey Hall

The Quintet consisted of: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach. Therefore, the only comment to be made, is on the sound quality.

The concert was recorded by Gillespie and Roach on their personal tape recorder, so the sound is uneven. No hiss or noise, just not a professional job. Some players seem to fade in and out. Except Dizzy of course. After all, it was his tape machine. This is the concert where Bird played the plastic toy sax. Didn't seem to matter.

One of the highlights was when Bird referred to Dizzy as his 'worthy constituent' during the intro to 'salt peanuts'. There seemed to be bad blood between the two, which they expressed during their solos.

Took place in Toronto. May 1953. Same night as the Marciano / Walcott Championship fight. Affected the attendance.

A must have for any serious 'Real Jazz' fan.

Hi Orpheus - I will second Frogman and say that your friend MUST have put in very serious hours. Also, the process of jazz musicians who haven't played together before but who sound like they have is not so mystifying as it may seem. Each jazz standard is usually performed in the same few keys, and with the same basic chord changes. What the discussions were about that were unintelligible to you were making sure everyone knew the tunes, what keys they were going to be played in, and anything that might not be standard, such as a different chord change than normal, for instance. Jazz musicians have what they call a "Fake Book" that has standard keys and chord changes for literally hundreds of standard tunes. They will often review such a book before a gig, especially when they are new to the group they will be performing with. Frogman will definitely have much more knowledge of that sort of thing than I, so please chime in on this if you wish. As an orchestral French horn player, the only jazz I have ever played is in a big band, where the parts were of course written out, or on a pops show where again, the orchestra parts are written out.

Frogman, I looked at his Bio. and discovered he was self taught, which meant he was truly gifted.

Not long ago, I was telling another professional jazz musician that my friend was one of the best ever. "He was good, but he wasn't that good", was the musician's Reply. "I'll show him", I thought.

In order to prove my point, I bought every record and CD I could find by my friend, but none of them was as good as the music I remembered that summer. This caused me to reflect back on that time. He played like a man obsessed at every performance. I never have, and still don't like it when a musician plays a lot of notes/music like crazy, but when he did it, the music was coherent.

That was a long time ago, and I discovered he never recorded anything else after that summer, before he died. The music I heard, was new music that he was working on; the only place it's recorded is in my mind.

Enjoy the music.
This is one of the more interesting and informative threads on audiogon in a while.Orpheus, your friend very well have been an exception. The jazz musicians I've known put considerable hours into practice, serious practice.
I would agree that most Jazz musicians are serious practitioners. As a horn player, I can speak from experience that you cannot develop the chops needed to play without practicing-talent only gets you so far. Recall the story of Sonny Rollins, who took a three year hiatus from performing to practice 10 plus hours a day on the Williamsburg bridge (apparently he practiced there so he would not disturb his landlady) because he was unhappy with his playing. Extreme example but many other Jazz players had rigorous practice routines. Art Farmer and John Coltrane come to mind.