Top 50 JAzz Blog

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Caution: Ear Expansion May Cause Aesthetic Discombobulation

I went to a show at the Outpost 186 on 3.24.16. The group was an adventurous cohort that included: 

Charlie Kohlhase/Alipio C. Neto – saxes / Daniel Rosenthal – trumpet, flugelhorn / Bill Lowe – tuba / Curt Newton - drums

They played almost all original material and some by John Tchicai. As a group and as soloists, the musicians demonstrated their command of jazz innovations of the last 60 years-angular heads, group improvisation, harmonics overblowing, dissonance, bi-tonality, world music influences and non-swing rhythm section approaches.

After this solid musical foray, I went to a friend's house to continue my aural immersion.
Rob put on Cannonball Adderly's 1961 Riverside album "Know What I Mean," And, although a great admirer of Cannonball, I found his playing conservative and unadventurous. 
Then, I asked for some Lee Morgan and he put on "Search for the New Land" from 1964. Lee and Wayne are brilliant, but the tunes less so. The title track, an extended composition, aims high, but is not substantial; much pentatonic noodling, tremolos, ostinati. The other tunes are more squarely in the Lee hard-bop mold, but they seem kind of tepid in the light of compositions that Ornette and others had been producing and compared to what I heard earlier that night at the Outpost. 

The moral of the story: when your ears have been recently opened up, be prepared for some disjunctions when you listen to your old musical pals. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

St. Paddy's Jazz Show

Many Irish-Americans have been great jazz players. A partial list would include: Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Bunny Berigan, Larry Binyon, Dick McDonough, Chauncy Morehouse. Spike Hughes. Bill Harty. Jimmy McPartland. Muggsy Spanier. Eddie Condon. Joe Sullivan. Lou McGarity. Corky Corcoran. Joe Mooney. Zoot Sims. Anita O'Day. Gerry Mulligan, Dave McKenna, Jim Lanigan, Sam Donahue, Harry James, Brian Lynch, Kenny Davern, Snoozer Quinn, Joe "Red" Kelly, "Peck" Morrison, Joe Sullivan, Turk Murphy. Buzzy Drootin , Ed Shaughnessy...

The DuPlex Mystery Jazz Hour of 3.17.16 featured some of these folks.


Red Nichols "Rose of Washington Square" from "Basin St Blues" 1929 on Fabulous

Husk O'Hare and His Footwarmers "My Daddy Rocks Me" from "The Austin High Gang" 1928 on MCA

Red Nichols 'n His Five Pennies "I'm Just WIld About Harry" from "Basin St Blues" 1930)

McKenzie and Condon's Boys "Jazz Me Blues" from "The Austin High Gang" 1928 on MCA

The Charleston Chasers "Beale St Blues" from "Basin St Blues" 1931

Eddie Condon's Friends "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave to Me" from "Condon's World of Jazz" 954 on CBS

The All Star Band "The Blues" from "Basin St Blues" 939 on Fabulous

Dorsey Brothers Orch. "Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jibe" from "Condon's World of Jazz" 1933) on Brunswick

Chris Connor "Everything I Love" from "Chris Connor" (Jazz, 1957) on Bethlehem

LP Billy Taylor "So In Love" from "Billy Taylor Introduces IRA Sullivan" 1956) on ABC-Paramount

Chris Connor "All About Ronnie" from "Chris Connor" 1957 on Bethlehem

Bobby Hackett "Swing That Music" from "Live at the Roosevelt Grill" 1969 Phontastic

Bob Haggart & Buzzy Drootin "Big Noise From Winnetka" from "Newport Jazz Fest" 1964

Gene Krupa w. Anita O'day "Let Me Off Uptown" from "Drummer Man"  1956 on Verve

Benny Goodman w. Harry James "Peckin'" from "Great Jazz Brass" 1937  on RCA Camden

Brian Lynch "Tribute To Blue (Mitchell)" from "Tribute to Trumpet Masters" (Jazz, 2005) on Sharp Nine Records

Monday, March 14, 2016

Alto Sax Roots Program

Tab Smith
The Duplex Mystery Hour of 3.10.17 on WZBC featured important alto players from the 20's and 30's: Trumbauer, Redman, Procope, Dorsey, Hodges, Carter, the Jones, Jefferson, Brown. The last part of the show includes early recordings of Charlie Parker with Jay McShann.



Frank Trumbauer (C Melody sax) & Bix Beiderbecke "Trumbology" from "Trumbology" 1927 Okeh 

"Variety Stomp" Fletcher Henderson Orchestra: Victor, 1927 Fletcher Henderson -Piano, Arranger, DirectorJoe Smith, Russell Smith - trumpet (?) Some sources cite Tommy Ladnier on Trumpet, Benny Morton, Jimmy Harrison - Trombone Buster Bailey, Don Redman - Clarinet, Alto Coleman Hawkins - Clarinet, Tenor Charlie Dixon - Banjo June Cole - Brass Bass Kaiser Marshall - Drums"Victor 20944-BNew York, April 27, 1927

"Beebe" Jimmy Dorsey Clarinet & Sax Solo, Mannie Klein Leo McConville (tp),Tommy Dorsey (tb), Paul Mason (ts),Alfie Evans (as) Arthur Schutt {p}, Eddie Lang (g) Hank Stern (b), Brunswick New York 13 June 1929 

"Sweet Chariot" The Harlem Footwarmers - New York, 30.10. 1930-Alto Saxophone - Johnny Hodges; Arranged By - Duke Ellington; Banjo - Fred Guy; Baritone Saxophone - Harry Carney; Clarinet - Barney Bigard; Drums - Sonny Greer; Leader -Duke Ellington; Piano - Duke Ellington; Soprano Saxophone - Harry Carney; Soprano Saxophone - Johnny Hodges; Tenor Saxophone - Barney Bigard; Trombone - Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton; Trumpet - Arthur Whetsol; Trumpet - Cootie Williams; Trumpet - Freddy Jenkins;

"Radio Rhythm" The Savannah Syncopators-1931 Rex Stewart-c/Russell Smith-Bobby Stark-t/ Claude Jones-Benny Morton-tb/John Kirby-t ba/Russell Procope-cl-as/Edgar Sampson-as/Coleman Hawkins-ts-cl/Clarence Holiday-g/Walter Johnson-d/Nat Leslie-arr.

"Chant Of The Weed" Don Redman & Orchestra -1931-Brunswick-Don Redman - alto sax, vocals Leonard Davis, Bill Coleman, Henry 'Red' Allen - trumpet Claude Jones, Fred Robinson, Benny Morton - trombone Edward Engle,  Rupert Cole - alto sax, clarinet Robert Carroll - tenor sax Horace Henderson - piano, arranger (Fletcher Henderson's brother) Talcott Reeves - banjo, guitar Bob Ysaguirre - bass Manzie Johnson - violin

"Savoy Strut" Johnny Hodges - (1933)-Johnny Hodges (A.Sax) and his Orch. Cootie Williams(tp), Lawrence Brown(tb), Harry Carney(bs), Duke Ellington(p), Billy Taylor(b), Sonny Greer(dm) recorded 21 March, 1933 Columbia

"Royal Garden Blues," John Kirby Sextet 1937 The John Kirby Sextet -Charlie Shavers (trumpet); Buster Bailey (clarinet); Russell Procope (alto sax); Billy Kyle (piano); John Kirby (bass); O'Neil Spencer (drums).

"Squabblin" Walter Page's Blue Devils from "Sweet and Low Blues"  James Simpson, Hot Lips Page (tp) Dan Minor (tb) Buster Smith (cl,as) Ted Manning (as) Reuben Roddy (ts) Charlie Washington (p) Reuben Lynch or Thomas Owens (g) Walter Page (tu-1,b- 1930 Vocalion 

"Down South Camp Meeting" and "Limehouse Blues" Fletcher Henderson - -Brunswick N.Y.C. 12.09.34-Russell Smith Irving Randolph Henry Red Allen (tp) Claude Jones Keg Johnson (tb) Buster Bailey (cl) Russell Procope Hilton Jefferson (cl as) Ben Webster (ts) Fletcher Henderson (p) Horace Lucie (g) Elmer James (b) Walter Johnson (d)

"Sophisticated Lady" Duke Ellington & His Orchestra: 1933 on Brunswick. Freddy Jenkins, Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, t; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, tb; Juan Tizol, vtb; Barney Bigard, cl, ts; Johnny Hodges, as, ss; Otto Hardwick, as, cl, bsx; Harry Carney, bs, cl, as; Duke Ellington, p; Fred Guy, g; Wellman Braud, b; Sonny Greer, d.

"I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues" Billie Holiday, Frankie Newton tp; Tab Smith as & ss; Kenneth Hollon, Stanley Payne ts; Sonny White p; Jimmy McLin g; John Williams b; Eddie Dougherty ds; Billie Holiday vc; from The Commodore Master Takes  1939 

"‪In a Mellotone" Alto Saxophone,Johnny Hodges,Piano: Duke Ellington, Trumpet: Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams,Cornet: Rex Stewart, Trombone: Joe Nanton, Lawrence Brown, Juan Tizol Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone: Barney Bigard, Alto Saxophone: Otto Hardwick Tenor Sax: Ben Webster, Alto Sax, Baritone Sax, Clarinet: Harry Carney,Guitar: Fred Guy, Bass: Jimmie Blanton, Drums: Sonny Greer‬ on Victor 

"Blue Skies"  The John Kirby Sextet 1937) -Charlie Shavers (trumpet); Buster Bailey (clarinet); Russell Procope (alto sax); Billy Kyle (piano); John Kirby (bass); O'Neil Spencer (drums).

"I Wish I Were Twins" by Henry Allen and his Orchestra, 1934-Solos by Buster Bailey-clarinet, Hilton Jefferson-alto sax, and Henry "Red" Allen on trumpet and vocal. on Melotone 

"Rhythm Is Our Business" -Jimmie Lunceford (Willie Smith, vocal), Jimmie Lunceford - director, Eddie Tompkins, Tommy Stevenson, William "Sleepy" Sy Oliver - trumpets, Henry Wells, Russell Bowles-Trombones, Willie Smith, Earl Carruthers-clarinet, alto sax, baritone sax, Joe Thomas-clarinet, tenor sax, Edwin Wilcox-piano, Al Norris-guitar, Moses Allen-tuba, Jimmy Crawford-drums on Decca 

Jimmie Lunceford "Jazznocracy" same personnel

"Delhia" Pete Brown also Jimmie Gordon & his Vip Vop Band-Decca (1939)-Jimmie Gordon:Vocals Frankie Newton:Trumpet Pete Brown:Alto Sax Sam Price:Piano Poss. Zutty Singleton:Drums

"Sleep" Benny Carter and His Orchestra from "Melancholy Benny" (Jazz, 1939) Frankie Newton & Cafe Society Orchestra "Jitters"  (Jazz, 1939) on Vocalion 

"Keep A-Knockin'(But You Can't Come In" Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five--Decca 1939 Courtney Williams or Eddie Roane or Aaron Izenhall (trumpet), Lem Johnson or Josh Jackson or Eddie Johnson (tenor saxophone), Clarence Johnson or Arnold Thomas or "Wild Bill" Davis or Bill Doggett (piano), Charlie Drayton or Al Morgan or Jesse "Po" Simpkins or Dallas Bartley (bass), and Walter Martin or Eddie Byrd or Chris Columbus (drums).

 "Frankie's Jump"  Frankie Newton & Cafe Society Orchestra, Frank Newton, trumpet,.T. Smith, S. Payne & K. Hollen, reeds. K. Kirby, piano., U. Livingstone, guitar. J. Williams, string-bass. E. Dougherty, drums.1939 on Vocalion 

" I got it bad" Air Check from Savoy Ballroom -Jay McShann & Charlie Parker, Al Hibbler-vocal

"Cherokee" Jay McShann featuring Charlie Parker

" Hootie Blues" Jay Mc Shann - (1941) -Buddy Anderson, Harold Bruce, Orville Minor (trumpet) Joe Taswell Baird (trombone) John Jackson, Charlie Parker (alto saxophone) Harold Ferguson, Bob Mabane (tenor saxophone) Jay McShann (piano) Gene Ramey (bass) Gus Johnson (drums) Dallas, TX, April 30, 1941

"Jumpin The Blues" by Jay McShann same personnel 1941 Decca

Saturday, March 5, 2016

James Merenda on the Duplex

James w. TIcklejuice
Happy to host James Merenda on the Duplex Mystery Jazz Hour of 3.3.16. James is an accomplished pianist, alto sax player, composer, bandleader and educator. We played music from some of his projects and James also did some live playing in the studio.


James Merenda Trio “Falling In Love WIth Love”
from Live @ Acton Jazz Cafe (2015)
James Merenda Trio “I'll be Seeing you”
from Live @ Acton Jazz Cafe (2015)
James Merenda Trio “Time After Time”
from Live @ Acton Jazz Cafe (2015)

James Merenda solo saxophone in WZBC Studio "The Nearness of You"
Tickle Juice “Kovlom.Let Love Come”
from Roots to the Stars (Cats Have Knees Records 2013)
Ticklejuice “Don't Play WIth Dinosaurs” SINGLE (Cats Have Knees Records 2013)
James Merenda Trio “Time After Time”
from Live @ Acton Jazz Cafe (2015)