Reflections from the Avant Garde (Podcast #17-014)

Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp and others interpret Ellington’s music. Continue reading

“Now, when I was considered avant garde, Duke Ellington at that time was avant garde to me — and I’m sure Barry Ulanov would say the same thing, although he never exactly said Duke was avant garde; but Duke was, because his music was more modern than most things going on.”

Charles Mingus


Sun Ra and his Arkestra at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, CA 1985 (photo by Steve Bowie)

The recordings heard on this podcast episode:


Take the “A” Train (CD: “Live at Montreux” Inner City )

Recorded 9 July 1976 in Montreux, Switzerland

Sun Ra – piano; Ahmed Abdullah, Al Evans, Chris Capers – trumpet; Vincent Chancey: – french horn; Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Pat Patrick, James “Ham” Jackson, Elo Omo, Danny Davis – reeds; Tony Bunn, Hayes Burnett – bass; Clifford Jarvis, Larry Bright, Stanley Morgan – drums and percussion.



Creole Love Call (CD:”Ancient to the Future, Volume 1″ DIW 804)

Recorded 17-19 March 1987 in Brooklyn, NY

Lester Bowie – trumpet; Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman – reeds; Malachi Favors – bass; Famadou Don Moye – drums.


Come Sunday (CD: “The World Saxophone Quartet Plays Duke Ellington” Nonesuch

Recorded April 1986 in New York City

Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake – alto sax; David Murray – tenor sax;  Hamiet Bluiett – baritone sax.


Jumpin’ Punkins (CD: “Highlights of the Great 1940-1942 Band” Avid AMSC1143)

Recorded 5 June 1941, Los Angeles

Wallace Jones, Rex Stewart, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.

cecil taylor

Jumpin’ Punkins (CD: “The Complete Candid Recordings of Cecil Taylor and Buell Neidlinger” Mosaic 127)

Recorded 9 January 1961 in New York City

Cecil Taylor – piano; Clark Terry – trumpet; Roswell Rudd – trombone; Steve Lacy – soprano sax; Archie Shepp – tenor sax; Charles Davis – baritone sax; Buell Neidlinger – bass; Billy Higgins – drums.

archie shepp

Prelude to a Kiss (CD: “Day Dream” Denon Jazz DC-8547)

Recorded 3 June 1977 in New York City

Archie Shepp – tenor sax; Walter Davis – piano; Earl May – bass; Philly Joe Jones – drums.

Steve Lacy

Ko Ko (CD: “Monk’s Dream” Universal / Verve E5430902)

Recorded 21-22 June 1999 in Paris

Steve Lacy – soprano sax; Roswell Rudd – trombone; Jean-Jacques Avenel – bass; John Betsch – drums.


Summertime (CD: “Piano in the Foreground” Columbia / Legacy  87042)

Recorded 1 March 1961 in Los Angeles

Duke Ellington – piano; Aaron Bell – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, New York City

Paul Gonsalves- tenor sax; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Ray Nance – cornet; Mitchell “Booty” Wood – trombone; Jimmy Jones – piano; Al Hall – bass; Oliver Jackson – drums.