Portrait of Harold Ashby (Podcast #20-007)

A look at the great, underrated tenor saxophonist in Ellington’s late band, Harold Ashby. Continue reading

“Duke Ellington obviously enjoys Ashby’s tenor playing, because he has featured him on many different numbers… Ashby sits between two of the band’s greatest stars, Johnny Hodges and Paul Gonsalves, and when he gets up to blow he seems modestly overconscious of the fact, but when he sits down the listener has been made aware that he is where he deserves to be.”

— Stanley Dance, The World of Duke Ellington

 

 

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



Jeep’s Blues/Out of Nowhere (CD:

Recorded 1961

Ray Nance – trumpet; Harold Ashby, Paul Gonsalves – tenor sax; Sir Charles Thompson – piano; Aaron Bell – bass; Jo Jones – drums.

I Can’t Get Started (CD: “The Private Collection, Volume 9” Saja Records 91233-2)

Recorded 7 November 1968, New York City

Harold Ashby – tenor sax; Duke Ellington – piano; Jeff Castleman – bass; Rufus Jones.

Black Power (LP: “Paris Jazz Party” Affinity AFF 57)

Recorded 1 November 1969, Paris

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Mercer Ellington, Ambrose Jackson, Harold “Money” Johnson – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Francois Guin, Chuck Conners – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Norris Turney, Harold Ashby, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano: Victor Gaskin – bass; Rufus Jones – drums.

MI0001691166

Thanks for the Beautiful Land on the Delta (CD: “New Orleans Suite,” Warner Bros. 7411644)

Recorded 27 April 1970, New York City

Cootie Williams, Al Rubin, Mercer Ellington, Fred Stone – trumpets; Booty Wood, Julian Priester, Malcolm Taylor – trombones; Russell Procope, Norris Turney, Johnny Hodges, Harold Ashby, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Joe Benjamin – bass; Rufus Jones – drums.


51KH0zlM8+L._SX355_

Thanks for the Beautiful Land on the Delta (CD: “Never Before Released Recordings (1965-1972),” Music Masters 5041-2-C)

Recorded 23 July 1970, Milan

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Mercer Ellington, Fred Stone, Nelson Williams – trumpets; Booty Wood, Chuck Connors, Malcolm Taylor – trombones; Russell Procope, Norris Turney, Harold Ashby, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Joe Benjamin – bass; Rufus Jones – drums.

Some Summer Fun (LP: “The Intimate Ellington” Pablo 2310-787)

 Recorded 15 June 1970, New York City

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Mercer Ellington, Fred Stone – trumpets; Booty Wood, Chuck Connors, Julian Priester – trombones; Russell Procope, Norris Turney, Harold Ashby, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Wild Bill Davis – organ; Joe Benjamin – bass; Rufus Jones – drums.

Chinoiserie (LP: “Concerts in Canada” Ellington ’87)

Recorded 25 May 1973, Winnipeg

Cootie Williams, Mercer Ellington, Harold “Money” Johnson, Johnny Coles – trumpet; Vincente Prudente, Murray McEachern, Chuck Connors – trombone; Russell Procope, Harold Minerve, Harold Ashby, Paul Gonsalves, Doug Harris, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Joe Benjamin – bass; Rufus Jones – drums.

 

The Brotherhood (LP: “Duke Ellington’s Third Sacred Concert, The Majesty of God” RCA APL 1-0785)

Recorded 24 October 1973, Westminster Abbey, London

Blue Serge (CD: “Continuum” Fantasy FANCD 24765)

Recorded 16-17 July 1974, New York City

Mercer Ellington – conductor; Cootie Williams, James “Buddy” Bolden, Harold “Money” Johnson, Barrie Lee Hall, Jr. – trumpet; Art Baron, Vince Prudente, Chuck Connors – trombone; Harold Minerve, James Spaulding, Maurice Simon, Harold Ashby, Harry Carney – reeds; Lloyd Mayers – piano; Larry Ridley – bass; Quentin “Rocky” White – drums.

Struttin’ with some Barbeque (CD: “I’m Old Fashioned” Stash Records ST-CD-545)

Recorded 1991

Harold Ashby – tenor sax; Richard Wyands – piano; Aaron Bell – bass; Connie Kay – drums.

 

 

— Our closing music —-

0000120517

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.

Album Reviews – A Sack Full of Sax

We feature reviews of the new projects by veteran saxophonists, Chris Greene; Nick Hempton; Ralph Moore and Justin Robinson

Our first review post of the year, features four new albums from veteran saxophonists who should all, be better known than they are. Start to right that wrong, by picking up these projects, which are all recommended.

Chris Greene Quartet – Playspace (Single Malt)

The native of Evanston, IL has spent most of his career close to home, which means the Chicago jazz scene. Readers of this blog are aware of my fondness for his sound, indicated by multiple appearances of Mr. Greene’s albums on my year end “Best of” lists. On his twelfth album as a leader, Greene gives us more of what his best qualities – that full bodied, gritty, tenor attack and a surprisingly rich tone, when he switches to soprano.  Playspace finds Greene and the CGQ in a deeper soul jazz vein than usual, and I loved every minute of it. “The Crossover Appeal/Uno Mas”, locks into the pocket and doesn’t let go, with Marc Piane’s electric bass setting the stage and Greene getting into a sweaty sax duel with guest star Marquel Jordan. A Latin reading of Wayne Shorter’s “Speak No Evil”, is surprisingly effective, with drummer Steve Corley taking center stage with a relentless groove and a killer solo. “Blues for Dr. Fear”, which appeared in a studio version, on 2017’s Boundary Issues, is back and funkier than ever, with Damian Espinosa’s cool keys weaving around Greene’s tough tenor. Playspace is another winning album from one of the true working groups in jazz today. Looks like we’re not going to get them out of the Windy City, y’all, so we’ll have to make the trip there, to experience in person, what we hear on this disc.

Nick Hempton – Night Owl (Triple Distilled)

Nick Hempton, who has called New York home since 2004, announces his intention from the first notes of this album. This a truly greasy session, influenced by the organ dates led by Stanley Turrentine, Lou Donaldson, Sonny Stitt and so many of their brethren, in the dives and after-hours clubs of the Big Apple, since the 50’s. He has assembled the perfect cast for the date: Peter Bernstein on guitar, Kyle Kohler on organ, and Fukushi Tainaka on drums. These cats have all logged many hours, backing up similar dates and they inspire Mr. Hempton to lay down the most soulful playing that I’ve ever heard from him. Most of the tracks are Hempton originals but they perfectly capture that long-ago vibe. Mr. Hempton switches between the alto and the tenor without missing a beat and is equally effective on each horn. The standout tracks are the Latin-tinged “I Remember Milady’s”, with Hempton getting a nice assist from Bernstein; “After You’ve Gone”, with Hempton’s alto, recalling ‘Sweet Lou’, during his Blue Note heyday and Koehler evincing a Big John Patton influence; and the nasty title track, which sounds like a lost track from one of those classic Jimmy Smith; Stanley Turrentine; Kenny Burrell dates. Buy this album, pour a glass of your favorite libation and put on your best “funky face”, because Night Owl is the real deal. 

Ralph Moore – Three Score (WJ3)

Hard to believe but it’s true. Three Score is Ralph Moore’s first album as a leader in nearly 25 years. He hadn’t left the scene during that time; Moore spent the better part of the last twenty years, on the West Coast, playing in Jay Leno’s Tonight Show band. He also was a sideman for Oscar Peterson, Roy Hargrove, Ray Brown, Tom Harrell and many other jazz greats; so, he was here; he just wasn’t leading any dates. He has returned with a stellar album, on the best boutique label in jazz – Willie Jones III’s WJ3. Joined by Eric Reed on piano, Gerald Cannon on bass and Jones on drums, Mr. Moore’s sound, which for me, always landed in the niche between John Coltrane and Joe Henderson, is as captivating as ever. The band of top tier pros doesn’t miss a beat and the compositions, mostly by Moore and Reed, are uniformly excellent. If you’re going to skip around, you must first check out “Another Time”, a Reed original, which opens the proceedings and throws down the hard bop gauntlet; the infectious, toe tapping (and too brief) “Donny” and the reflective title track, which features Mr. Moore’s finest solo on the date. But don’t sleep on the rest of the disc because it’s all choice. Ralph Moore is back, y’all and Three Score is one of the best albums that I’ve heard so far, in 2019.

Justin Robinson – At First Light (WJ3)

Justin Robinson spent most of the last 15 years, alongside the late, great Roy Hargrove on some of the trumpet master’s finest live shows and recordings. His work with Hargrove, often overshadowed the impressive music that Mr. Robinson released as a leader. At First Light, is his first album in five years and his second for WJ3 Records. He is backed by a solid group of young cats, that he has worked with over the years, with Hargrove and in other settings; Sharp Radway on piano, Ameen Saleem on bass and Jeremy Clemons on drums. Mr. Robinson lists Jackie McLean among his influences and it shows in his sound, as do elements of Bobby Watson. His tone is in your face and hard swinging. Robinson composed six of the project’s eight tunes and there are many standouts: “Lamentations for R and D” starts with a mournful, wandering theme, which leads unexpectedly to a light bossa beat, while Robinson, sticks with the mood that he set in the opening. It’s compelling, and Radway and Clemons are especially good here. The beautiful “Love Thy Father”, allows Robinson to fully access his melodic side. There’s also “Cool Blues”, the Charlie Parker classic, that seems to be a rite of passage for alto players. Mr. Robinson’s take is a very good one, true to the structure of Bird but adding his own flourishes during his solos. It is Parker meets JMac meets Robinson and I liked it a lot. At First Light is another fine release from WJ3 Records. We don’t hear from them often but when we do, it’s consistently first-rate.

There’s a lot more that’s new and good out there, to tell you about. We’ll be dropping more reviews shortly. In the meantime, you can hear tracks from these albums and more on CurtJazz Radio, on Live 365. We’re always on and always FREE.

Until then, the jazz (and BAM) continues…

A “Blowin’ Session” in the QC

Join us in THE JAZZ ROOM in Charlotte on January 17 – 19 for Tenor Madness; a blowing session, featuring some of the best of our local saxophonists!

Jazz lore is filled with stories of the “Blowing Session”; where the great instrumentalists who played the same instrument, would gather on a stage and demonstrate their prowess. Usually this would begin with the basic head arrangement of a well known standard and from there, the combatants would take things to the next level, in their solos, each vying to outdo the last. Often, these were friendly completions; other times, if some of the cats had “beef” with each other, this could be a battle nearly to the death.

Sometimes, the cats would take these battles to the studio. There, we would get a mixed bag; the constraints of studio time costs and realizing that the results would have to fit onto at least one side of an LP, could dampen some of the fancier flights. However, we still have some classic and near classic recordings, and many of these, to no surprise, involved tenor saxophone players. I’ll drop a list of some of the best at the end.

Right now, you need to know about a little bit of the revival of that tradition that will be happening in Charlotte, NC on January 17 – 19, in Jazz Arts Initiative’s THE JAZZ ROOM. We will have have some of the finest tenor players from the area, coming together to do battle. Each will appear with our all-star rhythm section (Lovell Bradford – piano; Aaron Gross – bass; Malcolm Charles – drums) and in various combinations on stage together. The musical sparks are bound to fly!

Juan Rollan

Over the weekend, our lineup will change from night to night and it includes the following sax masters: Chad Eby; Greg Jarrell; David Lail; Brian Miller; Juan Rollan; Annalise Stalls and PhillipWhack

Chad Eby

The accompanying clips are samples of a few of our tenor masters, smokin’ their way through some of their prior gigs. Now, image what we will get when we bring all of these ingredients together.

Phillip Whack

Two sets nightly, from Thursday, January 17 – Saturday, January 19, means you will have six opportunities to be a part of JAI’s Tenor Madness. Thursday and Friday, the times are 6:00 pm and 8:15 pm; Saturday sets are at 7:00 pm and 9:15 pm. THE JAZZ ROOM is located at The Stage Door Theater at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. I will be your MC for all sets but please don’t let that stop you from coming!

Annalise Stalls

Tickets are a true bargain! $14 in advance and $16 at the door, until there are no more. To get them, go to CarolinaTix.org

For further info about Jazz Arts Initiative, visit their website thejazzarts.org

Oh yeah, I did promise a list of recordings that include some great tenor battles. Here are five to get you started, in no particular order:

Boss Tenors – Gene Ammons & Sonny Stitt [Verve]

A Blowin’ Session – Johnny Griffin (w/ John Coltrane & Hank Mobley) [Blue Note]

Tenor Conclave – Al Cohn; Zoot Sims; Mobley; Coltrane [Prestige/OJC]

Tenor Madness – Sonny Rollins (w/Coltrane on the title track) [Prestige/OJC]

Alone Together – Tough Young Tenors (Walter Blanding Jr.; James Carter; Herb Harris; Tim Warfield; Todd Williams) [Antilles/Verve]

Portrait of Ben Webster, Pt. II (Podcast #18-003)

A look at the music of Ben Webster after his tenure with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Continue reading

“He was considered the supreme ballad master. As great as Prez, Hawk and Byas were, they all had to take a back seat to Ben on ballads. Ben almost had a monopoly on the pretty ones. His breathy, whispy [sic] style, coupled with a most distinct tone enabled him to get an effect of a violin sound in his upper register playing. And when he would manipulate down to the lower register, he would nearly blow you out of your mind.”

-Bernard Montgomery



ben webster late




Alum

 Jet Magazine, 24 July 1958


BW website

Screenshot from The Official Ben Webster website





websterbenjamim

 Ben Webster’s ashes are buried at Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen


The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



atmosphere

Blue Light (LP: “Atmosphere for Lovers and Thieves” Black Lion Records 65117)

Recorded September 1965, Copenhagen

Ben Webster, Ole Kongsted – tenor sax; Arnved Meyer – trumpet; John Darville – trombone; Niels Jorgen Steen – piano; Henrik Hartmann – bass; Hans Nymand – drums.


bw with strings

What Am I Here For? (CD: “Music for Loving” Verve 314 527 774-2)

Recorded 9 September 1955, New York City

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Al Epstein, Danny Bank – reeds; Harold Colletta, Martin Donegan, Leo Kruczek, Harry Lookofsky, Eugene Orloff, Tosha Samaroff, Paul Winter – violin; Burt Fisch – viola; Abram Boradkin, George Ricci, Lucien Schmitt – cello; Hank Jones – piano; Chet Amsterdam, Wendell Marshall – bass; Osie Johnson – drums; Ralph Burns – arranger, conductor.

My Funny Valentine

Recorded 30 March 1954, New York City

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Teddy Wilson – piano; Ray Brown – bass; Jo Jones – drums.


BW emarcy

Pouting/The Iron Hat (CD: “The Complete Ben Webster on EmArcy” EmArcy 824 836-2(1))

Recorded 23 January 1953, New York City

Don Elliot – trumpet, mellophone; Eddie Bert – trombone; Sam Rubinowitch – alto sax, piccolo; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Sidney Brown – baritone sax; Billy Taylor – piano; Milt Hinton – bass; Jo Jones – drums; Johnny Richards – arranger.


 

See_You_at_the_Fair

In a Mellow Tone / The Single Petal of a Rose (CD: “See You At The Fair” Impulse! GRD-121)

Recorded 11 March 1964, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Hank Jones – piano; Richard Davis – bass; Osie Johnson -drums.


Ben-Webster-Meets-Don-Byas-cover

Caravan (CD: “Ben Webster meets Don Byas” Verve 827920-2)

Recorded 1/2 February 1968, Villingen, Black Forest, Germany

Ben Webster, Don Byas – tenor sax; Tete Montoliu – piano; Peter Trunk – bass; Albert “Tootie” Heath – drums.


ben and bean

It Never Entered My Mind (CD: “Coleman Hawkins encounters Ben Webster” Verve 9884036)

Recorded 16 October 1957, Los Angeles

Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins – tenor sax; Oscar Peterson – piano; Herb Ellis – guitar; Ray Brown – bass; Alvin Stoller – drums.


side by side

Just A Memory (CD: “Johnny Hodges and Duke Ellington – Side by Side” PolyGram
5214052)

Recorded 14 August 1958, New York City

Johnny Hodges – alto saxophone; Roy Eldridge – trumpet; Lawrence Brown – trombone; Ben Webster – tenor saxophone; Billy Strayhorn – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Jo Jones – drums.


king of the tenors

That’s All (CD: “King of the Tenors” Verve 314 519 806-2)

Recorded 8 December 1953, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Harry “Sweets” Edison – trumpet; Benny Carter – alto sax; Oscar Peterson – piano; Herb Ellis – guitar; Ray Brown – bass; Alvin Stoller – drums.


ben and art tatum

Gone with the Wind (CD: “The Tatum Group Masterpieces” Pablo J33J 20034)

Recorded 11 September 1956, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Art Tatum – piano; Red Callender – bass; Bill Douglass – drums.


slim gaillard

Potato Chips (CD: Slim Gaillard, “Laughing in Rhythm: The Best of the Verve Years” Verve 314 521 651-2)

Recorded 1952, New York City

Slim Gaillard – vocal; Ben Webster – tenor sax; others unknown.


newport

C Jam Blues/Chelsea Bridge (LP: Various Artists, “Newport Jazz Festival Live (Unreleased Highlights from 1956, 1958, 1963”) Columbia C2 38262)

Recorded 4 July 1958 live at The Newport Jazz Festival

Cootie Williams – trumpet; Rex Stewart – cornet; Tyree Glenn – trombone; Hilton Jefferson – alto sax; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Billy Strayhorn – piano; Oscar Pettiford – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


ella and duke

All Too Soon (CD: “Ella & Duke at The Cote D’Azur” PolyGram 539030)
Recorded 29 July 1966, Juan-les-Pins, France

Ray Nance – trumpet, violin; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Mercer Ellington – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; John Lamb – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.

 

Portrait of Ben Webster, Pt. I (Podcast #18-002)

The addition of Ben Webster in 1940 permanently brought Ellington’s saxophone section to five members. But Webster’s tenor voice was to impact the band far beyond his four year tenure. Continue reading

“After he had made a record date with us in 1935, I always had a yen for Ben. So as soon as we thought we could afford him, we added him on, which gave us a five-piece saxophone section for the first time. Although Barney Bigard used to play tenor saxophone, clarinet was his main instrument, so Ben Webster was really our first tenor specialist and soloist. His splendid performances on “Cottontail,” “Conga Brava,” “All Too Soon,” “Just a-Settin’ and a-Rockin’,” and “What Am I Here For?” were a sensation everywhere, and he soon became a big asset to the band. His enthusiasm and drive had an especially important influence on the saxophone section.

His influence didn’t end when he left either, because when Paul Gonsalves came into the band he knew all of Ben’s solos note for note.”

-Duke Ellington, Music is my Mistress

 

ben webster

cottontail

Ben Webster’s famous solo on “Cottontail.” Link to the full solo is here.

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

elling_duke_complete1_101b

(CD: “The Complete 1933-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosaic Records #248)

Truckin’

Recorded 19 August 1935, New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums, Ivy Anderson – vocal.


In A Jam

Recorded 29 July 1936, New York City
Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


Mood Indigo

Recorded 14 February 1940, Chicago

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



 

Highlights

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

All Too Soon

Recorded 22 July 1940, New York City

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


Cotton Tail 

Recorded 4 May 1940, Los Angeles

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


Blue Serge

Recorded 15 February 1941, Los Angeles

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


Rain Check

Recorded 2 December 1941, Los Angeles

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



 

Duke-at-Fargo-1

Bojangles/Star Dust (CD: “Fargo, ND, November 7, 1940” Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1019/20-2)

Recorded 7 November 1940 at The Crystal Ballroom in Fargo, North Dakota

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.



nance non ducal

Swinging in 4 (CD: “Ray Nance, The Complete 1940-1949 Non-Ducal Violin Recordings”)

Recorded 1941, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – clarinet; Ray Nance – violin; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.



 

carnegie 48

How High The Moon (CD: “Carnegie Hall, November 13, 1948” Vintage Jazz Classics 1024)

Recorded 13 November 1948 at Carnegie Hall, New York City

Shelton Hemphill, Al Killian, Francis Williams, Harold Baker, Ray Nance – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Quentin Jackson, Tyree Glenn – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Al Sears, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guy; Wendell Marshall – bass; Sonny Greer – 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.


Portrait of Barney Bigard (Podcast #17-012)

New Orleanian Barney Bigard joined the Ellington band in December 1927 and left in 1942 after tiring of life on the road. Continue reading

“I honestly can’t tell much about my impression of the band that first night. I was too busy fighting the notes, the reading stuff, to pay much attention to the band. I remember the weird chords that would come in behind us. I wasn’t used to that kind of chording at all, but the more I played with them, the more accustomed my ear got to it all. I used to go to Duke in the intermission and say,”Those chords behind me on such-and-such a number: they just don’t sound right to me.” He would sit right down and show me what he was doing. He’d break all the principles of arranging too. He’d give a guy different notes to what he should have had for his instrument.”

-Barney Bigard, With Louis and the Duke


reed section

Duke Ellington, Harry Carney, Barney Bigard, Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges


 

Bigard

Autographs of Barney Bigard, Marshal Royal, Bill Berry and Britt Woodman

Anderson

Autographs of Buster Cooper and Cat Andersonprogram1program2



Click here to connect to Mark Sowlakis’ excellent blog posting Albany “Barney” Bigard – New Orleans Creole Clarinet, complete with several transcriptions and a discography.


cat anderson book

Geoff Winstead revised Cat Anderson’s high note trumpet method book.


“Paradox, Ambiguity, and Irony”


 


 

 



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

mood indigo

High Life (LP: “Mood Indigo” RCA ADL2-0152)

Recorded 16 January 1929 in New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Bubber Miley, Freddie Jenkins – trumpets; Joe Nanton – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney – reeds;  Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums, chimes.


elling_duke_complete1_101b

Rose Room (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosaic Records #248)

Recorded 11 February 1932, New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Freddie Jenkins – trumpet; Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.

Clarinet Lament (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosaic Records #248)

Recorded 27 February 1936 in New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpets; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trumpets; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Hayes Alvis – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.

Prologue to Black and Tan Fantasy/The New Black and Tan Fantasy (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosaic Records #248)

Recorded 13 January 1938 in New York City

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart, Freddie Jenkins – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor, Hayes Alvis – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

small groups

Caravan (CD:”The Complete 1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion and Okeh Small Group Sessions” Mosaic Records #235)

Recorded 19 December, 1936 in Los Angeles

Cootie Williams – trumpet; Juan Tizol – valve trombone; Barney Bigard – clarinet; Harry Carney – baritone sax; Duke Ellington – piano; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


Highlights

Are You Sticking? (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.


fabulousBojangles/Rose Room (CD: “The Fabulous Ellingtonians” Mercury 830 926-2)

Recorded 5 February 1945 in New York City

Barney Bigard – clarinet; Joe Thomas – trumpet; Johnny Guarnieri – piano; Billy Taylor – bass; Cozy Cole – drums.


armstrong ellington

In A Mellow Tone/The Beautiful Americans (CD: “The Complete Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington Sessions” Roulette Records / Blue Note 5245462)

Recorded 3 April 1961, New York City

Louis Armstrong – trumpet, vocal; Trummy Young – trombone; Barney Bigard – clarinet; Duke Ellington – piano; Mort Herbert – bass; Danny Barcelona – drums.


rugged jungle

Rose Room (CD: “Rugged Jungle” Lost Secret LSR-001)

Recorded 8 July 1972 at Carnegie Hall, New York City

Cootie Williams, Mercer Ellington, Harold “Money” Johnson, Johnny Coles – trumpet; Tyree Glenn, Vincente Prudente, Chuck Connors – trombone; Barney Bigard, Russell Procope, NorrisTurney, Harold Minerve, Harold Ashby,  Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Joe Benjamin – bass; Rufus Jones – drums.


clarinet gumbo


Mood Indigo
(LP: “Clarinet Gumbo” RCA APL1-1744)

Recorded 25 June 1973 in Hollywood, California

Barney Bigard – clarinet; Dick Cary – piano; Dave Koonse – guitar; Eddie Safranski – bass; Nick Fatool – drums.


0000120517

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.