Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Bird quotes Satchmo

When Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie burst into the jazz scene in the mid-1940s, much was made of the presumed animosity between the new and the older generations of musicians. Although there were some noises in that direction, let's just say that jazz journalism paid a lot off attention to celebrity status, fans and gossip.

Back in 1928, Louis Armstrong recorded this classic cadenza as the opening for his "West End Blues":



Charlie Parker must have paid attention, since he used it twenty years after Armstrong, at least twice on record, both times while playing the blues, one at Carnegie Hall on Christmas day, 1949:



the other at St. Nicholas Arena in New York (St. Nick's), a couple of months later:

Friday, August 24, 2018

Zoot greets Getz

Zoot Sims, Tião Neto, Stan Getz at A&R Studios, NYC. March 18/19, 1963
(Photo by Jim Marshall. Source: JazzTimes.)

Zoot Sims (left) and Stan Getz (right) had a common history beginning in the summer of 1947 in a rehearsal band for which Gene Roland wrote the arrangements. This eight-piece group led by trumpet player Tommy DeCarlo and also comprising Herbie Steward and Jimmy Giuffre was spotted by Ralph Burns and eventually led to Woody Herman's signing of the saxes minus Giuffre—Herman had already signed Serge Chaloff for the bari chair.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Gil Evans recycles

Before the career-changing album that was Miles Ahead for both Miles Davis and Gil Evans, the latter was making a living out of odd jobs and small assignments. Like this arrangement of "Miss Brown to You" for Kent Harian, for instance (the only one by Evans in the album Echoes of Joy):




When Harian recorded his album, in December 1956, Evans was already hard at work on Miles Ahead, which would be released the following October. Some weeks earlier, he was in the studio, courtesy of Prestige—Miles's previous label—, to do Gil Evans & Ten, his first album as a leader, at age 45. One of its better known tracks is his reading of the bloody ballad "Ella Speed", with a classic solo by Steve Lacy, and this passage for the ensemble: