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Jazz Left Alone - A Tune a Day from Rhys for Saxophonists in Isolation

rhysonsax

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Day 27 and here's a wonderful live performance from Horace Silver of "a lowdown minor blues in 6/8 time - a blues with a Latin beat". It's "Senor Blues" performed with a great front line of Blue Mitchell on trumpet and Junior Cook on tenor.


Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Day 28 and an interesting piece from John McLaughlin's 1969 album "Extrapolation". This features John Surman on baritone and is called "Binky's Beam".


Anyone care to say what time signature this is in ?

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Day 29 and here's a Tom Waits song performed by my favourite jazz singer, Liane Carroll:


I have seen Liane singing and playing the piano probably about eight times and she is always wonderfully entertaining, moving and very funny too.

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Day 30 and here's a melancholy piece written by Scott Joplin and called "Solace: a Mexican Serenade".

Here it is performed on piano by Joshua Rifkin.

And it has been adapted for saxophone quartet too.

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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A month into Lockdown (Day 31) and maybe I'm going stir crazy as I have chosen a trumpeter. But it is the wonderful Art Farmer with his great tone and taste and he's playing with Bill Evans and also Benny Golson.


Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Day 32 and it's time for the Duke Ellington orchestra playing in 1962 in a colour film sponsored by Goodyear. I loved the LP even before I knew it had been filmed - or did they mime for the filming ?


Rhys
 

nigeld

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I think they are miming.

Is the bari player Harry Carney?
Odd to see everyone getting a solo except Johnny Hodges!
 

rhysonsax

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Is the bari player Harry Carney?
Odd to see everyone getting a solo except Johnny Hodges!

Yes, the great Harry Carney on his Conn baritone with Woodwind Co. NY mouthpiece.

From the same LP and Goodyear film Hodges gets his solo feature on "Things Ain't What They Used to Be"


And if I had wanted I might have chosen this feature by Paul Gonsalves.


I have a suspicion that the trombonist on the end nearest the camera was just a stand-in for filming and maybe hadn't played trombone before !

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Day 33 1/3 and here is a lovely recording from a master of the tenor and soprano saxophones. Lucky Thompson (he wasn't) recorded this on the album "Trcotism" with Oscar Pettiford and called this tune "Deep Passion".


A small prize for anyone who can identify the tune he is really playing.

I think I ought to transcribe this solo which is beautifully conceived and played.

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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I did some digging and discovered interesting information about Lucky Thompson's "Deep Passion". I went looking to see whether anyone else had already transcribed the solo and found Deep Passion which says:

The title of this track on this album (i.e. the real Deep Passion) has long been mislabelled as A Lady's Vanity. Meanwhile, the album's other ballad was given the title Deep Passion but is in fact an improvisation on the changes of the standard Body And Soul. This confusion is detailed in Noal Cohen's discography of Lucky Thompson. This quartet song is definitely identified as Deep Passion, since it's the same song as the big band arrangement recorded five months later.

So the answer to my question is "Body and Soul" and the prize is a chance to listen to Lucky's real "Deep Passion".


Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Day 34 and here is a live performance from the late Kevin Mahogany with some tasty tenor saxophone contributions from Tony Lakatos.



Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Day 35 (that's five weeks !) and here is a tune from great West Indian alto player Joe Harriott. Here he is in the company of Shake Keane, Coleridge Goode, Pat Smythe and Bobby Orr.


Rhys
 

Sue

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Rhys, thanks for sharing all these great tunes. I'm getting to know some new players!
 

rhysonsax

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Day 36 and here's a great number from Harry Connick Jr's album for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Maybe the title isn't appropriate for these troubled times but the music is great. I transcribed the horn lines and organ and piano solos for our function band to perform.


Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Day 37 and here's a clip from Robert Altman's film "Jazz '34" set in a fictional jazz club in Kansas City. The film was made in 1996 and jazz musicians from the 90s made a tribute to their counterparts from the Swing era. This clip is a sort of "retelling" of a famous episode when top tenorman Coleman Hawkins did battle with the Kansas City tenor players. That is probably the historical event I would most love to have witnessed.

Here is the description from https://www.jazz88.org/articles/Kansas_City_Jazz-_Jam_Sessions/

The most famous Kansas City jam session legend took place at The Cherry Blossom club which was a few steps north of 18th and Vine.

Coleman Hawkins was in town with Fletcher Henderson and was the undisputed king of the tenor saxophone in jazz.
Kansas City was loaded with great tenor players who had been honing their craft at these nightly cutting contests for years. The outside world hadn’t heard of them yet but they had developed into brilliant players while under the cloak of the Pendergast-controlled Kansas City nightlife.
"Hawk" usually didn’t take part in jam sessions because there was nothing for him to gain. That night was different though. He was challenged by the local musicians and he decided to go to show them who was boss.

The session got underway around 2 in the morning with Hawk taking on all comers. The locals would try to call tunes Hawk didn’t know but he knew everything. Hawk would call hard keys and that eliminated quite a few challengers right off the bat. After a couple of hours all that was left was Hawk, Lester Young, Herman Walder, Herschal Evans and Ben Webster. The rhythm section was tired by this point so Ben Webster went and woke up Mary Lou Williams and got her to come take the piano chair. By five a.m. Herman Walder and Herschal Evans dropped out leaving just Hawk, Ben and Lester. Another hour or so went by and finally Ben dropped out leaving just Hawk and Lester. No matter what Hawk played he couldn’t top Lester. He could call whatever key he wanted and Lester was right there and his creativity was so genius there was nothing Hawk could do. By morning Hawk finally gave up and Lester was victorious.

The Fletcher Henderson band had an engagement that night in St Louis and legend has it that Hawkins blew up the engine to his brand new Cadillac racing across Missouri to catch up with the band.

Mary Lou Williams summed it up nicely: “Hawkins was king until he met those crazy Kansas City tenor men."



If only the original had been filmed and recorded !

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Day 38 and here's a fine tune from Charlie Mingus's excellent album "Mingus Ah Um". Different versions of this tune appear on other albums, but this has a good tempo and feel.


Rhys
 
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