Paul Gonsalves

Pee Dee

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Just been gifted a CD 'art of sax' and one track on it is 'Diminuendo And Crescendo in Blue....' by Duke Ellington & his orch. What a fantastic solo by Paul Gonsalves. Gonna check him out, wonder if he's on 'Spotify'?
 

Young Col

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Yup, Paul Gonsalves was Ellington's great rabble rouser. I always think that his solo which took the crowd up to fever pitch is more rock and roll than jazz, but it doesn't matter. The band coming in at the end with the building of chorusses is one of the great moments in jazz. The crowd had to be calmed down afterwards.

It was only recently that re-releases included all of Paul Gonsalves' chorusses, as the original left some out some so as to fit it on an LP (I've not heard the full length). Also he was playing into the wrong mic and it took a lot of post production work by the engineers to bring up the EQ. He still sounds distant because of the crowd noise. But unforgettable stuff!

There was another great solo on a BBC Jazz 625 programme from the '60's, on a number called, I think, The Opener.

Colin
 
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Pee Dee

Pee Dee

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Yup, Paul Gonsalves was Ellington's great rabble rouser. I always think that his solo which took the crowd up to fever pitch is more rock and roll than jazz, but it doesn't matter. The band coming in at the end with the building of chorusses is one of the great moments in jazz. The crowd had to be calmed down afterwards.

It was only recently that re-releases included all of Paul Gonsalves' chorusses, as the original left some out some so as to fit it on an LP (I've not heard the full length). Also he was playing into the wrong mic and it took a lot of post production work by the engineers to bring up the EQ. He still sounds distant because of the crowd noise. But unforgettable stuff!

There was another great solo on a BBC Jazz 625 programme from the '60's, on a number called, I think, The Opener.

Colin
Yeah, I agree, not strictly jazz, but still good. Listened to a few of his tracks on Spotify, and they seem similar, still good to listen to though. I like rock and roll anyway. Some good sax on the old 50's r&r tracks from Bill Haley, Little Richard etc.
 

rhysonsax

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Yup, Paul Gonsalves was Ellington's great rabble rouser.
Gonsalves was actually a great ballad player and apparently got a bit fed up with being asked to recreate the "Diminuendo & Crescendo" solo for Ellington. There's a nice bit in the D&C vein in "Blow by Blow" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UomgCiQj_FQ (short solo from about 0:30") before Cat Anderson blows everybody's socks off at the end.

Gonsalves also played some nice jazz guitar, but I've only found a couple of recorded tracks on his own albums.

All my Paul Gonsalves LPs & CDs are in storage at the moment, but there is some lovely playing on albums like "Salt & Pepper", "Cleopatra Feeling Jazzy" and some meetings with Getz, Hawkins etc. He also contributes some lovely stuff on Johnny Hodges small band albums from the 50s and 60s.

Rhys
 

Young Col

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Just reading these posts again and looking at the youtube videos made me think that the version PeeDee has been given may not be the one from the 1955 Newport Jazz festival, where Duke revived his band's popularity with a fantastic set that included D&C. I just sort of assumed that it was that one, hence my references to the crowd and the sound problems.

I think Gonsalves did make a record of it with Duke in about 1952 (and the first pre-Gonsalves recording, in two parts, was in 1938). However it was the Newport one that really established it as Gonsalves' own. There's a couple of youtube clips of him rocking away at different gigs and they all hark back to the Newport one. You can tell they're later than Newport as the drummer is Sam Woodyard , who didn't join Duke until just before Newport in 1955 and stayed until the late '60s. Gonsalves must indeed have got a bit tired of having to recreate the same solo every time.
Incidentaly I have seen Woodyard criticised as inconsistent; I always thought he was top notch , but then I'm not a drummer!


Colin
 
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Pee Dee

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The copy I have was recorded in Paris January 30th 1965.
the Duke on piano of course with:
Cat Anderson, Mercer Ellington (relation of the Duke?), Herbie Jones, Ray Nance, Cootie Williams - trumpet.
Johnny Hodges and Russel Procope - alto.
Paul Gonsalves - tenor.
Jimmy Hamilton - tenor and clarinet.
Harry Carney - baritone.
Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors - trombone.
John Lamb - Bass.
Sam Woodyard - drums.
 

Young Col

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Well that bears out what I was saying Pete. If you listen to the 1955 version, you will hear echoes of it in PGs 1965 solo. I guarantee you'll find the '55 version more thrilling! I thought I recognised Mercer Ellington in one of those youtube vids. He was the Duke's son.

What a line up in that '65 band! Every one a winner.
Colin
 
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