Savoy Jazz CDs made in Japan

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dan Steele, Jul 11, 2018.

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  1. I still remember when I bought these CD's in the early 90's, when they were originally released. They were budget priced at around $10 or so.

    A friend of mine has a huge Jazz collection (lots of vinyl, but also CD's), several thousands of records, and he was buying many of these to fill holes in his collection. I was over at his place and we listened to some of them, and those which were well recorded and were interesting to me from a musical point of view, I then ordered those for myself.

    So, the 12 titles I ended up with weren't selected randomly, but carefully selected, and I think all of these titles are worth owning.

    I remember there were some titles which were not recorded so well, even though they would have interested me, and I didn't buy those then. I think there was a Dextor Gordon release, but probably recorded in the late 40's, so not on the same level as the mid to late 50's stuff.
     
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  2. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Thanks Roland, I will add Cecil Payne to my wishlist
     
  3. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Great background, knowing you from your posts, I figured there was a reason you had those 12. Along with Nica’s Tempo and Cecil Payne, I’ll add the Lee Morgan and Booker Ervin titles to my wantlist.
     
  4. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    For those looking to add to their collection, there may be a posting coming soon in the cds for sale section of the classifieds for additional Savoy jazz CDs, set an alert or check back frequently.
     
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  5. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

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    Southeastern US
    I'm a Cecil Payne fan, so that would be a definite buy for me should I ever come across it. He plays a beautiful bari sax.
     
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  6. fatwad666

    fatwad666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fat City, USA
    Good idea for a thread. Not a lot of info on these out there. I enjoy this series. The following are the albums I’ve encountered so far that appeal to me:
    Charles Mingus - Jazz Composers Workshop (SV-0171)
    Ronnell Bright - Bright’s Spot (SV-0220)
    Duke Jordan - Trio & Quintet (SV-0149)
    Fats Navarro - Memorial (SV-0181)
    Fats Navarro - Nostalgia (SV-0123)
    Donald Byrd - Byrd’s Word (SV-0132)

    And from a later series (1994?):
    Booker Ervin - Cookin’ (COCY-75929)
    This has green/orange tray art rather than purple/yellow. And the disc face is green. Looks similar otherwise in terms of typesetting and design.

    Hope to find more of these — they’re completely enjoyable releases.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  7. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Welcome aboard fatwad, you have broken new ground here. I didnt post a picture but back a page when I posted the series list (post #52-54) I talked about the blue face cd they went to for the 1994 series. Examples are Gene Ammons Red Top (this is a screen grab from discogs, not mine). Was unaware of any green face ones! Bottom of page 3 I have a pic for the Blues-ette Part II (reunion cd of Curtis Fuller Quintet with Golson) that has a black face. How about a pic of Cookin? And any summary of the Duke Pearson and Byrd’s Word would be great too.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. fatwad666

    fatwad666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fat City, USA
    Here is an image of Booker Ervin's Cookin' (COCY-75929). Dates on the back imply both 1994 and 1996, so perhaps it's from '96? But the disc face states 1994…

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  9. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    FYI - There are some Savoy Jazz cds in the classifieds right now, Milt Jackson and a few others
     
  10. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Reviews of some recent buys:
    Jazz it’s Magic - the spine makes Curtis Fuller the leader, the “liner notes” (as we’ve seen these look like a copy of the back of the LP) - and the words are so tiny on this one I needed a magnifying glass - say the leader is Tommy Flanagan. Regardless, quintet format Fuller tmb, Sonny Redd as, Flanagan p, Tucker, b, Hayes d. First song is Two Ton, could easily fit on the Blues-ette album, has the same feel as Five Spot but not quite as good. Second song is a medley, a little slow for me. Soul Station, Club Car, and Upper Berth are all good blowing sessions. Upper Berth, with a great solo by Redd, is the next best song on the album to Two Ton. So 4 of the 5 songs I really enjoyed and the one miss is just due to my particular bias against slow standards/ballads.
     
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  11. fatwad666

    fatwad666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fat City, USA
    Donald Byrd's Byrd's Word has not arrived yet. But regarding Duke Jordan's Trio & Quintet — it's highly recommended. Wonderful Art Blakey drumming, beautiful melodies throughout. Both the trio and quintet selections are great listening. Duke Jordan's pre-70s catalog is limited, so it's a great way to hear more of him from that era. The entry on Wikipedia is sardonic and amusing — big props to whoever wrote it, and I hope it never gets deleted:

    The Allmusic review by Jim Todd stated "The title of this 1955 Savoy release by pianist Duke Jordan succinctly points to the set's merits and shortcomings. The five trio performances with Art Blakey (drums) and Percy Heath (bass) work well. The five tracks from the same group augmented by Cecil Payne (baritone sax) and Eddie Bert (trombone) don't come up to the mark".[3]
    Nobody has ever been able to ascertain what Jim Todd's qualifications are to make the final statement above.
    Looking forward to hearing the Donald Byrd album.
     
  12. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Blues-ette Part II - This is reunion of the quintet from the classic Blues-ette session from 1959, with the only change being Ray Drummond on bass for Jimmy Garrison. Three songs are repeated, the title track, Love your Spell and Five Spot. Of course, Five Spot is of most interest, and it is a comparable version but can’t rise to the level of the original. Starts with a longer piano intro to where I checked the track to make sure it was the right one. Blues-ette is also a nice redo. The 1993 recorded disc has 10 total songs and of note Along Came Betty and Sis, both Golson compositions, sorry @Archtop, are very well done along with Capt Kid. In sum if I want to hear Five Spot then I’ll reach for the original but there are some additional compositions of interest on the reunion cd. Sound edge to the original also.
     
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  13. Shrdlu

    Shrdlu Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Earth
    I also love that dog. Awww.

    The Curtis Fuller sets on Savoy are excellent and highly recommended. Also the Wilbur Harden with Trane, plus numerous Yusef Lateef sessions (where you get Wilbur Harden or Curtis Fuller).

    There is a mystery as far as stereo vs. mono goes. As most of you know, these sessions were recorded by Rudy van Gelder. On the CDs, "Blues-ette" (5/21/59), "The Curtis Fuller Jazztet Featuring Benny Golson" (8/25/59) and "Images Of Curtis Fuller" (6/6/60, 6/7/60) are all stereo, but "Imagination" (12/17/59) is mono, in spite of its having been issued on a stereo LP (SST 13011). It is known that, by that stage, Rudy recorded only in stereo - the mono versions were obtained by folding down the stereo. So, the session reels for the 12/17/57 session were stereo only. Maybe they were lost and the mono LP master was used to make the CD.

    The Wilbur Harden sessions with Trane were scattered over several LPs, so I wouldn't go after them separately. A 2 CD set, with everything that still exists, was issued several years ago. In that set (which contains some extra takes), there is a mixture of mono and stereo. Because the session reels were stereo only, some, if not all, of those must have been lost.

    There are alternate takes of each of the six tracks on "Blues-ette". Three of the six pop up on some CD reissues, but not the other three. All six were issued in Japan on an LP called "Blues-ette, Vol. 2" (COJY-9017), not to be confused with a 70s reunion album with a very similar name. There is presently no CD with all six items. The LP is mono, yet my CD with three out-takes is stereo. The session reels would definitely be stereo (only), else why are all 9 tracks on the CD in stereo. This is odd. They must have turned to the session reels to get all six out-takes. Why issue them in mono only?

    Clearly, Savoy was not as careful with its session reels as Blue Note.

    The 1950s Savoy sessions contain many treasures, and, in an ideal world, they deserve Mosaic treatment. I mentioned that to Michael Cuscuna and he agreed heartily. But the business situation is against that now. I got their 1940s Savoy set, but the 1950s were far more interesting, and, of course, not limited to the 78 playing time.

    I was able to track down all the Lateef Savoys, which were badly scattered over various vinyl LPs. I plan to re-burn all of those in session order, when I get time.

    Other 50s Savoy treasures: Cannonball's first album, "Bohemia After Dark" nominally under Kenny Clarke's name. Julian steals the show there, and Horace Silver is outstanding with him. And, the two Milt Jackson sessions (1956) with Lucky Thompson, available on CD.
     
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  14. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
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    Yep, your guarantee was true. :cheers:

    Loved it. Have been listening to that sampler CD yesterday and today and that Fuller track is one of the best on there. It's really a great comp all around though. Some jazz aficionados dislike reverb on horns, and that is abundant in these recordings - but I love it, especially on the brass. I also dig the standard ballads which I know are not your favorite, but different strokes and all.
     
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  15. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    I snagged the last 4 of them. That Savoy sampler CD helped in that decision as it included tracks from the Milt & Wilder CDs and I enjoyed them. The Wilder album is a trumpet-led quartet which isn't exactly all that common in the jazz world. For whatever reason, it seems like it's harder for a trumpet to carry a group versus the sax.

    I'm a bit in the dark on the Shelly Manne Deep People disc, but I found a couple of tracks online and thought they were good. Will be nice to hear them in better fidelity.

    One thing I've noticed is that some of these sessions are noted to have been recorded by RVG, I'm guessing in his Hackensack studio. But one some that's not the case - any idea which studio would have been used? Ozzie Cadena is listed as either producer or supervisor - did he frequently make use of other studios by chance?
     
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  16. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    I have these two, and enjoy them immensely.

    Modern Jazz Quartet, S/T, SV-0111, orig. release 1956.

    Cannonball Adderley, Presenting Cannonball, SV-0108, orig. release 1955.
     
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  17. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Chicago suburbs
    Shrdlu, thanks for joining the discussion, you obviously have provided a lot of detail that we’ve been missing. The whole mono/stereo labeling confuses me to be honest. I have the Lateef Jazz Mood on the way, so excited about that one, and the Prayer to the East is at the top of my list.
     
  18. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Good work, Bobby! I like Shelley Manne, his at the Blackhawk recordings (5 cds) are consistently good. The Deep People cd seemed to be half of a west coast small group and half orchestra, but let us know when it arrives! @Shrdlu was just talking up the Milt Jackson in his post.
     
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  19. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
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    I'm a big fan of Milt. One of the best jazz albums I have is a live Milt Jackson from the early 80s, so his involvement in anything typically piques my interest.
     
  20. fatwad666

    fatwad666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fat City, USA
    Byrd’s Word is enjoyable. Definitely recommended for fans of Donald Byrd or Paul Chambers. Not very familiar with the other players yet, but Byrd and Chambers stand out. The brass has a unique reverb-laden sound. Good fun and consistently interesting.
     
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  21. Shrdlu

    Shrdlu Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Earth
    Thanks for the reply, Dan. And, once again, that dog ...

    It would be interesting to get into the Savoy reel archive and see what IS there now. I would be surprised if there were no unissued, but good, selections in there. Think of Riverside. I have the box set of the "complete" Bill Evans, but, in about the last decade, more takes (from 1959 through 1962) have appeared on single CDs. These tracks are the trio with Scotty Lafaro or Chuck Israels, and Paul Motian. They are all excellent, and I wonder why they weren't included in the box set. It is petty to argue about the use of the word "complete", of course. Sometimes (e.g. the new Trane set) things are found after the cutoff date for manufacturing the set. And, they can't make a box set too big, so the producer has to draw the line somewhere. I am just grateful to have some more prime Evans.

    Further new material: The Japanese talked Michael Cuscuna into adding some previously unissued tracks to their umpteenth CD reissues of Blue Note. I have take 1 of "Autumn Leaves" from Cannonball's "Somethin' Else" session. Also some more tracks on a Freddie Hubbard album. But, above all, there are two "new" bass clarinet tracks from Eric Dolphy's "Out To Lunch" date. These are superb, and definitely should have been included from the first CD reissue onward. Two CDs in this series that have eluded me are Joe Henderson's "Mode For Joe", which has a new extra take of the title track, and John Patton's "Blue John", which has about five new tracks. I found those CDs online, but you don't wanna know the prices. :( If anyone has either of those ...

    Someone commented on the two 1956 Milt Jackson Savoy sessions with Lucky Thompson on tenor saxophone. Those are exquisite "chamber" tracks. Very sublime. Bags was in his prime by then, and Lucky was one of the finest tenors. The presence of Hank Jones ("Mr Delicate Touch") on piano adds to the delicacy of the music. Wade Legge is on one of these sessions, but he sounds very much like Hank. The tracks were all issued on at least four minging LPs with short playing times. I first found them as 1960s French "Savoy Musidisc" LPs, which were budget priced. Two CDs will easily account for all the material.

    And finally (none of this has to do with Japanese CD reissues, sorry) I must recommend a November 19, 1957 Pepper Adams Savoy session. It was first issued on an LP called "The Cool Sound Of Pepper Adams", and that is how I first encountered it. It is a very absorbing date, with Pepper, of course, on baritone saxophone, Bernard McKinney on euphonium (think valve trombone and you have some idea), Hank Jones again, George Duvivier on bass and an early appearance by Elvin Jones. Don't be put off at the thought of those two horns: the music is great. Not too long ago, I saw that there is an LP with an extra take of one track. The album is called "Pure Pepper". The extra track is just as good as the originally issued one. Incidentally, that LP does not say stereo. Here we go again, lol. I can't check the stereo-ocity right now because it's late and I don't want to wake the house up. So, don't buy a CD unless it has five tracks - the original album had four.
     
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  22. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    It's a strong session and sounds really good considering it's from '55 (Chambers' bass is really well-captured). Byrd was only 22 and Mr. PC was only 20 at the time of this session, but you'd never know it. The material is a nice variety of tempos. Long Green is a standout and a very up-tempo 1/4 = 320 and they nail it, with Byrd ripping out long ribbons of notes at that furious tempo. Enjoy...
     
  23. Exit Flagger

    Exit Flagger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    I have the Charlie Parker Story and Genius of Charlie Parker CDs. I remember it was very hard to find that material anywhere at that time. The Dial tracks had just been re-released for the first time in years and I was searching all over for Parker's Savoy recordings on CD.
     
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  24. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Thanks, my buddy pictured is a 5 year old goldendoodle, great dog, super friendly, and always at my side when I’m home. I’m up for any jazz commentary whether it is related to the Savoy cds made in Japan or not. I am having fun with this Savoy thread but you just blew my mind. How did I miss that there is an alt take of Mode for Joe, my favorite jazz song of all time? Wait, is this UCCQ-5120 that discogs shows one for sale from Japan, of course, for $371? You’re right I dont want to know.
     
  25. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Thanks Exit, no one has really mentioned the Parker discs yet, those were the first few issued in this series.
     

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