Savoy Jazz CDs made in Japan

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

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  1. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Will do. My listening opportunities have slowed this week, so hopefully will pick back up soon. I'm almost through the Milt Jackson disc and I love it. Almost all standards except Nat Adderly's Angel Face, which is a beautiful ballad (Dan Steele take notice). It begins with essentially a trio setting as Hank Jones, Wendell Marshall (cousin of Jimmy Blanton) & Kenny Clarke lay it down. That opening makes me want to search for one of this series' trio dates as it was really wonderful (looks like there's at least a couple of Hank Jones led sessions, so I'll be on the lookout). As the song continues, you get Bags & Lucky trading off and then toward the end another Jones-led trio segment. There's a lot of resonance in Milt's vibes throughout these songs which I really dig, and Lucky plays excellent as noted above. Clarke & Marshall round out the rhythm section very well. I think this is the first time I've heard Marshall play and he's really good. The tempo picks back up with the next track, Sometimes I'm Happy. This is really fine album and I'd highly recommend it.
     
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  2. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Ok, finished up The Jazz Skyline and interestingly enough, on the last track I believe Milt lays out and it's essentially a quartet number with Lucky blowing a very soulful line. A very nice and unexpected way to end the set.

    Next up is Blue Lester then Joe Wilder...
     
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  3. Shrdlu

    Shrdlu Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Earth
    Sorry for the mystery about the "Blue Train" disk.

    The previously unavailable track is "Lazy Bird", take 1. As far as I know, this has never been issued anywhere else. Everything else on there is widely available.
     
  4. Lonson

    Lonson Don't Get Around Much Anymore

    I highly recommend this one on Savoy, which originally had another cover but is in the Savoy/Denon series of cds with this cover:

    [​IMG]

    An excellent session that I enjoy and not just because it was recorded the evening I was born! This trio of Jones, Marshall and Clarke served as a house rhythm section for Savoy for two or three years in the second half of the fifties.

    Wendell Marshall was an excellent bassist whose lines were tasty and his tone was wonderful. He had just left Ellington when he started working with Hank Jones. As he was a cousin of Jimmy Blanton's it seems inevitable he would play first with a Mercer Ellington small group and then anchor the Ellington Orchestra from '48 to '55.
     
  5. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Thank you and yes, that's one of the releases I saw on discogs. Definitely on my "to buy" list. I know the recorded sound of these Savoy sides isn't what anyone would consider exceptionally high quality but they're sounding wonderful to my ears, reverb and all. Just the kind of sound that takes the listener to another place.
     
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  6. Lonson

    Lonson Don't Get Around Much Anymore

    I hear them that way as well. Great sounding series, and captures that Van Gelder vibe of the time so well with the mastering.
     
  7. Shrdlu

    Shrdlu Well-Known Member

    Location:
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    I don't recall whether it came up, but the June 28, 1955 Savoy session featuring Cannonball Adderley is superb. It is nominally under Kenny Clarke's name, but Cannonball steals the show. There is also a (Japanese) CD of alternate takes from this (and another) session, called "Discoveries". With the aid of the two CDs, one can assemble the whole session in the order in which it was recorded.

    The session also has a 20-year-old Paul Chambers. He is not "developing": he plays as well as he ever did. Very impressive!

    Horace Silver is on piano and is a perfect match for Cannonball. He plays with plenty of punch and easily holds his own. I don't think they recorded together again, so enjoy this. Horace had his own group not long after this session, and Cannonball tried to float his own quintet - with little success.
     
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  8. fatwad666

    fatwad666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fat City, USA
    Received a handful of the Charlie Parker CDs from this series (SV-0101 – 0105, 0154 – 0156). As @Lonson indicated, these are great. Nice to have this material on discs with short runtime as well.

    Found another example of the pre-Denon Savoy CDs (with ZDS ____ catalog numbers, released in 1988) for Parker. Bird at the Roost / The Savoy Years: The Complete Royal Roost Performances released as four single discs, Volumes 1–4 (ZDS 4411 – 4414). Great listening experiences. Curious if their mastering is the same or different than the 4CD set The Complete Live Performances on Savoy (SVY-17021-24, from 1998).
     
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  9. Lonson

    Lonson Don't Get Around Much Anymore

    Pretty sure the later set was remastered and had fewer "announcements."
     
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  10. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Ok, listened to my other recent Savoy CDs over the weekend.

    First up after Milt's Jazz Skyline was Lester Young's Blue Lester. As noted up thread these are mid-late 40s recordings from Lester. The back cover of the CD indicates some of the personnel involved up to track 12:

    [​IMG]

    Right from the get go it was obvious this was recorded earlier than the Jackson disc. The fidelity is not the same (not saying bad, but definitely different recording tech used) and the rhythm sections play an older swing style. And boy do they swing hard, esp that band with Cozy Cole on drums, Billy Taylor on bass, Johnny Guarnieri on piano & Dexter Hall on guitar. Wow. All the solos taken by Lester are magnificent as expected, however the clarinet from Hank D'Amico is ridiculously good. As you can see from the image above, the tunes are short so they get right into from jump. These are terrific songs. Now, the last 3 tracks contain a vocal (Poor Little Plaything) and are big band numbers with the Count Basie band, although the Count is not on keys. The vocal isn't my thing but the other two work very well.

    Following Lester was Joe Wilder's Wilder N' Wilder. Joe's on trumpet with the Jones/Marshall/Clarke rhythm section. This set was recorded in '56 and just like it was noticeable when Lester's disc was started that it was a 40s recording, this one's obviously from better source tapes and a later period. It's a fantastic set, IMO, and something I rate higher than average. I think it's takes a lot for a trumpeter to lead a quartet. It's not an easy instrument to play and can take a lot out of a performer - you gotta have chops to do it and I think Wilder has it. This is the first album I've listened to from him and I really enjoy his playing. Things switch from up tempo to ballad to blues and back to ballad (the last two tracks are slower numbers) and Wilder carries it all. Another nice thing about this album is that when Wilder lays out, you get that Jones/Marshall/Clarke trio focus. Marshall is just a phenomenal bass player and it's really noticeable here. I definitely recommend this one.

    Finally I listened to the Shelley Mann/Bill Russo Orchestra Deep People. Definitely different from the other CDs in that these are big band recordings with the first half being led by Shelly Manne, the second by Bill Russo. All of the solos are magnificent. My problem with this is that - and I'm guessing because this is a workshop recording - the rhythm section is low in the mix. So for the Manne tracks, you can barely hear him, the bass or piano - and I was really looking forward to that part of this album. Fortunately the soloists tear it up - we're talking Art Pepper, Jimmy Giuffre, Conte Candoli, Shorty Rogers & Bob Cooper. Next problem are the vocal sides - not my thing. There's several and Manne sings on a couple. Overall a good collection buy my enjoyment was hampered by the sound. I need some repeated listens for this one.
     
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  11. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Thanks Bobby for the detail. So with my personal preferences I’m hearing search for the Wilder, avoid the Shelly Manne/Russo and probably the Lester Young (no offense intended to Prez, just not in my wheelhouse). The Deep People cd has been in my locals used bin for several weeks for $9 and I was tempted just because I started this thread, but I was hesitant about the material, so appreciate the confirmation.

    Derailing my own thread, but all jazz convo is allowed here as long as Savoys are the start point!.... I’ve been playing a lot of Shelly Manne lately having recently completed buying his At the Black Hawk sessions (vol 1-5), which I think are uniformly good. Fantastic live setting, the band is relaxed and stretch out many songs to 10+ mins, Joe Gordon on trumpet and Richie Kamuca on tenor take most of the solos, very well imo. Summertime on vol 1, Vamps Blues on vol 2 (20 min!), Whisper Not on vol 3 (sorry ArchTop another Golson number) are just some of the highlights. Highly recommend, Can pick these up for $5-6 each except for vol 4 (pictured) for some reason which ran me about $12 iirc.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    $9 is really top dollar for that Manne CD unless you're a die hard fan or completist. And I'd say you're on point with your assessment there. As to your other Manne listening, I don't have much of his material, but I'll snatch up that live stuff if it happens to drop into my local used bins.
     
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  13. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Gave another listen to Jazz....It’s Magic (Curtis Fuller as leader with Sonny Redd on alto and rhythm section of Flanagan, Tucker, Hayes). Then read the AllMusic review by Jim Todd, which I thought was an interesting summary of some of these Savoys being the leading edge of Hard Bop, explains why I have gravitated to them!

    “Trombonist Curtis Fuller's recordings for Savoy in the 1950s, like those of labelmates Hank Mobley, Milt Jackson, Wilbur Harden, Donald Byrd, and others, were prototypes in the development of hard bop. The next stage would come with the subsequent work of many of the same artists for Blue Note, where improved recording technique, greater attention to writing and arranging, and a more generous policy with respect to preparation and rehearsal time helped bring in the classic hard bop era of the late '50s and early '60s. On Fuller's Jazz...It's Magic!, the hard bop prototype is still under refinement, but it's easy to enjoy the music in its essential elements: elegant, bluesy melodies; earthy, yet sophisticated, solo work; and fresh treatments of standards. For this 1957 date, Fuller is joined by the appealingly urbane Tommy Flanagan (piano), the versatile Louis Hayes (drums), and George Tucker (bass), whose loping but solid style resembles Paul Chambers'. Joining the trombonist in the frontline is the relatively obscure alto player Sonny Red, who has a clean, expressive, melodic approach to the Charlie Parkerlegacy that provides many of this CD's best moments. Three Fuller originals, Frank Foster's "Upper Berth," and a medley of ballad standards make up the program. If there are any misgivings about the album, it would be the long medley (over 13 minutes), which drags on the overall pace. That said, Red's and Flanagan's solo spots on the medley are superb, but the listener's attention can be expected to wander by the time the trombonist finally steps up for his three choruses.”
     
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  14. Shrdlu

    Shrdlu Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Earth
    You might be interested in a Japanese LP that I just received. It is "Blues-ette, Volume 2" (not to be confused with the 70s reunion), COJY-9017. It consists of an alternate take of each of the six items on the original "Blues-ette" album (ST-13006), and it is stereo. Three of these have appeared on CD, but not the other three.

    As expected, everything is of releasable quality. Had it been originally issued, as the album, no-one would have been the wiser.

    This situation demands a Mosaic treatment, but I'm not going to pester Michael Cuscuna about it in the present situation.
     
  15. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    That does look great, pulled it up on discogs, and apparently “Volume 2” was only issued in Japan in LP format. I assume you meant not to be confused with the 90s reunion which is Blues-ette “Part 2” (live show from 1993 with almost same band) and some different songs. Your LP seems to be a song for song copy of the original with different takes for each song?

    My Savoy purchasing has dried up recently so nothing new to report, bought all the ones I wanted from my local. Still on the lookout though.

    Lastly, if you are buddies with Cuscana and the timing is right, please ask about a Horace Silver Live at Pep’s that was recorded in 1964 when Joe Henderson was in his band. Basically songs from “Song for My Father” but live. One of those rejected sessions apparently.
     
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  16. Shrdlu

    Shrdlu Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Earth
    Yes, this LP is a song-for-song copy of the original. The liner notes are identical, apart from listing which takes appear. The comments make no reference to the alternate takes.

    I got the date of the reunion wrong. It is 1993, as you say.

    I am not one of Michael Cuscuna's buddies. We have just exchanged a few emails over the years. Very obliging gentleman.

    I have a CD smilar to the Silver at Pep's. It was an engagement associated with Alan Grant, at the Half Note, April 16, 1965. Nothing startling as I recall.
     
  17. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    It has been awhile, but finally picked up 3 more of this series - Wilbur Harden Jazz Way Out, The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley (vol 1), and Cecil Payne Patterns of Jazz.

    Cecil Payne Patterns of Jazz:
    I really wanted to like this. Payne is on baritone, which I really enjoy the sound of (Pepper Adams and Byrd at the Half Note is one of my favorites). Kenny Dorham on trumpet with Duke Jordan on piano, and Art Taylor on drums so a great band. Tommy Potter on bass who I dont know. Unfortunately, I didnt like it that much, particularly Cecil’s style of sax playing. Most of his notes are really short, doesnt hold an idea for very long, a bop/staccato style. Hard for me to explain not being a musician. The two tracks I did like are Chessmam’s Delight and Man of Moods.
     
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  18. Shrdlu

    Shrdlu Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Earth
    That is an interesting post, Dan.

    Wilbur's sessions with Trane are excellent. (Prestige then recorded them both, having obviously made a deal with Savoy.)

    Tommy Potter was an excellent bassist. He is best known for being in Charlie Parker's Quintet, starting in 1947. He is on all the Parker Dial Quintet recordings toward the end of that year. He later pops up on various sessions, such as your Payne date. I saw him in a video from the early 70s, and he was still playing great.

    I didn't really care much for Cecil when I first heard him, which was on an early 60s LP. I'm not a big fan of the baritone saxophone anyway. (But I hasten to add that I love Gerry Mulligan, Serge Chaloff, Danny Bank and Pepper Adams.) He was also on several Dizzy Gillespie big-band recordings in the late 40s. What made him click for me was a recent playing of those big-band sessions, from the 2 CD R.C.A.-Victor set. "Ow" has an unusual arrangement. The melody is played by the baritone over the saxophone section, and Cecil's tone gives a nice color to the ensemble. He then takes a solo. I think he contributed a lot to that band, and Dizzy was obviously very fond of him. Give "Ow" a listen: it's on Youtube.

    Another really nice baritone saxophone player is Ronnie Lang. Probably, most of you here won't have heard of him. He is featured a lot on the orginal "Peter Gunn" album, by Hank Mancini. He plays with a very light sound. A nice feature of the scoring is the use of an alto saxophone (Ted Nash) and the baritone and NO tenor. It makes a nice blend, thanks to Ronnie's sound. Ronnie also plays the alto saxophone (and the alto flute) on the album. While I'm here, Ted Nash plays some superb alto.
     
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  19. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Jazz Way Out - Harden/Coltrane:
    Technically it is Wilbur Harden’s date but its Trane from 1958 so he typically gets joint billing. As other reviewers have noted the title is a misnomer, very in the pocket hard bop session imo. I’m speculating that, because the first of the three in the series that Harden/Coltrane did was titled Mainstream 1958: the East Coast Jazz scene, this title was meant to attract a different or wider audience. The third in the series is Tanganyika Strut and there is at least one compilation set, The Complete Savoy Sessions. Along with Harden on trumpet/fluglehorn, the ever present Fuller is on trombone, Tommy Flanagan piano, Art Taylor drums, and Al Jackson bass. There are only 3 tracks and it clocks in under 30 min, you didnt get much for your LP purchase back in the day! Opens with Dial Africa then Oomba, both Harden tunes, then closes with Fuller’s 14 min Gold Coast, the pick of the bunch. It is a bit of languid album, walking bass the whole time and rim shots or cymbals from Taylor, and very little interplay among the horns which was disappointing. Basically Harden solos, Trane solos, Fuller solos, Flanagan solos on each song in some order, the transitions are non-existent. They come together at the end for a couple verses only. Fuller had just played with Coltrane on Blue Trane the year before so I was hoping for a little more, but I still like it though. Harden dropped off the map soon after but interesting to hear Fuller and Coltrane at this stage.
     
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  20. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Man, hate to hear that. I love Cecil's playing, but I've only got the Zodiac record from the 70s & while I've read where some don't like it, I took to it immediately. I haven't heard much from his early days actually. The other stuff I've listened to are those records from the 90s/00s that I also enjoyed.
     
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  21. Lonson

    Lonson Don't Get Around Much Anymore

    I'll be the dissenting voice that says he really likes "Patterns of Jazz!"

    And I enjoy the Harden titles in this series and think they sound their very best in this series as compared to earlier and later digital releases.
     
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  22. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    It was just a personal preference. I did like those 2 tracks Chessman’s Delight and Man of Moods. Overall the album just didn’t blow me away. Of the ones I’ve picked up since starting this thread, Yusuf Lateef’s Jazz Moods is my clear favorite, have played that multiple times and let it go from beginning to end, not a bad track on there, and some truly outstanding playing. Makes me want the Prayer to the East album even more but that is elusive unless I want to order from discogs from Italy or Switzerland.
     
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  23. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Gah! Another reason these things need reissues. The music is certainly worthy.
     
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  24. Lonson

    Lonson Don't Get Around Much Anymore

    "Prayer to the East" is a big favorite of mine, and worth seeking out. One way to obtain it is outside this series in a later release "The Last Savoy Sessions." You get this and two other Lateefs and MORE.

    The Last Savoy Sessions - Yusef Lateef | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
     
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  25. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    I’m probably the odd guy out, I know I’m being picky, just don’t want to rave about every CD in this series. Same for my Jazz Way Out review, there is some great playing obviously, the difference in song structure was just so glaring. Had a buddy over last night and played Gold Coast and then Hubbard/Tina Brooks Open Sesame, the 2 years made a difference (1958 to 1960). He said the same thing, there are no transitions on the Jazz Way Out track. I want to save that highest bar for anything like Curtis Fuller’s Blues-ette and Yusef’s jazz Moods that I don’t have yet!

    Edit: good to know about the sound comparison on the Harden, I have never heard the comps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018

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