Archive for 1979

George Braith at New York Jazz Festival 1979

Posted in George Braith, Photographs with tags , , , , , on August 29, 2013 by crownpropeller

When my late friend Otto Flückiger went to New York City in October 1979, he also visited the 1st New York Jazz Festival, a free event organized (mostly, I guess) by trumpeter Dizzy Reece. There is (rather fragmentary) footage from these events (not by Otto) on youtube.

Concerts took place in two locations, an open air space in Damrosch Park – where Otto was located – and Lincoln Center – where apparently the footage above is from (there are also parts II and III of this footage on youtube, go check the channel of MrBebopyo).

All in all Otto recorded around five hours of the proceedings in Damrosch Park on cassette tapes. Among the artists to be heard on this cassettes are trumpeters Dizzy Reece and Tommy Turrentine , saxophonists Charles Davis, Clifford Jordan, Harold Vick, and Harold Ousley as well as a bunch of drummers, bassists and piano players. Otto also made a lot of photos and there are a lot of musicians on them that I could not yet identify. I will try to post them here later.

Unfortunately most of the music on Otto’s tapes from this historic event suffers from very bad sound (open air atmosphere, traffic, audience talk, etc.) so there really is not much sense in offering the music here.

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George Braith, NYC Jazz Festival, Oct. 5, 1979. Photo by Otto Flückiger

One really quite listenable portion though is very much worth offering here. So here is straight from the Otto Flückiger files a portion of a duo set by (double-) saxophonist George Braith with a drummer I was not able to identify from the photos Otto made. There are pointers though that this could be Sonny Brown. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Since Braith is starting this track with motives from “A Night In Tunisia”, never playing it fully though, I decided to call this track Tunisian Jam for the sake of convenience. Sound is very bad at first but gets much better after 40 seconds when the drummer comes in.


Is this Sonny Brown?

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Unidentified drummer, NYC Jazz Festival, Oct. 5, 1979. Photo by Otto Flückiger

Here is another view of the drummer:

ImageWho is this man? NYC Jazz Festival, Oct. 5, 1979. Photo by Otto Flückiger

Here is a second excerpt from the proceedings. Braith and the drummer are joined by a trumpeter later in this piece. It’s a classic bop tune I can’t  remember the name of right now.


The trumpeter may or may not be Dizzy Reece who can be seen in the background of the last photo from this session. Otto did not write down the name of the trumpeter, he just wrote “technically good” – which I guess he may not have noted down for an old professional like Dizzy Reece, so this may well be someone else.  On the other hand Reece can be seen on the last photo from this session (I do not know the true chronology of these photos).

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Unidentified drummer, Dizzy Reece (in doorway), George Braith,
NYC Jazz Festival, Oct. 5, 1979. Photo by Otto Flückiger

Enjoy!

P.S.: Apparently George Braith is still active, check his website, where you can also buy cool Bop Clothes, hand designed by George. Also check George’s record company, Excellence.

Rashied Ali at the Boltax (1979)

Posted in documents, Photographs, Rashied Ali with tags , , , , , , , on March 31, 2013 by crownpropeller

From 1978 to 1981 my friend, jazz researcher Otto Flückiger (1930–2006), went to the USA each year for up to three weeks to check out the jazz scene. Most of these trips led him to New York City where he checked out every jazz related event he could manage to visit – from gatherings of old swing veterans to extreme improvised loft sessions, documenting it all with a tape recorder and taking photos at every gig.

On Saturday, October 13th, 1979, Otto spent the evening at the Boltax Theatre in Soho, where drummer Rashied Ali’s Quintet  presented modal jazz, very much influenced by – of course – John Coltrane.

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 Cover of the MC on which Otto recorded parts of the Rashied Ali concert.

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The band consisted of Arthur Rhames  – misspelled by Otto – (ss, ts), Melvin Holder (ts), Tommy Smith (p), Radu (b) and of Rashied Ali (dr). Otto recorded some eighty minutes on that evening, but most of it is marred by talking and other background noise. But there is a piece which is a little bit more listenable, so I thought I could present it here. The name of the slow burning tune the band is playing here is unknown (at least to me):


As always, Otto took a handful of photographs (remember, the material was expensive then):

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Rashied Ali at the Boltax, N.Y.C, October 13, 1979.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

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Tommy Smith, Melvin Holder, Rashied Ali and Arthur Rhames at the Boltax,
N.Y.C, October 13, 1979. Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

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Arthur Rhames at the Boltax, N.Y.C, October 13, 1979.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

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Melvin Holder at the Boltax, N.Y.C, October 13, 1979.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

Seeing the tape recorders besides pianist Tommy Smith on the next photos, I wonder if one of them was Otto’s. I guess probably not, because it would not have picked up so much talk most of the time. Maybe the band members were also documenting it?

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Tommy Smith at the Boltax, N.Y.C, October 13, 1979.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

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Rashied Ali at the Boltax, N.Y.C, October 13, 1979.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

On the above photo you will notice the neon letters “SRO”. Does anyone know what these letters stand for? It looks like “SRO” was a regular act at the Boltax. The “After Dark” section of “New York” magazine’s October 8 issue mentions “S*R*O” as “back again”. Strangely Rashied Ali’s appearance is not mentioned here;

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And to close our visit at the Boltax up, here is a photo of bassist Radu:

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Radu at the Boltax, N.Y.C, October 13, 1979.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

Look forward for more documents from Otto’s travels at this place  in the near future!

Protected: Woody Shaw: more from Juan Les Pins 1979

Posted in clips, jazz, Woody Shaw with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by crownpropeller

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Clifford Jordan at the Tin Palace 1979

Posted in documents, jazz, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2012 by crownpropeller

Just because it’s so much fun to put Otto’s photos from his trips to New York up on this blog together with some music from the concerts he witnessed, here is another one. On October 2, 1979, tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan (1931–1993) was  playing at the Tin Palace – with two different rhythm sections.

On the first set (at least on the first set Otto recorded), Jordan was accompanied by Walter Davis on piano, Walter Booker on bass and drummer Jimmy Cobb (click on photos to enlarge):

Clifford Jordan at the Tin Palace, N.Y.C., October 2, 1979.
Photo by Otto Flückiger  Continue reading

Blindfold test resolved: Big Nick Nicholas at the West End

Posted in Bross Townsend, documents with tags , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2012 by crownpropeller

Update (June 16, 2012): Big Nick Nicholas is playing at the West End here, not at the Tin Palace as I had erroneously written.

Well my little “Body and Soul” blindfold test did not last long. I promised to give you the solution by the end of june, but it did take Bo Scherman less than an hour to figure out that the tenor player in question is Big Nick Nicholas (1922–1997). Congratulations, Bo! I would not have thought that someones comes up with the solution THAT quick.

Big Nick Nicholas was playing this beautiful rendition of “Body and Soul” with his quartet at the West End in N.Y.C. on October 3, 1979.

Big Nick Nicholas at the West End, October 3, 1979.
Photo by Otto Flückiger

George Walker “Big Nick” Nicholas played with Hank Jones, Thad Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Hot Lips Page and Earl Hines  in the 1940s and joined Buck Clayton’s band in 1955. In the early sixties Nicholas inspired John Coltrane to write his composition “Big Nick”, dedicated to him.

It seems that Nicholas was away from the N.Y.C scene for a while. In one of the announcements on Otto’s tape from the West End, Nicholas mentions that he has not been in New York for years. Besides recording two sets of Nicholas’ quartet, Otto also took quite a few photographs (you can click on them to enlarge them) and did not forget to take the promotional flyer for the engagement with him  (subtitled “An Infuential Tenor Saxophonist returns To The Big Apple”) on which Phil Schaap  tells us more details about Nicholas’ career:

Continue reading

Protected: Woody Shaw Quintet, Juan Les Pins 1979

Posted in clips, jazz, Woody Shaw with tags , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2012 by crownpropeller

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More of the Great Earl Hines

Posted in clips, Earl Hines with tags , , , , on February 1, 2011 by crownpropeller

Just found some more Earl Hines clips in the archives. They were filmed at the Jazz Festival in Antibes, France on july 20 1979. The first one has Hines playing a medley

The second is Hines’ Interpretation of “I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me”

followed by his “New Boogie Woogie On St. Louis Blues”.

Enjoy!

If you have not seen the other Earl Hines clips, they are here.

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