Archive for 1980

Frank Foster Big Band at the Village Vanguard 1980

Posted in documents, Frank Foster, jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2013 by crownpropeller

As promised in this post, I am reposting the images from the performance by Frank Foster’s “Living Colours” Big Band at the Village Vanguard on April 4, 1980 – this time with some music.

About 70 minutes of music from this evening survive on a tape that has been digitally transferred to CD by Otto in the early 1990s. While the original tape box does not carry information at all, some information is attached to the CD.

frank_foster_cover(click to enlarge)

The rudimentary CD cover can not be trusted though. For example Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” which I am presenting you here, is not the second track on the CD, but the first. Likewise Title 5, “Joy Spring(s?)” is indeed a “Minor Blue Waltz”, at least in form and content. I will have to bring this in a meaningful order some day …

So here are all of Otto’s photos from the April 4 1980 concert again. If you can identify anyone for sure, to help get rid of the question marks on the CD’s listing, please let me know (but please check the comment section from the old blog entry about this event first).

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Unpublished Interview with Arnett Cobb (1980)

Posted in Arnett Cobb, clips, documents, Lionel Hampton with tags , , , , , , on January 12, 2013 by crownpropeller

My friend, the late swiss jazz researcher Otto Flückiger, was a great fan of tenor saxophonist Arnett Cobb (1918–1989). So when Otto went on a trip through the USA in spring of 1980 he took the chance to visit Cobb in his hometown, Houston TX.

cobb_otto

Arnett Cobb with Otto Flückiger in Cobb’s home, Houston TX, spring 1980.
Photo probably by Trudi Flückiger.

On that occasion Otto interviewed Cobb about his career,  playing with Frank Davis, going to Chicago with Milton Larkin to play at the Rhumboogie, joining Lionel Hampton, forming his own band and the auto accident that dramatically changed Cobb’s life. There are about 40 minutes from this interview on a C90 cassette tape which I found in Otto’s collection:

interview_tape

So I decided to digitize this – unpublished as far as I know – fantastic interview. I just edited out some longer passages of silence and some parts where the conversation is running in circles and into dead ends caused by translation problems. The female voice in the later parts of the interview is Trudi, Otto’s wife, who probably also took the photo of Cobb and Otto shown at the top.

I was always waiting to find the time to transcribe the interview, but I probably never will. So I am putting it up here for you all to hear and cherish yourself:

If you came here because you like Arnett Cobb. I got something more for you. First some nice photographs that Otto Flückiger took when Arnett Cobb appeared in Baden, Switzerland on May 4, 1974 (you can click to enlarge)

cobb_collage_baden_1974(Click to enlarge) Arnett Cobb at a concert in Baden, Switzerland, 1974.
Photos by Otto Flückiger

And here is some footage of Arnett Cobb featured with the Lionel Hampton Band in Nice, France in summer 1978.

 Enjoy!

April 18, 1981: What’s happening in N.Y.C.?

Posted in documents, jazz with tags , , on October 30, 2012 by crownpropeller

In 1979, 1980 and 1981 my friend, the late Otto Flückiger, spent some days in New York City to check out the jazz scene and to document the concerts he witnessed. And as regular readers know, I am sometimes presenting some of the sounds and pictures he brought back here.

April 18, 1980 was a friday and when it got later in the day, Otto was eager to hear some good music. And if he started early, he would well be able to change clubs and maybe hear a second band.

His mind seemed set on something earthy played with a lot of blues feeling, so he made his way to the West End on Broadway near Columbia where guess who was playing. Maybe some of you are able to recognize the tenor player from this small excerpt? Unfortunately I do not have any of the other band member’s names.

Otto must have liked this band, as he had seen it already a few days earlier. I have the impression that Otto must have spend the last two photos on his roll of film on the sax player. There are two photos of him taken on this day in his files – and none of the other band members.

After having heard enough of this music, Otto was in the mood for something more out there. So he left the West End and made his way out to the Hurrah Club (most probably) where a large band was playing whose music he had been loving for years. Unfortunately there are no photographs of the goings-on at the Hurrah. But you will find out right away who is playing here:

And sorry, there are no points for guessing the second band.

Arthur Blythe 4: Berlin 1980

Posted in Abdul Wadud, Arthur Blythe, clips, jazz with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2012 by crownpropeller

One of the musicians I must have seen playing most often in the late 1980s and early 1990s must be alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe – although I never saw him with one of his own groups.

Instead I heard Blythe several times with Roots, the “In The Tradition” band of Sam Rivers, Chico Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Nathan Davis, Don Pullen, Santi Debriano and Idris Muhamad which did the european festival circuit for a while. And I remember at least three concerts by The Leaders, the band that consisted of Don Cherry (later replaced by Lester Bowie), Blythe, Chico Freeman again, Don Pullen (later replaced by Kirk Lightsey), Cecil McBee and Don Moye.

A few years earlier Blythe had almost become a star when Columbia Records gave him a contract hoping that Arthur Blythe’s intelligent and deeply emotional handling of the whole alto sax history with his way of playing that is ornamental, biting and hard hitting all at the same time might have some sort of mass appeal – which it unfortunately did not have.

Over his long career Blythe has again and again worked (and still does) with tuba player Bob Stewart, with which Blythe also recorded (together with percussionist Ahkmed Abdullah) the LP Bush Baby in 1977, one of my favorite Blythe LPs:

Blythe’s abstractions and Stewarts funky, earthy bass lines always make a great combination. So I was really amazed to find on one of Otto Flückiger’s old VHS cassettes more than fifty minutes  of a concert the Arthur Blythe Quartet played at the Jazzfestival Berlin on November 1st, 1980. This is one of the classic Blythe groups from that time featuring besides Blythe and Stewart cellist Abdul Wadud and drummer Bobby Battle. They are playing:

Miss Nancy
Odessa
Shadows
Bush Baby

The last track is unfortunately not complete on the source tape, so I had to fade out during the drum solo (it just goes on for a few seconds). After that band also played Down San Diego Way and Break Tune. Maybe they will turn up on another VHS tape one day? Until then:

Enjoy!

P.S.: And now a personal ad, directed to those living in Berlin: On tuesday October 23rd 2012 I’ll be spinning the wax at the Club Monarch, after the reading performance by the Verbrecherversammlung at Skalitzerstrasse 134. So if you are in the mood for some jump, jazz and jive,, I’ll be glad to see you!

Protected: Woody Shaw feat. Wynton Marsalis: Now’s The Time

Posted in jazz, Woody Shaw with tags , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2012 by crownpropeller

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The Abdul Wadud Ensemble at Studio WIS, 1980

Posted in Abdul Wadud, clips, jazz with tags , , , , , on June 16, 2012 by crownpropeller

Studio WIS in N.Y.C. was a loft in N.Y.C. run by percussionist Warren Smith (born 1932) in the seventies and eighties. My friend Otto knew Smith a little and so on his trip to N.Y.C in 1980 he went to the Studio WIS on April 5, 1980 to see what was happening there. On the program that night was an ensemble led by cellist Abdul Wadud  (born 1937). As always, Otto recorded the proceedings and took photos. A 90 minute tape from this performance exists, but most of it consists of everybody working out on percussion instruments. I decided to take one of the few parts that are a little more interesting musically  and make a little movie from the photos. From these shots I can only identify three people: Abdul Wadud, tuba player Howard Johnson and percussionist Warren Smith. If someone can identify the other people involved, please let me know.

Enjoy!

Frank Foster Big Band at the Village Vanguard 1980

Posted in Frank Foster, jazz, unidentified photographs with tags , , , , , on June 3, 2012 by crownpropeller

Update (June 9, 2012): I found a tape from this concert. I will add a track or two later and reblog this post.

Update (June 8, 2012): The Big Band has been identified as being Frank Foster’s band. Still help is needed in identifying the members of the band.

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Continuing the digitizing of the material my friend Otto gathered on his trips to New York in 1978, 1980 and 1981 I find it sometimes hard to match the tapes in his collection to the photos in his files from these years. Of course it is possible that from some concerts only photos survived.

Here are seven photos of a big band playing (most probably) at the Village Vanguard either in probably spring 1980 or – also possible – spring 1981. Although some of these people look familiar to me, I cannot really place anyone.  All I can say that the tenor saxophonist in the middle of the first photo (in the background) also seems to appear on a photo of Jabbo Ware’s Me, We and Them Orchestra at the Black Bean Music Studio on May 11, 1980. But the band on these photos here is definitely not Jabbo’s.

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Howard McGhee / Howard Kimbo at the West End, 1980

Posted in documents, jazz with tags , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2012 by crownpropeller

A lot of the concerts my friend Otto witnessed during his late seventies and early eighties trips to N.Y.C. took place at the West End Club whose speciality was to present veterans of the Bebop Era. In mid May 1980 Otto went to the West End to see Howard McGhee (March 6, 1918– July 17, 1987) with his quintet:

Andy Bey (piano) and Howard McGhee (trumpet) at the West End,
N.Y.C., May 16, 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger

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Protected: Woody Shaw at Fat Tuesday’s, April 10, 1980

Posted in documents, Woody Shaw with tags , , , , , , , on June 2, 2012 by crownpropeller

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105 minutes with legendary Clarence “C” Sharpe

Posted in Clarence C Sharpe, jazz with tags , , , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by crownpropeller

UPDATE (June 7, 2012): Bart Egers was so nice to send me a link to the Jazz Loft Project, where you can hear – amongst other interesting stuff from the W. Eugene Smith Collection – a minor blues  with Zoot Sims and Clarence Sharpe, saxophone; Dick Scott, drums; Vinnie Burke, bass, recorded in March 1964. Thanks!

On the internet you unfortunately  will not find a lot of of information about alto saxophonist Clarence “C” Sharpe  (1937–1990). But almost all pages that reference Sharpe use adjectives like legendary and underground.

Clarence “C” Sharpe at the “Tin Palace”, N.Y.C., April 8, 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger

Despite the fact that he was first  heard on a Lee Morgan LP for Blue Note (Indeed!, recorded  on November 4, 1956), Clarence “C” Sharpe never had much of a career.

Clarence “C” Sharpe’s first recording session was for
Lee Morgan’s Blue Note LP “Indeed”.

Tom Lord ‘s Jazz Discography just mentions four sessions: the one with Morgan, a session on August 26, 1969 under Archie Shepp’s name for Impulse (For Losers), one in 1984 with drummer Monky Kobayashi’s N.Y. Bebop Band for Paddlewheel. And finally one in January 1985 under pianist Freddie Redd’s name for Uptown.

Sharpe was born in St. Louis and grew up in Philadelphia where he played with people like McCoy Tyner and Philly Joe Jones. He probably already lived in N.Y.C. when he recorded with Morgan in 1956. It is not quite clear why nothing much happened for him after that – but several internet sources mention problems with drugs. For a while (when?) he mostly played in the subways of N.Y.C., at other times he had regular engagements with his own group or as a sideman.

In spring 1980 Clarence “C” Sharpe was playing with his quintet at the “Tin Palace” at 315 Bowery. My friend Otto Flückiger was there on the evening of April 8 (Guenti, were you also there?) and brought his tape recorder with him as well as his camera (click on photos to enlarge):

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