Archive for Body and Soul

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:

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“Body and Soul”: A blindfold test

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

Ever since in 1939 Coleman Hawkins did what he did to “Body and Soul”, tenor saxophone players had to show what they can do with this beautiful tune.

I myself always loved the blindfold tests that were (and still are) run by different jazz magazines. So here’s a little blindfold test for my esteemed readership: Which tenor player is playing “Body and Soul” on the tape I found in Otto Flückiger’s archives yesterday?

I am very much looking forward to your educated guesses. I will put up the solution here at the end of june accompanied by a bunch of nice photos – and maybe some more music.

Enjoy!

Dexter Gordon, Montreux 1970: Body and Soul

Posted in clips, Dexter Gordon, jazz with tags , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2011 by crownpropeller

Here’s a small clip that I just uploaded as a Christmas present for all you out there. As there have been so many words about Dexter Gordon and his art lets’s go straight to Dexter playing “Body and Soul” at the Montreux Jazz Festival, June 18, 1970. Continue reading

Lionel Hampton at Strand Theatre 1948

Posted in Charles Mingus, documents, jazz, Lionel Hampton, Milt Buckner with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2011 by crownpropeller

UPDATE (August 19, 2012): The handwriting on the Srand Theatre photograph is not by Otto Flückiger, but by Milt Buckner (see comments section).

When I was down at the archives last week looking for documents in relation to Don Redman’s 1946 tour, I accidentally found a batch of gorgeous photos of Lionel Hampton’s band in 1948 and 1949 at New York’s Strand Theatre as well as from  the Howard Theatre Washington 1948.


(click to enlarge)

The photograph above was taken at the Strand Theatre in N.Y.C, between January 23 and February 1948. Unfortunately the photographer is not known (to me at least). On the edge of the photo Milt Buckner himself noted down the names of the musicians to be seen. I photoshopped the edge just enough to make his handwriting (very pale pencil) readable again. Too make identification easier, I have cut up the photo into several parts below. Continue reading

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