R.I.P. Mose Allison

Posted in jazz, Mose Allison with tags , , , , on November 20, 2016 by crownpropeller

moseMose Allison (1927–2016)

The news of singer/pianist Mose Allison’s passing on November 15 made me quite sad as I had the feeling to have lost a friend I never knew.

From 18 to 26 I was one of those truly dislikeable Frank Zappa fans who run around all day pestering people who he thinks are just too ignorant and dumb to understand what a genius Zappa is.

Nowadays Zappa leaves me cold (except his first couple of LPs with the Mothers Of Invention and his orchestral music).

But I have to thank Zappa for several things:

a) teaching me there is more to music than 4/4.

b) making me love Doo Wop

c) making me love Edgar Varèse

d) making me listen to Mose Allison.

At some time in the late 1980s there was an article in the german magazine “Tempo” (which was published from 1986 to 1996) titled “50 rock stars talk about their favourite artists” or something to that effect. Frank Zappa was quoted with “I always listen to Mose Allison on my Walkman.” So the next day, I went to town and bought this record:

moselp

And I absolutely fell in love with the man, his music and his lyrics right away. Mose was witty, wise and cool and straightfaced sarcastic and laconic and sometimes very funny and on top of that a very fine pianist.

On a Prestige 2LP compilation of Mose Allison’s early works, Pete Townsend of The Who is quoted:

“When I heard that [Allison’s LP “Back Country Suite”] I swore he was as black as Cow Cow Davenport (Was Cow Cow Davenport black?)”

Two things about that statement. First: Cow Cow Davenport was black. Second: I think Mose Allison’s secret was that he sounded very white if one can say so, but he sounded cool and hip nonetheless. His way of playing and singing the blues is sophisticated and down home at the same time – a hard task.

Strangely enough all of my jazz friends never shared my enthusiasm for Mose Allison, “Yeah, nice, but not my style”, was all I could ever get out of them. So after a while I stopped with my new hobby: running around all day pestering people who I think are just too ignorant and dumb to understand what a genius Mose Allison is!

So after that it was just a thing between me and Mose, the cool poet. And Mose the prophet: Here is what he had to say – in 1968 – about the state of things in 2016: “Jus Like Livin'” – the first piece of Mose’s that I’ve ever heard – was recorded in Los Angeles on July 9, 1968 with Red Mitchell on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums.

Enjoy!

Two Nights at The Crown Propeller Lounge

Posted in 78 rpm, Chicago Tenor Sax, documents, jazz, King Kolax, Photographs, R'n'B, Sax Mallard with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2016 by crownpropeller

cp 4Mildred “Mitzi” Schlossberg and Oett “Sax” Mallard
at the Crown Propeller Lounge in Chicago, exact date unknown.
Courtesy of the Schlossberg family

Already more than a half a year ago I was informed that Mildred “Mitzi” Schlossberg, co-owner of Chicago’s Crown Propeller Lounge (after which this blog here is named) passed at the proud age of 100. What an interesting life she must have had! I wanted to put up something here at that time, but I have been extremely busy otherwise during the last months.

But all the while I have been on the lookout for souvenirs from the Crown Propeller Lounge and I managed to acquire two very nice items.

The first is a photograph showing Mitzi Schlossberg’s husband Norman Schlossberg with a woman and three men. It comes from Mitzi Schlossberg’s estate, and I found it on ebay. The three men are holding trophies in their hand, but unfortunately the writing on the cups is out of focus.

schlossbergtrophyCrown Propeller owner Norman Schlossberg (2nd from
left) with unidentified others on October 15, 1953.
From the Crown Propeller Collection

The backside of the photograph is stamped Oct. 15, 1953. (Photographer was H.S. Rhoden, 7037 Indiana Ave – if you care). October 15, 1953 was a thursday and I found an ad in the “Chicago Defender” for that day.

UntitledFrom Chicago Defender, Defender, Oct. 10  1953.
Taken from Franz Hoffmann’s “Jazz Advertised”

But unfortunately the ad does not give out a hint what the trophies were for. There is a small possibility that the photo was taken during the night between the 14th and the 15th and come from Wednesday night’s regular talent contest at the Lounge – but the prices for winning the “Talent Nite” are given as $25 (1st) and $10 (2nd). Would they be handing out trophies as well?

Anyway here’s some music you might have heard played at the Crown Propeller Lounge on the night the photo above was taken:

In a recording from October 14, 1949 (for Decca), it is trumpeter Tiny Davis’ All Girl Band with Tiny herself (tp,vcl), Birdie Davis (as), Helen Cole (p) and unknown ts, p and b playing “Race Horse”, a nice Boogie Shuffle.

And here is guitarist Rudy Greene playing “Meet Me Baby”, recorded with King Kolax’ band for Chance Records in 1953.

The other nice item I could lay my hands on is one of the typical souvenir pictures made by house photographers in different clubs in Chicago. I imagine they were quickly developed in some small dark room in the club and then sold to the photographed customers. Here we have a couple of people at a table – apparently not all of them enjoying the proceedings.

scan-cp-picA Night At The Crown Propeller Lounge, probably
September 1951. from the Crown Propeller Collection

scan-sleeveFrom the Crown Propeller Collection

A pointer to the date this photo was taken is the Crown Propeller sleeve in which it came (above). Sax Mallard as well as violinist Leon Abbey were part of the Crown Propeller’s program together only in September 1951.

cd_51_09_01

From Chicago Defender, September 1, 1951.
Taken from Franz Hoffmann’s “Jazz Advertised”

cd_51_09_29

From Chicago Defender, September 29, 1951.
Taken from Franz Hoffmann’s “Jazz Advertised”

It is strange though, that they printed an extra sleeve just for these few weeks.

How about some music to this photograph? I can not offer you anything by Leon Abbey or by the Ding Bell Trio, but here is a video that lets you listen to Sax Mallard’s “Teen Town Strut!”, recorded for Checker on May 12, 1952. With Sax Mallard (ts); unidentified (tp); unidentified (ts, bars); William “Lefty” Bates (eg); probably Jimmy Bowman (p); probably LeRoy Jackson (b); probably Sleepy Nelson (d).

Enjoy!

The Mario Schneeberger Discography

Posted in Benny Bailey, Mario Schneeberger with tags , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2016 by crownpropeller

mario_ds81_bailey KopieMario Schneeberger and Benny Bailey, 1976.
Photo: Foto Hug

Swiss alto saxophonist and dear fellow jazz researcher Mario Schneeberger has send me a pdf containing a discography of his own recordings. This discography is basically extracted from Arild Widerøe’s Swiss Jazz Disko, but Mario has added a few things. You can find the discography here.

Mario, though he could never live from making music alone, is surely Switzerland’s finest bop altoist and has been that for more than fifty years now. Besides leading his own quintet for about twenty years and being part of several swiss band projects  he also often had the chance to jam with luminaries from the US scene like Benny Bailey, Bross Townsend, Richard Williams, Milt Buckner … All of these and more mentioned in the discography.

And here is some music to go along wit the dry data:

First here’s the Mario Schneeberger Quintett featuring Benny Bailey playing Horace Silver’s “Strollin'” live at the Schützenhaus in Glarus on November 27, 1976. Besides Schneeberger and trumpeter Bailey the band consists of Tutilo Odermatt at the piano, bassist Peter Frei and drummer Kurt Schaufelberger. Bailey has the first solo, Mario comes after that.

“Strollin'” comes from Mario’s rare self produced LP DS 81, “Chasin The Bird”, which was released in 1981 – thus it’s number.

mario_ds81From the Crown Propeller collection

As a second example of Mario Schneeberger’s art, here is a wonderful rendition of “Body and Soul” in a trio recording with Mario Schneeberger on alto sax, pianist Joachim Stein and bassist Charles Sammons.  This was recorded at the Restaurant Nerly in Erfurt Germany on June 20, 2008.

This beautiful track was released in 2015 on “Cheer Ears” as DS 15, a “Very Limited Edition” 2CD set, that Mario burned on CD-Rs to give away to his relatives and friends.

In Erfurt, where Mario can often be seen these days, he is regularly invited as guest soloist by the Nerly Bigband which since its formation is the resident band of the club. In 2015 the Nerly Bigband released “That’s Earl, Brother”, a CD that features Mario in front of the band on all tracks. Unfortunately you can only get this CD at different places in Erfurt, you might want to try the band’s homepage though.  What you are looking for looks like this:

marionerly

And it’s definitely worth looking out for!

Enjoy!

R.I.P., Bobby Hutcherson

Posted in Bobby Hutcherson, clips, Dizzy Gillespie, jazz with tags , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2016 by crownpropeller

This morning I received the sad news of vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson’s passing on monday at the age of 75. Here is an obituary from the New York Times.

I never had the chance to see any of the great vibraphone players of the 20th century (Hampton, Jackson, Hutcherson, Dickerson) play live. But for youtube’s sake, we have the chance to see them all in action (not that it’s a comparable experience).

In 1989 Bobby Hutcherson was runnnig the european festival circuit with the band that was either announced as “The Phil Woods / Dizzy Gillespie All Stars” or as “The Dizzy Gillespie / Phil Woods  All Stars”, depending on whatever. It seems this band played every major and minor european festival that year, and fortunately most of the times some TV station was broadcasting at least parts of the proceedings.

In the VHS collection of my friend, the late swiss jazz researcher Otto Flückiger, I found a nearly 13 minute clip of the All Stars playing Gillespie’s composition “Tour De Force” at the Jazz Festival in Wiesen, Austria on Saturday, July 8, 1989 – which has never been on youtube before.

So here’s my tribute to the late great Bobby Hutcherson. The band consists of Dizzy Gillespie (tp), Phil Woods (as), Bobby Hutcherson (vib), Steve Turre (tb), Cedar Walton (p), Rufus Reid (b) and Mickey Roker (dr). And Hutcherson has a nice solo in there.

 

Enjoy!

… and please excuse the TV noise in the background, I could not do anything against this.

Milt Buckner: KAKE acetate (195?)

Posted in 33 rpm, acetates, Milt Buckner with tags , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2016 by crownpropeller

Milt Buckner in the mid-sixties. Photographer, date and location unidentified.
From the Otto Flückiger collection.

Already a while ago I had uploaded “Milt’s Boogie” as well as “Flying Home” from the mysterious Milt Buckner acetate from Wichita KS Station KAKE. This 12” / 33rpm acetate is one of a series of five KAKE acetates. The other four contain a concert by Lionel Hampton’s Orchestra at the Forum in Wichita, dated 1953. The fifth  has five solo piano tracks by Buckner (four on one side, one on the other) and ends with two tracks from the Hampton concert again.

It’s unclear when these were recorded. I can not find a Wichita date in Milt Buckner’s agendas and he was not a member of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in 1953. I relistened to this music again today in the hope of coming somewhat closer to solving this riddle, but to no avail.

Anyway I thought Milt’s playing on tis acetate is interesting enough that it would justify to present it here in full. I know a good cleaning would probably help to get a better sound. But I will not try anything that might do any damage to the acetate, so you have to live with what there is.

So here is Milt playing “Old Man River”, “Hamp’s Boogie”, “How High the Moon”, “Laura” and then “Flying Home”.

 

Enjoy!

 

Wilson Pickett 1973 / Bo Diddley 1975

Posted in Bo Diddley, R'n'B, Soul, Uncategorized, Wilson Pickett with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2016 by crownpropeller

eswp
Edwin Starr (left) and Wilson Pickett at Jazz Festival Montreux, 1973-

Hey People, it’s summer!

You need hot music! Wait, here its is:

Twenty minutes of Wilson Pickett at the Jazz Festival Montreux in 1973 featuring a guest appearance by Edwin Starr (of “War” fame), taken from a VHS cassette  in the Otto Flückiger collection. In spite of Pickett’s pleading, no Rolling Stone appears (I am not missing them). If you recognize any of the band members, please let me know.

And here’s another one:

Bo Diddley playing his signature tune “Bo Diddley” at the Philharmonie in Berlin during the “Rhythm & Blues: Roots of Rock” show of Berliner Jazztage sometime in early November 1975. (Look  here for a (german language) article dated November 7 – though it’s not clear whether this is the date of the concert or the date of publication)

Besides Bo we have Johnny Guitar Watson (guitar), James Booker (piano), Gene “Mighty Flea” Conners (trombone, tambourine), Preston Love (tenor sax), Jimmie Lee Robinson (bass), Panama Francis (drums). Thanks to David Blakey for identifying the band members (see comment section)!

Enjoy!

R.I.P. Sir Charles Thompson

Posted in Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, jazz, Leo Parker, Sir Charles Thompson with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2016 by crownpropeller

Yesterday I received the sad news that pianist Sir Charles Thompson – a very important figure during the transition from Swing to Bop – passsed in Japan on June 16 at the proud age of 98.

 

As a tribute here are two pieces that Thompson recorded with different all star groups for Apollo records ion the mid-fourties. I took them from – warts and clicks included – this nice Vogue 10 inch LP, released in France in the mid-fifties:

sct-vogueFrom the Crown Propeller collection

 

First up is Thompson’s “The Street Beat”, originally released on Apollo 759. It was recorded on September 4, 1945, and the band consists of Buck Clayton (tp), Charlie Parker (as), Dexter Gordon (ts), Sir Charles Thompson (p), Danny Barker (g), Jimmy Butts (b) and J.C. Heard (dr).

And here is Thompson’s  “Mad Lad” titled thusly for featured baritone saxophonist Leo Parker. This was originally issued on Apollo 773. It was recorded in late summer 1947 and this the band consists of Joe Newman (tp), Bob Dorsey (ts), Leo Parker (bar), Sir Charles Thompson (p), Freddie Green (g), John Simmons (b) and  Shadow Wilson (dr.)

Enjoy!