Eddie Cleanhead Vinson and Friends (1974 and 1978)

Posted in clips, Cootie Williams, Duke Ellington, jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2014 by crownpropeller

Vocalist and alto saxophonist Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson (1917–1988) had his breakthrough in 1941 when he joined Cootie William’s band as vocalist. In 1945 he split from Williams and formed his own band. Vinson had hits on Mercury as well as on King records in the late 1940s and the early 1950s. Then Vinson somewhat left the spotlight  for a while before becoming a welcome attraction on the european jazz festival circuit from the early seventies on.

I found some footage from this later period of Vinson’s career on old VHS cassettes from the Otto Flückiger collection and thought you might enjoy them.

So here from the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival come slightly more than 25 minutes of Cleanhead with  Hal Singer (ts), Jay McShann (p), Jo Wright (g), Jerome Rimson (b), Peter Van Hooke (dr). They are playing:

“Just A Dream”, “Home Boy”, “Laura”, “Hold It Right There” and “Person To Person”.

The second clip I found has 32 minutes from an all star gathering at Grand Parade Du Jazz in Nice from July 8 and July 16, 1978. On stage are Eddie Cleanhead Vinson (as, voc); Hank Crawford (as); David Newman (ts, fl); Jimmy Rowles (p), George Wein (p); Milt Hinton (b); Alan Dawson (dr).

They are playing:

“Tenor Madness” (thanks, Trane!), “Autumn Leaves”, “Cleanhead Blues”,  and a further unidentified tune (maybe someone knows it’s title?).

Enjoy!

Doc Cheatham and Percy France at the West End (1980)

Posted in Doc Cheatham, documents, jazz, Percy France, West End with tags , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2014 by crownpropeller

cheatham_blow

(Click to enlarge): Doc Cheatham at the West End, N.Y.C., May 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger

In the early 1980s in New York the place to be when you were in the mood to listen to some legendary swing and bop veterans was the West End on Broadway near Columbia, where Phil Schaap was curating the program.

During his 1980 trip to the USA my friend the late jazz researcher Otto Flückiger went to the West End to see the band led by Doc Cheatham (1905–1997), who had been Cab Calloway’s lead trumpeter from 1932 to 1939. In the early 1980s Cheatham was said to play better then ever before, because he had started practicing again, in the process ridding his playing of any cliches that had crept into his work through the years.

As always Otto made some photos and recorded a little music at the West End.

cd_inlet

Inlet for the CD onto which Otto copied his original tape. Unfortunately the original photograph does not seem to exist anymore.

I have not yet found Otto’s original tapes, but I found a CD onto which Otto had edited the concert down. Since all the announcements have been edited out, I can not tell which of the tracks was recorded on May 21 and which on May 22.

The tenor player with Doc Cheatham was the totally underrated Percy France. Interestingly, France is announced with his own group at the West End for May 23 and 24! Was Cheatham France’s trumpeter then?

percy_france

(Click to enlarge): Percy France at the West End, N.Y.C., May 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger

Otto got to know Percy France a little (I do not know if they first met at this concert). France had been playing with Bill Doggett in the early 1950s. He told  Otto that the band had already played Doggett’s “Honky Tonk” while he was there. But since it looked like this band will never have the success it deserved, France left. Half a year later “Honky Tonk” became one of the biggest R’n’B instrumentals ever!

Back to the West End in 1980, here is Doc Cheatham’s band playing “Indiana”:

Unfortunately audio quality is not that good, especially the pianist is hardly to be heard. Maybe he was not to be seen either? At least Otto has no photograph of him and added a “probably” to Sonny Donaldson’s name. Maybe the pianist’s name was announced and Otto was not sure if he heard it right?

If we take the “probably” on the cover as pertaining to the pianist only, then this must be a photo of drummer Ronnie Cole at the West End:

cheathams_drummer

 (Click to enlarge): Ronnie Cole (or is he?) at the West End, N.Y.C., May 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger

The bassist can be seen in the back of a photo that prominently shows Cheatham:

cheatham_to_the_sky

 (Click to enlarge): Peck Morrison (???) and Doc Cheatham at the West End, N.Y.C., May 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger

 

Finally there are two photos showing a second trumpeter besides Doc Cheatham. There also glimpses of the drummer again.cheatham_and_2ndtp_wide

(Click to enlarge): Doc Cheatham and unidentified trumpeter at the West End, N.Y.C., May 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger

Unfortunately I have no idea about the second trumpet man’s identity – and he can not be heard on the eight tracks saved by Otto. If you do have any suggestions, please let me know. 

cheatham_and_2ndtp

(Click to enlarge): Doc Cheatham and unidentified trumpeter at the West End, N.Y.C., May 1980. Photo by Otto Flückiger

Finally here are Doc Cheatham and Band playing “Rosetta”:

Enjoy!

Cedric Im Brooks on Studio One

Posted in Reggae with tags , , , , , on November 8, 2014 by crownpropeller

Besides jazz, jump, jive, vintage r’n’b, gospel, Vinateg R’n’B and a little soul I also love rocksteady and reggae. And usually I refrain from coming up with some reggae on this here blog. But hey, it’s a very jazzy reggae coming up here!

Tenor saxophonist Cedric “Im” Brooks (1940–2013) was a member of Clement “Coxsone Downbeat” Dodd’s Studio One house band The Sound Dimension which played on many a jamaican hit record in the early 1970s.  Later Brooks together with legendary rastafari-drummer Count Ossie founded the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, a group that mixed Rastafarian chants, Nyabinghi drumming and jazzy licks.  In the mid seventies Brooks founded The Mystic Light Of Saba, a group that added  more jazz and funk to the reggae based melange. Many soul/funk DJs carry a MROR record in their bag.

I got to know Brook’s music after my friend Hubi lend me his copy of Brook’s only Studio One LP about five or six years ago.

ff

Well the first track was very nice. But when the second track started, I knew I had to get this LP for myself. Listen to “Give Rasta Glory”:

The third track was a beautiful rendition of the Abyssinians classic “Declaration Of Rights” called “Father Forgive”. B E A U T I F U L! I had heard enough and gave Hubi the LP back – and started to be on the look out for it.

And some two or three years later I could buy a copy at some record fair. Bad surprise when I came home: No “Father Forgive” here! In it’s place another track is repeated. Still a nice LP though.

Then i found the wonderful Downbeat Special pages, where I learned that my copy is a later press, missing “Father Forgive”, doubling the track “Free Man” and adding two tracks (“Right Down Rasta” and “Sister Enid”).

Now last week I saw another copy of “Fast Forward” at a local record store. So i dropped the needle and the third track was indeed “Father Forgive”, Yippieh!

This, the original jamaican pressing, was released in 1977 in an extreme split stereo – but it could have been recorded at anytime between 1977 and 1970, Brooks is improvising over classic Studio One Riddims. The rerelease with the two additional tracks is from 1989. And the added tracks sound slightly newer,  though “Sister Enid” was already mentioned on the sleeve of the first pressing (Neither sleeves nor labels of both pressings are right about what’s really to be heard, funnily they are wrong in different ways. If you ever handled more than half a dozen jamaican LPs you stop carrying for titles and just enjoy the music. “Right Down Rasta” btw is a version of Junior Byles’/Lee Perry’s “Beat Down Babylon”Y.

You can distinguish the different pressings of the LP by the colors of the title on the front cover. The one pictured above is the 1989 pressing, on the earlier pressings the letters are not orange but have the same red that appears on the rest of the cover.

Anyway, if you have this LP you probably do not have both pressings, so you are either missing “Father Forgive” or – if you have the first press – “Right On Rasta” and “Sister Enid”.

Crown Propeller to the rescue!

Father Forgive:

Right On Rasta:

Sister Enid:

Enjoy!

Randy Weston / Tommy Flanagan in Bern 1991

Posted in clips, jazz, Randy Weston, Tommy Flanagan with tags , , , , , , , on November 2, 2014 by crownpropeller

Bildschirmfoto 2014-11-02 um 14.19.45Randy Weston in Bern, 1991

Of course the jazz world always knew what it had and has in composer and pianist Randy Weston. Many of his compositions have become standards. Weston’s deep undesrstanding of african music led him to an unique way of connecting african rhythms to modern US hard bop that has proved very influential.

In 1989 Weston became quite popular also amongst the non-afficianodos, when Verve took him under contract and released a series of CDs that were welcomed by the non-specialist press. As if Weston hadn’t been making fine music all the time.

Anyway his relative popularity at the beginning of the nineties led to Weston being invited onto the european festival circus. In the vast archives of Otto Flückiger I found some 18.30 minutes of Randy Weston’s African Spirits with Weston (p), Alex Blake (b), Idris Muhammad (dr) and Eric Asante (perc) filmed at the Jazzfestival Bern in 1991.

There is a second clip from that day featuring a duet of Weston and piano master Tommy Flanagan who apparently was also appearing at the festival in another cotext. Beware though that the first two minutes of this video are quite embarassing. Why would they do this to artists? Neither Flangan nor Weston seems to be very happy about what seems to have been the festival’s organiser’s idea. They both make the impression of having been pushed into this. But then there is the beauty of the musing emerging from the hands of these two greats:

Enjoy!

Montreux Solo Piano: Ray Bryant / Andrew Hill

Posted in Andrew Hiill, clips, jazz, Ray Bryant with tags , , , , , , on October 16, 2014 by crownpropeller

rayshotRay Bryant in Montreux 1972.

hillshotAndrew Hill in Montreux 1975.

In the 1970s the Montreux Jazz Festival alwas presented at least one solo piano concert. For example in 1974 there were concerts by Earl Hines and by Cecil Taylor, which I did present here.  Since I noticed that that blog entry gathered some interest, I decided to look if there’s some more solo piano from Montreux in the vast collection of my late friend Otto Flückiger. And there is!

 

First from June 23, 1972, we have Ray Bryant’s appearance. At least parts of his set were released on this Atlantic LP

rblp

Since I do not own this LP, I can not tell you what parts of it are in the TV footage. Bothe the record and the video start with Gotta Travel On.

The other solo piano clip from Montreux I found comes from July 20, 1975. This concert by Andrew Hill also resulted in an LP:

ahlp

But again, I am not able to compare the contents, also because I do not know Hills 1970’s repertoire very good.

Enjoy!

Rex Stewart in Europe (1947/1948)

Posted in documents, jazz, Rex Stewart with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2014 by crownpropeller


 rexpic

Rex Stewart. Photo: Gottlieb

In Otto Flückiger’s collection I found some nice souvenirs from Rex Stewart’s late 1947 / early 1948 european concerts. The most beautiful item is a program from the Tabaris-Bar in Lausanne (in the french speaking part of Switzerland), probably from November 1947 or from spring 1948. It has been autographed by nearly everybody in the band: Rex, trombonist Sandy Williams, tenor sax man Vernon Story whose only claim to fame is his short stint with Stewart, pianist Don Gais and drummer Ted Curry. Missing is only the bassist (if indeed there was one).

rex_autographs

Back of autographed program for the Rex Stewart appearance at the Tabaris-Bar in Lausanne, late 1947 or early 1948. From the Otto Flückiger Collection

As you can see from the program’s inside, Rex Stewart “et son orchestre de couleur américain” were not the evening’s only attraction:

rex_innen

(Click to enlarge)

In fact the Tabaris’ management obviously thought more about Borrah Minevitch, as his picture is featured on the program’s front (Rex’s is on the back).

minevitch

The second item I found in relation to Rex Stewart’s european sojourn is another program – this time it’s (almost) only about Rex.

rexprog2

(Click to enlarge) Program for a Rex Stewart appearance in Switzerland, late 1947 or early 1948. From the Otto Flückiger Collection

“Almost” because there are also piano solos by Bernard Pfeiffer mentioned. The program was printed in Lausanne, so it might well be also from the Tabaris-Bar (maybe after Minevitch went out or before he came in?).

  largea

(Click to enlarge) Program for a Rex Stewart appearance in Switzerland, late 1947 or early 1948. From the Otto Flückiger Collection

What you can not really see on this scan is that the original owner of the program marked the pieces played that night and also added pieces that were played but not announced in the printed program. So the band played (in an unknown order of course) Georgia on My Mind, The Jeep Is Jumpin’, Boy Meets Horn, The Man I Love, The Mooche, Just Squeeze Me, Jazz Me Blues, Stompin’ At The Savoy, Body And Soul, Storyville, Honeysuckle Rose and – probably as closer – Goofin’ Off.

Of course you would like to know what that sounded like. There are no recordings from Lausanne although there are three dates from Basel (November 1947 as well as April 30 and May 5, 1948) in the standard discographies. I do not have these in my collection, instead I am offering you four tracks as recorded by Rex’s group in Paris in December 1947. First here is “The Man I Love” as recorded live at the Salle Pleyel on December 5:

And here’s the band three days later on a studio in Paris playing “Just Squeeze Me”:

From the same date comes Roy’s old feature number with Duke, “Boy Meets Horn”:

And finally here is Rex going with the times by offering “Be-bop Boogie”, which also offers a rare glimpse of tenor man Vernon Story:

Finally here is (part of) an enthusiastic though paternalistic review of one of Rex’s appearances probably from a swiss newspaper:

rex_ad

(Click to enlarge) Undated review of a Rex Stewart appearance, probably Switzerland, early 1948. From the Otto Flückiger Collection

Whereas Rex had used John Harris on clarinet and alto in Paris, this review mentions alto saxophonist George Kennedy and makes a point of him being the only white guy in the band. That again points to indeed no bassist playing at least on the evening which was reviewed here.

Enjoy!

McCoy Tyner with Hubbard, Henderson, Scofield (1986)

Posted in clips, Freddie Hubbard, jazz, McCoy Tyner with tags , , , , , , , on October 7, 2014 by crownpropeller

tyner_umbriaMcCoy Tyner in Umbria, 1986

After this, this and this post, I was sure that I had digitized all of the McCoy Tyner videos I could find in Otto Flückiger’s VHS collection. But I was wrong. Because recently I found two 1986 TV broadcasts featuring a Tyner band with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, John Scofield,  Louis Hayes and Avery Sharpe.

So here to definitely close the series of Tyner clips up are nearly 30 minutes of the band at the Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland on July 14, 1986:

And here, from a  day later, is almost an hour of the same group at the Jazz Festival in Umbria, Italy, on July 15, 1986.

Enjoy!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 145 other followers