Archive for Big Band

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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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.


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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Cootie Williams with Cleanhead Vinson (1943)

Posted in clips, Cootie Williams, Duke Ellington, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, jazz with tags , , , , , , on January 20, 2012 by crownpropeller

Trumpeter Cootie Williams (July 10, 1911 – September 15, 1985) made his first recordings with pianist James P. Johnson in 1928. He rose to fame with Duke Ellington’s orchestra in which he played from 1929 to 1940. In the Ellington band Williams was renowned for his “jungle” style of playing with a lot of growls, he was also a master of the plunger mute. After a short stint with Benny Goodman, Williams formed his own band in 1941. This band that at different times had sideman like Bud Powell, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, Eddie Lockjaw Davis and Eddie Johnson in its rank. From the mid fourties on his band turned more toward jump and  rhythm ‘n’ blues.

From Chicago Defender, July 17, 1943.
Taken from Franz Hoffmanns “Jazz Advertised”.
Note “Eddie Vincent”, who is of course
Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson.

On one of Otto Flückiger’s old VHS cassettes I found a six minute clip by Cootie and his Orchestra which I am presenting you here. It was filmed in New York, in mid June, 1943. Originally this was released as Columbia Pictures film “Film Vodvil” (series 1, release no. 2). According to Mark Cantor (via Tom Lord) the on-screen personnel is also heard on the soundtrack:

Cootie Williams, Louis Bacon, Ermit V. Perry, Frank “Fat Man” Humphries (tp) Ed Burke, Bob Horton (tb) prob. Jonas Walker (tb) Charles Holmes (as) Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson (as,vcl) Sam “The Man” Taylor, Lee Pope (ts) Greely Walton (bar) Fletcher Smith (p) Norman Keenan (b) George “Butch” Ballard (d) Laurel Watson (vcl) Douglas Brothers (tap dancing-1) Lindy Hoppers (dancing-2) [ Leon James (dancing-2) & Dottie Mae Johnson (dancing-2) , Russell Williams (dancing-2) & Connie Hill (dancing-2) ]

The band is playing:

• Let’s keep on jumping/Get hep
• unidentified tune (1)
• Giddap mule
• Let’s keep on jumping (2)