Archive for Cecil Payne

“Battle Of The Big Horns”: Payne / Cuber / Brignola / Johnson

Posted in Cecil Payne, clips, jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2013 by crownpropeller

I was hesitating to put these clips up on youtube, since they have a severe tracking problem that could not be resolved. Then again who can resist the massive sound of three or even four baritone saxophonist played in line? I can’t.  And the tracking problem, although it never altogether disappears, gets better after a while.

Apparently the people behind the Berlin Jazz Festival could not come up with a more imaginative title when they invited Cecil Payne, Nick Brignola and Ronnie Cuber in 1985 to do a “Battle Of The Big Horns”.  Of course this is not about a “Battle”, but about the opportunity to listen to three very fine exponents of the baritone saxophone at great length. So here are: Nick Brignola, Cecil Payne, Ronnie Cuber (bar); Junior Mance (p); Rufus Reid (b); Walter Bolden (dr) Ray Barretto (congas) in Berlin on November 1, 1985:

The second part sees Howard Johnson added to the baritone front line:


P.S.: Now I know where a part of this clip comes from.

Cecil Payne – a little portrait

Posted in Cecil Payne, clips, jazz with tags , , on December 30, 2011 by crownpropeller

From time to time my friend Otto experimented a little bit with his semi-professional equipment to produce little video clips from footage in his archive. The clips he produced often were charming little  portraits of musicians he liked. Around the late 1980s he made a short portrait of baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne that I thought would be nice to present here.

The clip is based on a (professionally filmed) solo by Payne of which I do not know the original source. The footage of Payne with Lionel Hampton in 1964 is from this clip, filmed by Otto himself, whereas the source for the 1979 footage is unidentified again.


Memories of a Lionel Hampton concert (1964)

Posted in Cecil Payne, clips, jazz, Lionel Hampton with tags , , , , on December 28, 2011 by crownpropeller

From the late 1950s on – as soon as he could afford the equipment –  my friend Otto carried a camera when he went to a concert. Some of his early clips survive, most of them are silent though. One exception is the footage from a concert concert that Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra gave on July 24, 1964 at the Casino in the small french town of Divonne-les-Bains, 17 kilometers from Geneva on the other side of the swiss-french border.
On this occasion Otto filmed a part of the concert and had a tape machine running at the same time. Someone also took photos to which Otto had access – or maybe he made them himself. The clip I am presenting you here is a version that Otto himself edited sometime in the late 1980s. So fasten your seat belts and start the time machine full throttle. Be spiraled through the – sort of yellowish – mists of time and wake up in a little concert hall, where the Hampton band plays “Broadway”.  And look there: Cecil Payne gets some bars, and so does trumpeter Martin Banks!


Cecil Payne on Decca: Angel Child

Posted in 78 rpm, Cecil Payne, documents, jazz, R'n'B with tags , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2011 by crownpropeller

After reading my entry on Cecil Payne’s Hippy Dippy, Dani Gugolz has sent me this ultra rare photo of  Brownie McGhee (left) and Cecil Payne at the club Jazzland in Vienna, Austria:

Brownie McGhee and Cecil Payne at "Jazzland", Vienna 197X

(click to enlarge)

Thanks, Dani! The photographer of this shot from an unknown date in the mid-seventies is not identified. Brownie McGhee recorded with Cecil Payne on Payne’s second session for Decca on November 25, 1949. Here McGhee was named “Henry Johnson”, a pseudonym he used at different times in his career. The full band:

Leonard Hawkins (tp), Cecil Payne (as, bar, ldr), Ray Abrams (ts), Billy Taylor (p), John Simmons (b), Joe Harris (dr), Brownie McGhee (“Henry Johnson”) (voc).

McGhee sang on two tracks, the mock sermon The Worst Is Yet To Come and the slow blues Angel Child, on which Cecil Payne plays alto sax. You can hear Angel Child here:

Cecil Payne / Brownie McGhee: Angel Child (1949)

The music is taken from an original 78 rpm copy of Decca 48127 from the Otto Flückiger Collection. Dani has also send me a better version, but it’s on my other computer right now. But this one sounds fine enough, i think. Enjoy!

Cecil Payne on Decca: Hippy Dippy

Posted in 78 rpm, Cecil Payne, clips, R'n'B with tags , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2011 by crownpropeller

Cecil Payne (dec 14, 1922 – nov 27, 2007) broke through with Dizzy Gillespie’s big band (1946–1949, see photo above). In the fifties he became one of the best known baritone saxophonists of the hard bop movement. Not nearly as famous as his work with Gillespie and his later efforts – for example with Randy Weston – are the eight sides of jazzy r’n’b Payne recorded with a septet in june and november 1949.

Here’s one of them: “Hippy Dippy” from Decca 48114 recorded june 21, 1949.

The band consists of: Cecil Payne (bars), Bruce Hinkson (ts), Irvin Stokes (t), Billy Kyle (p), Franklin Skeete (b), Heyward Jackson (dr).

This is what Billboard had to say (sept. 24, 1949):

“One of those tenor-bary sax groan-and-moan deals with a big beat and some fresh themes.”

It may be “one of those”, but I like it. Enjoy!