Archive for Ed “Tiger” Lewis

Percy France Sextet at the West End, 1980

Posted in Bo Diddley, documents, Ed "Tiger" Lewis, Percy France, West End with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2014 by crownpropeller

UPDATE: The trumpeter on the photographs is not Ed “Tiger” Lewis, but probably Francis Williams (thanks, Peter Vacher)! So photos and music are not from the same session. This blog post has been entirely rewritten.


Percy France at the West End, N.Y.C., Spring 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger

As you may remember, in this post I suspected that Doc Cheatham might have been the trumpeter with the Percy France Sextet at the West End in NYC on May 23 and 24 1980 (France played in Cheatham’s group on May 21 and 22). I thought so because it looks like Phil Schaap who was doing the programmation at the West End employed a rather small circle of veterans.

But I found some  audio from either May 23 or 24. My friend the late Otto Flückiger taped enough music to fill two CDs of which I just found one. So on these two dates the Percy France Sextet consisted of France (ts), Ed “Tiger” Lewis (tp), Chris Flory (eg), John Ore (b), Samie “Sticks” Evans (dr). On some tracks they were joined by pianist Sonny Donaldson.

The CD I found carries the subtitle “Vol. 2” I am sure to find volume 1 one day. The band’s repertoire unfortunately is a little restricted, parts of the set list read like a tourist’s requests dream list.

– I’ll Remember April

– St. Thomas

– Tenderly

– Night Train

– Red Top

– C Jam Blues

– Honky Tonk

So they must have played “Satin Doll” in the first set right?

In fact there is no reason to be cynical. It’s not easy at all to get something fresh sounding out of those old horses after playing them each night for years. And these men succeed as recorded evidence shows.

So for your pleasure (sorry, sound quality is not really that good), here is the Percy France Sextet playing “Tenderly” at the West End, May 23 or 24, 1980.




I also found photos of another gig by a Percy France group at the West End, which also must be from spring 1980. Peter Vacher thinks the trumpeter is Francis Williams:

tiger_lewisProbably Francis Williams at the West End,
N.Y.C., spring 1980. Who is the drummer
visible on the right? Photo by Otto Flückiger

percy_france2Percy France at the West End, N.Y.C., Spring 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger

Then there is a nice a shot of the bassist. Is this John Ore?possibly_john_oreUnidentified bassist at the West End, N.Y.C., Spring 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger

… as well as a nice one of  prob. Francis Williams  and Percy France.

tiger_percyFrancis Williams (?) and Percy France
at the West End, N.Y.C.,
Spring 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger



Ed “Tiger” Lewis at the West End, 1980

Posted in documents, Ed "Tiger" Lewis, West End with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2012 by crownpropeller

When he was in New York City in 1980 my friend the jazz researcher Otto Flückiger naturally made his round through the clubs to enjoy jazz of all kinds. So he got too see and hear Sam River’s Rivbea Orchestra, Panama Francis’ Savoy Sultans, Woody Shaw with Wynton Marsalis, a George Coleman group – and lots more. On April 6, 1980 he went to the West End at Broadway near Columbia to hear the band of veteran trumpet player Ed “Tiger” Lewis:

Donald Jordan (p), Ed “Tiger” Lewis (tp), Harold Cumberbatch (bars) and
Sir John Godfrey (dr) at the West End, April 6, 1980.
Photo by Otto Flückiger (click to enlarge)

This evening is remarkable in that Otto took quite a few photos, when usually he only made three or four (photography was a costly thing then). I thought it would be nice to present these photos here. Since Otto also recorded the band, I am adding some sound to add to your pleasure. Here’s the Ed “Tiger” Lewis Quintet playing Charlie Parker’s Confirmation at the West End in N.Y.C. on April 6, 1980:


So now for the other photos:

First two close-ups of drummer Sir John Godfrey:

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