Archive for Howard Johnson

“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.

The Abdul Wadud Ensemble at Studio WIS, 1980

Posted in Abdul Wadud, clips, jazz with tags , , , , , on June 16, 2012 by crownpropeller

Studio WIS in N.Y.C. was a loft in N.Y.C. run by percussionist Warren Smith (born 1932) in the seventies and eighties. My friend Otto knew Smith a little and so on his trip to N.Y.C in 1980 he went to the Studio WIS on April 5, 1980 to see what was happening there. On the program that night was an ensemble led by cellist Abdul Wadud  (born 1937). As always, Otto recorded the proceedings and took photos. A 90 minute tape from this performance exists, but most of it consists of everybody working out on percussion instruments. I decided to take one of the few parts that are a little more interesting musically  and make a little movie from the photos. From these shots I can only identify three people: Abdul Wadud, tuba player Howard Johnson and percussionist Warren Smith. If someone can identify the other people involved, please let me know.