Ike Quebec at Dodo Greene’s My Hour of Need session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, April 2 1962 (photo by Francis Wolff)
Sonny Clark at Stanley Turrentine’s Stan “The Man” Turrentine session, NYC January 1960 (photo by Chuck Stewart)
Buddy DeFranco/Sonny Clark Quartet - Now’s The Time (1954)
Sonny Clark Obscurities, cont’d:
DeFranco, Clark and the gang absolutely scorch this Charlie Parker tune. DeFranco, in the liner notes to this essential Mosaic Records compendium, talks about the influence of “Bird”:
“Charlie Parker had, to me, the greatest swing feeling that there ever was, except he added to that the cerebral, the intellectual. And to me, it was the greatest combination of real swing feeling and the intellectual approach to playing jazz. I would say from the mid-Forties to the late Forties, my main influence was Charlie Parker.”
If Bird had the greatest swing feeling there ever was, DeFranco cannot be far behind. The breakneck tempo chosen here highlights his improvisational velocity and uncanny sense of swing. The results are astonishing.
Freddie Hubbard - Philly Mignon (1962)
Third and final post from this session, and maybe the most awe-inspiring, because Philly Joe Jones puts on a clinic. As one critic writes,
While Hubbard recorded with drummer Philly Joe Jones on a number of sessions, I think their chemistry was never as intensely pitched as on this session, particularly on the opening “Philly Mignon,” written by Hubbard for the fiery drummer. This is one of Philly Joe Jones’ supreme moments in the studio, and this CD deserves top-drawer billing for that alone. If you listened to “Body and Soul” first, then skip to “Philly Mignon,” where you’ll drop the cliche of the young Hubbard as all brassy confidence with brio to the brim, and instead hear a mature musical intelligence at work that is as questioning and questing, as conflicted as Lee Morgan’s.
The hardest of bops.
Freddie Hubbard - Father and Son (1962)
This cut is part of an ongoing exploration of unreleased gems from the Blue Note catalog. This session definitely ranks among the very best that Alfred Lion decided against releasing in its time. Heard now, it stands above many of the sessions that did see release in their time. I would love to find out why this one never did.
Dexter Gordon - (It Will Have To Do) Until The Real Thing Comes Along (1962)
Happy Sunday y’all. Both on the record GO and on this LP—recorded just two days apart—the musicianship and interplay continue to astonish. It’s hard not to consider these recordings something of a miracle of alchemy: when you get the right musicians, the right producer and engineer, the right time, and the right tunes…well, this is what you can get.
Grant Green - Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying (1963)
Great Grant Green solos, take 3
Count this LP among the many belatedly released titles from the Blue Note catalog worthy of more attention. This unreleased gem of a session is much sought after, probably because of the very fine vintage of playing throughout from these three musicians. Aces.
Freddie Hubbard - Body and Soul (1962)
“Philly Joe Jones and the Jazz Messengers,” ladies and gentlemen. Don’t miss Freddie Hubbard’s now-legendary interpretation of this jazz standard.
Grant Green - Miss Ann’s Tempo (1961)
Great Grant Green solos, take 2
“Baby Face” Willette recorded for a red-hot minute for Blue Note, but he was on fire at every session he recorded, and he definitely shared an incendiary connection with Grant Green, whose bluesy prestidigitation here is awe-inspiring.
Donald Byrd - Chant (1961)
A more famous vocal version of this song was recorded for Byrd’s groundbreaking A New Perspective, but in this straight-ahead quintet format, Byrd’s sparkling trumpet takes center stage. This recording is also an opportunity to appreciate the legendary hard bop symmetry of Byrd and Pepper Adams, who were into their fourth year of leading a quintet.