hoist the jazz flag
[left to right} John Ore, Hank Mobley and Charles Tolliver jamming late night at Nica’s Cathouse circa mid 1960s
(photo by Pannonica de Koenigswarter, from the book Three Wishes)

[left to right} John Ore, Hank Mobley and Charles Tolliver jamming late night at Nica’s Cathouse circa mid 1960s

(photo by Pannonica de Koenigswarter, from the book Three Wishes)

259 plays

jackie mclean - action (sleeve art)

Jackie McLean - Wrong Handle (1964)

From Nat Hentoff’s original liner notes:

Wrong Handle is also by Tolliver. Originally it was written for a young lady. The relationship, however, didn’t work out, and so Tolliver changed the title from her name to the presently appropriate Wrong Handle. “Listen,” counsels Jackie, “to the very definite style Tolliver is getting as a ballad writer. The way I hear it, for example, there are dark colors in my mind when I listen to one of his ballads—purples, blacks, dark blues. No light greens or yellows.”

Like Moncur’s The Coaster, Green’s Idle Moments, and Hutcherson’s Mirrors, the early 60s “vibes” are employed here to great effect. This sound helped define an era of Blue Note recordings.

Charles Tolliver and Joe Farrell during the rehearsal for Andrew Hill’s Dance With Death session of October 11 1968 (photo by Francis Wolff)

Charles Tolliver and Joe Farrell during the rehearsal for Andrew Hill’s Dance With Death session of October 11 1968 (photo by Francis Wolff)

153 plays

horace silver - serenade to a soul sister (sleeve art)

Horace Silver - Serenade to a Soul Sister (1968)

From Horace Silver’s liner notes for the LP:

THE THEME of this record is love. Here you will find love music played by a group of musicians who have a certain empathy and love for each other and for people. From the music right down to the LP cover and the liner notes this is my production. The only thing I haven’t supervised is the pressing of this record which I leave in the capable hands of Blue Note. Rather than go into who played what solo on what track and how they played it, I would prefer to comment on the musicians first and then explain a little something about the compositions. 

This recording was done in two sessions. The first session included Stanley Turrentine, Charles Tolliver, Bob Cranshaw, and Mickely Roker. The songs recorded were Psychedelic Sally, Serenade To A Soul Sister, and Rain Dance. Stanley Turrentine is a giant on his instrument and the epitome of soul. It was a ball having him on the date. Charles Tolliver is one of the jazz world’s fine young trumpeters. Bob Cranshaw, who I call Mr. Instant Copp—because he not only plays so well but learns so fast, was a great asset to the date. Mickey Roker might also be called Mr. Instant Copp because he catches on so fast and gives you just what you want.

"Mr. Instant Copp."

Charles Tolliver during Jackie McLean’s Jacknife session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, September 24 1965 (photo by Francis Wolff)

Charles Tolliver during Jackie McLean’s Jacknife session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, September 24 1965 (photo by Francis Wolff)

58 plays

jackie mclean - jacknife (sleeve art)

Jackie McLean - Soft Blue (1965)

Similar to an earlier post highlighting the hard bop symbiosis of Jackie McLean and Lee Morgan lighting up the Englewood Cliffs studio, this recording introduces the great Jack DeJohnette to the Blue Note stable, and he provides a unique backbeat to this Morgan cut. The secret sauce on this recording, however, is the additional trumpet of Charles Tolliver, who together with Morgan and McLean, completes a memorable front line.

179 plays

album art - serenade to a soul sister

Horace Silver - Psychedelic Sally (1968)

This song gets my girl dancing, and that’s never a bad thing.

61 plays

charles tolliver - paper man (album art)

Charles Tolliver - Paper Man (1968)

Tolliver contributed mightily to a string of Jackie McLean LPs in the mid-60s (see It’s Time, Action, Jacknife) and he led a few gems himself. Herbie Hancock is in especially fine form here.