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Gavin Walker's "The Jazz Show" - January features
Gavin Walker's "The Jazz Show" is heard Mondays 9PM to midnight on CITR 101.9 FM and online. Each show features an entire album at 11PM.
The 11:00PM Jazz Features this month:
January 2: Charles Mingus. “Mingus Dynasty”.
January 9: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. “The Jazz Messengers ‘70”.
January 16: Benny Goodman and “The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert”.
January 23: Clark Terry Quintet. “Serenade to a Bus Seat”.
January 30: Walt Dickerson. “This is Walt Dickerson”.
Happy New Year to all or to paraphrase the late CBC icon Bob Smith.....Happy New Year to Jazz fans everywhere. The Jazz Show kicks off 2006 with a classic from bassist/composer Charles Mingus called “Mingus Dynasty”. Mingus in 1959 was finally being accepted and acknowledged as a force in Jazz to be reckoned with and Mingus Dynasty was the follow-up album on Columbia of what was his most successful recording artistically and commercially “Mingus A....UM”. Both of these recordings had major label distribution and in 1959 Charles was the “toast of the town” in New York. Dynasty like A...UM was made in two separate sessions in November 1959 and the basic band or working band was augmented by several players for an expanded sound on the November 1st date. Richard Williams on trumpet, John Handy on alto saxophone, Booker Ervin on tenor saxophone and Jimmy Knepper on trombone, made up the front line and new recruit Roland Hanna on piano, Mingus on bass and Dannie Richmond on drums were the regulars. Dutch pianist Nico Buninck (the first European musician to work with Mingus) replaces Hanna on one tune. Filling out the ensemble (Mingus wanted more but Columbia nixed that due to budget constraints) were Benny Golson on tenor saxophone, Jerome Richardson on flute. clarinet and baritone saxophone and Mingus’ buddy Teddy Charles on vibes. The sound is wonderful and dense and approaches a big band sound that Mingus wanted. Several new pieces are added to the Mingus repertoire with one of the highlights being a work dedicated to his dear friend artist Farwell Taylor called “Far Wells, Mill Valley”.....a major Mingus work.
The second session on November 13 was done with his basic group with Don Ellis replacing Richard Williams on trumpet. Two cellos were added on two tunes but only really audible on one selection. Charles Mingus was in 1959 fulfilling his musical destiny and although Mingus Dynasty was not as consistent as Mingus....A...UM as one critic put it.....”in Dynasty the highs are higher and the lows are a bit lower”. It is one of Mingus’ definitive recordings and an important musical milestone of one of the most provocative musicians in Jazz and a great way to kick of the new year!
“Jazz Messengers ‘70” Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers recorded in Japan while they were on tour. Drummer/leader Blakey leads an inspired crew through their paces on this disc which was the only album by this edition. Like all Blakey groups it swung like mad and it’s music was the core of jazz. Trumpeter Bill Hardman returns to the Messenger gold for the umpteenth time and continues his great playing and his stature as a sadly underrated voice on the horn. Panamanian-born Carlos Garnet has a high, urgent and passionate voice on the tenor saxophone coupled with an adventurous concept and cooks from bar one. Joanne Brakeen on piano is a significant player and also the first female to become a Messenger and a reliable Czech bassist with a big sound and enough drive to keep up with Blakey. His name is Jan Arnet. The repertoire is standard Blakey fare with interpretations of Bobby Timmons’ Moanin’, Benny Golson’s Blues March and Whisper Not and Hardman’s Politely. An original by Garnet called What the World Needs Now is Peace and Love (it was after all 1970), Wayne Shorter's’ arrangement of Arlen's’ It’s Only a Paper Moon and last but never least Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia. This band may not have been Blakey’s greatest but it sure burns and bops.
The Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall Concert was one of the most important events in Jazz history and tonight “The Jazz Show” goes back 68 years to recapture that historic night of January 16, 1938. This concert was held on a cold, snowy night but everyone who was anyone in New York City was there.....socialites, the rich, the poor – everyone had to be there! Benny Goodman was “The King of Swing” and at the peak of his popularity and it was also that magical moment in music history when jazz and popular music were one! So called “Jazz” had been played before at Carnegie but by Paul Whiteman’s band and although the musicianship was impeccable the jazz was ersatz.....Benny Goodman was the real deal with his great big band and his wonderful trio and quartet. Benny was also a pioneer in the integration of the races in jazz. He brought together Blacks and Caucasian players in major ballrooms and hotels and on the concert stage and featured the faces performing together. Blacks and whites had performed in small clubs and on the occasional recording date at this time but Goodman was the person who brought the integration to the fore and should be recognized for this accomplishment. The Goodman band, trio and quartet was presented plus a “History of Jazz” segment with guests from the Ellington and Basie bands and others plus a “jam session” was planned as well. These were very well received by all and provided an added dimension to this event. Everyone and all the groups were “up for” this concert and although the tapes and discs for this concert lay forgotten in Goodman’s attic for 12 years they were cleaned up and released on LP (a then new medium in 1950). The records became one of the best selling sets of all time. Tonight the Jazz Show returns you to that evening in early 1938. Goodman with Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, Harry James, Ziggy Elman, Lester Young, Count Basie, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney and everyone else in top form. This is a special feature and will start at 10:00 p.m. instead of 11:00 p.m. to get as much of this concert as possible.
Clark Terry (born in St. Louis, Missouri on December 14, 1920) to this day is one of the most easily recognizable voices on the trumpet and fluegelhorn. Terry is an icon and has played in every kind of jazz environment. At the time of our feature recording Terry was in the Ellington band (he was there from 1951 to 1959 and was frequently heard in an Ellington context. This recording called “Serenade to a Bus Seat” (inspired by his being on the road so much) is Terry in a “hard bop” context. Clark was not unfamiliar with the idiom as his style lends itself to any context but this album cooks in a way that puts Terry on the top of this style. His front line partner is a then young newcomer to New York’s jazz scene.....”The Chicago Fire” Johnny Griffin on tenor saxophone. Griff inspires Terry to some amazing playing all backed up by a classic boss rhythm section with Wynton Kelly on piano. Paul Chambers on bass and the phenomenal “Philly Joe” Jones on drums. This recording is a true classic and for many people who heard this album when it was released on the Riverside label in 1957 blew them away as they had no heard Clark in this context. It will blow you away also 49 years later!
“This is Walt Dickerson”. Walt Dickerson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1931 and is still alive today. Dickerson for his own reasons will not tell anyone his exact birthday (he says that he is ageless) is one of the foremost individual voices on the vibraphone. He had his own style from his first recording under his own name, which the Jazz Show is featuring tonight. It’s a style that owes nothing to Milt Jackson or Lionel Hampton. It is a hard, metallic style with very little vibrato yet Dickerson communicates warmth and swing. Unlike Jackson Walt’s style is devoid of blues tonality yet he plays great jazz. Dickerson has been called “the Coltrane of the vibes” because of his enormous technique and speed and sometimes a “sheets of sound” approach in his playing. Dickerson is a fine composer as well and all six originals by him are melodic and extremely unique. Walt lived in the L.A. area for a time in the late fifties and impressed Eric Dolphy who brought Wilt to the attention of Prestige (New Jazz) Records when he returned to New York. This fine debut recording is Walt’s working band with pianist Austin Crowe, bassist Bob Lewis, and the debut recording of somebody who would become one of the most influential drummers in jazz.....Andrew Cyrille. Dickerson deserves more recognition for forging a wonderfully unique style on a difficult and demanding instrument.....one hopes that he will be rediscovered and reenter the recording studies again. Meanwhile this debut record stands as one of his finest.
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