All that's jazz... and more

During his tragically short life Gary McFarland became one of the most important jazz orchestrators and arrangers of his generation. Born on 23 October in 1933, it was while he was in the army that he became interested in jazz and after flirting with the trumpet and piano he settled on the vibes and when he left the military he got a scholarship to Berklee School of Music where he lasted just one semester.

Among his first assignments was for the Gerry Mulligan in July 1961 when he worked on the Verve album, Gerry Mulligan And The Concert Jazz Band Present A Concert In Jazz as an arranger. In October he was billed as The Gary McFarland Orchestra on the fabulous album, Anita O’Day – All The Sad Young Men. The following month he was given the chance to record as Gary McFarland and His Orchestra for a jazz take on the music from the Broadway musical, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. He was 28 years old.

In 1962 Bob Brookmeyer employed his talents as a vibes player on the trombonist’s album, Trombone Jazz Samba. But it was in August that Gary achieved his commercial breakthrough when he recorded Big Band Bossa Nova with Stan Getz. With all things Brazilian being all the rage there was a plethora of albums jumping on the bossa bandwagon, but this album stands out as one of he finest, not least because of McFarland’s arrangements but also because of Stan the Man and the other fine NY session men that included Clark Terry on flugelhorn, Hank Jones on piano, Jim Hall on guitar and trumpeter Doc Severinsen.

In early 1963 Gary reached what some consider to be the pinnacle of his achievements as a composer and arranger on an album simply called, The Gary McFarland Orchestra/Special Guest Soloist: Bill Evans. If you’ve never heard this record it is well worth seeking out. It’s like a score for an unmade movie, only it’s better than that. It’s evocative, musically sublime and stands repeated listenings.

In 1964, shortly after staging his ballet, Reflections in the Park, Gary recorded Soft Samba for Verve that included some of the earliest orchestral covers of Beatles tunes – this, remember, was just a few months after their groundbreaking appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. The album proved a big seller, but it came at a price. Many in the jazz community dismissed it as a travesty and it harshly affected Gary’s reputation for his earlier achievements.

On the positive side the success of Soft Samba allowed Gary to put a band on the road that included, guitarist Gabor Szabo, saxophonist, Sadao Watanabe, bass player, Eddie Gomez and drummer Joe Cocuzzo. They toured American clubs during the summer of 1965 and recorded another album in the same vein as Soft Samba.

In 1966 he returned to arranging for large scale orchestras and recorded an album called, Profiles, which featured Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, Zoot Sims, Phil Woods and Gabor Szabo. He did an album with Szabo of Beatles covers, the soundtrack for a David Niven film and wrote and arranged The October Suite for pianist Steve Kuhn. He also recorded Waiting Game for impulse, which featured saxophonist Zoot Sims with strings.

In 1968 McFarland, Szabo and vibe player Cal Tjader formed Skye Recordings and all three recorded for the company while McFarland acted as A & R man. By 1971 Gary was working on Broadway and film work when he tragically died. On 2 November he and a friend were in a New York bar when Gary drank a cocktail laced with liquid methadone. He suffered a fatal heart attack and was declared dead when he reached hospital.

It really is a case of what if? He was one of the most talented arrangers and composers of his generation and was just 38 when he died.

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Michael Burke October 23rd at 3:12pm

The album with Bill Evans, which I bought in London on the night JFK was assassinated, has long been a favorite of mine over the years. I turn to it constantly. It has a way of calming and soothing me, that much of the other Jazz I listen to, Blakey, Miles, Monk, Mingus, etc does not. It's a treasure! Didn't know how McFarland died...absolutely shocking. Did they ever find out who or how his drink was poisoned?

Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane
A sometimes overlooked album by both Coltrane aficionados and fans of Kenny Burrell, this record, from 7 March 1958 was first released in 1967 and given that it was cut Rudy Van Gelder’s studio it has all the hallmark’s of his recording technique. Aside from ‘Trane and Burrell it features Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums), and Tommy Flanagan (piano). It was originally released as Kenny Burrell Quintet With John Coltrane on Prestige it was reissued on Original Jazz Classics as Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane.

The five cuts are excellent and include two Flanagan compositions, two standards from the Great American Songbook, and a Kenny Burrell original. Flanagan’s ‘Freight Trane’ opens things up with Coltrane and Burrell immediately to the fore as you would expect. Burrell, especially, is on top form and both Chambers and Coltane respond in kind; interestingly two halves of this track were released on a Prestige 45 – the heady days of jazz singles.

The Gus Kahn and Ted Fio Rito standard ‘I Never Knew’ has Burrell’s fingers working over time with his playing more closely following the melody of the original before Coltrane takes things further afield. Burrell’s ‘Lyresto’ starts with Coltrane before moving to Burrell and then Flanagan takes over as the lead player. It’s a track chock full of ideas; it is one of the standout numbers on the album.

The beautiful, ‘Why Was I Born’ is sublime with Burrell and Coltrane creating an intimate reading of Hammerstein and Kern’s exquisite composition, made more so by the fact that the saxophone and guitar duet alone. It is perfection itself.

The absolute highlight of this recording is the fourteen minute long Flanagan tune, ‘Big Paul.’ Flanagan’s trademark stylish playing on the long intro sets the scene accompanied by Chambers and Cobb.

If this has passed you by, give it a listen; it will be 37 minutes well spent.

Listen on Spotify here

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Jazz The autobiography

If Jazz was to write it’s own autobiography what do you think would be chosen as the 100 tracks to tell this most incredible life story? Of course it’s not possible to tell the whole story as in the early days in New Orleans there was no recordings made. It was not until 1917 when the Original Dixieland Jass Band (that’s what it says on the 78rpm shellac disc) cut the very first jazz record in New York that we are able to begin the life story of jazz through recordings.

We have tackled the task of selecting the tracks in what is inevitably an arbitrary fashion. Some recordings just have to be there, while others represent a degree of subjectivity. From those very early days we have also included King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton (who said he invented jazz) and Bix Beiderbecke.

By the 1930s the rise of the big bands, both black and white turned jazz into Pop.  Duke Ellington at  The Cotton Club was the talk of New York City, Chick Webb was ‘Stompin’ At The Savoy’, and there was Fletcher Henderson, Coleman Hawkins, Spike Hughes who worked with Benny Carter, Count Basie and Benny Goodman. Billie Holiday arrived on the scene and changed everything.

In 1939 Blue Note Records was launched, there was Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli playing their distinctive jazz with a French accent, while Charlie Christian become the first guitar god and Lionel Hampton was playing some exciting sounds. Be-bop arrived with bird and Diz, Mary Lou Williams was one of the 1940s overlooked innovators and Louis Armstrong made a comeback. Norman Granz founded Jazz at the Philharmonic, fell in love with Ella’s voice and started a record label half a decade later for her to reinvent jazz singing.

There was  the Birth of the Cool with Miles, and the genius of Bouncin’ Bud Powell was unquestioned. Pres having made his name in the 1930s and carried on after the war and Brownie came along and was hailed as the young pretender only to be snatched from us so cruelly..  Ben Webster joined Pres and the Hawk as the third of the big 3 tenors.. 

Erroll Garner gave a ‘Concert by the sea’, the Modern Jazz Quartet paid homage to Django and Chet Baker was the epitome of cool. Ella and Louis together and apart made jazz singing seem effortless – it was jazz with Verve. Billie in the twilight of her career, and sadly her life, still had it and if Bud was a genius, then so was Art.

In the 1950s new names jostled for attention, Sonny Rollins, Art Pepper, Art Blakey, Cannonball (who needs a surname with a Christian name like that?), Brubeck, ‘Trane, Mingus and Ornette (who needs no surname either) all had so much to say,

The 1960s meant a batch of new names, Freddie Hubbard, Hank Mobley, Jimmy Smith – a true revolutionary – and in  the tradition of Mr. Christian there was Wes Montgomery, along with Kenny B. and Grant Green, Gil Evans and his unrelated namesake Bill who both took jazz where it had never been before.

Getz and Gilberto with more than a little help from Astrud showed there was an awful lot of jazz in Brazil, much of which came from the pen of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Dexter Gordon didn’t need to go to Paris to record, but he did and the result was fantastiqué.

Jazz, always restless, always shifting was approaching fifty and showed no signs of resting on past glories as Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill, Don Cherry, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor and Wayne Shorter stretched the limits of it and our imagination. ‘Trane for many topped them all with ‘A Love Supreme’. There was and still is, the mercurial Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson created good vibes, The Chairman of The Board and the Count took jazz to Vegas and Miles took jazz to the ‘kids’ when he fused his ideas with a rock idiom – it was a ‘Bitches Brew’.

While some consider the 1970s to be the beginning of the end for jazz as we know it, the likes of Donald Byrd, Ronnie Laws, Weather Report, and Chick Corea engaged new audiences and a decade later the ‘sample’ was invented and it brought newcomers to church. In more recent years Jason Moran and Robert Glasper, together and apart, have created a new kind of jazz, along with Brian Blade, while Diana Krall, Cassandra Wilson and Kurt Elling all had one eye over their shoulder, they created a new kind of jazz. In 2014 Gregory Porter won a Grammy and brought untold new fans to jazz, and while there are some who may scoff and say they prefer what had gone previously we have to keep our spirit liquid.

A life in 100 tracks we said, but we’ve actually listed just 99 tracks. What track should we add to complete the story of jazz? Please tell us why you think your choice should make the cut. And we’re fully prepared for you to tell us that we’ve got the story completely wrong.

Anyway! This is our Jazz autobiography, tell us yours…

The Spotify track list is here

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Comments (3)

Kit Buckler October 10th at 11:36am

Fascinating, informative and an open door to help discover the joys of Jazz!

Sylk Blak October 11th at 2:50am

Add ''The Heebie Jeebies' by Sachmo. The scat is INCREDIBLE!

Sherrie Kober Evans October 11th at 3:15pm

What happened to Horace silver the man

The Big 3 Tenors

20th September, 2014
posted in: Jazz Greats

Big 3 Tenors

It was on this day in 1973 that Ben Webster passed away. Webster was one of the ‘Big Three Tenors’, along with the Hawk – Coleman Hawkins and The man they called Pres, Lester Young. These giants of the tenor sax did so much to influence just about everyone who followed them.

Ben Webster, nicknamed ‘The Brute’ played with striking rhythmic momentum with a rasping tone that added so much to both his own records and the numerous jazz greats he accompanied, from Billie and Ella to Duke Ellington and so many more during a career that spanned five decades.

Lester Young’s unique, cool style, intentionally playing high in the register on the tenor, set him apart from the majority of other saxophonists who had modelled themselves on Coleman Hawkins. Critic Benny Green described the difference, “Where Hawkins is profuse, Lester is pithy; where Hawkins is passionate, Lester is reflective.” Green also eloquently described how Young, in his view, above all other saxophonists, hear in his head exactly what he wanted to lay before he played it. His was head-jazz, but jazz played with a great deal of heart and passion.

Eleven days before he passed away in 1959 Pres recorded what became Lester Young in Paris; not his best playing by a long way, but fascinating that a man in his physical condition could ever perform. Norman Granz took out a full-page ad in Down Beat: a photo of Young under which was the simple dedication, “We’ll all miss you, Lester”.

And then there’s the Dean of Saxophonists – Hawk to his many fans. Coleman Hawkins did more than any other musician to establish the tenor sax. A suave and sophisticated player was the antithesis of what most people consider a jazz musician to be; although his love of drinking ensured he fulfilled that particular cliché. ‘Bean’ was a powerful, passionate and original tenor player who lived in London and toured Europe for five years during the 1930s, doing a great deal to spread the jazz word. Even Lester Young said, “As far as I’m concerned, I think Coleman Hawkins was the President first, right? As far as myself, I think I’m the second one.”

So who is the greatest of the Big 3 Tenors? And who are the challengers to their title? Our playlist may help you decide.


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Photographer Art Kane took the most wonderful photograph in jazz history – remarkable for many reasons. In features 57 of the best jazz musicians and the image has come to be called, ‘A Great Day In Harlem’.

Kane, a freelance photographer was on assignment for Esquire magazine, and took the picture at around 10 a.m. on 12 August 1958 at 17 East 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenue in Harlem. Esquire published the photo in its January 1959 issue. In 1994 a TV documentary was made as to how this incredible photo came to be taken, one that Quincy Jones calls, “An astonishing photograph.”

What makes this photo so extraordinary is that it was Art Kane’s first photo shoot; he was an art director for various New York magazines. He was given the chance and it was Kane’s idea to take the photo in Harlem, a risk on many levels, not least trying to get everyone together in one place at 10 a.m. in the morning. As Kane said, he had no studio, so he had no choice. Gerry Mulligan didn’t believe anyone would show up…it was way too early.

Of the 57 musicians featured only two remain alive – Sonny Rollins and Benny Golson.
Full list of musicians in the photo

Full List of Musicians: Hilton Jefferson, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Wilbur Ware, Art Blakey, Chubby Jackson, Johnny Griffin, Dickie Wells, Buck Clayton, Taft Jordan, Zutty Singleton, Red Allen, Tyree Glenn, Miff Molo, Sonny Greer, Jay C. Higginbotham, Jimmy Jones, Charles Mingus, Jo Jones, Gene Krupa, Max Kaminsky, George Wettling, Bud Freeman, Pee Wee Russell, Ernie Wilkins, Buster Bailey, Osie Johnson, Gigi Gryce, Hank Jones, Eddie Locke, Horace Silver, Luckey Roberts, Maxine Sullivan, Jimmy Rushing, Joe Thomas, Scoville Browne, Stuff Smith, Bill Crump, Coleman Hawkins, Rudy Powell, Oscar Pettiford, Sahib Shihab , Marian McPartland, Sonny Rollins, Lawrence Brown, Mary Lou Williams, Emmett Berry, Thelonious Monk, Vic Dickenson, Milt Hinton, Lester Young, Rex Stewart, J.C. Heard, Gerry Mulligan, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie

Part 1 of the documentary…it’s a must see

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ron leigh August 12th at 3:51pm

It's a fantastic photograph. I have a 24 x 36 copy framed and hanging in my rec room. Love it.

Julian Edwin ‘Cannonball’ Adderley passed away on 8 August 1975, the victim of a stroke, he was 46 years old. What better way to remember him than through his music. He recorded this classic in March 1958

Of course he had a little help from Miles Davis.

“Here’s one of the outstanding jazz sets released in the past few months and perhaps one of the best of the year. It features some truly fine, sensitive trumpet work by Miles Davis, and at times, some of the best work yet waxed by Cannonball Adderley. Both ‘Autumn Leaves’ and ‘Love for Sale’ are handed superb treatments by Davis, and Adderley shines with his solo on ‘Dancing in the Dark.’ An album that will be important to all jazz fans.” Billboard 20 October 1958 

Almost four years to the day since he last recorded for Blue Note, Miles Davis was back in the studio to cut another album for the label, but not as a leader. The band was led by twenty-nine-year-old Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley – and what a band it is. Adderley was a member of Davis’s Sextet at the time of this recording, and the following year the saxophonist appeared on the seminal Kind of Blue. The feel of this album is something akin to a dry-run for what followed, and everyone with a love of jazz should own it.

The principal difference between this album and Kind of Blue is that Somethin’ Else has three tracks that are re-workings of standards – apparently chosen by Davis – which enhances the feeling of extreme comfort that each and every track exudes. Of the two original numbers, Miles composed the title track while ‘One For Daddy-O’ was a joint creation by pianist Jones and Adderley’s cornet-playing brother, Nat.

Throughout much of the album, Adderley and Davis seem to be engaged in their own private conversation, a conversation we are privileged to eavesdrop on. The stand-out track for most listeners is ‘Autumn Leaves’ and what’s so gratifying about this number and ‘Love For Sale’, is that neither song sounds like a straight rehash. It has been said that there is not ‘a rote moment’ on the album and both tracks prove the point. If you want to know what makes Adderley such a master, just listen to ‘Dancing In The Dark’; all it needs are strings and you’d swear it was Charlie Parker.

“For those not familiar with the latest in terminology, that the title number of the Miles Davis original, which also provided the name for this album, is a phrase of praise. And if I may add my personal evaluation, I should like to emphasize that Cannonball and Miles and the whole rhythm section and, indeed, the entire album certainly can be described emphatically as ‘somethin’ else’.” – Leonard Feather, original album liner notes

You can hear it here…


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Ruud March 9th at 3:04pm

One of the best!

Jeremy August 8th at 3:35pm

Always loved the way Autumn Leaves "comes back home" to finish. Classic album.

Valerie Bishop August 10th at 3:58am

I remember exactly where I was standing when I heard that Cannon had passed. I think of him often and will always miss him and Nat. thank goodness, they left us with so much great music. actually my Facebook profile page is a picture of me and Cannon in 1974 or thereabouts.

Tape boxes_edited-1

Most every fan is fascinated by the recording process – just how are great records created? How does the magic of the studio translate into a much-loved album? So often it is just the take that ends up on the record that survives a session, the rest of the unused material gets discarded. That’s what makes One Day in the Studio with Satchmo such fascinating listening; it also makes it a recording of great historical importance.

It was a session for the Verve album, Ella and Louis Again that took place fifty-seven years ago on 31 July1957 at Radio recorders in Los Angeles. It is full of moments that will make you smile, but it’s also full of the minutia of the recording process that makes this a unique moment in recording history. The session does not feature Ella Fitzgerald, but joining Louis Armstrong is the great Oscar Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis, Ray Brown on bass and drummer Louie Bellson. Together they run through numbers, make little errors and talk over how to get the perfect take – while we get to eavesdrop on the whole affair. None of these songs, except ‘Indiana’, Satchmo’s warm up routine, are numbers that Armstrong performed live with his All Stars during this period. He was going into the studio ‘cold’ and practicing the numbers with OP and the other guys to get them right for recording.

Interestingly it says on the tape box 1 August, but all available research says 31 July; possibly they started in the evening and ran over to the next day, or the tape box was written up the following day. Just another of life’s little mysteries…

A Day With Satchmo includes the final master takes, along with a few takes that have appeared on limited edition box sets and rare releases, but it also features music that has never appeared anywhere before. Louis Armstrong, the man who owned one of the first domestic tape recorders in America, would be proud to be embracing the digital age with this unique download only celebration of great jazz.

It’s available on iTunes US here

Available on iTunes for the rest of the world here

Indiana (warm-up) (On Satchmo Box set, Louis Armstrong Ambassador of Jazz)
Makin’ Whoopee – False Start (On Satchmo Box)
Makin’ Whoopee – False Start (On Satchmo Box)
Makin’ Whoopee – Take 1 – Complete Alternate Take (On Satchmo Box)
Makin’ Whoopee – Take 2 – Complete Alternate Take
Makin’ Whoopee – Take 3 – False Start
Makin’ Whoopee – Take 4 – Master Take (Ella and Louis Again)
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 1 – Long False Start (On Satchmo Box)
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 2 – False Start (On Satchmo Box)
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 3 – False Start (On Satchmo Box)
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 4 – Complete Alternate Take (On Satchmo Box)
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 5 – False Start
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 6 – False Start
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 7 – False Start
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 8 – Master Take (Ella and Louis Again)
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 9 – False Start (On Satchmo Box)
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 10 – False Start (On Satchmo Box)
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 11 – False Start (On Satchmo Box)
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 12 – False Start (On Satchmo Box)
I Get a Kick Out of You – Take 13 – Complete Alternate Take (On Satchmo Box)
Let’s Do It – Take 1 – False Starts (On Satchmo Box)
Let’s Do It – Take 2 – Long False Start (On Satchmo Box)
Let’s Do It – Take 3 – Complete Alternate Take (On Satchmo Box)
Let’s Do It – Take 4 – Master Take (Ella and Louis Again)
Willow Weep For Me – Take 1 – False Start (On Satchmo Box)
Willow Weep For Me – Take 2 – Complete Alternate Take
Willow Weep For Me – Take 3 – Long False Start
Willow Weep For Me – Take 4 – Complete Alternate Take (On Satchmo Box)
Willow Weep For Me – Take 5 – False Start
Willow Weep For Me – Take 6 – False Start
Willow Weep For Me – Take 7 – Master Take (Ella and Louis Again)


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Kenny Burrell
“Kenny Burrell that’s the sound I’m looking for.” – Jimi Hendrix

Born into a family of musicians in 1931, his versatility, disciplined approach, matched by exquisite phrasing, gave him the ability to convey differing moods like few other guitarists. He was a consummate sideman who was admired by all who worked with him and when he stepped out into the spotlight his understated, yet passionate, technique forced one to listen intently
He began playing guitar at the age of 12, frequenting the jazz clubs of his native Detroit while still in high school. By the time he was seventeen he was already an appreciated jazz artist in his hometown and after his graduation from university in 1955 he moved to New York City in 1956 and recorded with Billie Holiday for the album that became ‘Lady Sings the Blues’ on Clef and later on Verve. A few months later he recorded again with Lady Day in ‘Her Orchestra’ that included Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins and Chico Hamilton at Carnegie Hall.

Unusually, Burrell made his first appearance for Blue Note as a leader on the appropriately titled Introducing Kenny Burrell in 1956 – unusually, because most musicians played the role of a sideman before getting the opportunity to lead their own session. At that time he was still only 24 years old, having made his recording debut with Dizzy Gillespie’s band when still a teenager. Before his Blue Note debut he toured with Oscar Peterson’s trio – such was his talent.

His sessions were so numerous that just by concentrating on those for Verve artists he recorded with Illinois Jacquet in 1958, the following year with Blossom Dearie and in 1961 with Gary McFarland. It was in 1963 that Burrell got seriously busy with Verve sessions recording with Claus Ogerman and the Wynton Kelly Quartet, Johnny Hodges, Kai Winding and then with Jimmy Smith as part of his orchestra before a July session where he received co-billing with the organist on the album that was called ‘Blue Bash’. He even had a minor hit on the Billboard chart with ‘What’d I Say’. Before the year was out there were sessions as part of the Gil Evans Orchestra and with Stan Getz.

1964 was equally as busy with sessions for many of the same people as the previous year and it culminated in his own album, ‘Guitar Forms’ backed by the Gil Evans Orchestra. Among his 1965 sessions were several for the Jimmy Smith album, ‘Organ Grinder Swing’ and others for Astrud Gilberto. In 1966 he began work on the album that became ‘A Generation Ago Today’ which he finished in 1967 the year he recorded, ‘Blues -The Common Ground’. He recorded ‘Night Song’ in 1968 before he cut the wonderful ‘Asphalt Canyon Sweet’ in 1969, which perfectly illustrates just how good Kenny Burrell is, as a guitarist.

Besides those already mentioned he worked with John Coltrane, Gene Ammons, Bill Evans, Yusef Lateef, Sonny Rollins and Stanley Turrentine among a who’s who of late twentieth century jazz greats. Yet by the early 1970s, his interests turned more to the world of academia, yet he still continued to record and may well have worked on over two hundred albums. Kenny is the founder and director of the Jazz Studies Program at UCLA as well as President Emeritus of the Jazz Heritage Foundation.

If you want the perfect album to show the world that jazz and the blues are much more than ‘kissing cousins’, then ‘Midnight Blue’ is it. When B. B. King said, ‘Jazz is the big brother of the blues. If a guy’s playing blues he’s in high school. When he starts playing jazz it’s like going on to college,’ it’s tempting to think he might have had this album in mind. From the very first track, it’s clear why this album was so popular when it was released and has remained so ever since. It oozes early 1960s sophistication, like the soundtrack to a movie about love gone sour in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Nice!

It’s been called ‘as elegant a record as the label ever released’, and it’s impossible to disagree. From the opening of ‘Chittlins Con Carne’, highlighting Turrentine’s distant horn and Burrell’s answering guitar it is moodiness personified. With the exception of ‘Mule’, composed by Holley (Mule was his nickname) and the Andy Razaf and Don Redman standard, ‘Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You’, all the tunes are Burrell originals. The most personal and intimate is his solo guitar rendition of ‘Soul Lament’. Turrentine plays sweetly throughout, never dominating, always complementing. This was Holley and English’s first, and just about only, date for Blue Note.

Midnight Blue available in our Back To Blue vinyl series.


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Born this day – Johnny Hodges

25th July, 2014
posted in: Jazz Greats

Born 25 July 1907, Johnny Hodges has been described as a saxophonist that got a more beautiful sound from his instrument than any other, and it’s difficult to argue with that sentiment. For some his style has become dated, but Johnny’s music will never stop being beautiful – arguably some things just get better with age.

Check out our Johnny Hodges playlist here.

Check out our other story on Johnny Hodges here

Johnny Hodges
Pee Wee Russell,Johnny Hodges,Chu Barry


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New Blue Note 75 App

22nd July, 2014
posted in: Blue Note Blue Note

BN_CAN_YOU_DIG_IT_Don_1160 copy
Blue Note Records has been presenting The Finest In Jazz Since 1939, and now the label has introduced a unique, ground-breaking, app for everyone to explore the company’s rich catalogue of music in a new and innovative way. The Blue Note 75 app –exclusively for iPad – celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the legendary jazz label that is now available exclusively on the App Store. The app presents a new digital format that allows users to play Blue Note music they own in-app or directly purchase music including albums Mastered for iTunes available via Blue Note’s dedicated global iTunes destination:

Let Don Was, Blue Note’s President introduce you to the app on this exclusive video.

Additionally, for the first time, the Blue Note 75 app uniquely allows premium subscribers of music streaming services Spotify, Rdio and Deezer to stream Blue Note music from within the app itself. It will allow fans to approach Blue Note’s deep catalogue in multiple ways, including an interactive timeline of cover art flow which traces the label’s evolution from the early jazz of Sidney Bechet to the trailblazing bebop of Thelonious Monk, from Horace Silver’s quintessential hardbop through Ornette Coleman’s avant-garde flights, from Jimmy Smith’s grinding organ soul jazz leading to Donald Byrd’s funky R&B fusion and on into today’s modern explorations such as Robert Glasper’s unique blend of jazz with hip hop, and beyond jazz with eclectic artists ranging from Norah Jones to José James.

The Blue Note 75 app has a dedicated magazine-style story section tracking news, features and artist spotlights to connect fans directly with the music. The 100 essential Blue Note LPs chosen by Don Was to mark the 75th Anniversary will feature digitally in the app to coincide with their on-going release on vinyl. Once downloaded, Blue Note 75 app users will see the content of the curated app grow as the label continues to release new music and thrive into 2015 and beyond.

“Carrying on the great tradition of innovation at Blue Note, our new app for iPad takes the digital music experience deeper. The app has a wonderful vibe to it that draws you into the mystique of the music and offers endless hours of discovery whether you’re a new fan or a connoisseur of the label.” – Don Was

Listen to the legendary sounds
of Blue Note Music from: Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Curtis Fuller, John Coltrane, Jimmy Smith, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobely, Cannonball Adderley, Lou Donaldson, Clifford Brown, Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson & Jackie McLean

Get into Blue Note Groove with: Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, Alphonse Mouzon, Earl Klugh, Elvis Costello and The Roots, Takuya Kuroda, Ronnie Laws & Terence Blanchard

Enjoy new frontiers in Blue Note Music: Al Green, Gregory Porter, Amos Lee, Robert Glasper, Brian Blade, Jose James, Norah Jones, Wayne Shorter, Ambrose Akinmusire, Bobby Hutcherson, Cassandra Wilson, Jason Moran, Joe Lovano, Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis

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