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JAZZ REVIEW

Gil Evan
John Lewis
Jas. P.Johnson
CONTEMPORARY'S year!
s o n ofiishelly manne
ISTHElQRNETTE. 1 gunn!!& his m e n w k f

QUESTION COLEMAN
fan* afofin*

- HIGH FIDELITY

O R N E T T E C O L E M A N B A R N E Y K E S S E L S H E L L Y M A N N E
amazed many critics and musicians who scored with a brilliant adaptation of Bizet's followed his first hit "Gunn" (M3560 &
believe he may "change the direction of "Carmen," the first modern jazz version of stereo S7025) album with "Son of the
jazz!" For his second CR album Ornette an opera. The poll-winning Kessel guitar Gunn." The TV material gets a free-blowing
and trumpeter Don Cherry are joined by is featured in an orchestral setting with treatment from Men: Joe Gordon, trumpet;
Shelly Manne, drums; and bassists Percy Andre Previn, Shelly Manne, Buddy Col- Richie Kamuca, tenor; Russ Freeman,
Heath (Side 1) and Red Mitchell (Side 2). lette, Victor Feldman, Joe Mondragon, etc. piano; Monty Budwig, bass; & Victor Feld-
M3569, stereo S7569. M3563, stereo S7563. man, vibes & marimba. M3566, stereo S7566.

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ART P E P P E R A N D R E P R E V I N S O N N Y ROLLINS
the alto star also plays tenor and clarinet made Ave albums for Contemporary includ- the "boss of the tenor" followed his suc-
on this album ol a dozen best-known mod- ing the first jazz "blowing" album with his cessful first CR album ("Way Out West,"
ern jazz classics arranged by Marty Paich. regular trio Red M i t c h e l l , bass; and C3530, stereo S7017) with "The Leaders." It
In this uniquely integrated album Pepper Frankie Capp, drums, after their tour of features him with Contemporary's top stars
& Co. play 12 compositions by Gillespie, U. S. Extra-length performances of four Shelly Manne, Hampton Hawes, Barney
Parker, Monk, Mulligan, Giuffre, Rollins, standards and two original Previn blues. Kessel, Leroy Vinnegar and Victor Feld-
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LETTERS
artistic appreciation, the highest level and oddly reminiscent of Time, the
of all and one which few non-artists magazine devoid of respect for any-
ever attain. I have been witnessing ail thing or anyone. Here is some more:
three levels in your magazine, and it's "(Edmond Hall) to begin with has
irritating. If I want comparisons, and nothing that could properly be called
bad ones at that, I can always buy an idea, much less an extended and
Metronome or Down Beat. cohesive series of thoughts... It may
If the reason you don't have more be that non-musicians with a taste for
jazz musicians writing for your maga- this period of jazz will find (the
zine is that you don't think there are album) relaxing, enjoyable listening. It
any who can write, or any who would is nothing more." (Guy Waterman, Oc-
like to write, you are badly mistaken. tober issue). This learned dissertation
I know at least a half dozen who would begins with some snide comments on
like to take a crack at it, myself in- Hall's qualifications as a leader and
cluded, if you would only ask them credits "Commodore" with giving him
But you'll have to ask them, they won't a date as a kind of pat on the head.
come to you. I know, because I won't That this is entirely erroneous is ob-
come to you and I'm a jazz musician. vious to anyone who looks up Hall in
Well, that's about all I have to say. Feathers' encyclopaedia, or knows
You've a great magazine when the about his distinguished career as a
players are writing in it, but when the leader, on and off records. But not
"journalists" and "reporters" get their all your readers are sceptics, or well
two cents in everything goes to hell. informed. And those readers are pre-
I could sign this but I'm not going to, cisely the ones ot whom you are re-
for in a way I feel like an idiot for sponsible.
writing it. The point is this: you are respected.
Unsigned You have set yourselves up as the
SENT FOR YOU YESTERDAY New York City arbiters of standards in jazz criticism.
You have the best magazine in the [We sincerely wish you had signed You are uncommited to advertisers
field, you must know it by now, and your name. Our experiences in trying and payola. You have prestige and,
you are contributing some very good to get musicians to contribute have ipso facto, authority. Your only busi-
things to the cause of jazz music. But often been discouraging. We are here ness is jazz. Jazz is the sine qua non
nevertheless this reader feels that you when you or any other musicians are of your being. But you are becoming
are not maintaining the critical stand- ready. Welcome. And thank you.] so concerned with problems of abstract
ards you implied in the first few issues. critical and artistic ideals that you are
The most remarkable things in your rapidly losing sight of the essential
publication were the record reviews by THE HEART HAS ITS REASONS factor in jazz: the living, breathing,
jazz musicians, and that was and re- Congratulations on your first birthday. working jazz musician who earns his
mains the sole reason I purchase your The Jazz Review is growing bigger and daily bread by performing jazz music,
magazine. However, in the last few better, and it looks like you are here all kinds of music, under all kinds of
issues there have been fewer and fewer to stay. No better jazz periodical has conditions. Some of us who love jazz
reviews by musicians and more and been produced in the U. S., so it find it strange indeed to see our col-
more inane comments by people who seems that no one could take objec- leagues lost in a desert of dehuman-
are not players themselves. Brook tion to the justly proud but duly ized abstractions. If that is your kick,
meyer. Bill Crow, Art Farmer, Cannon- modest words you had to say about by all means go ahead. But then you
ball, Dick Katz, and all the others are, yourselves; least of all to what seems are absolutely obligated to be ac-
in my personal opinion, the only ones to be the essence of your anniversary curate.
qualified to speak constructively. There message: " . . . they (the contributors) If you must put down Stuff Smith,
are two and perhaps three exceptions; too believe that jazz and the men who don't do so by imposing standards
namely, Zita Carno (who I happen to create it are important enough to be upon his playing which are alien to it.
know is a genius), Martin Williams, and treated with time and care. And hard- His objective happens to be that "hot"
Nat Hentoff. And even the two latter est of all, with real understanding." sound which Mr. Edey so disdains.
(if you will pardon me) are not really Amen, brothers. But now hear this: Mr. Waterman obviously is unacquaint-
qualified in the sense I am thinking of; "His singing is deeply offensive: cyni- ed with Edmond Hall's life and music,
however, they obviously do have bet- cal, unmusical performances based on which does not give him carte blanche
ter-than-average conception, and they the cheapest aspects of Louis' vocal to insult the man. Have your facts
can write with an acceptable under- style. His playing, while far more under control, please. Don't patron-
standing and sympathy, so I don't pleasant than his singing, leaves me ize musician or reader^ Leave the
mind hearing from them now and then. totally unmoved. His'technique is in- "extended and cohesive series of
But let's face it, some of these fellows adequate, his pitch is erratic . . . his thoughts" where they belong, which
just don't know what the hell they're vibrato is coarse and clumsy, a relic may be with Sonny Rollins, but not
talking about. If you want to under- of what some people in the entertain- with Ip reissues of 78 recordings. And
stand any truly spontaneous experience ment business used to think was a spare us such illegitimate value-judge-
such as jazz you can only do so by hot jazz sound." Why, that's Mr. Ma it- ments as "deeply offensive" and "cyni-
having the same experience yourself. land Edey talking about Stuff Smith. cal". If you know Stuff Smith, you'll
The creative process is not a learned Such writing represents no "real under- know how utterly laughable such as
thing, and countless hours of listening standing" of anything, least of all of sumptions are. I know I can't make
will sharpen your ear perhaps but will the purpose and legitimate tools of you care about such irrelevancies as
never make you a creative artist. I criticism. And while extreme, this Stuff's recent serious illness and his
don't know whether or not you're sample of prose is, alas, not unique. determined attempt to make a come-
aware of it, but there are three levels It is representative of an attitude back against many odds. But one can
of listening and appreciation-the lay- which has recently become quite noti- expect fairness. Ed Hall's forty years
man who hears nothing; the fellow who cable in The Jazz Review, an attitude of solid, dependable professional mu-
listens hard and really appreciates in which could be described as pseudo- sicianship are in and of themselves
his own limited way; and finally, the Olympian: snobbish, smugly omniscient worthy of respect, regardless of indi-

3
r
vidual taste. If you don't feel any as if one were morally superior and and is a legitimate topic for discus-
kinship with a performance, let some- judging from the knowledge that one sion. As for Buck Clayton and Dixie-
one else review the record, or at least is not, and that is a moral lesson we land, since Morgenstern is placing so
atate your position clearly. Personal all need to learn. high a premium on knowing the musi-
opinion disguised as "scientific" ob- However, enthusiasm is no protection cian personally, he might ask Buck
jectivity has done enough harm in our against smugness, even when that though he might not get a straight
century. enthusiasm is delivered with "style". answerwhether Buck enjoys playing
Further brief quotes: "And Armstrong A great deal of enthusiastic writing on Dixieland and whether Buck himself
and Gillespie are interesting musically, jazz from the 'thirties and 'forties considers Dixieland his forte. If (and I
sometimes despite their vaudeville." seems to me not only uninformative think this is Martin's thesis) Buck
(Martin Williams; no comment.) "John but, under the surface, patronizing plays Dixieland on occasion on records
Letman, an unimaginative edition of about jazz and jazzmen. It is easy to and in clubs primarily to stay alive
some of Roy Eldridge's less success- mistake an infatuated possessiveness economically, one can sympathize with
ful work." (Maitland Edey's dismissal for love in these matters. Possessive- the need, but no critic can substitute
of a deserving and competent musi- ness can kill. And how much can one understanding of economic motivations
cian on the basis of a few brief solos love what one little understands? Hav- for musical judgement.
on one recording. How about at least ing withstood so much enthusiasm, The essential misunderstanding of cri-
modifying with something like "on the jazz, I feel sure, can withstand on- ticism in Morgenstern's letter is the
basis of this performance"? '. . . such slaughts in print in which enthusiasm appalling sentence: "Such pronounce-
terrors as Buck Clayton also trying to is complemented by musical ears, ments may have an effect on a musi-
play Dixieland." (Martin Williams.) human intelligence, and critical precep- cian's livelihood." A critic's primary
Buck is currently playing for a living tion as well. When The Jazz Review responsibility is to his readers, and
at Condon's, and doing very nicely, can find such writing, it publishes it. he meets this responsibility by telling
thank you, with no terrors in evidence. Finally, a point which I do not think them exactly what he hears. If he is
Enough said. Such pronouncements is so incidental as it sounds. As I to temper his judgements for fear of
may have an effect on a musician's believe my context made clear, it was causing economic hardship, he be-
livelihood. That is why it is important out of an awesome admiration for comes not a critic but a press agent.
to think a little before making them. what Buck Clayton can do so beauti- The effect of criticism on a musician's
You are not much fairer to your own. fully that I said what I did of his livelihood has absolutely no bearing on
Sheldon Meyer's mis-labeled article Dixieland playing on that record. I how a critic should function. The
about some jazz books published in believe that to have done otherwise critic's job as a critic is to write about
the U. S. between 1935 and 1955, would have been implicitly insulting to the music. He becomes patronizing to
The Story of Jazz Books in America, the real value of his talent. In any the musician and dishonest with him-
1935-55, leaves out .among others, case, silence about it would seem to self and his audience if he allows non-
Finkelstein's Jazz: A People's Music, me no way to help find an audience musical considerations to affect his
The Jazz Record Book and Frontiers for whom he could fulfill the best judgement.
of Jazz; dismisses Really the Blues in that is in him. I agree that the books Morgenstern
one paragraph and contains this gem: Martin Williams cites deserve inclusion in any article
"(Panassie, Goffin and Ferguson were) on jazz book publishing in America,
a superior kind of jazz fan, and it is but I think it absurd to overlook the
to their credit that they aroused inter- I don't think any writer for this monthly fact that Panassie, Goffin and Fergu-
est in the serious study of jazz." is consciously aiming at making criti- son were not critics. Panassie is ex-
Won't you get off it, pleaseas Fats cism synonymous with "dehumanized ceptionally useful in his knowledge of
Waller put it. A man who has devoted abstractions." I do think that all of us blues singers and instrumentalists and
his entire life and resources to jazz are occasionally inconsistent in setting his background in the swing era; but
and it's creators is more than just a criteria for criticism and then in ful- the only times he comes close to cri-
fan, whatever you may think of his filling those definitions. I also think ticism are in his discussions of blues
opinions. Otis Ferguson was quite a Don Morgenstern is, in his letter, in- records. There too, he is more the
writer, better than any The Jazz Review consistent. informed amateur than a critic in the
has yet come up with. And who is For example: I agree with him that to sense in which our reviewers try to
Mr. Meyer? call Stuff Smith's vocalizing "cynical" function. Peripherally, I do not agree
I do not advocate uncritical accept- requires more "proof" (as it appears that Ferguson was quite the remark-
ance of every musician who can blow to the reviewer) than Mait Edey sup- able prose stylist he is claimed to
Note One. I only ask for perspective, plied. But does Morgenstern maintain have been. He was often brilliantly
respect, a little humility and above all, that talking about a performer's tech- evocative, but he was also often senti-
involvement. After all, if you write nique, pitch and vibrato is outside the mental and, unwittingly, quite patroniz-
about jazz you must have a conviction field of criticism? He can disagree with ing to the musicians.
that it is worthy of time and atten- Edey, and he may win if he has a Certainly love must be part of any
tion. And of a little love. In criticism better ear, but Edey is certainly within aspect of criticism, but infatuation is
as in medicine, dissecting is only the his rights as a critic to describe what not love, and the more one under-
foundation for mending and joining, he hears. Similarly, although I happen stands what one loves, the more
and it is not performed on the living to agree with Morgenstern that Ed Hall honest and giving that love is. Too
organism. Keep in mind that we are is an important musician. Waterman much of the past and a considerable
servants, not judges. is within his rights to say, according amount of the present writing on jazz
The best of luck and a long life to to his standards, that Hall's concep- reflects a "crush", hardly a love affair.
The Jazz Review. tion is seriously lacking. This is not Interestingly, it is usually those who
Dan Morgenstern ad hominen or dehumanized criticism are in love with love in the abstract
New York City by any means. who regard themselves as "servants"
Morgenstern finds Martin Williams' of the beloved. You act like, a servant
statement that "Armstrong and Gil- to a girl, my friend, and she'll leave
The publication of this letter gives us lespie are interesting musically, some- you for someone who can give her.a
an occasion to clarify certain feelings times despite their vaudeville" beyond stronger feeling of self-respect and of
and intentions we have about The comment. Yet, whatever position one being realistically accepted not
Jazz Review. takes, an element of vaudeville does served.
There is a distinction between judging often exist in the work of both men Nat Hentoff
4
VOLUME 3 NUMBER 3 MARCH-APRIL 1960
Co-editors: Nat Hentoff
6 An Afternoon with John Lewis Martin Williams
Contributing Editor: Gunther Schuller
by Francis Thorne Publisher: Hsio Wen Shih
Art Director: Bob Cato
11 Conversations with James P. Johnson, Part V Advertising Manager: Hank Leonardo
The Jazz Review is published monthly
by Tom Davin by The Jazz Review Inc., 124 White St.,
N. Y. 13. N. Y. Entire contents copy-
14 Gil Evans on his Own right 1960 by The Jazz Review Inc.
by Don Heckman /Israel Young and Leonard Feldman .were
among the founders of the Jazz Review.
18 Introducing Ray Bryant Price per copy 50c. One year's subscription
$5.00. Two year's subscription $9.00.
by Nat Hentoff Unsolicited manuscripts and illustrations
should be accompanied by a stamped, self-
addressed envelope. Reasonable care will be
20 The Blues taken with all manuscripts and illustrations,
but the Jazz Review can take no responsi-
bility for unsolicited material.
RECORD REVIEWS
NEW CONTRIBUTORS
21 Ray Charles by H. A. Woodfin Ray Gandolph is an actor who has
Vic Dickenson and Joe Thomas followed jazz since Chicago in the
22 'forties.
by Harvey Pekar and Louis Levy Marion Gushee comes to jazz fresh
23 Snooks Eaglin by LeRoi Jones from the classics by way of marriage
Duke Ellington-Johnny Hodges by Max Harrison to Larry Gushee. She studies music at
24
Yale University.
25 Red Garland by Mait Edey \. W. Stone is a long-time follower of
25 Stan Getz by Harvey Pekar the jazz scene who was involved in the
Dizzy Gillespie by Mait Edey production of Bunk Johnson's later
26
recordings.
26 Benny Green by I. W. Stone Dick Weissman is a singer and guitar-
26 Howlin' Wolf by H. A. Woodfin ist who specializes in the blues.
27 Steve Lacy by Larry Gushes
28 Dave McKenna by Bill Crow
28 Anita O'Day by Ray Gandolph
29 Buddy Rich-Max Roach by Max Harrison
29 Horace Silver by Mait Edey
30 Zoot Sims by Michael James
30 T-Bone Walker by Dick Weissman
30 Phineas Newborn and Evans Bradshaw by Mait Edey
31 Big Band Recreations by Stanley Dance

BOOK REVIEWS

32 Martin Williams' The Art of Jazz by Gunther Schuller


33 Marshall Stearns' The Story of Jazz by Marion Gushee
34 Garson Kanin's Blow Up a Storm by Orrin Keepnews

36 Jazz in Print by Nat Hentoff


39 The Word Jazz by Fradley Garner and Alan P. Merriam
41 Reconsiderations Jimmy Yancey by Max Harrison
An
Afternoon
with
John Lewis Francis Thorne

This conversation between John Lewis, Francis Thorne


and Luciano Catalani, the editor of the Italian magazine
JAZZ de OGGI e IERI, took place in Fiescole in during
the summer of 1959. It appeared in an Italian transla-
tion in that journal, and this original English version is
published with its permission.

To begin, would you tell us about the origin of the


Modern Jazz Quartet and how it came to be formed?
The formation of the group has little to do with what
it is today. At the beginning, it was a recording group
that Milt wanted to use for some records for Dizzy Gil-
lespie's Dee Gee label. The original drummer was Kenny
Clarke and the bass player was Ray Brown. From that
time, we knew how nice the music felt, and how easy
it was to play together. Of course it should have been
easy; we had played together for two years with Dizzy's
band, which didn't have too many arrangements. The
trumpet players' music was particularly difficult in that
band, and they needed a lot of rest. The rhythm section
played quite a lot as relief, and it also gave Milt a
chance to play, as he didn't have much chance to do
with the band, except for a few solos. We were all work-
ing for others when we started, and there was a serious
problem about more recording work, because Milt was

6
the leader and could not then afford to pay the others, out of practical needs, and the availability of brass and
but we hit on the idea of making the group cooperative saxophones to people who wanted to play jazz. Not the
so that no one was the leader. This condition still exists, string instruments. And also these are very soft, and
and though it is not perfect, it has worked quite well as you know, jazz was used in places where it was
for a long time. very noisy. There were a few, like Eddie South and
I am grateful to have had the responsibility for the others, but so far it has not been too successful. Now
musical direction, as it was a responsibility that I wanted, that jazz has become more a music to be listened to,
and that I had when I was with Dizzy's band. There I think there is a possibility of using the symphony
were a lot of things wrong in that band that I would orchestra in connection with jazz. After all, the instru-
have loved to help with at the time, but I didn't have mentation is pretty standard and much more varied
the equipment and the training then. I talked with Dizzy than the brass and reed groups. I hope that interest
about the problems, but it wasn't until later, when I will increase among jazz composers to do this kind of
found out many things in music school, that I began writing. We have about five or six things now with the
to know the answers to these problems. So now they quartet that are written to be accompanied by a sym-
apply to the MJQ. phonic orchestra.
I have noticed quite a few examples of your adding a What do you think are the most attractive circumstances
horn to the quartet, including Jimmy Guiffe, Sonny under which you can play?
Rollins and Ronnie Ross. Have you ever been tempted Conditions like those at the Pergola (Where the MJQ
to add a permanent horn to the group? played as the first jazz group to be featured in the
No. For me, the perfect number of instruments to use annual Musical May Festival of Florence in its twenty-
for this kind of music, that is for music based on Euro- two years of existence), and in Rome we played in a
pean harmonies, is three or four. After this number, wonderful theater called the Quinrinal, and in Bologna
/you can no longer deal so well with the independent at the Communale. Those halls were designed for inti-
parts. And for me, the best jazz-making is usually creat- mate performances by small ensembles, and there is
ing independent parts. So actually, with this number, real contact with the audience. It was a revelation.
it is enough. If you notice, when there is another in- Would you go further and say that a concert setting is
strument playing with our group, one of us is not play- the best kind for your group?
ing. But with the quartet as it is, we all play most of It's not the only setting, and I would not want to do
the time, and this is the basis of our playing. just concerts. When I say the concert setting is the best,
I don't recall many instances where two of you play I mean that we usually achieve peak performances at a
alone, and very few where there are just three, like in good concert. But in order for us to achieve this point
Cortege, where you do not play for so long a time. Do of high level performance, it's very good for us to play
you plan to do more playing than you have done in the in places like the Blackhawk in San Francisco. It's very
past, with one or two of you dropping out? difficult to find good clubs in the U. S., and we are
It depends on the music; if the music permits, then obliged to think and play in a very different wayfor
0. K. Recently, in San Francisco at the Blackhawk, we example, when we have to play five times in an eve-
played two sets out of a total of five in trio form. One ning, and where the audience has a much lower level
was Milt with Connie and Percy, and the othe was myself of concentration. Last night was the biggest kind of
with Connie and Percy. The evening had more contrast challenge. When the building and the audience are just
this way, and we liked it. right, and the piano is just right, and we are right, then
I'm interested in hearing about your experiences work- is the most rewarding experience, for us, and I hope
ing with symphonic instrumentation, how it integrated also for the audience.
with the quartet, and whether you think this is an ap- What do you think is the future of atonal or twelve-tone
proach which is valid, and is leading to a further fusing music within the jazz contest? Will this have any interest
of jazz and symphonic music. for you, do you think, in the future?
My only real experience was writing and orchestrating Well. I'd say yes. Someone would have to find a way
music that had been written for the MJQ originally. It to use these materiels well and right, so that something
was a traditional European Symphonic orchestra, mem- comes out well balanced, so that the listener is able to
bers of the Stuttgart Orchestra, and we recorded the Ip receive something, not only the players and musicians.
called European Windows. This was fun to do, and for So far nothing has shown up along these lines that is
me was a chance to use training and experience that anywhere near perfect, but I'm quite sure something will.
I had received in school. There was no experimenting Have you and Milt Jackson done any experimenting in
and not too much personal use of the instruments, as getting away from tonality?
there is in my writing for Milt. In improvisation? No. I hope we will someday. We still
The great increase in orchestras in the U. S. and in have many other things to accomplish within the frame-
Europe has had me thinking a lot about this great work of tonelaity. Some of the music we've played,
medium of expression. This magnificent instrument, the Vendome for instance, was very unnatural when we
orchestra has not been used at all with jazz for many started playing. On the record it is not natural at all.
valid reasons. There have not been enough practical and Now it has become natural, but it has taken a long
compelling reasons to cause it. The jazz orchestra came time. Concorde was better in that it had a more in-

8
herent rhythmic feeling of jazz, and even Concorde took but then I had promised . . . and then, as it progressed
time to find its correct rhythmic feeling, but now it's it got better and better and I became enthusiastic
very good, sometimes. The other things we have tried about it.
to do, beside getting more natural feeling for the fugai Do you think that the Jazz Festivals in America are a
things, include trying to use motives or melodic develop- developing and growing thing or a passing craze?
ment in a more economical way without sacrificing any Well, I think that it. is a developing thing and very good
of the freedom or spontaneity that you have when you're because here we've actually been able to create a new
not basing your improvisations on melodic content, but type of festival which comes from the United States,
on the chord changes. There are many other things we basically speaking, and that's very good. However, there
are working on. have been a few misconceptions about festivals. When
In your own composing have you been searching con- they were small, and they have usually started off small,
sciously for any types of forms, new or old? then they worked well. But when they got bigger and
I never have a conscious searching for form; I believe more complicated, they still tried basically to operate
that my composing is just a natural music-making. Per- them as concerts, and to me a Festival is not a concert
haps years ago I started a composition with a form in and it shouldn't be that way. You can't expect people to
mind and then tried to write the music, but it is a long be attentive and react in the same way as at concerts.
time since I have done this. The music should be planned accordingly, and every-
When you wrote CORTEGE for the film NO SUN IN thing else, too. Our quartet is really not equipped to
VENICE were you definitely planning a funeral march? play festivals. Our music has been made either for night
In this case it was not so much a matter of form but clubs or concerts.
the fact that people asked for a piece that was similar If we consider that the 1940 s brought a kind of revo-
to DJango. Actually, that was the main reason the pro- lution to jazz, do you sense any coming revolution and,
ducers of the film wanted music from me in the first if so, have you any feeling as to where it might come
place; it was Django that gave them the idea to use me from?
for the background score. No, I don't feel anything particularly just now. Do you
Which do you prefer, and which comes easier to you, know, this revolution or whatever you want to call it,
writing just pure music or writing programatic music or in jazz in the 1940's took place for many reasons, and
music with a preconceived idea behind it, like movie not only for musical reasons. I think it took place for
music? social and sociological reasons, more specifically. Al-
To me it comes much easier to write music in the though the music of Dizzy and Charlie Parker was a re-
abstract sense. When writing music, say, for a film there action to what Louis Armstrong and older people had
are a number of extra factors to be taken into considera- achieved (there was little more to do in that style), there
tion. However, with the movie Odds Against Tomorrow, was, more importantly, a reaction to an attitude
that I have been working on for producer Robert Wise servility, Uncle Tomism and all that kind of thing. For
(and he is wise, by the way), he has been so good to the younger musicians this was the way to react against
work with that this job has been easier than I had ex- the attitude that Negroes were supposed to entertain
pected. He knows the business of movie making so people. The new attitude of these young Negroes was:
well; he has been a cutter for a long time, and he "either you listen to me on the basis of what I actually
has worked with all the people in Hollywood who write do, or forget it." Therefore, the need for this music". It
movie music. At the very beginning of the making of really started before 1940 with Basie and Lester.
the film, we had long talks together as to what he You don't feel in the jazz world today that there are con-
thought he wanted the music to be. Then he forced ditions that might lead to a reactionary group? Can you
me to make suggestions about many aspects of the feel a protest in the young men coming up today?
film. Therefore, getting the musical ideas together was No major thing like what happened in the 1940's.
easier because this had been going on for over six Nothing really elemental?
months already. He wouldn't let me write any music, Not that strong. However, I can tell you this . . . . there
though. are two young people I met in California an alto
How would you describe a typical cue for creating a player named Ornette Coleman and a trumpet player
section of music? named Don Cherry. I've never heard anything like them
Well, a cue is simply so many minutes of music. You before. Ornette is the driving force of the two. They're
are given dialogue in a scene, where it starts and where almost like twins; they play together like I've never
it ends. Once I understand what the scene is all about heard anybody play together. It's not like any ensemble
I can write whatever I want. Sometimes, when the scene that I have ever heard, and I can't figure out what it's
has little dialogue, the commentary must come from the all about yet. Ornette is, in a sense, an extension of
music. Actually, I had ideas right at the beginning, but Charlie Parker and the first I've heard. This is the real
these have changed about ten times, because the con- need that I think has to take place, to extend the basic
ception of the movie has changed a number of times. ideas of Bird until they are not playing an imitation but
The first time I actually saw the film, I was not too actually something new. I think that they may have come
happy about it. The next time it had been changed com- up with something, not perfect yet, and still in the early
pletely, and I felt that I did not want to finish the job, stages but nevertheless very fresh and interesting.

9
latest riffs afternoons and evenings; lots of small bands
Conversations with (many of them became famous outfits later) worked out
their arrangements on The Rock, or sat in with us piano

JPJ*
players developing new music. It was a lively little musi-
cal mountain, visited by all the talent in Harlem.
Willie 'the Lion' Smith, Fats Waller, Willie Gant and
myself hung out there regularly, knocking each other out
with rags, stomps, shouts and every wild chorus and
* James P. Johnson freakish break we could think of. It was an odd place
for an academy of music, but very relaxing; and there
Tom Davin was always an intelligent and appreciative audience to
follow us.
A short time later, on the 139th Street side of this vacant
lot, a little cabaret called The Livia was built. All the
rising girl singers visited itEthel Waters, Bessie Smith,
Florence Mills, Gertrude Saunders, Adelaide Hall and
Martha Copeland, among dozens of others. It was a
favorite place to catch the latest blues and ballads, for
Which was considered the best Negro band in New York the artists passing through would give out without too
in 1917? much coaxing.
Ford Dabney had the best Negro band in New York at The Livia used to get a lot of good little bands, too, and
that time. It played at the Ziegfeld Roof and was made fine accompanists who were trained by playing for the
up of sixteen musicians who played straight Broadway great variety of singers that came there.
music, pops and show tunes. Dabney got the job there I remember that Johnnie Dunn, a disciple of Joe Oliver,
through Jim Europe. played his trumpet there. In Memphis or Chicago he had
One of Dabney's men, Allie Ross, a pianist and violinist, heard the King and copied all his effects. Seven years
was one of our early ambitious musicians. He wanted to later, Joe Oliver himself came to New York but his style
be a leader of ability and studied theory and harmony of playing had already been established here and had
with E. Aldema Jackson, a juilliard graduate, organist been widely imitated from its early introduction by
and music theory teacher. Johnnie Dunn.
Allie later became a conductor for Lew Leslie; he re- On 139th Street, right below The Rock was another jazz
hearsed the orchestra for W. C. Handy's "The Blues" joint, The 101 Ranch, where wild little bands sounded
and later trained Fletcher Henderson's first orchestra, off, defying all musical convention. They played without
that opened at Club Alabam on Broadway. written music, never bothered with arrangements, ortho-
Allie was a very serious musician and was a good friend dox modulations or harmonies, but just let go with
of mine. He was one of the first to recognize my talent, natural blues, hot stomps and all sorts of wild rhythms
and one of his ambitions was to transcribe some of my and sounds that popped into their heads and right out
piano pieces for chamber orchestra; but he never got through their instruments without the benefit of formali-
around to it. ties. These original bands reminded me of the music we
Harlem, as we know it, was coming into being just before used to hear in The Hole In The Wall on 135th Street,
World War I as more and more Negroes came north for which was another early and original well of unrestricted
jobs in factories and shipyards around New York. What hot music.
were some of the earliest jazz centers in those daysthe We used to drop into The 101 Ranch with a small bottle,
late teens? order a bottle of soda or a pitcher of ice water and sop
Yes, Harlem was starting to grow then. One of the great up some of this primitive sound. It would rest our ears
hangouts for musicians was a place called The R o c k after working on complicated head arrangements.
some people called it The Garden of Joy. Anyway, it was For fancy piano, we would drop into some place where
located on top of a big shelf of rock in a vacant lot at Willie 'the Lion' Smith was playing The Sheik of Araby
140th St., and Seventh Avenue, where Adam Powell's or Moonlight with elaborate concert-style introductions
church and the Mt. Zion apartments stand now. based on Schubert's Marche Militaire. That was consid-
On the top of this rock, a man built a summer house ered very sophisticated in those days as we liked people
with a dance floor and a kitchen. It was all hung with to know that we could play the classics, too. I used to
Japanese lanterns and looked like a summer resort in like to rip off a ringing concert-style opening using Liszt s
the middle of the city. There was always a breeze from Rigoletto Paraphrase for Piano that was full of fireworks
the Heights or from the Harlem River below. Some of in the classical manner and then abruptly slide into a
the best musicians in Harlem used to relax there. solid, groovy stomp to wake up the audience and get a
On weekends, the dictys would hold their socials, but on laugh. Donald Lambert, who plays out in Jersey now,
weekdays us musicians had it to ourselves. Piano players still does those classical bits on Grieg, Massenet and
would come up there to improvise and show off their Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. They used to be in every

11
ticklers repertory in the early days, but few do them all the good musicians played. I was ambitious to con-
now. Lambert made some great records for Bluebird duct one of these concerts and worked hard at it. But
back in the early 'twenties using these classical concert I didn't get it, and it broke my heart. I quit the Clef Club
themes. He used to study me a lot. and returned to rehearsing my own group.
Another tickler, Mike Jackson, now dead, came to play We began to use new effects, like having a xylophone
at Barron Wilkins' from St. Louis and Louisville. His solo for the fast breaks, and copied the Dixieland style
Chinese Blues was very popular. It was in D Minor and to get attention.
he used a muffled bass drum with it for oriental effect. During this time, I wrote After Hoursa good instru-
When vamping, he did an imitation Chinese monologue, mental that had a blues in the last strain with a slow,
and then he'd go into a natural blues (like All Night sobbing end that was muffled. It used to break up dance
Long) with words that compared the troubles of the hall audiences.
Chinese and the Negroes. Pace & Handy published it. I took it to Columbia Records, but it didn't go. Victor
Then we got into the war, and all the open cabarets Records also turned it down. Harry Pace had formed the
turned into dance halls when prohibition came along. Black Swan Record Company that made the first success-
What did you do during the World War I years? ful colored record with Ethel Waters' Go Back Where You
I tried to keep out of it mostly. I wasn't a fighter like Stayed Last Night and Georgia Blues. He gave me a
Willie Smith. He got in the army and made one of the chance to back singers with my combos. I made a .solo,
fightingest records of any soldier in that war; he was Harlem Strut, for Black Swan and some commercial
decorated and everything. That's when he got the nick- songs, too.
name 'The Lion.' He was always a fighter; and he fought We'd play anywhere for small dough to keep busy, and
a lot of my battles over the years. I remember the first go around to dancing classes in the afternoon.
thing he ever said to me when I met him and played Then I got a break and was offered a road job playing
after him on The Coast over in Newark. He said: "Well, with a "Smart Set" show on the roadone week in
you may be able to play better than I can, but I'll bet I Philly, one and a half weeks in Wilmington, Baltimore.
can beat you fightin'." And he's still got his pep and Norfolk and Atlanta.
attitude to the present day. Nobody ever put anything We played first in the Standard Theatre in Philadelphia,
over on Willie and got away with it. which was a haven for colored performers. It was run
In that war, you had to carry a draft card with you all by a Negro, John T. Gibson. The director of the orchestra
the time. They used to have raids, and if you didn't have there at the time was Benton Overstreet, a fine musician
your card, it was the end. One night, when I didn't have and arranger. He was the composer of There'll Be Some
my card on me, I was in a place when the MPs raided. Changes Made. He never lived to hear it become famous.
I knew what it meant, so I just jumped out a window; In the Philadelphia Dancing Class, a lively girl named
it was only on the second floor. Ethel Waters from Chester, Pa. had made quite a hit.
I knew I had to get a war job or be drafted, so I got one She wasn't pretty, but she had a lively, funny personality
in the Quartermaster Corps warehouse at 6th Avenue and was a great comic dancer. She was entertaining at
and 38th Street. The officers and soldiers uniforms were Edmund Johnson's place when I got back to New York
kept there. I pushed a V/ ton hand truck that really
8 but I'll have to tell you of some things that happened
needed two men. on that road trip south.
After work, I would go out to the cabarets and play late After Philadelphia, we played Wilmington and Baltimore.
and then get up early to scuffle with the hand truck. I The next stop was Norfolk, so we took the Chesapeake
used to go into the toilet and get a little rest when I Bay boat and relaxed . . . a little bit too much. I had a
could. After awhile, I was moved to an easier job on the few drinks and dozed off. When I woke up, I found that
second floor of the warehouse, but I quit a few weeks somebody had taken all my money and my collar buttons,
after that. The war was over. which were gold. Others had been robbed, too, by the
A funny thing happened during that year. Before I got lush-rollers. We wouldn't have a cent when we got to
that job, I was expecting to be drafted any minute, but Norfolk.
nothing happened. Later I found out that the three Army There was a piano on the boat, so I sat down and started
doctors who had examined me one after the other had to play, and my wife, who was with me, began to sing
died in the big influenza epidemic that broke outand and dance. Pretty soon money started dropping. When
by the time they got my records straightened out, the the boat tied up, we had enough to eat in Norfolk.
whole war was over. In Atlanta with the same "Smart Set" show, we played
What did you do after Armistice Day, 1918? at the 81 Theatre on Carter St. At 91 the Bessie Smith
I went first to playing for records. Happy Rowan was in Trio was singing. Since there was still a wartime atmos-
all the combos, but I took charge. At that time the phere, they were singing Liberty Bells and when they
violinist was usually the leader of the band, but I put came to the end of the chorus about the Liberty Bells
the piano in the lead. ringing out victory, they used to turn around and waggle
Then we went to playing Clef Club gigs, which might use their plump butts in time to the bell ringing. It was a
anywhere from a trio to forty men in the band. In those knockout effect.
days the Clef Club used to give big concerts in which Later I went to a party in Atlanta where Bessie was, and
12
I played behind her in her Alcoholic Blues, improvising Most of them were dock workers for the line.
the accompaniment. This wasn't so hard because all true One of the attractions at The Sugar Cane was the jive
blues are the same form. Every natural blues has: 4 bars of the waiters, who sang, danced and carried on a sepa-
opening in tonic/2 bars to subdominant/2 bars back to rate sideshow of their own while they took care of the
tonic/2 bars to dominant/2 bars ending in tonic. customers between the regular floor shows. Each waiter
To be a real blues it must follow that plan. served drinks or set-ups to his tables with an original
At 91 Carter St., Eddie Heywood Sr. played regularly, strut, shuffle or tap, and then they'd cut away with a.
although he was laying off when I was there. He was a heel pivot and dip, spinning their empty trays over their
great blues player and was known as "The Ragtime King heads like jugglers.
of the South." I wish I had been able to hear him. His Those Small's waiters sang, toosolos and quartets, or
son is a fine player and arranger now; Eddie Heywood, Jr. if a shout refrain was indicated, they all joined in to
During the same trip, I got out to Toledo, Ohio where I make the room ring.
heard Johnny Waters who played 'Western' piano. He One of them was called 'Whistling Seath' because he
taught his tricks to Roy Bargy, who was later pianist in could whistle beautiful blues through his teeth with a
Paul Whiteman's orchestra. Waters was a fine, natural fine mellow tone, giving as fine an effect as any voice
piano player who had a pint of whisky every morning or instrument. He was a very popular and attractive
for breakfast. He did slow blues with tenthsWhen The character and had a solid following, not only at The
Cold, Cold Winds, Easy Ride, All That I Had Is Gone, Sugar Cane, but all over Harlem.
Walkin' The Dog, etc Handy was becoming popular then.
At that time all good colored performers played at the
When I. was in Toledo, I studied composition with Jan
Lincoln Theatre, which was to Harlem what The Palace
Chiapuse who was at the Toledo Conservatory. He was a
was to Broadway or The Standard to Philadelphia. The
Paris Conservatory graduate. All the time, I was playing
Lincoln Theatre was the big, handsome successor to
in a club called The Lion's Jaw. Art Tatum later told me
The Crescent, that little hole in the wall on 135th Street,
that he caught me there and studied my style. He was
where Harlem stage entertainment was born.
about 14 then.
As in all popular theatres, the gallery gods decided the
When did you get back to New York? fate of the performers. Some entertainers called The
Oh, about the end of 1919. When we got back, I picked Lincoln "The Temple of Ignorance" because of the audi-
up some short money playing gigs and Clef Club fast ence's preference for old-fashioned natural blues rather
calls. I dropped into Edmund Johnson's place at 132nd than the more artificial songs and ballads of Tin Pan
Street and Fifth Avenue. It was a black-and-tan place Alley.
with singing waiters and that lively girl from the Phila- 'Whistling Seath' from Small's was a regular attendant
delphia Dancing Class, Ethel Waters. Ethel was making at The Lincoln, and when a performer sang or played a
her first big hit in New York singing songs like: blues, 'Whistling Seath' would join in with his mellow
If You Go Away and Come Back and Somebody Has Taken whistle. The audience liked it, and most performers did,
Your PlaceDon't Get Mad; . . . All Night Long, a blues or seemed to. If he whistled behind you, it was a mark
based on a current riff that was going around; . . . The of acceptance, of success. You were in and had the
Blueswith no special tune and with words she made house with you. He was part of a group known as Pimp's
up herself. Gang who acted like the permanent rulers of the Lin-
She also used to sing my Stop It, Joe! and I would play coln's balcony and led the applause like the claques they
behind her. She was a great comic singerthe greatest, have at the Opera downtown. Some artists used to enter-
in fact. I made records with her later. tain these fellows with liquor and food on the outside
Also at Johnson's were Mattie Hite, one of the greatest because they were influential, and their reaction in the
cabaret singers of all time and Josephine Stevens, a audience could make you or break you.
coloratura, who was able to hold a note while the rhythm When this gallery gang yelled: "Put us in the alley!"
strode through and then pick up the rhythm without a that was the signal for the entertainer on the stage to
breaka terrific effect. go into a low-down blues. Every piano player knew what
Another interesting place in 1920 was Small's Sugar to do. First, he hit the classical "blues announcement"
Cane Club, a cellar club located on the southwest corner with its familiar figureand the audience squealed with
of 135th Street, and Fifth Avenue. It was the first Harlem anticipation. Then the musicians went into the groove
night club to become popular with whites from down- with 'Whistling Seath' singing like a bird in the gallery.
town; the first of the big black-and-tan clubs, like The Everybody had a fine time. When you went "down the
Cotton Club and Connie's were to become later. alley" at The Lincoln, you could be sure of a week and
It was Charlie Small's first place and the room where he a return engagement.
made all his money. Charlie came from South Carolina, Later on, Fats Waller got the same effect there playing
and most of his help were from that state, too. Many the organ behind 'Whistling Seath' during movies.
of them came from the Jungles, where I first played at (The next Conversation will start with James P. Johnson's
Allen's and Georgie Lee's, since that neighborhood was player piano rolls for Q.R.S. in 1921. These classic rolls
full of South Carolinians. It was near the Ward Line docks influenced a whole generation of stride pianists and are
whose boats ran to Charleston and other southern ports. still sold by the company.)

13
Gil Evans
on
his
own
Don Heckman
After a lengthy process, Gil Evans has re-established his
position as one of the most artistically successful com-
poser-arrangers in jazz. His work for Claude Thornhill
has been known and admired for years, but the limita-
tions inherent in the requirements of dance bands were
an obstacle to any major achievement. Despite the fact
that he was one of the important figures in the '49-'50
Miles Davis Capitol sides, the strength of the various
personalities involved (Davis, Mulligan, et al) was such
that no individual could predominate. In fact, these ses-
sions may have been of less importance than was gener-
ally considered at the time since a variety of economic
and social conditions prevented them from exercising the
influence which they unquestionably deserved.
As with most artists who take pride in their craftsman-
ship, Evans is able to transcend the limitations of any
given assignment, no matter how mundane. If it is re-
quired that he favor his soloist, Evans can do so, as he
did in the Davis albums "Miles Ahead" and "Porgy and
Bess." But the relationship between soloist and compo-
sition is, by nature, extremely delicate and susceptible
to a strain in either direction, and the relative failure of
Gil's World Pacific Ip "New Bottle, Old Wine" may well
have been caused by Cannonball Adderly's disassociation
from the context of the arrangements. In a sense, when
the arranger places himself in a supporting role, he
hitches his wagon to a star. The results may vary as
much as the star's temperament, and the fact that the
Evans-Davis recordings turned out so superbly is a
testimonial to the rapport between the two men.
Many critics praise Evans as an orchestrator but
refuse to acknowledge him as a real composer. The
conclusion is invalid. Rubens is no less an artist because
he chose to paint portraits from life, nor is Shakespeare's
Hamlet any less masterful because the plot had been
used before him. One of the functions of art is to create
a symbolic illusion of life. Evans does not accept the
limitations in style, form and expression of his model,
but rather uses it as a motif, a point of origin from life.
that the World Pacific sides have been slightly augmented
by the addition of more brass, a guitar, a multiple reed
man and Budd Johnson on tenor and clarinet. The Pres-
tige record reflects the fact that it is Evans' first major
jazz enterprise since the Capitols. As a result, the
thematic content develops in a less complex manner than
on the World Pacific recording. There are also more
ballad settings on the Prestige which, although beauti-
fully orchestrated, are limited by this dance-band style;
a much stronger emphasis is placed upon sonorities than
upon rhythmic content. Big Stuff, for example is prac-
tically a study of the sounds obtainable from the bottom
register of bass instruments. The last open fifth between
the two trombones rings with the richness of the implied
overtones. Nobody's Heart demonstrates the use of
bassoon in a register first made notorious by Stravinsky.
In this case Dave Kurtzer's rich, full sound completely
overcomes the difficulty involved in producing such high
notes. Evans' voicings are superb. There are places where
AND FRIEND soprano sax, horn, and muted trumpet produce an ex-
The manner in which he personally contributes to the cellent approximation of a symphonic woodwind section.
growth of this motif is as significant as if he were to Tadd Dameron's lovely If You Could See Me Now fea-
i/se original thematic material. And his pieces reflect a tures Jimmy Cleveland who plays with a particularly
viewpoint which is essentially optimistic, but never resonant quality in his middle register. Evans' accom-
maudlin or cloying; in them a full spectrum of emotion paniment is generally oriented around the French Horn
is encompassed by a very large and human love of life. and is quite adequate in the frame of a dance band
In his most recent recording for World Pacific, Evans 1
style. One minor irritant is the occasional use of a triplet
has finally made a statement completely his own. It is tied to a quarter note and repeated on the first beat OT
probably pertinent that on it and on an earlier Prestige,- the baran amazingly corny figure for someone or
he plays piano. (It was true of "New Bottle, Old Wine" Evans' stature.
but that record was hampered by the problems men- All the ballads are generally organized into two slow
tioned eariier.) From his seat in the heart of the rhythm sections surrounding a double time center. Remember
section, Evans manipulates the sound units as though is very much in the Thornhill tradition, but Evans' piano
they were extensions of his fingertips. The direct per- playing is far more pleasant than Thornhill's. Lacy plays
sonal involvement of the composer in the performance well in the up-tempo middle section. His use of time is
of the composition may be far more important in jazz very similar to Coltrane's, involving a superimposition of
than it is in "classical" music, a maxim which has been rhythmic multiples of nines, sevens, etc., and using the
demonstrated by composers ranging from Jelly Roll appropriate derivations as part of his basic rhythm. Lacy
Morton to Charlie Mingus. also stands out on Ella Speed, a Georgia Brown-type
The instrumentation on both recordings is similar, except tune attributed to Leadbelly. Cleveland's work here is
not so good, however. At this stage in his development
1. GIL EVANS: "Great Jazz Standards." World Pacific WP1270. he still retained an annoying tendency to overreach runs
Johnny Coles, Louis Mucci, Danny Stiles, trumpets; Jimmy Cleveland, in his upper register and play on top of the beat. Evans
Curtis Fuller, Rod Levitt, trombones; Earl Chapin, trench horn; Bill has included a written paraphrase in the style of his
Barber, tuba; Ed Caine, woodwinds; Steve Lacey, soprano sax; Budd
Johnson, tenor and clarinet; Ray Crawford, guitar; Tommy Potter, bass; Donna-Lee chart for Thornhill; it's mostly successful,
Elvin Jones; drums; Gil Evans, piano. except that the thickness of some of the voicings tends
Chant of the Weed, Joy Spring, Ballad of the Sad Young Men, Theme. to detract from the rhythmic propulsion. Again, too, he
Coles, Mucci, Allen Smith, trumpets; Fuller, Bill Elton, Dick Lieb, uses four repeated eighth-notes on the first and second
trombones; Bob Northern, trench horn; Barber, tuba; Al Block,
woodwinds; Lacey, soprano sax; Chuck Wayne, guitar; Dick Carter, beat of the bar similar to the triplet figure I mentioned
bass; Dennis Charles, drums; Gil Evans, piano. earlier. Just One Of Those Things is all Lacy. The ar-
Davenport Blues, Django, Straight No Chaser. rangement consists mostly of supporting figures for the
2. GIL EVANS: "Gil Evans and Ten." Prestige 7120; reissued as solo, although some of the brass punctuations suggest
"Big Stuff." New Jazz NJLP 8215.
Gil Evans, piano; Steve Lacey, soprano sax; Jimmy Cleveland, trombone; Evans' use of trombone comping on the Davis recordings.
Louis Mucci, 1st trumpet (replaced on Remember by John Carisi|; Lacy makes extensive use of sequential patterns here,
Jake Koven, 2nd trumpet; Bart Varsalona, bass trombone; Willie Ruff, a practice which could be disastrous in a lesser jazzman,
trench horn; "Zeke Tolin" (Lee Konitz), alto; Dave Kurtzer, bassoon; but which he brings off admirably.
Paul Chambers, bass; Nick Stabulas, drums (replaced on Remember by Jambangle, the other up-tempo, is an Evans original, a
Jo Jones).
Remember, Ella Speed, Big Stuff, Nobody's Heart, Just One of Those sort of up-dated boogie woogie. Solos by Lacy and
Things, If You Could See Me Now, Jambangle. Cleveland are good enough, but the arrangement is prob-

16
ably the least interesting on the recording. member of the orchestraand that was one of the main
The World Pacific Ip differs from the Prestige in several reasons that the same kind of unisons were unsuccessful
important aspects. The band is superior as a unit and in the Thornhill band. Steve Lacy's excellent solo fur-
the soloists are better individually; Cleveland and Lacy ther indicates his ability to interpret Monk's lines prop-
are featured again, but they have now gained in maturity erly, an attribute shared by too few jazzmen. Lacy's
and expressiveness. The choice of material is also far talent is genuinely musical, and its expression is helped
better, and its treatment is much more in the character rather than impeded by the fact that he has chosen a
of jazz composition than dance band scoring. Evans difficult instrument. Joy Spring is a wistful bow in the
refusal to bow to the demands of fashion in solo style direction of Clifford Brown's largely unfulfilled potential
has also worked well in the choice of Budd Johnson as as a composer. Evans allows the melodic line to evolve
soloist for Chant Of The Weed and Theme. Johnson's from thematic material which precedes it, a sort of theme
clarinet style is uniquely affirmative and self-confident and variation in reverse. It works out well, and the theme
in these days of the instrument's decline as an impor- is stated as in Straight, No Chaser by an orchestral uni-
tant solo voice. His warm, strutting interpretation of son. Ray Crawford's guitar closes the chart with a quietly
Chant Of The Weed makes a pleasant contrast to Don elegiac cadenza.
Redman's angular whole-tone lines. Evans' recreation of Theme is an original Evans riff tune written while the
the old Cotton Club theme lacks some of the nervous band was playing a date at Birdland. Budd Johnson con-
vitality of the original but replaces it with a tongue-in- tributes a tenor solo that is a model of virile, big-band
cheek good humor. There is an interesting spot directly blowing. Evans weaves a complex array of brass rhythms
before the ending which typifies Evans' concern with around Johnson, and the tenorman uses them to create
every last vestige of sound. Johnson plays some chro- a polarity between their complex character and the solid
matic swoops over a climatic build-up which eventually 4/4 of his own rhythm. The final choruses employ a
returns him to the primary theme; yet as he does so, a climatic effect similar to Straight, No Chaser, thickening
last, persistent chromatic echo cascades down through the harmonic texture into an almost unbearable tension.
Lacy's soprano, adding a tiny fillip to the dissipating The almost interesting piece of all to my taste is the
climax. effective denouement.
Ballad Of The Sad Young Men is the only tune here The most interesting piece of all to my taste is the
which corresponds to the ballads on the Prestige set. magnificent setting of John Lewis' Django. There are so
There is an obvious difference of interpretation however. many things to listen for: the majesty of the opening
Evans' textures seem to be far more orchestral in char- brass statement (faintly recalling Sibelius' Finlandia);
acter and less reminiscent of sectionalized dance band the delicate obligato between French horn and flute, and
voicings. His employment of the flute as an integral the carefully woven interplay of piano and soprano sax,
component of the massed body of sound differs from played over a gently strummnig guitar. Johnny Coles
the usual dance band practice of having it lead the executes a well organized solo over a rhythm pattern
woodwinds, or else function in unison with muted trum- that shifts in and out of double time. Then comes a
pets or saxes. Jimmy Cleveland's poignant trombone solo positively rocking build-up as Evans lets out all the stops.
soars over a beautiful mass of shifting sound. Listen to Lacy improvises a line under Coles, the reeds play
the long, held woodwind notes in the second eight which tremolos and the brass punches out rhythmioexplosions.
leads into a tingling trombone smear. It is this kind of As the tension dies down there is a short improvised
concern with detail that makes Evans' music so inter- passage in which Lacy softly echoes Coles' lines; and
esting to hear. finally, a brief horn echo of the theme.
Bix Beiderbecke's Davenport Blues is another example. These recordings have given me many happy hours, and
The 1927 work serves as a vehicle for the contemporary I strongly recommend them as basic items in any com-
trumpet of Johnny Coles, yet, as is true througout the prehensive jazz library, particularly the World Pacific.
album, no contradiction exists between the source ma- And they are not like those "important" records that
terial and the soloist. The consistent integration between remain untouched on the shelf as source material. Evans'
the soloist and composition far exceeds the limitations music on both of these records is vibrantly alive and,
of any "school" or "period." Coles plays with a warm, unless I am drastically wrong, will be as enjoyable ten
open sound somewhat similar to Miles'. His solos, how- years from now as it is today.
ever, are made primarily of short phrases that do not In a recent issue of The Jazz Review, Steve Lacy speaks
necessarily have a strong organic relationship to each of the Evans' band in glowing terms. "Sometimes when
other; a practice which Miles assiduously avoids in favor things jelled I felt true moments of ecstacy; and recently
of interrelated melodic lines. The choice of Straight, No when a friend of mine who worked with the Claude
Chaser is a good one, and Evans chooses to emphasize Thornhill Band in the forties . . . said that some nights
the humor that is implicit in so much of Monk's work. the sound of the band around him moved him to tears,
Listen to the gleeful piano and cymbal trills and the
I knew exactly what he meant. So does anybody who has
moaning flute in the opening sections. The theme is
ever played Gil's arrangements." And so should anyone
stated by a driving, orchestral unisona tricky device
who has ever heard his music. These recordings are
to use, since it depends upon the jazz feeling of every
among the best examples available.

17
Introducing Ray Bryant

Nat Hentoff

During one stretch last year, pianist Ray


Bryant was doubling at the Metropole and
the Five Spot. At the former, he played
Sunday afternoons with Coleman Hawkins,
Roy Eldridge and Charlie Shavers. At the
modern jazz room, he worked first with
Donald Byrd and then with Benny Golson
and Curtis Fuller. At the Newport Jazz
Festival the same year, Bryant was heard
with Hawkins and Eldridge as well as with
Johnny Griffin. Bryant sees nothing un-
usual in his ability to fit in comfortably
with several generations of jazzmen. "For
one thing," he says, "from a practical
point of view, if you're making a living
from a profession, you ought to be flexible
within it. Can you imagine a truck driver
being able to drive only one kind of truck?
Besides, I happen to like nearly all kinds
of jazz, and I've played most styles, in-
cluding Dixieland and even some Rock and
Roll."
Bryant was born in Philadelphia, December
24, 1931. Gospel music was an early and
constant e x p e r i e n c e for him and his
brother, Tom, who is 17 months older.
Their mother plays piano in church, and
their sister is both pianist and organist.
Bryant feels she's the best gospel organist
in the country, and hopes a plan whereby
she may record with Mahalia Jackson
works out. Both brothersTom is the bas-
sist in Ray's current trioplayed in
church, and Ray ascribes the "soulfulness"
attributed to his work to his background
in gospel music.
He began studying piano at eight, and the
lessons continued for eight years. His
initial primary influencesArt Tatum and
Teddy Wilsonhave remained the most
important on his playing. "Both have taste
and both play the piano all the waybot-
tom, top, and middle. I was especially for-
RAY BRYANT Bob Cato
tunate to have heard Tatum when I was
quite young. I didn't really know what he
was doing, but I knew it was good, and
I certainly haven't heard anything like it
since." In later years, Bud Powell became
a third influence.
A member of the union at 14, his first job
came instantly. Local bandleader, Mickey
Collins, heard him taking his union en-
trance exams, hired him, and Bryant

18
worked in his group off and on for three Willard Alexander about the project, book-
years. He started going on the road with ings began to come in. The Bryant trio has
Tiny Grimes and other units. One combo worked the Village Vanguard in New York,
stranded him in Syracuse where he stayed the Town Tavern in Toronto twice, and
for a year. His experience since has in- Pythodel Hall in Buffalo twice. As of this
cluded a number of solo engagements; and writing, Bryant is set for Storyville in Bos-
Bryant feels that his work as a single is ton, the Jazz Gallery in New York, and
the main reason he never succumbed to points farther west.
the modern fashion of predominantly right- Bryant meanwhile has signed with Colum-
handed improvising. Bryant is so substan- bia, where Hammond is now active in jazz
tial a two-handed player that he was able a&r work. Ray had first made an album
to sustain an entire album without accom- with his trio (Oliver Jackson is the drum-
paniment, Alone with the Blues (New Jazz mer) for Bob Thiele's Hanover-Signature
8213). "When you're all alone on a job and label. The album consists entirely of jazz
have to play all that piano with just your originals, by John Lewis, Thelonious Monk,
foot for help, you have to work with both Erroll Garner, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gilles-
hands." pie, Horace Silver, Duke Ellington, Benny
Back in Philadelphia, Bryant learned to play Golson and Bryant himself. His style re-
and enjoy Dixieland for a couple of years mains modern with a strong base in tradi-
at Billy Kretchmer's club where Kretchmer tional jazz. "The newer styles seem to me,"
headed the band. Perhaps his most useful he explains, "to be just a small part of the
experience came during two years as house older styles that came before."
pianist at the Blue Note where he worked Bryant's own tune in the album, Sneak-
with such visitors as Miles Davis, Charlie ing Around, illustrates one of the advan-
Parker, Sonny Stitt, Chubby Jackson and tages he finds in working with a trio. "It's
Anita O'Day. "I got my first record date in D major, a pretty key but one in which
from having worked at the Blue Note. After a pianist with a group hardly gets to play.
I'd played with Davis, he called me up from The hornmen dominate the jazz scene,
New York for a Prestige date with Milt after all, and they prefer the regular band
Jackson that included Dr. Jackie, Minor keys like F, B-flat, E-flat, A-flat and C.
March, Bitty Ditty and Changes (Prestige There are other keys though, you know."
LP 7034). Working at the Blue Note was Whenever he has a chance to do the hiring,
helpful another way; when I finally came Ray invariably selects his brother. It's not
to New York, I already knew most of the so much nepotism as the fact that he's
musicians." never felt as comfortable with any other
Bryant broadened his experience further by bassist. "Tom has played a little piano
working as Carmen McRae's accompanist himself, and from the time we worked to-
in 1956 and 1957; and then with his gether as boys, he's been able to watch
brother, became the rest of the Jo Jones' my left hand so that he always knows where
trio for another year. "Jo taught me that I'm going." Bryant chose drummer Ollie
a rhythm section can play a room success- Jackson (Detroit-born and a former side-
fully without horns, and I learned a lot from man with Teddy Wilson, Yusef Lateef, Char-
him about programming, about how to feel lie Shavers, Coleman Hawkins and Roy
out an audience's mood. If you catch the Eldridge) because "Olii'e is content to play
mood of a room accurately, one tune will time and not get in the way. Most modern
always suggest another that will fit in. And drummers want to play a solo all the way
it works the other way around. If you play through a number, but Ollie lets the soloist
the wrong tune at the wrong time, you can solo until his own turn comes."
kill the whole set. Then there was the mat- The Ray Bryant trio is an unusually inte-
ter of pacing. Jo kept us building up and grated one, and in view of Bryant's own
up until we'd hit a climax, and then we'd range of jazz interests and his thoroughly
get off." personal and directly emotional style, it has
Bryant, encouraged by John Hammond, a better chance than most to endure a
whom he feels has helped his career more while. There is little doubt, in any case,
than anyone else, free-lanced around New that Bryant will be a substantial figure on
York after leaving Jones and decided to the jazz scene for a long time to come.
stay in October, 1958. He worked several Not having limited himself to just one as-
jobs with Charlie Shavers in the months pect of jazz, he's a lot less likely than some
after as well as engagements with other of his flashier contemporaries to become
groups. The idea of forming a trio had in- dated.
trigued him ever since his time with Jo.
and after Hammond had talked to booker

19
THE BLUES
BROADWAY4 A.M.
Well, it's four o'clock in the mornin'
The musicians havq finished their gigs.
And the hat-check girls, they ain't made no bread
And they's salty, about to blow their wigs.
And the Cadillac boys, they all standin' around, you know,
Waitin' for their girls and their nightly dues.
But would you believe, you see better fights than you do in the Garden
When these girls sing the rigor mortis blues?
Now there's a cop, he's tryin' to do his duty,
Tryin' to hurry everybody off the street,
So he can ease back in the restaurant
And finish the free meal he had started to eat.
And then there's flower sellin' Susie,
She's makin' just one more last round,
But at this stage of the game
You can cop her whole basket for a pound.
Now then, there's always some blue bloods who want to see Harlem
And continue the fun they have had
So the leader eases up on you and sounds you,
"Man, do you know of an after-hours pad?"
You shake your head with a definite no!
You even ignore the cute little frail.
'Cause you know this is the same kind of set-up
That just last month got Everybody put in jail.
So you quit it down to the corner
To a joint noted for its ham and eggs.
But before you can even sit down,
Two cats done already laid down their begs.
You finish your grease, and a cute chick shows up
With an over-night bag in her hand,
But she wants you to pay her cab fare
Because she just now left her old man.
And on your way to the 'A' train
About in the middle of the block
Another friend needs to borry a deuce
To get his uniform our of hock.
So by the time you reach your destination
Trying to read the latest news,
Six winos done hit on you for a cigarette
And one stud even wanted a pair of shoes.
Well, at last you make it to your crib
Watching the new day begin
And drift off to sleep with a ghastly thought,
Tomorrow, it will all begin over again.

(Babs Gonzales. Jaro JAM 5000.)


juke box success, and we find him

RECORD
as Ain't That Love, Drown in My
working with a more popular blues Own Tears, and Funny, But I Still
form which uses the same gospel Love You So on the earlier Ips there
elements but in which the material is is a similar procedure, the only
handled as rather sophomoric love difference is that these songs are

REVIEWS song which apparently appeal to a


teen-age audience. Charles also works
occasionally with purely comic songs
more sentimental in presentation and
pedestrian in content and Charles'
hints at the style of his more notable
which he develops without gospel efforts do not break the cloying
fervor. Finally, he has recently sentiments.
begun to use popular songs and Of all the gospel blues Ips by Charles
ballads, using only slight gospel the current one is the least
overtones. impressive. Only Tell All the World
Of course, gospel music uses many About You and That's Enough are
of the stylistic devices common to comparable to his previous successes.
both jazz proper and to the blues The other numbers range from the
(blue notes, syncopation, antiphonal banality of You Be My Baby to the
patterns, etc.). But gospel music attempt in My Bonnie to blue My
is devotional and exhortatory; it is Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.
RAY CHARLES: "What'd I say". both an act of devotion and a call to Surprisingly enough, Jumpin' in the
Atlantic 8029. devotion by the faithful or saved to Mornin' attempts to emulate Joe
Ray Charles, vocals and piano; David those not so fortunate. It celebrates Turner, but the results seem glib
Newman, tenor; on What Kind of Man Are the joy and exaltation of the singer and unconvincing.
You the vocalist is Mary Ann Fisher; in salvation or the promise of A minor part of Charles' work is
other personnel unidentified. salvation. Despite all they have in represented by Roll With My Baby
What'd I Say; Jumpin' in the Mornin'; common gospel music differs which is like his earlier Greenbacks
You Be My Baby; Tell Me How Do You Feel; profoundly from the blues and jazz. and Blackjack. While the material
What Kind of Man Are You; Rockhouse; Ray Charles' blues singing combines of all these songs is rather slight,
Roll with My Baby; Tell All the World the religiously exalted fervor of the they are deftly developed and
About You; My Bonnie; That's Enough. gospel singer with the strictly secular extremely amusing. Roll With My
RAY CHARLES: "The Genius of Ray concerns of the blues singer. A Ray Baby is much less successful than
Charles". Atlantic 1312. Charles blues performance is Greenbacks which is surely one of
On tracks 1, 3, & 6: Ray Charles, vocals completely different in meaning the funniest things in the idiom.
and piano; Clark Terry, Ernie Royal, Joe from a .gospel performance, yet it The new Ip devoted to Charles as a
Newmann, Snookie Young, Marcus Belgrave, is filled with similar emotional singer of pop songs represents a
John Hunt, trumpets; Melba Listen, Quentin overtones. In many of his most considerable achievement. Although
Jackson, Thomas Mitchell, Al Gray, trombones; startling works Charles virtually makes he strikes me as somewhat unsteady
Frank Wess, flute, alto saxophone, tenor an incantation of the song and on the first six tracks, where he is
saxophone; Marshall Royal, alto saxophone; simulates the spiritual possession backed by a large band, I
Paul Gonsalves, Zoot Sims, David Newman, which is a part of gospel. But the think he acquits himself well on
tenor saxophones; Charlie Fowlkes, Bennie quality of the possession invoked by Let the Good Times Roll, Two Years
Crawford, baritone saxophones; Freddie Char'.es is sexual and even a part of Torture, and When Your Lover
Greene, guitar; Eddie Jones, Edgar Willis, of his concern with the worldly side Has Gone. The rather perfunctory
basses; Charlies Persip, Teagle Fleming, of sexual relations. Little wonder arrangements by Quincy Jones,
drums. that Big Bill Broonzy should express Ernie Wilkins, and Al Cohn frame
shock over Charles' work. Charles adequately but little more,
On tracks 2, 4, & 5: Billy Mitchell replaces Many of Charles' gospel blues songs and the solo work of Paul Gonsalves
Zoot Sims. (Tell All the World About You here and and David Newman is indifferent. ^
On tracks 7-12: Ray Charles, vocals and I Got a Woman and Talkin' About You On the remaining six tracks he is'
piano; Allen Hanlon, guitar; Wendell from his earlier Ips, Atlantic 8006 & backed byof all thingsa string
Marshall, bass; Ted Sommer, drums; orchestra 8025) are virtually parodies of gospel and woodwind section, a choir, and
conducted by Harry Lookofsky. songs. This element plus the jubilant some sentimental arrangements by
On track 12 only: Bob Brookmeyer, hotness of the performances at Ralph Burns. He takes control
trombone. their best a startling, appealing, and amazingly and produces work that
Let the Good Times Roll; It Had To Be moving combination. is nearly continuously interesting.
You; Alexander's Ragtime Band; Two Years The quintessence of Charles's gospel Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'
of Torture; When Your Lover Has Gone; blues comes on his Newport recording in particular is a minor masterpiece
Deed I Do; Just for a Thrill; You Won't of A Fool for You (Atlantic 1289). which both surprises and gratifies.
Let Me Go; Tell Me You'll Wait for Me; Here he steadily works into a vocal Of course, it would seem that the
Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'; Am I frenzy and then a vocal incantation blues-tinged material here is well
Blue; Come Rain or Come Shine. with 'a series of howls and cries suited to Charles, but he does not
One of the most interesting recent which, in the context of the song, really handle it in his gospel manner;
events in jazz has been the rise of present an exacerbated eroticism. he sings in a deceptively simple and
Ray Charles from comparative I know of no more startling blues straightforward manner which results
obscurity in the world of rhythm and performance on record than this. in a wry, ironic sadness touched
blues to a position on the jazz Many of his other gospel blues with humor. He deftly plays off his
scene. Charles has been acclaimed recordings tend in this direction, but interpretation against a schmalzy
as singer, instrumentalist, and band only the Newport recording arrives background which would have
leader in favorable terms indeed. at this limit beyond which such an overcome a lesser artist. Each of
The major part of this attention has art cannot go; his desperately the other numbers has good
been paid to Charles as a singer. reiterated monosyllables act out the moments with You Won't Let Me Go
Charles' vocals are of about four exaltation and despair of total erotic probably outstanding. As a jazz singer
kinds. There are the "gospel blues" possession. It is the zenith of this Charles is certainly taking chances
which, artistically at least, make up side of Charles' art. working with this sort of material
the most important part of his In his more popular material such and accompaniment, but an
repertoire. But Charles is also a achievement like Don't Let the Sun

21
Catch You Cryin' is well worth This is Atlantic's attempt to follow pianist. He's no cocktail Monk!
the risk. Felsted's lead and give exposure to Harvey Pekar
Charles recorded performances on some underappreciated swing era
piano and alto sax range from the star soloists. Of course, this is a
funky blues which he produced thoroughly admirable idea, but they
with Milt Jackson (Atlantic 1279) to could have done a much better job. VIC DICKENSON, JOE THOMAS:
the jazz that he plays with his own The musicians didn't have enough Atlantic 1303.
group on his instrumental Ip solo space. Either there were Joe Thomas & Johnny Lettman, trumpets;
(Atlantic 1259). Charles is not a too many musicians or too many Dickie Wells, trombone; Buddy Tate, tenor;
remarkable instrumentalist. The Ip numbers. Albert McCarthy, who Buster Bailey, clarinet; Herbie Nichols,
with Jackson has enough deliberate helped produce this mish-mash, said piano; Everett Barksdale, guitar; Bill
funkiness so that the listener may he especially wanted to spotlight Pemberton, bass; Jimmie Crawford, drums.
doubt its sincerity. I doubt that Joe Thomas since Joe was so poorly Sweethearts on Parade; I Can't Believe that
Charles on piano and alto would represented on records, but the You're in Love with Me; Crazy Rhythm;
have enjoyed the attention he has longest uninterrupted solo Joe had Blues for Baby.
had were it not for the success of was two blues choruses. To help Vic Dickenson, trombone; Buck Clayton,
Charles the singer. matters several of the front line men trumpet; Hal Singer, tenor; Herbie Hall,
The obvious question about Charles weren't playing in top form. clarinet; Al Williams, piano; Danny Barker,
is why he should be granted such guitar; Gene Ramey, bass; Marquis Foster,
Thomas relied on a lot of stock
wide recognition by modern jazzmen. drums.
phrases and showed little of the
I think the answer can be found in Undecided; The Lamp is Low.
subtlety that made his mid-'forties
problems that have faced modern Stanley Dance, appalled by the
work on Keynote (Mercury) so
jazz since the early 'fifties and traditional revivalist and a diehard
outstanding. It wouldn't have been a
solutions that have been propounded. bop counter-revolutionary, coined
bad idea to give him a ballad all to
Charles came to prominence when the term "Mainstream" to describe
himself. Lettman shows a great deal
hard bop did. Hard bop was and is his kind of music that form
of power and little else. He has an
an attempt to fill the gap left by the which in the years circa 1934-
impressive upper register but he
waning .of both bop and cool. The 1944 was described as "swing
doesn't build anything there.
s6lution, a temporary one I think, music." Mr Dance rejects the term
Buster Bailey and Dickie Wells
was found in a return to the gospel "swing" because, he states with an
contribute the most to Thomas side.
and blues traditions. With groups attempt at objectivity, "all good
Bailey is consistently inspired and
such as Horace Silver's and Art jazz, of whatever kind and era,
inventive. His playing is clean and
Blakey's this school soon became the theoretically swings." His snide
accurate, though his conception is
dominant one. This is not the place "theoretically" tips his hand. He
a little old-fashioned for my taste.
for a full examination of the successes knows damned well that only "swing"
and failures of this school, but Wells is especially effective in swings, but nevertheless choose the
such a trend does go a long way Crazy Rhythm, and he sounded term "mainstream," presumably to
towards explaining Charles' reputation. almost like J . J . I wish he'd clown attract everyone into the swim of
In Charles the jazzmen found a less and play more long lines. That things the traditionalists from the
singer who was doing in the rhythm talking he does is nice but limiting. backwaters and the modernists
and blues vein just what they were The same goes for Vic Dickenson, from the current.
attempting to do in jazz. although Dicky is probably more Well, c'mon in, the water's torpid.
Charles at his best is a remarkable talented. Buck Clayton is generally Mr. Dance produced the generally
singer. Sometimes the excitement below standard although his statement unsuccessful Felsted "Mainstream
of his gospel blues seems somewhat of the melody on Lamp is pretty, Jazz" series; Albert McCarthy produced
overworked, nor is his art as didn't get a chance in Undecided; this album in the Felsted tradition
emotionally deep and moving as his solo ended just as he was using groups led by Joe Thomas and
that of a Muddy Waters or a Lightnin' starting to cook. Vic Dickenson.
Hopkins. Nevertheless, his best work Buddy Tate doesn't set the world on The swing era produced giants who
is direct and thoroughly convincing fire, but who can in eight bars? had individual voices and personal
emotionally. If Charles has decided His playing was interesting from stories to tell. Some of these men
to work in the popular song medium, another standpoint however: here play better now than they did in
it may be only too easy to follow it is the closest thing I've hard their days of greatest popularity;
the course of a Nat Cole. However, a to present day Coleman Hawkins. some of them have settled on a
number like Don't Let the Sun Catch In 1940 when Tate was with Basie he plateau where they still tell their old
You Cryin' shows the really interesting sounded more like Dick Wilson or stories very well; some are dead;
possibilities; he may be just Herschel Evans. And Singer also and some are dead musically. The
beginning. sounds like Bean. That Hawk can ranks are thinning, and in a brief
H. A. Woodfiin influence not only younger men but time, the musicians and the style
his mature contemporaries is a will be irretrievably gone. Unfortunately,
wonderful testimony to his constant Messrs. McCarthy and Dance, after
VIC DICKENSON, JOE THOMAS. efforts to find fresh, new musical choosing several musicians of the
Atlantic 1303. paths to travel. first rank, pad out the ensemble
Joe Thomas, Johnny Letman, trumpet; Both rhythm sections are competent. with men who had minor roles in
Dickie Wells, trombone; Buddy Tate, tenor They provide a firm, strong beat leading groups or were associated
sax; Buster Bailey, clarinet; Herbie Nichols, for the musicians, but I'm not sure with the great individualsmen who
piano; Everett Barksdale, guitar; Bill the guitar was necessary. Many are equipped to serve as anthro-
Pemberton, bass; Jimmy Crawford, drums. times it just seems to get in the way, pological informants perhaps but
Sweethearts On Parade, I Can't Believe That especially in the Blues. are unable to perform as the shamans
You're In Love With Me, Crazy Rhythm, It's a terrible reflection on I don't in the ceremony. These second-
Blues For Baby. what that Herbie Nichols has to make raters who performed a section role
Vic Dickenson, trombone; Buck Clayton, this kind of date. If he were to adequately and thereby enjoyed a
trumpet, Hal Singer, tenor sax; Herbie Hall, be recorded a little more in the fame-by-association are boosted to
clarinet, Danny Barker, guitar; Al Williams, proper surroundings he might get stardom in a small-group recording,
piano; Gene Ramey, bass; Marquis Foster, his due recognition as a really and they blow and they blow, and
drums. Undecided, The Lamp is Low. outstanding modern jazz composer- their conscientious efforts merely

22
create a vacuum which even an The Frog, impresses as a pocket-
important player cannot fill. If Messrs. sized, abridged Webster. The rhythm
McCarthy and Dance are properly section is light, buoyant, and Basieish.
subsidized, perhaps it is only a matter The Dickenson group could have
of time before the appearance of been an attractive advertisement
"Wallace JonesEllington Star for "Mainstream".
Returns!" or "Henry Wells Croons While the foregoing may not sound
Lunceford Favorites." like it, I am on the same side of
Joe Thomas is a competent middle- the watershed as Mr. McCarthy and
range swing era trumpeter who Mr. Dance. I don't think the term
openly pays his dues to Armstrong, "Mainstream" is evocative of much
Eldridge and Williams, but lacks of anything, but you can call "Swing"
their genius, fire and rhythmic "Mainstream," if you like. I am
flexibility. McCarthy's album notes concerned lest it be called "Mud."
cite his 1946 Keynote performance Swing now stands in that position
of Black Butterfly to establish his held by New Orleans jazz in 1939
importance; probably Mr. McCarthy when most of the early greats were
has never heard the 1940 recording still playing. Only a handful of
by Cootie Williams which Thomas records made by Dodds, Ladnier and
duplicates. And if you've never heard Morton survive from that period,
Armstrong's 1931 recording of a time of meager recording activity.
Sweethearts on Parade you might This Ip era can do better. However,
enjoy Thomas' brief solo contributions
in his 1958 recording. The band
selected by or for him, with one
shoddy choice of musicians and
careless production will not attract
record buyers, and the companies
modern
exception, functions at or below his
level. The exception, Dickie Wells,
plays consistently logical and witty
will therefore conclude that the only
salable merchandise consists of the
activities of the newest group of
giant of
solos at his pre-war Basie level. whiz kids from Philadelphia or tiger
Buster Bailey, a technician who dates
from the pre-swing era, appears to
be attempting to recall Handy's Brass
cubs from Detroit. And the time will
pass. By 1945, Dodds, Ladnier, and
Morton were long gone and all we
. jazz :
Band of Memphis in most of his had were the Revivalists and their
solos. Buddy Tate plays with the Saints. Remember, gentlemen, the
capable dullness he showed as time is again 1939.
Basie's second-string tenor man, and Louis Levy
he has added touches one normally j 1313
finds in rock-and-roll. Johnny Lettman, .(also available
although faceless and often , in stereo)
discombobulated, is a firebrand SNOOKS EAGLIN; "New Orleans
whose playing shows greater vitality, Street Singer". Folkways FA2476. IMPROVISED MEDITATIONS & EXCURSIONS
if less organization, than the leader's. Blues singing is strange. A strange
The hornmen (raggedly playing art (if that's what should be said
three standards sketchily arranged to get most of your respect, i.e.,
in Sunday-at-Ryans fashion by Dick attention). Art is the fat toad we
Vance) rush helter-skelter to an westerners swallow at the drop of a
unsteady, nervous rhythm section; hat. So I'll make out like I think
the culprits appear to be the relentless blues singing is that boy too. So
Everett Barksdale and the heavy- strange, because it cannot ever be
handed Jimmy Crawford, who didn't properly grasped; conjured with. A
used to be like that. man sings blues (it seems) when he
The poorest track by the Thomas feels like it (records are wondrous The John Lams Pr 1272
group is Blues for Baby, an unfeeling, if they make us think this way)
improvisation which, according to the blues is singing with and without
sleeve notes, lasts for 12:50 (or occasion. THE JOHN LEWIS PIANO
2:10 longer than the entire Dickenson A man told me Thomas Jefferson
band's contribution). No one covers invented the blues. Wal, thass fine!
himself with glory but Buster and Another man told me Billie Holiday
Dickie get by. wasn't a blues singer. O.K. twelve
bars (theme and variation/ strophe-
The Dickenson group's contributions antistrophe) is that what'll do it?
are something else. Although no Then I can make Johnny Mathis a
arranger is credited, both Undecided blues singer? Good.
and The Lamp is LAW show planning I knew a Negro in Newark named
and rehearsal. The latter selection, an "Mean William" who didn't know
unlikely choice, played in an what blues were. I told him onee, 1267
unorthodox medium-up tempo, is and he thanked me. He had a
extraordinarily successful. Shining harmonica he won in a chewing
soloists are Dickenson and Clayton gum machine, and he only knew AFTERNOON IN PARIS (With Sacha Distel)
who, unfortunately for one of the songs he made up himself. He
premises behind the "mainstream" claimed he never knew the names Monaural $4.98 Stereo $5.98
position, have not been neglected of anything. He also claimed he could Write for complete LP catalogue
on record. Supporting horns Herbie get plenty of money (to pay back

$4
and stereo disc listing.
Hall and Hal Singer are satisfactory. all the kids that loaned him their
Herbie is a less colorful version of soda money) if he could only find
brother Ed, and Singer, a follower of out where he lived. He did sing blues TLANTIC RECORDS
157 Wejt 57th Street, New York 19, New York
23
though, and most beautifully, artfully. 22, even if he does not ever sing derives from his highly individual
He was an artist too, then. another note. almost idiosyncraticapproach to the
Blues singing I don't know how to LeRoi Jones keyboard. The foremost' quality of
talk about. I hear these people his pianistic method is its absolute
singing, and want to know all about freedom, and in this he even exceeds
their lives. Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Monk. Ellington appears almost
Billie Holiday, Mama Yancey, Blind incapable of thinking in terms of
Lemon, etc. When I hear them I DUKE ELLINGTON-JOHNNY HODGES:
conventional keyboard devices and
wonder what must have happened in "Back to Back". Verve MG V-8317. evolves unusual and always changing
their lives to form their singing so. Harry Edison, trumpet; Johnny Hodges, alto; textures. Contrast is important to
Or then, somebody tells me it's all Duke Ellington, piano; Les Spann, guitar him and rich, sustained chords
a wedding of the Occident and Sam Jones, bass; drummer unidentified. alternate with filigree decoration,
Africa. "Mean William, you're just Basin Street Blues; Beale Street Blues; high register is set against low.
a wedding of the Occident and Si. Louis Blues; Loveless Love; Royal Garden Original arpeggio constructions
Africa." Blues. abound, and everywhere is Ellington's
Al Hall replaces Jones. unique sense of time evident, not
Snooks Eaglin's is one of the most Wabash Blues; Weary Blues.
marvelous voices I've ever heard. least in the accompaniments. His
At first hearing this Ip sounds like a best moments here are the Weary
Whatever he says in these songs casual, almost too relaxed, session
seems true, profound, and given solopossibly the finest passage of
and the uncommon beauty of the the best track in the collectionthe
such a pitiless sophistication that music seems accidental rather than fascinating opening to St. Louis
one is forced at times into a kind of the result of artistic endeavour. Blues, and the Basin Street and
involuntary stunned silence. I Appearances are deceptive sometimes. Beale Street solos. Basin Street,
listened, as the poet John Wieners The three main protagonists, Ellington, especially his second chorus, is a
says "with my hand over my mouth"; Hodges and Edison, are all masters noteworthy instance of conventional
in complete amazement, and of jazz improvisation and mastery basic ideas being used to creative
persuaded that this was, perhaps, always makes even the most difficult purpose, while Beale Street contains
the most beautiful voice I'd ever accomplishments seem easier than a remarkably graduate take-over
heard. And that word beauty need they really are. Teddy Wilson, for from piano to guitar. Loveless has
not be qualified, only, perhaps, example, will always convey the a striking piano introduction and
cla'rified. When I listen to Bessie impression his piano is playing itself, a solo that is scarcely less
Smith, or Lemon, or even John and only the pianists in the audience characteristic.
Coltrane, the idea of a "beautiful know just how deceptive that is.
thing" does not occur to me. The Mastery obviates unnecessary or As befits a man over fifty Johnny
power of the expression, the terrible wasteful expenditure of energy, every Hodges no longer blows quite as
clarity,that say, Mama Yancey, effort is accurately directed to the passionately as in former years but
forces upon me, leaves small room his invention, given sufficiently
fulfillment of clearly envisaged aims. stimulating circumstances, is as
for any consideration of the artifact Every track here gives evidence of
in that hopeless Berensonian sense. effortless as ever. The rather
some preparation but improvisation unpleasant hardness he exhibited in
But from Eaglin, I get the feeling of is clearly the main thing. Again, none
and object, an artifact of such Flirtibird on "Anatomy of a Murder"
of the musicians, particularly not the is absent, and every track here finds
graceful instruction that someone horns, does anything that is startlingly
might label it Quattrocentro. His him with a tone as ravishing as in
new; there are no noticeable changes the greatest days with Ellington's
voice is slight, trails off in odd in the characters of their ideas, their
places, and is certainly incapable of band. His outstanding solo is I think,
methods of constructing choruses, on Beale Street, although that on
any gymnastic. But it also is so etc. Each invents abundantly in his
tender and thoroughly musical that St. Louis grows from its theme with
own settled idiom. It is obvious a wonderful effect of natural
sometimes it seems that the feeling when a musician like John Coltrane
Eaglin is trying to transmit is almost inevitability. The Basin Street
creates because, at his best and with improvisation is almost equally rich,
too valuable for him to let go. his newly-minted style, he plays and his tone especially warm, while
"Come back baby, please don't go, things the like of which have not 'luxuriant' seems the aptest description
For the way I love you baby, you'll been heard before. When Hodges or of his Loveless Love theme
never know." Edison play in their long-established statement.
Eaglin is only 22 years old, and has styles, creation is not so easy to
been blind almost all of his life. Edison's best work has an air of
detect. An idea of the real freshness what might be termed justified
Another strange thing about him is of their work in this instance can
that he learned almost all of the songs be given by saying they have taken conservatism. His tone is enough in
in his repertoire by listening to some of the most hackneyed items itself to establish his identity, he does
recordings or the radio. But I suppose in the whole jazz repertoire and not venture into extreme of register,
this is not too strange considering made them sound as if they were and his melodic ideas .are personal
how many other things in our culture being played for the first time. but simple. His open work is
that once were dependent for their Although purists would not admit him generally best and his choruses on
perpetuation on the oral tradition within the canon, Ellington is, as Basin Street and Wabash are
have now been continued largely Leonard Feather rightly says in the particularly fine, with terse, well-
by commercial sources, certainly all liner notes, a most remarkable blues shaped melodic development, and the
forms of folk culture. pianist. This record draws attention tension is skilfully relaxed at the
Most of the songs on this first album to the fact more effectively, perhaps, end of the latter solo. Muted, he is
are standards. See, See Rider, Rock than any other. In the main body of
Jsland Line, Every Day, Careless rather prone to detached, too often
his work with his band, the originality repeated, phrases and this is
Love, St. James Infirmary, Trouble of Ellington's music is determined
In Mind, etc. All of them are given by the unique character of his ideas illustrated by the trumpet solos in
to us in such complete interpretations and the skill with which he develops Loveless and Weary. His St. Louis
that they take on a newness all them in relation to the group's solo begins well with some unusually
"art" must have I would say Eaglin ensemble and solo resources. With long lines but later deliquesces into
has to be alked about with Lemon, his piano blues improvisations the a string of those isolated, downward-
Bessie Smith, Yancey, etal, Now, at basic ideas are not remarkable at smeared notes that have become
all, and the force of these solos his favorite method of coasting. He

24
is rather lethargic over Duke's than so much gossip. I have several Now available as a correspondence
attacking chords in his first chorus reasons for believing Getz does not course
on Beale Street but improves in the deserve acclaim as "best modern
tenor man."
second. Better linear construction
is shown in Royal Garden, and to be One of the main criteria for judging GEORGE RUSSELL'S
fair one must end by saying that the work of any artist is originality.
the solos that best represent In 1947, when he cut his famous LYDIAN CHROMATIC
Edison's powers are very satisfying. version of Summer Sequence (later
Ensemble playing by the horns is not recorded as Early Autumn), he was CONCEPT FOR JAZZ
of much importance on this sort of playing in a style harmonically and
date, but in some tracks they play
antiphonally in a way derived from
and rhythmically quite similar to
Lester Young's. (There were traces
IMPROVISATION
the statement and response of vocal of Bird, of course, but Bird even "The first important theoretical inno-
blues. The best instances are the affected Hawkins.) However, he did vation to come from jazz."John Lewis,
introduction and coda to Wabash "comb Prez's sound smooth", and musical director of the Modern Jazz
and the delicious theme-restatement that's what tricked everybody, it Quartet.
of Loveless Love. seem. His tone was much cleaner "Important for every serious jazz mu-
Max Harrison than Lester's; it has been accurately sician."Art Farmer.
described as having a "piercing
purity", a kind of shy beauty that Taught at the School of Jazz, Lenox,
makes one recall his lovely, naive Mass.
RED GARLAND TRIO: "All Kinds of youtheven if he was a juvenile For information write to:
Weather". New Jazz. delinquent.
But Getz was not the only tenor man Concept Publishing Company
Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Arthur
Taylor, drums. to realize that Lester's sound could 121 Bank Street, N. Y. 14, N. Y.
Rain, Summertine; Stormy Weather; Spring be rough, nor was he the first to do
Will Be a Little Late This Year; Winter anything about it. In 1946, before
Wonderland; Tis Autumn. he joined Herman, Getz cut some
Red Garland is a sophisticated, quartet records for Savoy with Hank
delicately expert player whose Jones. The contrast between
distinctive voicings (antecedent traces them and his playing of a year later
of which can be found in some of is amazing. On the earlier sides, a
Al Haig's work and in Errol Garner's big jagged sound and aggressive
ballads) have influenced a number attack are reminiscent of Dexter
of young pianists. He has two Gordon or Morris Lane.
customary approaches to the piano. On the other hand, listen to the
First, his often graceful single-note playing of Herbie Steward. In 1946
lines, accompanied by small, stroking he recorded two solos on Norman
chords which fall on (or a hair Granz's "Jazz Scene" album. He
before) beats one and three. Second sounds quite a bit like Getz until you
is his technique of coupling each remember the year. When you do,
melody note with a simultaneous you start thinking Getz sounds a lot
chord, using a lot of parallel motion like Steward. Ira Gitler, a reliable
in his changes (this device is not source in these matters has written famous French review
to my personal taste, and I think that Getz was influenced by Stewart.
Garland overuses it). Even if Getz did conceive this change
His work on this album is neither himself, however, its quality would
not match the innovations on tenor For information write to:
more nor less interesting than that
on his others. It is rarely exciting or playing made by Sonny Rollins, or The Jazz Review,
moving, and sometimes dull, but he John Coltranequite possibly the 124 White Street, N.Y. 13, N.Y.
swings lightly and effortlessly without the most important reed men since
strain. Garland fans should be Charlie Parker. (Imagine Getz trading

JAZZ PHOTOGRAPHS
satisfied. Chambers and Taylor are fours with them.)
both impeccable. Getz is rightly called a ballad master.
Mait Edey He stays close to the melody but
plays with great sincerity and, of Send stamp for free detailed list
course, his sound is choice. His of hundreds of photos of jazzmen,
up-tempo efforts are not of the same
STAN GETZ: "Imported from Europe": quality. He is uncomfortable in
bands old and new, obscure blues
Verve 8331. anything faster than a medium bounce artists, sweet bands and vocalists.
Stan Getz, tenor; Benny Bailey, trumpet; grove, and has said so. Sometimes Traditional and modern musicians
Arte Persson, trombone; Erik Nordstrom, nowadays he stalls by playing a lot
tenor; Lars Gullin, baritone; Bengt Hallberg, represented. Photos of bands add
of stock "funky" clinches, more
piano; Gunnar Johnson, bass; William often he become nervous and almost to the enjoyment of your record-
Schiopffe, drums; Jan Johansson, piano phrases ahead of the beat. When ings.
(tracks 2, 3, 4); Bajarne Nerem, tenor this happens, he is like a man trying
(tracks 6, 7). Examples: Oliver, Morton, Bechet,
hard to sound like he's swinging.
Bengt's Blues; Honeysuckle Rose; They Give Getz credit for the fact that Lester Young, Basie, Moten, E.
Can't Take That Away From Me; Topsy; he is constantly trying to grow. For Lang, Bix w. Whitman, Waller, Earl
Like Someone In Love; Speak L*ow; the past several years he has been
Stockholm Street. Hines 1943, Benny Goodman,
going back to his bigger sound and
A recent review of this record stated more aggressive attack of 1946. Dizzy with Bird, Bunny Berigan,
that Stan Getz was overrated by most Whether this has actually been an early St. Louis and K. C. bands.
jazz critics. I share this opinion but improvement is a matter of opinion New price schedule now in effect.
once a conviction is stated it must but he hasn't been sitting on his
be supported or it is of no more use Duncan P. Schiedt
2534 E. 68th St, Indianapolis, Ind.
25
laurels as Sims or Cohn have. satisfying. Humphries is generally swings right along and is quite
The playing on this album is rather content to lay down a simple, pleasant for casual listening.
typical of his recent work. He seems uncluttered pulse, oh brushes much I. W. Stone
to want to graft an unnatural of the time; his accenting is expert.
funkiness onto his style. He even Junior Mance combines a light touch,
uses the hard swinging "down" intense drive, and a lot of blues in HOWLIN' WOLF: "Moanin' in the
figures and squeals on ballads. It's a Peterson-oriented style. Les Spann Moonlight". Chess LP-1434.
embarrassing and incongruous. doubles on guitar and flute. His Howlin' Wolf, guitar and vocal; unidentified
Nat Hentoff says in his liner notes guitar work is generally idiomatic piano and drums on all tracks; unidentified
that Getz is easily the major figure modern, long lines and rapid harmonica on all tracks except 8, 9, and 12.
on this album. This isn't entirely fingering, but with traces of Django Moanin' at Midnight; How Many More Years;
accurate. Trumpeter Benny Bailey, a Reinhardt in both tone and the Smokestack Lightnin'; Baby, How Long;
minor legend to Cleveland musicians, technique of phrasing in octaves. No Place to Go; All Night Boogie; Evil;
is present on a few cuts though his I don't like his vacant and cold I'm Leavin' You; Moanin' for My Baby;
playing isn't up to standard. Benny flute work, though. I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline);
is an original stylist, with a conception This isn't a record that will be Forty-Four; Somebody in My Home.
similar to Clifford Brown's, and a remembered as one of Dizzy's best, Howlin' Wolf, Chester Burnet, is a
fine technique. Here he sounds like though no record on which he plays blues singer deeply rooted in tradition,
he doesn't give a damn. Art Farmer a major part can fail to be interesting. who, like Muddy Waters and others,
always admits that Benny taught A soloist of his stature (and drawing has found an audience in the Chicago
him quite a bit. He should get a power) doesn't need to work with area. In this center of the newest
chance to record as a leader with second-rate material or arrangements Negro migration from the South,
some good East Coast musicians of transient interest. This set is the older blues has retained most
who would provide him the stimulus recommended for some of the solo of its emotional validity even when
the Swedes apparently don't. Their work with the qualification that it coupled with accompaniments, like
playing is reminiscent of some of the would have been much better if it those here, that tend to drown the
cliche-ridden stuff to be heard in had been less diluted. singer in a mass of afterbeats and
California. Mait Edey tedious riffs.
The arrangements are corny and The music of Howlin' Wolf is of a
cluttered. savage intensity completely
Harvey Pekar untempered by compassion. His
"BENNIE GREEN Swings the Blues." world is one* unlightened by either
Enrica Records. lover or mercy, a world of treachery
Bennie Green, trombone; Jimmy Forest; and betrayal where the only humor
tenor; Sunny Clark, piano; George Tucker, is darkly ironic. In this respect the
DIZZY GILLESPIE: "Have Trumpet, bass; Paul Gusman, drums. emotional range of his work is much
Will Excite". Verve MG V-8313. Been Walkin'; Blue Mambo; Love at Last; narrower than that of a Bill Broonzy
Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet; Junior Mance, piano; Penthouse Blues; Hop Skip & Jump; A Bun or Blind Lemon Jefferson. Of course
Leslie Spann, guitar and flute; Sam Jones, Dance; Pennies From Heaven; Change Up the air of desolation which dominates
bass; Lex Humphries, drums. Blues. much of his work is not without
My Heart Belongs to Daddy; My Man; This is not just another blowing its counterpart in the work of other
Moonglow; St. Louis Blues; Woody'n You; session. Rather, it is a mainstream singers, but for these others
Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams; There is no blowing session, mainstream in the desolation and betrayal are not the
Greater Love, I Found a Million Dollar Baby narrow or Stanley Dance sense. only thing.
in the Five and Ten Cent Store. It is the fourth Ip in the last 18
Remarks about Dizzy's genius or the months which has involved Bennie Howlin' Wolf's voice is dark and
elements of his style should be not Green as leader accompanied by tenor plangent, remarkablein its force
necessary for readers of this magazine. or tenors and three rhythm_ of delivery. On Smokestack Lightnin',
Enough to note, for those that There is little evidence that either for example, he drives home the
haven't been listening recently, that of the horns has absorbed into their line "Tell me, where did you stay
his melodic imagination is still among conception anything that has come last night" with a tension which
the most fertile in jazz, that no one to pass on the jazz scene since makes it reverberate in the listener's
can play more delicate and subtle the early 'forties. Bennie is an ear long after the track is over.
rhythmic patterns, and that his aggressive, simple, humorous, The lyrics themselves ar a melange
technical supremacy on his instrument extroverted and vigorous swinger of long familiar blues phrases which
is incontestable. who has an original sound that is he, at his best, makes new by that
The sidemen here have been working only somewhat reminiscent of the drive and rough energy with which he
with him in clubs, and the tunes pre-Louis Armstrong Trummy Young; virtually beats them into the
are taken from the group's club that this sound has been used to listener's ear; and he produces series
repertoire, but have been pruned of express the same ideas for, at least, of howls and near screams which
most of Dizzy's comic effects (the the last decade is the rub. Jimmy intensify the words.
best are visual anyway), and those Forest is of the same attitude and Of course this approach does not
long, twitchy choruses of bare Latin era. However, he hasn't Green's always come off, and there are times
Latin rhythm. What remains is humor or individuality and his (Forty-Four is an example) when
technically polished and occasionally interpolations are frequently inane. even delivery fails, the accompaniment
spirited playing by everyone involved. Sonny Clark's solos seem to consist dominates, and we pass from the
Dizzy himself is in spotless form, but in great part of Silverisms. The tunes blues to the dreary world of rock.
not at his most daring. He sounds are not new for example, blue Mambo But these times are few, and
restrained, and I've heard him play was recorded as Let's Stretch on particularly on such numbers as How
many of these phrases before. All Prestige 7041 about four or five Many More Years, I'm Leavin' You,
the tracks are head arrangements years ago), and the arrangements and I Asked for Water, he succeeds
(according to the notes), but with seem special only in Slim Gaillard's both in dominating his accompaniment
almost as many preplanned passages sense of that word. There are frequent and in reaching the listener with
as blowing choruses. remembrances of Blow Your Horn. full power.
The rhythm section, as a section, is Having decimated everybody and If we judge Howlin' Wolf by the
smooth, supple and altogether everything may I say that this Ip standards of a Muddy Waters or

26
Lightnin' Hopkins, I think it is obvious profoundly conditioned through his
that his work is inferior to theirs dealings with its particular qualities.
both in its material and in delivery. His tone is not one that will appeal
However, there is still enough on this to all. It is like a hard drill and only
Ip to warrant attention from anyone occasionally, at the end of a phrase,
seriously interested in the idiom. permits itself a well-nigh inaudible THE EAR
H. A. Woodfin touch of vibrato. It is fresh,
unsentimental, detached, neither THAT HAS
brassy nor reedy. Still, these things,
which I take as virtues in the frame HEARD
STEVE LACY: "Reflections". New
of Lacy's style, have not been EVERYTHING,
Jazz 8206.
achieved without effort; and the effort
Four In One; Reflections; Hornin' In;
Bye-Ya; Lefs Call This; Ask Me Now; Skippy.
shows in one's sensation that the HAS HEARD
tones are squeezed out, and in that
Steve Lacy, soprano sax; Mai Waldron, piano; NOTHING
damnable acridity of tones above
Buell Neidlinger, bass; Elvin Jones, drums.
B flat. This hooting timbre does not
The soprano sax is a rare avis
project in the way that Bechet's UNTIL
wherever and whenever it appears.
tone did, or the way the plum-pudding IT HEARS
In writing this I think of things as
sound of the saxoprone colossi who
diverse as Marcel Mule's attempt to
use it as a substitute for the high
learned in the thirties how to override
a dozen furiously blowing musicians FIORELLO!
trumpet in the second Brandenburg
does. But it makes a brilliant and The fabulous new smash musical as played by
concerto (or was that an E flat
penetrating impression, nonetheless, Leon Merian, his trumpet and quartet, in a jazz
sopranine?), a young Bob Wilber and
much as an oboe might were it tempo as only Leon can play it. A listening
others emulating Bechet, Herbie Fields
used as a jazz voice. experience of rare pleasure, deserving inclusion
using it as a kind of vaudeville prop,
This manner of approach to Lacy's in every record library
Hodges and Barnet trying to pretend
music shouldn't be forced beyond
they were still playing alto. There
reason, for even when he was heard Available both
are perfectly good reasons for this in Stereo and Monaural
lw LEON MERIAN |ui <MTM
in the context of out-and-out or
curious status: contrary to its lower-
modified dixieland it was clear that
pitched siblings, the soprano blends
an original imagination was involved.
with other instruments with some HI-FIDELITY
But it is likely, it seems to me, that
difficulty; while it is perhaps not
his originality can only have been
intrinsically out of tune (That is,
stimulated by the choice of a horn
impossible to construct properly), its
which in the jazz of today has no
high tessitura and conical bore STEREOPHONIC RECORDS
tradition, no firmly established style
require considerable care from the
which give critical blood hounds a
player; finally, the extremes of the CELP-4SS
field day. While Lacy could conceivably SEECO RECORDS, 39 W. 60 ST., N.Y.C.
horn's range seem to be needed more
have given his solos meaning by
often than with the other saxophones
constant cross-reference to a common
the high notes to keep out of the
storehouse of jazz figures, as Mulligan
trumpeter's way in Dixieland, the
frequently does for example, in point
low tones because the range would be
Oi fact he rarely does so.
poor indeed without them. But the
Whatever the benefits that must have
high tones (besides presenting
derived from his collaboration with
fingering problems), show a tendency
Cecil Taylor, it was not entirely
to thin out to insignificance, and the
happy. In this latest Lacy is not
low tones need a firm embouchure
dominated to his disadvantages by
as well as a horn with air-tight pads.
the accompaniment, and the ethos
I speak of these matters with feeling
of Monk's pieces and musical
since some of the first money I ever
conception is in tune with the
ever earned went to buy a venerable
Buescher soprano which I nursed
economy and purity of his style. As B A Y A R E A
much as he has been enchanted by
along over a number of years, always
Monkand one completely
hoping to find just that amount of
sympathizes with thathe insists
bite, that stiffness of reed, that
on an over continuity and consistency
mouthpiece lay which would make
of melodic line which I think is not
the horn sound the way I thought it
prominent in Monk. Nevertheless,
should.
Lacy's predilection for widely separated
The instrument a man plays is no intervals, often distantly related
trivial factor in the way he plays. harmonically, is along Monk's line.
Anyone who has known a number of Three or four tones, artfully placed
musicians has had, from time to in a relatively simple harmonic
time, the feeling that clarinet players skein, can be a beautiful thing and
as a breed differ from drummers in can say more than ten choruses of
some important way. Nobody can inundating scales. DANCE ORCHESTRATIONS
spend his live with a metal tube of The B side is the better. Monk's
peculiar manufacture without it ostinatos are well executed by the COMBO ORKS . Musical Supplies
becoming more than a tool of the rhythm and Buell Neidlinger is
trade. consistently on top of the beat. On For Free C a t a l o g W r i t e t o :
All this as a preface to my opinion Let's Call This Waldron is more
that Steve Lacy has turned the special graceful, less forceful than the master,
position and difficulties of the soprano but the clarity of texture is there
all the same. Ask Me Now is perhaps MUSICAL SUPPLY, inc.
sax most successfully to his
advantage, and that his individuality the most telling piece. I might point Oept J R 113 W 48 St.. New York 36 N Y
as a creative musician has been

27
especially to the construction of rehearsed, the tunes are well chosen world and attain a unique, personal
Lacy's chorus after the piano solo. and thoughtfully treated. I'm sure greatness. Witness Frank Sinatra and
Skippy attempts a fantastic tempo, Osie did his usual good job of forming Harry Belafonte.
faster than Monk's, but after the instant rapport with the group and One reason why Miss O'Day remains
first statement of the tune is hard is responsible for much of the relaxed a bridesmaid may well be the same
put to maintain the initial tension feeling on all the sides. There are many reason she has long maintained the
and excitement. And perhaps it is rough edges in his accompaniment, respected, if not honored, position
the tempo which forces the soprano and one of his tom-toms sounds like she holds. Lacking the technical
to squeal now and again. an overturned trash barrel, but the brilliance of Ella Fitzgerald, the
Four and One finds Waldron sounding important characteristics of his work richness of Sara Vaughan, the raw
like Wilson-Guarnieri plus Monk, and his sureness of feeling and his warmth (once described aptly as
in Hornin' In this slickness is a sensitivity to the central elements of "rawmth") of Billie Holiday or the
bit disturbing. On Bye-Ya, however, every musical situationabound on sophisticated, sad charm of Lee Wiley
we sense a rhythmic backbone and these tracks and give an indication she nevertheless possesses all these
swing in his playing that Lacy seems oT the reason he is in such demand virtues to some degree. In addition
to lack. The first and fourth bands for unrehearsed record dates. she has always projected a wonderful
don't work too well as unified pieces. John Drew does everything just right; combination of lasciviousness and
The bass and drum fours of Four in he uses his ears well, produces a rich naivetea Lolita in a white lace dress
One teeter on the edge of chaos, bass sound, and drops every note whispering a four-letter word. The
and the ending cum fade-out of right where it belongs. Both he and occasions when she manages to unite
Bye-Ya needed to go back to the shop. Osie have a number of brief solo these talents in a single performance
I think it fair to say that Elvin Jones' spots, but their chief service here is are joyous ones for her audience.
drumming is both somewhat the sustenance and support of Which brings me, sadly, to a
overbearing and unsympathetic. McKenna's brilliant work. consideration of the above recording.
Omnipresent cymbal-shimmer is all Historically, Dave relates to pianists of As you have probably not gathered
right, and we have come to accept the swing era more than he does to from the foregoing analysis, I have
it as part of the style, but the random either Bud Powell or the funky-blues long been an ardent admirer of Miss
stick-work of Let's Call This, the players of his own generation, but O'Day, far more often rewarded by
senseless brush strokes at the end he is neither an antiquary nor a her gifts than rebuffed by the lack of
of Hornin' In, and the busyness of throwback; his playing reflects the technique or occasional cliche. Thus,
Ask Me Now, to single out the most music he has heard, including what it grieves me to report that these fine
obvious instances, are lapses of taste. has been done in the past ten years, Cole Porter standards have been done
Possibly they stand out only because but it is evident that he prefers the better elsewheremany times.
the record is otherwise so well- emotional character of the music of Never at her best in front of a big
conceived. the 'thirties and the time feeling that band, Miss O'Day is unfortunately cast
was prevalent then to any of the here in the role of referee while
Larry Gushee styles that have been developed since. Billy May's orchestra strangles the
It is refreshing to hear this kind Bard of Broadway to death in the
of swing played organically and background. Her occasional smart
"The Piano Scene Of DAVE McKENNA". impulsively, without any indication phrasings and riffs are smothered by
Epic LN 3558. of desire to recreate the golden past the oppressive brass and leaden
Dave McKenna, Piano; Osie Johnson, drums; or disinter its heroes. rhythm of the orchestra. Nor does
John Drew, bass. Lester Young and Teddy Wilson have she herself much improve matters.
clearly influenced Dave's playing, but Most of the selections are sung (and,
This Is The Moment; Silk Stockings; Way
is unnecessary to have heard either of course, played) in a nervous,
Down Yonder In New Orleans; Fools Rush In;
of them to understand and be moved herky-jerky tempo that fits neither the
Expense Account; Lazy; Splendid Splinter;
by McKenna. He has received his musical comedy nor the supper club
Lickety Split; Along With Me; Secret Love;
heritage without making any undue atmospheres to which the songs of
Da-Da-Da-Go-Dig-It; I Should Care.
fuss about it, and has reforged Mr. Porter are equally adaptable.
Dave McKenna's own particular way
familiar materials through a strong Only three cuts deserve special
of swinging is the strongest and most
inner vision of beauty into a living, mention, and one of these, Night
characteristic quality of his playing.
complete, intensely personal musical and Day, is noteworthy only because
He lays everything right on the beat,
expression. it performed at such a frenetic pace
avoiding any rigidity that might grow
out of his unvaryingly strict divisions Bill Crow the listener can only assume that the
of the time through the effortless cleaning men were standing by
delicacy with which he controls impatient to lock up the studio and
shadings of touch, creating a pleasing get to work. What Is This Thing Called
variety of color in accent, melodic Love is given a brisk, individual
"ANITA O'DAY Swings Cole Porter O'Day treatment complete with the
continuity and tonal density. His solos with Billy May". Verve MG-V0000.
are a satisfying combination of soaring gleeful oo-bla-dees that characterize
Just One of Those Things; You'd Be So Nice her work at its best. Unfortunately,
melodic invention and joyous rhythmic To Come Home To; Easy To Love; I Get a
impulse, always bold and thorough those among us with long memories
Kick Out of You; All of You; Love For Sale; will recall a similar treatment of
but never forced or overdecorated. Get Out of Town; I've Got You Under My Skin;
Having Osie Johnson and John Drew this standard by Miss O'Day (in the
Night and Day; It's De Lovely; I Love You; dear dead days of the Rag Doll in
for support, Dave omits the left-hand What Is This Thing Called Love.
walking line that was done so well Chicago and the 78 rpm record) that
Anita O'Day has for many years was far superior.
on his solo album (ABC Paramount occupied a peculiar position in the
104). Instead, his left functions in music, lost in that limbo between the
a number of ways, comping, echoing To save the best for lastI Get a
popular singer and the authentic jazz Kick Out Of You opens with a
his right hand, occasionally rumbling artist Cursed by an imagination too
around the bass line or chording in vivid for the one and too sterile for smoky, sensual intra and then really
four like a rhythm guitar. On New the other she has never achieved the swings. Even the reluctant May is
Orleans he plays a hearty stride with stature her talents warrant. There are won over for a moment and furnishes
good command of and respect for singers who, by the sheer power of a bright, driving accompaniment
the style. electric personality and technical that makes this interpretation almost,
Though this date does not sound virtuosity, can transcend this shadow but not quite, worth the price of

28
admission.
Ray Gandolf
timing, and his inappropriately
percussive, jagged attack is anything
but expressive of melancholy.
blue note
THE FINEST IN J A Z Z
On the whole, the quintet tracks SINCE 1939 i
are more interesting. Blowin' the
BUDDY RICH AND MAX ROACH: Blues Away is a very fast blues with
"Rich versus Roach". Mercury a fine theme full of holes alternating Art Blakey is first the musician
MG 20448. with single explosive notes played who knows what to do and does
Nat Turrentine, trumpet; Willie Dennis, unison by the horns. Break City (very it. He's by himself.
Julian Priestei, trmbones; Phil Woods, alto; fast) and The Baghdad Blues From Zita Carno's article on Art Blakey'
Stan Turrentine, tenor; Jimmy Bunch, piano; (moderately fast, not a blues) are in the January "Jazz Review".
Phil Leshin, bass; Max Roach, Buddy Rich, good originals; the latter has a
drums. particularly flowing theme after a
Sing, Sing, Sing; The Casbah; Sleep; Figure rather silly oriental introduction. Peace
Eights; Yesterdays; Big Foot; Limehouse is a very slow, tranquil ballad. Sister
Blues; Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye. Sadie is taken moderately fast, and
The title is enough to indicate that except for Mitchell, is a dull piece
this is one long drum battle. So it marred by some tasteless single-
proves to be, with the percussion note rifting behind Cook's solo. It is
solos framedexcept on Figure eights one of those self-consciously down-
with sketchy ensembles and home bits with artificial flavoring
diversified with rather empty horn, added.
piano and bass solos. The technical These tracks are of interest primarily
accomplishment of the two leaders is, because of Mitchell's work and Louis
of course, overwhelming and compels Hayes's vigorous, headlong drumming.
admiration. Yet this record is almost When he is audible, Taylor sounds
inevitably mainly of interest to solid, but he is frequently drowned
drummers and, one suppose, to out by Silver and Hayes, who operate
stereo enthusiasts, for on the stereo at top volume and obscure his
copies Rich and Roach each have lines. Better recording balance would
a loudspeaker to themselves. Rich's have compensated for this. Junior
contributions are little but technical Cook's work, I'm afraid, is not ART BLAKEY
displays while Roach shows, as impressive here. He plays with a
Holiday For Skins. Now Volume 2
everyone would expect, a great deal brutish tone which permits no of Art's fantastic excursion into "the land
of rhythmic imagination and a more expressive shading, employs the of rhythm". Art took with him top drum-
flexible approach to his instrumuents. narrowest possible range of dynamics, mers Philly Joe Jones, and Art Taylor,
There is a great variety, more light and suffers from lack of melodic plus an exciting Afro-Cuban rhythm sec-
and shade, in his solos. This is most imagination and stiff time. If he tion headed 'by Sabu and Ray Barretto.
notable in Yesterdays, where Rich could crawl out of that tangle of Jazz stars Donald Byrd, Ray Bryant, and
follows him. repetitious hard-bop cliches, he would Wendell Marshall round out the company.
be a much better tenor. BLUE NOTE 4005
Max Harrisc .
Mitchell could hardly be a greater
contrast. His ideas are fresh, his tone RECENT RELEASES:
is clear and even (almost entirely DIZZY REECE
HORACE SILVER: "Blowin' the Blues without vibrato), his time is excellent, Star Bright. With Hank Mobley, Wyn-
Away". Blue Note 4017. and his technique is flawless. Most ton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Art Taylor.
Horace Silver, piano; Eugene Taylor, bass; satisfying is his heat and passion, BLUE NOTE 4023
Louis Hayes, drums. more evident here than on his own THE THREE SOUNDS
SL Vitus Dance; Melancholy Mood (New Riverside album. I guess comparisons Good Deal. Gene Harris, Andrew Sfmp-
version). with Clifford Brown are inevitable, kinJ, Bill Dowdy.
but Mitchell (judging only from his BLUE NOTE 4020
Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Junior Cook, tenor;
added. work here) tends to play shorter JIMMY SMITH
lines composed of notes with a greater The Sermon. With Lee Morgan, Kenny
Blowin' The Blues Away; Break City; Burred, Lou Donaldson, Tina Brooks, Art
Peace; Sister Sadie; The Baghdad Blues. variety of time-values, and intersperses
them with single sustained tones. Blakey, Donald Bailey, etc
The playing on this album is of BLUE NOTE 4011
He has three lovely solos in this
rather uneven quality, but the best DONALD BYRD
set. That on Sister Sadie, right after
moments are superb. Blue Mitchell's Byrd In Hand. With Charlie Rouse,
the opening theme, with Silver
up-tempo work is some of the most Pepper Adams, Walter Davis Jr., Sam
leaping and plunging behind him, is
thoroughly hot, joyous trumpeting I've Jones, Art Taylor.
very simple, almost old-fashioned, and BLUE NOTE 4019
heard in some time; I find myself
exuberantly exciting. His choruses HORACE SILVER
constantly lifting the needle to get
on Blowing the Blues Away and Blowin' The Blues Away. With Blue
to his choruses.
Break City are more ambitious, full Mitchell, Junior Cook, Gene Taylor, Louis
St. Vitus Dance is the better of the of beautiful things, one after another.
two trio tracks. It is an original by Hayes. BLUE NOTE 4017
The Baghdad Blues and Peace solos Stereo 84017
Silver (as all the tunes are), taken at are good enough, but lack the fire
a moderate, swinging tempo, and it JOHN COLTRANE
of the others. Blue Train. With Lee Morgan, Curtis
recalls some of his earlier trio
Silver's own playing is best on tne Fuller, Kenny Drew, Paul Chambers, Phil-
recordings. However, it lacks the tight ly Joe Jones.
consistency of the best of those; it up-tempo tunes. At slower tempos his
BLUE NOTE 1577
sounds a bit careless and off-hand. phrasing becomes vacuous and
ART BLAKEY
I'm not familiar with Silver's earlier mannered; he is at his dragging worst
on Peace. He has very busy, hustling AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS
version of Melancholy Mood, but this BLUE NOTE 4003, 4015
persion strikes me as stiff and choruses on Blowin' and Break City, Stereo 4003
repetitive. I don't think ballad playing and gives Mitchell good com ping
is one of Silver's several talents; throughout. Complefe Catalog on Request
here, he seems forced into double- Malt Edey BLUE NOTE RECORDS INC.
43 West 61st St., New York 23
29
ZOOT SIMS: "Jazz Alive! A Night choruses have. Reflection; Sugar Ray; Solitaire; After Hours;
at the Half Note". United Artists This balance in the ensembles is Sneaking Around; Our Delight.
1

UAL 4040. disrupted on two of the-performances


-
EVANS BRADSHAW: "Pieces of
Al Conn, Zoot Sims, tenor; Phil Woods, by Phil Woods. The music immediately Eighty-Eight". Riverside 12-296.
alto (on tracks 3 and 4); Mote Allison, becomes more tightly knit, the loss Bradshaw, piano; Alvin Jackson, bass;
piano; Nabil Totah, bass; Paul Motian, drums. in poise compensated in part by Richard Allen, drums.
Lover Come Back to Me; It Had to Be You; extra concentration. It is interesting The Trolley Song; Mangoes; Pushing the
Wee dot; After you've gone. to see that the tenorists' soloing Blues; It Aint Necessarily So; Take the A
The unity of a jazz performance is is affected too, the rests between their Train; A Foggy Day; Ifs All Right with Me;
not necessarily bound up with phrases cut down. Woods' style has Blues for Jim; Night in Tunesia.
arrangements and premeditated changed considerably since his first I am reviewing these two records
design. Were it so, to regard jazz as appearances on record: he is now together because they are rather
anything more than a weakly offshoot on the track of a more intricate kind similar in style and share some of
of Western music would be stupid. of symmetry and his tone is harder the same faults. Both pianists are
Fortunately, its appeal lies not only and rougher than before. His reed
in structural felicitiesimportant as young players with considerable
seems rather recalcitrant, but in technical skill and a sound knowledge
these arebut in an immediacy the raw sound he gets sometimes
that defies analysis. This quality of their instrument; both base their
intensifies the emotive power of his
may not be reduced to rhythmic blowing style on splashy single-note
phrases: listen, for example, to the
terms alone, yet few would deny last chorus of his solo on Wee dot. lines in the right hand accompanied
there is a link between the two. The by characteristically choppy left hand
Michael James chords which fall too frequently on
playing of the rhythm section here
helps greatly to promote the sense the first and third beats of the bar;
of flux and constant renewal that both use similar block chord
makes listening to this record so T-BONE WALKER: "T-Bone Blues". techniques, shakes and trills, and
invigorating an experience. As far as Atlantic 802C. parallel lines (usually two octaves
I know nobody has described any of Although T-Bone Walker is hardly apart). Finally, both tend to overuse
the three musicians concerned as the funky Muddy Waters-type cat similar clichesfluent and sometimes
pre-eminent, but the pulse they whom Ralph Gleason describes in the funky, but cliches nevertheless.
generate together is an ideal album notes, this recording is a hell I much prefer the Newborn-Chambers-
complement to the soloists, and when of a lot of fun. T-Bone's basic Haynes set. Each member of this
Allison solos, the undercurrent flows limitation is a lack of variety in his trio is superior to his opposite
just as strongly. Sometimes, in the singing and playing, so Atlantic has number in the Bradshaw group. The
manner of George Wallington, his intelligently supplied him with album is packaged as a communal
left hand takes over for his right in different kinds of instrumental backing; enterprise (Newborn is not the
the execution terse chorded passages; a small combo of guitar, bass, drums nominal leader), and the excellent
at others, he uses it merely to color and piano, a larger combo of three rhythm men are given extensive
in a firm melodic outline. He never guitars, tenor sax, piano, bass and room of their own. Material ranges
aspire to emotional heights, yet his drums, and a big band. from the gently swinging slow blues
charm is real enough, based on a T-Bone's blues are half-way between After Hours, through a series of fine
fine ear for melody and a sure swing. down-home country blues and the originals in the middle tempos,
Cohn and Sims are ideal partners in blues of contemporary Negro rock Reflection and Sneakin' Around (both
a group of this kind. Their approach and roll singers. Walker is not subtle, by Ray Bryant), Our Delight (by
to improvisation is similar enough to nor is there much folk poetry of Tadd Dameron), and Sugar Ray (by
guarantee cohesion and different interest in his lyrics. Mostly these Newborn), to the slow ballad,
enough to add variety. In recent are familiar big city laments about by Newborn out of tempo. Newborn's
years Sims' tone in the lower register women, or good and bad times. playing is consistently light and deft,
has thickened, and its warmth There is nothing here like Blind
but sometimes shallow and soulless.
heightens the effect of the sound Lemon's
He does better on the fast tempos
he gets at the top of his instrument's "Ain't no more potatoes where he can bring his technique to
range, light, fluid, probing, even the draught done killed the vine,
bear without sounding too gaudy, and
exacerbated in its restraint. Cohn, on the blues ain't nothin'
but a good woman on your mind." which are easier to keep moving. His
the other hand, is less mobile. He
This is a record to dance to, or to mood sounds carefree; this is
draws the utmost effect from each
sustained note, and though his sour play while you're washing the essentially happy, or rather placid
tone and emphatic phrasing have windows. On two numbers, Barney playing; sorrow, passion, or intense
sometimes made his work seem Kessel joins Walker and R. S. Rankin lyricism are not attempted. The out of
plodding and dull, he steers clear of on guitar. Kessel proves to be the tempo passages on Solitaire are
those faults here, no doubt helped least inventive of the three in blues grotesquely cold and exhibitionistic
by the supple accompaniment. Both idiom. Walker plays a nice Roy Haynes is not a particularly flowing
tenorists have the gift of melodic modernist-oriented solo on Two Bones drummer; he prefers the abrupt accent,
inventiveness. It Had to be You, And a Pick. a kind of more rocking propulsion,
taken at medium tempo, best The instrumental backing that Atlantic and a variety of tone qualities. His
illustrates this gift. The profusion of gives Walker is more than satisfactory solos are interesting and tasteful,
ideas, highlighted by inflection and on the whole, especially the tasteful never showy. Chambers is as usual
tone, lends the performance an tenor sax playing of Plas Johnson, dependable and steady, and takes
unhurried lyrical grace that is not and Play On Little Girl has a nice delicate and careful, rather than
without its strength. The horns work feeling for a big band blues; the overtly emotional, solos.
beautifully together in the opening repeated harmonica figure is effective Bradshaw has a sharper, more abrupt
and closing theme statements here. and T-Bone's guitar fits in well. attack than Newborn, but, as noted,
Their lucid interplayCohn, say, Dick Weissman the basic elements of his style are
submits a personal version of the the same. The cliches are more
1

melody whilst Sims inserts his evident, however. He tends to use


commentsachieves the same longer lines than Newborn, lines
glowing relaxation as the improvised "WE THREE". New Jazz 8210. which are apt to spill out into a
Phineas Newborn, piano; Paul Chambers, sustained shake lasting a bar or more
bass; Roy Haynes, drums.
30
before falling back into a single-note Dorsey, Bert Ambrose and Gene Lewis favors interpret the scores with
pattern. Unfortunately, the overall Krupa were comparable in quality to commendable accuracy and vigor,
impression is one of vague, bumpy those of Duke, Basie and Chick but some of their solos sound
formlessness; the lines become Webb. And those of Jimmie Lunceford, distinctly incongruous against those
repetitious, fall into what seem to be Earl Hines, Fletcher Henderson and riffs and melodic conceptions of
automatic patterns, and dissolve Benny Carter might as well never another era that the arranger was
aimlessly. Rapport between piano and have existed. obliged to maintain. The few
rhythm is erratic, and the swing In connection with Tuxedo Junction improvised passages that register
wobbles as a result. Jackson and and Stompin' At the Savoy, whoever refreshingly come from Joe Newman,
Allen function primarily as heard of, respectively, Julian Dash Art Farmer, Hank Jones and Zoot
accompanists, and do well enough, and Edgar Sampson? That is the Sims. Drummer Charlie Persip is
especially Jackson, but the trio is not way it goes, the way the Swing Era impressively active on the first two
sufficiently cohesive to generate went, the creators submerged by sessions and, according to the notes,
sustained momentum. I understand imitators. Barry Galbraith plays trumpet on the
Bradshaw is very young and has only Although the choice of material is last! None of the three Williams
limited experience behind him. somewhat unhappy, the Victor album originals is notably original, and
Considering this, and the scattered is the most successful. More than despite the addition of tuba and bass
successful moments on this record, the others, it recognizes the trombones and a consequent thicker
improvement seems likely. More than importance of the soloist and tonal texture, his scores provide far less
anything else, he needs to edit variety to the big band. The corporate in the way of color and dynamic
himself, to concentrate on more sound and beat, the catchy, hummable contrasts than Shirley's.
purposeful, simpler lines, and to riffs, the arrangement or composition, From the point of view of basic
depend on his rhythm support to do may seem in retrospect to have material, the Capitol collection is the
at least some of the driving. been the vital factors, but the man most intelligent. It consists of numbers
The notes, by Orrin Keepnews, are down front and his individual made popular at the Savoy by
excellent, and include an editorial statements were of the greatest swin^ ng bands as so subtly
;

diatribe on extravagant liner notes consequence. The bands with several differenced, shall we say, from
in general. strongly distinctive, often competitive Swing Bands. Here are remembered,
Mait Edey personalities, were the ones whose besides Duke and Chick Webb, the
work remains significant, for the bands of Claude Hopkins, Don
fire those men created in their solos Redman, Andy Kirk, Lucky Millinder
lit up the ensembles, too. and Al Cooper. Van Alexander's
Nearly all the musicians on the Victor scores are neat and workmanlike. The
THE BIG 18: "Live Echoes of the dates were veterans with considerable playing, as befits west coast jazzmen,
Swinging Bands". RCA Victor experience in big bands. Among is clean and bland, and rather
LPM 1921. them, such soloists as Buck Clayton, anonymous. There are competent,
Tuxedo junction; Easy Does It; Hors Rex Stewart, Charlie Shavers, Vic professional solos by people like
d'Oeuvre; Blues On Parade; Liza; Five Dickenson, Dickie Wells and Johnny Shorty Sherock, Plas Johnson and
O'clock Drag; March of the Toys; I'm Prayin' Guarneri express themselves with an Barney Kessel, but in the main they
Humble; The Campbells Are Swinging. authority and individuality that relates are of an incidental, uninspired
GEORGE WILLIAMS AND HIS appropriately to the arrangements. character. There are two cathortic
ORCHESTRA: "Swing Classics In the context of Easy Does It, for vocals by Joe Howard and popular
In Hi-Fi". United Artists UAL 3027. instance, Buck Clayton's and Dickie Shelly Manne operates by courtesy of
Marie; Flying Home; Boogie Rockawoogie; Wells's are authentic, dominating Contemporary Records. (Isn't Bill
Back Bay Shuffle; Breaking In a Pair of voices, their solos fresh and inventive, Douglass in the telephone book yet?)
Shoes; Drum Boogie; One For My Baby; their tones and phrasing uniquely Van Alexander wrote the notes on
The Breeze and I; Take the A Train; Empty their own. Five O'Clock Drag is the this album and he, surely, was the
Jug; Pompton Turnpike; Endville Chorus. most rewarding performance on any one to have given credit to his
VAN ALEXANDER AND HIS of the records. Here are sequences predecessor with Chick Webb, the
ORCHESTRA: "The Home of Happy of solos by, first, Rex Stewart, man who halped so much to establish
Feet". Capitol St. 1243. Charlie Shavers and Buck, and then Chick's band artistically, the man
Let's Get Together; Chant of the Weed; by Lawrence Brown, Dickie Wells and who wrote When Dreams Come True,
Until the Real Thing Conies Along; Uptown Vic Dickenson, with the emphasis Stompin' At the Savoy, Blue Lou
Rhapsody; Stompin' At the Savoy; Undecided; on contrast rather than rivalry. The and Don't Be That Way, namely
I Would Do Anything For You; A- Tisket. formidable trombone trio is superb Edgar Sampson.
A-Tasket; East St Louis Toodle-Oo; Organ behind Rex in his last chorus here, Camden, I understand, has a tribute
Grinder's Swing; Christopher Columbus; Ride, and this is one of several instances to the Savoy in the can from a big
Red, Ride. where arranger Charles Shirley has band led and arranged for by Nat
Not everyone is looking back in anger. gone out on his own and written Pierce. It could be "more rewarding
To judge from the appearance of very satisfying backgrounds. On this than any of these albums. But while
these three albums, contemporary number, too, he wisely avoided an I am all in favor of perpetuating
Ellington and Basie are not enough. imitation of Ben Webster's contribution and reworking the better items in
There are people around still hungry to the original. imaginative and constructive if one of
for the sounds of the Swing Era. In The arrangements of George Williams the jazz repertoire, as Duke does in
catering to them, the producers on the UA album represent a more his own, I think it would be more
played safe and recorded hits of some conscious, but by no means the major companies were to
of that period's popular bands, one patronizing attempt at updating. This assemble an all-star group to
from each, in slightly doctored is praiseworthy, but it is hard to interpret a new series of big-band
arrangements. The results generally understand why so many doggy originals by such writers of "swing
give an inadequate idea of the vehicles were chosen. The most classics" as Don Redman, Edgar
diversity of style and approach which interesting transformation is perhaps Sampson, Sy Oliver, Jimmy Mundy,
prevailed despite similarity of that of Flying Home, on which Hank Andy Gibson, Billy Moore, Eddie
instrumentation. To newcomers, these Jones's crisply swinging piano is Durham, Buster Harding, Budd
collections may even suggest that advantageously featured. The younger Johnson and Mary Lou Williams.
the bands of Larry Clinton, Jimmy musicians whom a.&r. man Jack
Krupa were comparable in quality to Stanley Dance

31
its quality as a whole. Obviously it The Art of Jazz also contains a num-
BOOK would be hard to point to an anthology
about which such a criticism could not
be made. But whatever weaknesses
ber of solid pieces that make a good
start but in various ways do not go
quite far enough. The best of these

REVIEWS
some of the articles may disclose, are George Avakian's superior liner
they are more than outweighed by the notes on Bix Beiderbecke and Bessie
definitive quality of nearly half of the Smith, and Ross Russell's fine study
essays in the collection. of James P. Johnson,all three excel-
The best pieces, in my opinion, are lent in their way. William Russell's
Larry Gushee's on the King Oliver band article on Jelly Roll Morton's Frog-i-
and Glenn Coulter's on Billie Holiday. more Rag is good, aside from an oc-
They combine intelligent analysis with casional touch of overstatement. But
a deep love and respect for their sub- I kept wishing that the article had
ject. They are the kind of articles that dealt with Morton's Hot Peppers re-
make an indelible impression, and cordings, surely his greatest claim to
make you run right out and buy the fame.
recordings discussed. Moreover, both Charles Fox's piece on Ellington in the
essays are written with excellent litera- 'thirties fills a serious gap, I suppose,
ry style, which, for me, raises the but again does not say nearly enough
content to an expressive level rarely about this crucial period in the de-
encountered in jazz writing. velopment of the Ellington band. I have
Several contributions are almost as no particular opinions about Paul
good. Max Harrison's is certainly the Oliver's piece on Big Maceo, mainly
most thoughtful critique of the Modern because I don't know enough about
Jazz Quartet to date. Ross Russell's Maceo. But perhaps that's just the
four articles on "bebop", written in point; I had hoped to know more
the late forties, when this music was about this blues singer after reading
still very controversialat a time, in the article than I now know. Off hand
other words, when very few people it seems to me, this is the kind of
(including most musicians) were able "personal opinion" piece that doesn't
to say anything articulate about the really tell you very much, and of which
musicstand up very well after ten jazz has had an over-abundance. Vic
years, and are, in addition, of consid- Bellerby's piece on various aspects of
erable historical importance. Paul Ellington's music I found similarly
Bacon's perceptive words on Thelon- "impressionistic" and unfortunately
ious Monk, at a time when Monk was most annoying in its hyperbolic and
still totally unrecognized by laymen inaccurate use of adjectives. Somehow
and musicians alike, fall in the same words like "spectral," "macabre," "oc-
category. cult," "fierce," "raging" are words
William Russell's studies on three that seem out of place and far fetched
Boogie Woogie blues pianists (Lofton, in speaking of Ellington, especially in
Yancey, and Meade Lux Lewis) set the context of the recordings so
new standards of jazz criticism back described.
in 1939. They combine historical fact Andre Hodeir's controversial study of
THE ART OF JAZZ, edited by with a certain amount of unpedantic Tatum is weakened by a far too per-
Martin T. Williams. Oxford University analysis in a judicious blend. Occasion- sonal and subjectively polemical ap-
Press, 1959. al musical examples illustrate Russell's proach. Although some of his points
The Art of Jazz is one of the finest points succinctly. contain a basis of truth, one is in-
books ever compiled on the subject of Guy Waterman's otherwise fine piece clined to think, after reading some of
jazz and perhaps in some ways the on ragtime fails precisely in the area Hodeir's more naively brandishing
most important, for it represents an of musical analysis. Two pages of statements and in view of Tatum's
anthology of jazz criticism and writing analysis of Joplin's Euphonic Sounds absolutely unique abilities, "So what!".
on jazz at the highest level, and con- are not only full of errors, but are The music of Tatumeven despite
tains essays that are not only edifying confusing and amateurishly stated some of the weaknesses Hodeir as-
in their perspectiveness, but even even when correct. I think Mr. Water cribes to itsomehow still is more
inspiring. man should have been advised to important than Hodeir's criticism of it.
Both qualities are rare in jazz writing. leave the analyzing on this level to a And if Hodeir demands "toughness,
The articles selected by the editor are competent musician, or at least he or ruthlessness and cruelty" in his jazz
not the kind of glib journalism that, the editor should have checked .his geniuses, one is tempted to ask where
by and large, plagues jazz year in, results with one. Fortunately, musical he finds these characteristics in the
year out. One has the feeling, on the analysis is not the most convincing music of Gil Evans, whom Hodeir
contrary, that the writers of these ar- method with which to appraise either admires so unequivocally.
ticles wrote them because they had ragtime or Joplin's simple music Marshall Stearns' note on Sonny Terry
to; they had something original and (simple in the best sense); therefore is, for my taste, a little vague at
important to express. In fact, in most not too much damage is done. And crucial moments, and I can't help
of the writing, there is the same kind Waterman's two-part article is other- feeling that a better example by Dr.
of creative urgency that distinguishes wise very commendable. Stearns might have been chosen,
the music and musicians discussed in There is also Martin Williams' excel- especially on the early sources of jazz.
the anthology. The Art of Jazz there- lent summation of recent stylistic One other minor point that bothered
fore, give us not only a collection of changes (1958) in jazz, and his per- me was that the original dates of pub-
illuminating essays, but indirectly also ceptive statements on Monk, Rollins, lication were not given for many of
a history of intelligent jazz criticism of Wilbur Ware, John Lewis, and the the articles. In view of the constantly
the last twenty years. changing role of jazz drumming con- shifting nature of jazz, and out of
Having said that, I feel free to add stitute rare present-day examples of consideration for the writers involved,
that, in this individual parts, the book real jazz criticism. I think it is mandatory in an anthology
occasionally does not measure up to

32
that covers such a span of years to
give these dates.
In conclusion, I should like to em-
phasize that this is a book not only
for fellow jazz writers and aficionados.
I recommend its best sections to musi-
cians as well. Musicians are notori-
ously ill-informed about their own
musical tradition. And while I would
agree that, as a rule, writing on jazz
does not exactly inspire confidence in
the genre, several pieces in this col-
lection are definitely a welcome excp-
tion to the rule.
Gunther Schuller

The Story of Jazz by Marshall Stearns.


Oxford University Press, 1956, 1958,
Mentor Book. November, 1958.
The Story of Jazz has been with us
for several years now. It was widely
and generally favorably reviewed when
it first appeared in 1956, and has un-
doubtedly been very widely read since
its appearance in an inexpensive paper-
back edition late in 1958. It is in view Noted jazz historian, MARSHALL STEARNS, author of the STORY OF JAZZ, takes notes
of the latter probability that a few re- for his new book on jazz and the dance from an interview tape that he plays back on
marks from a new standpoint can be his NORELCO 'Continental' tape recorder. DR. STEARNS is Director of the INSTITUTE
pertinent at this late date. I say new OF JAZZ STUDIES and Associate Professor of English at HUNTER COLLEGE. "I make
in the assumption that previous evalua- constant use of my NORELCO 'Continental' when doing field work for my books and
tions of Dr. Stearns' work have been articles," states DR. STEARNS. "Here, the most significant feature is three speed
made by persons of experience and versatility. I find that the extremely economical 1% speed is ideal for recording
authority in the field. For my part, I interviews from which I later take material needed for my work. The other speeds
claim neither experience nor authority, are exceptional for their ability to capture the full fidelity of music and voice."
but speak as an interested representa- The NORELCO 'Continental' is a product of North American Philips Co., Inc., High
tive of what I take to be a legitimate Fidelity Products Division, Dept.leeS, 230 Duffy Avenue, Hicksville, L. I., N. Y.
segment of the anticipated audience
of The Story of Jazz: the lay readers,
the neophytes.
The Story of Jazz evidently embodies

SUBSCRIBE TO
an important and ambitious project.
The most obvious shortcoming of the
book, however, lies in its failure to

THE
define and limit the project. The result
of this basic uncertainty is, almost in-
evitably, a certain confusion which per-
meates virtually all aspects of the book
content, arrangement, style, format.
The basic uncertainty seems to concern
two interdependent things. On the one
JAZZ
hand, the scope of the story, that is,
the very stuff of the book, is not clearly
delimited. If the intention is "to out-
REVIEW
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line the main currents of a great tra-
dition," as the introduction would have
it, then much of the detail of the text
is superfluous, and the arrangement of
the book is obscure. The ensemble of Just fill out the coupon and send it with your check or
materials, including the notes, bibliog- money order to: THE JAZZ REVIEW 124 White Street,
raphy, and syllabus, intimates a rather
less modest undertaking than an out- N. Y. 13, N. Y. Please add $ 1 . 0 0 for foreign postage.
line.
The scholarly trappings themselves
point to the second facet of the un- Please send me the Jazz Review for 1 year.
certainty: it is not clear for whom the
book is intended. I referred above to NAME
the uninitiate as a legitimate segment
of its intended audience. But what is
the casual reader to make of the lec- ADDRESS .
ture syllabus? or of the notes, which
are exclusively bibliographical? Quite
evidently these are designed for a CITY ZONE STATE
"serious" reader; yet the technical vo-
cabulary and style of the book are

33
eminently popular. I believe that it was of jazz rhythm. Perhaps it was not spelled. Jazz, however, is accepted as
in the matter of choice or definition of really part of the intent of the author a terra incognita (if I may allow myself
audience (or lack of same), upon which to define jazz; or is this, as I suspect, a quick shift in metaphor); let a dusty
the ultimate content of the book was one of the results of indecision? traveller show up claiming that he has
contingent, that The Story of Jazz first The matter of poor balance of materi- been there and knows all its secrets
went wrong. als could perhaps have been avoided and he is immediately taken at his
In music, it is difficult indeed to write in part by organizing the book some- word, without even an elementary
for a universal audience. Experts are what differently. Had Section Six, "The cross-examination or a glance at his
hard to please, and scholarly parapher- Nature of Jazz," been used (with nec- credentials.
nalia don't make a scholarly work. Yet essary adjustments) as an introductory Usually, jazz novels are the work of
there have been some notable suc- chapter, what in the present arrange- terribly earnest young literary rebels,
cesses of this order, even during the ment seems like an unnecessarily large all full of Art and the Struggle of the
present epoch of specialization, which and sometimes irrelevant body of back- Creative Artist and similar turgidity,
tends to discourage such attempts; for ground information might have gained and charitable folks can excuse them
instance: Sir Donald Francis Tovey's pertinence. At the same time, this ar- by attributing it all to their being
musical articles for Encyclopedia Bn- rangement would perhaps have offered young, or being friends of Jack Ker-
tannica; Alfred Einstein's A Short His- a better framework for the discussion ouac, or things like that. But Mr. Kanin
tory of Music; Curt Sachs' Our Musical of non-African elements of jazz, which has no such easy way out. He is a
Heritage, are all highly regarded by are given painfully short shrift in the pro, a man experienced in the theater
students of music; none exhibit any present arrangement. and in writing, and it says on the
scholarly apparatus beyond a good in- This is not the place for a catalogue jacket that "for two years he . . . put
dex. But what is most significant, and of the many components, good and aside all theatre and film activity in
I think true of a great majority of works bad, of The Story of Jazz. My purpose order to write" this book. I find this
which have succeeded in reaching a in this restricted evaluation is only to not only incredible but saddening. The
nearly universal audience, they were point out what may seem a self-evident fact is that Mr. Kanin can write; he
written specifically for the lay reader. truth: that the admirably ambitious in- puts together a sentence and a scene
The writer who aims to capture both tent of the book does not constitute adeptly, and he has tried to give this
the general reader and the expert, as sufficient ground for unmitigated praise. book another plot besides the one
I think Dr. Stearns has tried to do, In all fairness, it must be emphasized about the tortured artist who makes
might well take a lesson from these that Dr. Stearns has attempted the good and/or goes to seed. That is, he
examples. nearly-impossible, especially in view of has lots of that kind of stuff in it, but
What I am suggesting here is not that the fact that The Story of Jazz has no he also has another story line, one
The Story of Jazz would have been precedent of similar scope. But, as Dr. that unfolds through a series of flash-
better without its trappings; I am sug- Stearns himself is undoubtedly aware, backs that gradually bring us from the
gesting, rather that the failure to de- there is still ample reason to look for- early 'thirties towards the present and
fine the project has led to serious flaws ward to another "story" or, hopefully, resolves for us the mystery surround-
in the selection and presentation of a real history of jazz. ing the death of a musician named
the material. It has affected the bal- Marion Gushee Slug (described in the book's jacket
ance of the book, giving far too much blurb as "a huge, black, gifted drum-
weight to technical and historical de- mer"!). Since this almost brings the
tails of "pre-jazz," whiph (though fasci- book under the protection of the laws
nating in themselves) are not very of the Mystery Writers' Guild, I won't
convincingly related to the "great tra- Blow Up a Storm, by Garson Kanin. go into how it turns out, except to
dition." I suspect that basic indecision Random House, New York. note that it's pretty silly.
is also behind the vagueness of the Those who note the book reviews I So Kanin, who can write interestingly
discussion of "classical" music in re- write from time to time may have and has on other occasions indicated
lation to jazz, and behind the disap- gathered that one of my dislikes is the that he can handle dialogue and char-
pointing attempts to define and/or "jazz novel." I do like to think that I acterization, can't be excused on the
describe jazz. am not hopelessly prejudiced; that same basis that you excuse the 'gifted
The latter disappointment, which I con- should a really worthy book suitable amateur'. I don't think it can be ex-
sider a crucial one, arises early in the to being described by those two words cused at all. For, even if you want to
first chapter, and is never satisfactorily come along, I would welcome it loudly accept his story line and his sometime
allayed. For example, we read that and warmly as a long-awaited friend. way with a scene (there's an extensive
march rhythm, that is, duple meter, But the day of its arrival has not yet treatment of a marijuana party that
is basic to jazz, but that ". . . some- come, and Garson Kanin, who is a may not be deadly accurate but sure
thing new has been addedthe music Broadway and Hollywood director, a is entertaining), no one who knows
swings." We are thus briefly and sum- playwright (most notably the very funny the least bit about jazz could read this
marily introduced to a basic attribute Born Yesterday) and inevitably an ex- book without squirming at all the howl-
of jazz. The disappointment, in this saxophone player, has not even ad- ers. Kanin just gets so many things
case, consists of the subsequent eva- vanced us a moment closer to that day all wrong, and doesn't know so much.
sion of the concept "swing" almost to by writing Blow Up a Storm. To note merely a few, he doesn't know
the point of total exclusion. Neither in The problem is once again, as it so the history of mixed bands (he has a
Chapter 21, "Melody and Rhythm," often is, that those who choose to small one playing at a tearoom in New
nor in Chapter 22, "Expressiveness in write fiction about jazz don't really York and a larger one in a movie-house
Jazz: A Definition," (at the end of know the first thing about the music stage show in the same city in the
which Dr. Stearns proposes a tentative and those who live with and by it. In early 'thirties); he doesn't know about
definition of jazz), does the word swing formulating (I decline to use the verb plausible combinations of instrumenta-
appear. I fail to see how the concept creating) this novel, Kanin has at- tion; he doesn't know about how rec-
"swing", which is basic to jazz and tempted a job roughly similar to writing ord sessions go. There are lots of other
for all practical purposes foreign to a saga of the pharmaceutical business things he doesn't know about: like the
classical music, can be meaningfully after having spent six weeks as a soda unlikelihood of a good trumpet player
designated "complex flowing rhythm" jerk in a drug store. But presumably and a good drummer having a private
as it is several times. That phrase can the potential publisher of such a novel two-man cutting contest on Parlez-Moi
app.'y equally well to classical music, might have someone check to see D'Amour, or like anything at all about
and offers no insight into the nature whether the ingredients in the prescrip- Negro-White relationships in or out of
tions were correct, or at least correctly
34
the music businessbut such criticism
gets me into the realm of personal
The First and Only Complete Guide to
opinion, and the point I'm trying to
make is about factual error.
How can a professional be so sloppy
or careless-arrogant with facts? The
only answer I can come up with is that
JAZZ
he must think it doesn't matter, that
a novel about the world of jazz isn't
IMPROVISATION
worth the care or research that some by America's leading
other kind of novel would warrant. jazz piano teacher
Maybe Kanin didn't deliberately look
at it that way; maybe he assumed that JOHN MEHEGAN
he did know what he was doing. But Instructor, Juilliard School of Music
whether deliberately or not, he has and Teachers College Columbia Uni-
been guilty of a laxity that is very close versity; Jazz Critic, New York Herald
to contempt for his subject. Under the Tribune.
circumstances, it should not be sur- Preface b y
prising that his characters and their
behavior and motivation belong rather LEONARD BERNSTEIN
closer to the level of TV dramas about It would cost you hundreds of dollars to study this material personally
jazz musicians than to any member with John Mehegan, but his big book makes all the information available
of the American Federation of Musi- for about the price of one lesson.
cians I ever ran across. Highly recommended by the following authorities and performers:
The disheartening aspect of this "jazz
novel", of course, is that it is such a LEONARD BERNSTEIN, OSCAR PETERSON, GEORGE SHEARING,
different kind of bad one: not the mys- TEDDY WILSON. GEORGE T. IM0N, BARBARA CARROLL, CY
tical-corny Portrait of the Artist kind of WALTER, LEONARD FEATHER, HORACE SILVER, ANDRE PREVIN,
badness, but the off-handed, superfi- BILLIE TAYLOR, MARY LOU WILLIAMS, MARIAN McPARTLAND,
cial, slick-professional kind, and from MARSHALL BROWN, JACK PLEIS and the magazines:
a man who might have been expected JAZZ REVIEW, DOWN BEAT, PLAYBOY, MUSIC JOURNAL.
to know better. Who might at least 208 pageslarge formathandsomely bound in clothconcealed spiral to
have been expected to be enough of a
lie flat on the piano115.00.
pro to know the one really relevant
factthat no one is ever going to get Order through your favorite music or book store or send remittance to:
anywhere writing a "jazz novel." After W A T S O N - G U P T I L L PUBLICATIONS, INC.
all, Hamlet isn't a "Danish-royalty Publisher of quality instruction books since 1937
play", nor is Moby Dick a "sailor 24 West 40th St., New York 18, N . Y.
novel." The idea is to start with people,
and then when you put them into a
Don't miss these two sensational Geor-
particular time and setting and group
of circumstances they'll still be people:
plausible, real-type people, capable of
GEORGE LEWIS
WITH PAPA BUE'S VIKING JAZZ BAND
ge Lewis records, both recorded March
24 & 25, 1959 in Copenhagen.
making you give a damn about what
they do and what is done to them. STORYVILLE SEP 365 STORYVILLE SLP102
That is what literature is supposed to Isle of Capri The Ola" Rugged Cross
be about. I know they teach this very Silver Threads among the Gold If 1 Ever Cease to Love
early in all the writing courses, and If I Ever Cease to Love In the Sweet By and By
it's quite elementary. So won't some- the Old Spinning Wheel in the Parlor Mary Wore a Golden Chain
one tell me why it is that when a Price: $1.95; postage $0.45. Salutation March
writer gets onto that fabulous, color- Far Away Blues
ful, riotous, pulsating Thing Called Send 501 in U. S. stamps for complete Listen to the Mocking Bird
Jazz, he almost always turns out one Jazz general catalogue Now is the Hour
kind of nonsense or another about a Price: $5.00; postage $0.75.
contrived and preposterous collection
of non-people? And when is someone 'NEW ORLEANS", Taasingegade 51, Copenhagen 0, Denmark
who has some knowledge and under-
standing of jazzand therefore is qual-
ified to relate properly the specifics of BREGMAN TAKES WESTLAKE STUDENT
the jazz setting to the universalities of T O W O R K W I T H HIM A T W A R N E R BROS.
lifegoing to write a novel you can PHIL H A L L , in Bregman's Class at W E S T L A K E , a February
read without squirming. graduate, will be at Warner Bros. Studios, Hollywood
Actually, there have been a couple of programming and arranging. Other W E S T L A K E grads,
nearly successful efforts: Henry Steif's T E R R Y ROSEN and L A R R Y McGUIRE, join H A R R Y
1941 Send Me Downlong out of J A M E S , who now has S A M F I R M A T U R E in his band, also
print; Harold Sinclair's Music Out of WESTLAKE.
Dixie; and even, to some extent, Dor-
othy Baker's pioneering but long over- Clip coupon below for catalog and Swing News.
praised 1938 romanticism, Young Man W E S T L A K E C O L L E G E O F M O D E R N MUSIC
with a Horn. But the percentage is 7190 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 46, California
woefully tiny. (clip here)
Buddy Bregman
Anyway, I don't really expect answers Producer-Director Please mail catalog and Swing News no obligation to:
to my why and when questions. I'm Warner Bros- NAME AGE
only asking, sullenly. CBS-TV
Orrin Keepnews ADDRESS
CITY ZONE STATE
35
the MJQ, as compared w i t h
JAZZ IN PRINT some b i g bands, i s l i m i t e d ,
and i s thus, perhaps, not
w e l l s u i t e d to performances
i n l a r g e a u d i t o r i a , but
even so i t sometimes
shows a s t o n i s h i n g power -
as, f o r example, the
c h a r a c t e r i s t i c 'eruptions'
i n so much of t h e i r music.
The dynamic range of the
harpsichord i s p r a c t i c a l l y
n i l ; nevertheless i t i s
a wonderfully expressive
instrument, as i s the
M.J.Q..."
B r i t i s h blues expert Paul
by NAT HENTOFF O l i v e r i s due i n America
t h i s summer. His i t i n e r a r y
w i l l probably i n c l u d e
New York, D e t r o i t ,
Max H a r r i s o n i n the Jazz albums show three bearded Chicago, Memphis, Houston,
J o u r n a l on the Modern and one b e s p e c t a c l e d man Birmingham, A t l a n t a ,
Jazz Quartet's most recent i n morningcoats, l o o k i n g R a l e i g h , Washington, and
B r i t i s h t o u r : "Another at the camera w i t h the
the M i s s i s s i p p i a r e a . Any
new f a c e t i s the oc- s t u d i e d gloom of f o u r
readers i n those areas can
c a s i o n a l fragmentation of eminent V i c t o r i a n s who
h e l p O l i v e r c o n t a c t blues
melodic l i n e s p a r t i c u l a r l y have j u s t heard about 'The
s i n g e r s and p l a y e r s are
i n theme statements. The O r i g i n of S p e c i e s . ' The
i n v i t e d to c o n t a c t O l i v e r
themes of Django, I t Don't attempt of t h e i r p i a n i s t t
at 20 Ashburnham Avenue,
Mean A Thing, C o n f i r m a t i o n John Lewis, to make j a z z
Harrow, Middlesex,
and e s p e c i a l l y Y a r d b i r d s o c i a l l y r e s p e c t a b l e i s an
England. As of t h i s
S u i t e are broken up and excellent idea. Better
w r i t i n g . O l i v e r ' s book,
presented a bar or two or morning-coats and gloom
a time on d i f f e r e n t than t a l e s of A l Capone Blues F e l l T h i s Morning,
instruments. In I t Don't and b o o t l e g days. The snag was due f o r B r i t i s h
Mean A Thing the theme i s that t h i s c o u r t i n g of p u b l i c a t i o n i n March.
chorus even has s e v e r a l r e s p e c t a b i l i t y has d r a i n e d O f f i c i a l F i l m s , which
d i f f e r e n t tempos. T h i s away so much of the s e l l s to the owners of
melodic d i s c o n t i n u i t y v i t a l i t y of t h e i r music... 16mm machines, now has a
may be an unconscious My own f e e l i n g s c o i n c i d e s a l e on One R e e l Soundies
r e s u l t of Lewis' regard with those of a f e l l o w - (100 f e e t ) : Gene Krupa's
f o r Webern and h i s musician I met l a t e r on O r c h e s t r a (Let Me Off
p o i n t i l l i s t e method of Waterloo B r i d g e . ' I t Uptown) ; L o u i s Armstrong
orchestration..." suddenly occurred to me,' (Shine) ; F a t s W a l l e r
Benny Green, j a z z reviewer he s a i d , 'that t h e r e were (Honeysuckle Rose and
f o r the B r i t i s h Sunday three thousand of us another of A i n ' t Mis-
Observer set o f f a f i e r c e s i t t i n g there watching a behavin') ; L o u i s Armstrong
controversy with h i s man w i t h a s m a l l beard h i t (Sleepy Time Down South),
review of a London Modern a small b e l l with a small and o t h e r s .
Jazz Quartet c o n c e r t . stick.'"
Jazz dancer Baby Lawrence
The p i e c e was headed,
Wrote N i c h o l a s K. J . i s f i n a l l y going to be
V i c t o r i a n Blues, and among
B o l t o n to the Observer; recorded by Herb
Green's p o i n t s were:
"Perhaps he would l i k e a Arbramson's new Triumph
" . . . f o r the past f i v e
man w i t h a b i g beard Records...Ross R u s s e l l ' s
years f o u r men have sought
h i t t i n g a l a r g e b e l l with n o v e l , The H i p s t e r s , i s
with p a i n f u l eagerness to
a b i g s t i c k . In t h i s way due from R i n e h a r t i n J u l y .
transform the r a c y a r t of
he would be saved the ...Scheduled f o r A p r i l on
j a z z i n t o something
a s p i r i n g toward c u l t u r a l inconvenience of l i s t e n i n g the D u e l l , Sloan ft Fearce
r e s p e c t a b i l i t y . The to the music." Noted Parn l i s t i s a book t h a t , i f
photographs on the covers Taimsalu of Imperial w e l l done, has l o n g been
of t h e i r b e s t - s e l l i n g College Union: " I t i s true needed: F o l k s i n g e r s and
t h a t the dynamic range of Folksongs i n America; A

36
Handbook of Biography, Urban League r e p o r t e d t h a t e x c e l l e n t s e r i e s , Voyage
B i b l i o g r a p h y , and more Negroes are being Au Pays Du Blues by Jacques
Discography by Ray M. h i r e d f o r t h e a t r e and Demetre and Marcel
Lawless...Last y e a r the c l a s s i c a l orchestras i n Ghauvard, which began i n
same f i r m p u b l i s h e d Alan New York. The openings the December, 1959,
Lomax's Southern are a d i r e c t r e s u l t of the Jazz-Hot. So f a r , New York
documentary The Rainbow w i d e l y p u b l i c i z e d League and Chicago have been
Sign, which hasn't r e p o r t i n November, 1958 covered.
r e c e i v e d the a t t e n t i o n exposing the segregated Our Knowledgeable Young
i t merit's. p a t t e r n s i n New York N o v e l i s t s : From Roy
In the December, 1959 i s s u e h i r i n g p r a c t i c e s i n those Doliner's f i r s t novel,
of American A n t h r o p o l o g i s t , areas. Young Man W i l l i n g
t h e r e ' s an important Music 1960, the w e l l - (Scribner's) "...Look,
a r t i c l e by A l a n Lomax on prepared Down Beat annual, i t ' s l i k e the Land of Oz
F o l k Song S t y l e t h a t c o n t a i n s excerpts from a i n t h e r e . And l i k e the
summarizes h i s r e s e a r c h symposium on the f u t u r e Grand Wizard i s poor o l d
so f a r on what he f e e l s of j a z z c h a i r e d by John dead C h a r l i e P a r k e r .
are the t e n or more Mehegan with Gunther The B i r d . You know about
musical s t y l e f a m i l i e s S c h u l l e r , George R u s s e l l the Bird?...[He played]
i n the world and how and B i l l Russo as tenor sax. And he wasn't
they're a f f e c t e d by the p a r t i c i p a n t s . S a i d George a tenor sax man. He was the
mores of the community. R u s s e l l : "One c r i t i c tenor sax man. He was the
Although he doesn't s p e l l r e c e n t l y e x t o l l e d the daddy of the whole beat
i t out, h i s t h e o r y has Negro as the most v i t a l mess."
d e f i n i t e a p p l i c a t i o n s to f o r c e i n American l i f e , And i t was A l l e n Ginsberg
jazz singing style, and I t h i n k t h i s i s who taught him how t o
buying...John Hammond, r i d i c u l o u s . I don't t h i n k p l a y t h a t tenor, dad.
chairman of the Music the Negro wants to be In doing r e s e a r c h f o r a
Committee of the Urban "the most v i t a l f o r c e i n Simon and Schuster book on
League of New York, w r i t e s American l i f e ' ; he j u s t American musical t h e a t r e ,
i n a s p e c i a l r e p o r t by wants an equal chance, Nat Shapiro found t h i s
the League a t t a c k i n g which i n some areas he item i n the May 14, 1929
segregated AFM l o c a l s : a l r e a d y has, not to New York H e r a l d . Maceo
"Another aspect of t h i s compete w i t h but only to P i n k a r d had j u s t produced
s i t u a t i o n i s the r e s i s t a n c e l i v e i n our mad s o c i e t y the show Pansy, and P e r c y
of white c o n t r a c t o r s as Americans. I t h i n k a Hammond wrote i n the
( h i r i n g agents) to the guy (who takes t h i s H e r a l d that " m i t i g a t i n g
i n t e g r a t i o n of AFM l o c a l s . most-vital-force position) the "show's d i s c o m f o r t s
U n f o r t u n a t e l y these i s very s u p e r f i c i a l . " was Miss B e s s i e Smith, who,
c o n t r a c t o r s have a dual R u s s e l l went on: "I t h i n k they say, i s the Aunt
r o l e as employers and the c r i t i c s should r e a l l y Jemimah of the r a d i o l a s
u n i o n members, and e x e r c i s e take s t o c k of themselves. and dictaphones. A dusky
a powerful and b a l e f u l I r e a l l y t h i n k a new music and b u l k y song-shouter,
i n f l u e n c e on the o p e r a t i o n i s coming i n the 1960*s, Miss "Smith shook her ample
of many l o c a l s . . . S i n c e and I'd l i k e to see a type person i n j u n g l e q u i v e r s
these c o n t r a c t o r s are of c r i t i c capable both accompanied by a l a r g e and
union members and s u b j e c t e m o t i o n a l l y and t e c h n i c a l l y unmusical o r c h e s t r a . "
to i t s j u r i s d i c t i o n , the of understanding what i s Although the language
union has a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y happening i n music. To me, would be d i f f e r e n t now,
to i n s i s t on t h e i r he h a r d l y e x i s t s today. drama c r i t i c s are s t i l l
adherence to f a i r and I t seems l i k e they have way out of t h e i r f i e l d
e q u i t a b l e p r a c t i c e s i n the special interests...They when r e v i e w i n g m u s i c a l s .
music i n d u s t r y . " The same have a v e r y s u p e r f i c i a l The f i r s t i s s u e of Les
r e p o r t had a l i s t of a l l knowledge. Now maybe I'm Cahiers du Jazz i s out 3,
the segregated l o c a l s i n overestimating t h e i r rue de l ' E c h e l l e , P a r i s 1 ) .
the country. For c o p i e s , i n f l u e n c e on the p u b l i c . There's an a r t i c l e by
w r i t e Sy Fosner, Urban P r o b a b l y I am." French trumpeter Roger
League of Greater New The f i r s t e x t e n s i v e survey Guerin on L o u i s Armstrong's
York, 204 West 136th I've seen on the s o c i o - s t y l e and one by M.-C.
S t r e e t , New York 30, N.Y. economic backgrounds of J a l a r d on Django and the
In another r e p o r t , the Negro b l u e s i s the gypsy s c h o o l of p l a y i n g .
There are enough other Ralph Gleason i n the San a d v e r t i s i n g Ornette
provocative features to F r a n c i s c o C h r o n i c l e : "I Coleman f o r a Town H a l l
warrant s u b s c r i b i n g i f you never get hung up between c o n c e r t : "Some of the
reach French...The Sunday j a z z and the c l a s s i c while g r e a t e s t people i n the
Times (London) has i s s u e d i m p r o v i s i n g and I ' l l t e l l country d i g them v e r y
a paperback of A B a s i c you why. Because the much."
Record- L i b r a r y i n c l u d i n g necessary unevenness of As J . Robert Oppenheimer
I a i n Lang's F i f t y B a s i c j a z z p l a y i n g h e l p s . I f you was s a y i n g the other
Jazz Records...Best n o v e l b r i n g the c l a s s i c a l p a t t e r n day...
yet on the n a r c o t i c s l i f e to j a z z , you wind up i n a Pete Johnson's i l l and
i s Clarence Cooper's The w h o l l y d i f f e r e n t rhythm needs bread. H i s address
Scene (Crown)...George and the r e s u l t i s t h a t i s 171 Broadway, B u f f a l o
Avakian has produced and you stop swinging. The 4, New York..,
r e l e a s e d a t h i s own p o s i t i o n of the hands i s Lucky Thompson t o l d a
expense a s i x - L P r e c o r d i n g d i f f e r e n t , too. In Melody Maker r e p o r t e r t h a t
(monaural or s t e r e o , $25) of c l a s s i c a l you reach i n he p l a n s t o s e t t l e i n
the 25-year R e t r o s p e c t i v e deep, a f t e r every note a l l M a l i , West A f r i c a . M a l i
Concert of the Music of the way and you h o l d your i s French and i n c l u d e s
John Cage r e c o r d e d i n hand...with the f i n g e r s Senegal and the French
performance a t Town H a l l c u r l e d so i t ' s a l l r i g h t Sudan. "I was i n v i t e d , "
on May 16, 1958. I t ' s t h e r e . But i n j a z z you s a i d Lucky, "to Dakar to
a v a i l a b l e by w r i t i n g skim along more and h o l d meet government o f f i c i a l s .
Avakian at Box 374, Radio the f i n g e r s f l a t . . . s o you They asked me to s e t t l e i n
C i t y S t a t i o n , New York 19, can go e i t h e r way. I t the country, develop i t s
N.Y. Notes V i r g i l Thomson takes time to f l e x your music, and organize the
i n the Saturday Review: muscles a f t e r p l a y i n g conservatory. I think I
The present r e c o r d i n g , c l a s s i c a l piano..." s h a l l a c c e p t . " Edmond H a l l
w i t h i t s e x c e l l e n t notes, In the V i l l a g e V o i c e (New has g i v e n up h i s p l a n s
g i v e s an ample view of a Y o r k ) , the f o l l o w i n g ads meanwhile to s e t t l e i n
s t r i k i n g p e r s o n a l i t y who i s o f f e r i n g instrumental Ghana. Couldn't i n t e r e s t
a l s o our most ' f a r out' i n s t r u c t i o n appear one the l o c a l musicians i n
composer." a f t e r the o t h e r : Jazz jazz.
Largest c o l l e c t i o n of Trumpet, Don F e r r a r a , WA Blues Research No. 2,
l i t e r a t u r e on the Negro 4-4773 ; Jazz I m p r o v i s a t i o n , p u b l i s h e d by Record
the l a r g e s t a v a i l a b l e t o any instrument, Lee Research, p r o v i d e s d i s -
the p u b l i c i s the K o n i t z , CH 3 6 5 4 2 ; Jazz cographical information
Schomburg C o l l e c t i o n , New Piano, S a l Mosca, MO on the Peacock, Duke,
York P u b l i c L i b r a r y , 103 7-8451...I agree w i t h P r o g r e s s i v e J a z z , and
West 135th S t r e e t , New James Lyons' p l a i n t i n Char l a b e l s . There's a l s o
Y o r k . . . B i l l Coleman signed American Record Guide about a l i s t of new Southern
a three year c o n t r a c t with the new c l a s s i c a l r e c o r d l a b e l s . . . T h e best of the
German Polydor and h i s c r i t i c f o r Harper's: "Who German j a z z magazines
s e s s i o n s w i l l be r e l e a s e d i s 'Discus* i n Harper's? seems to be Jazz Podium,
i n America on Bob T h i e l e ' s T h i s k i n d of anonymity Stuttgart-W, Vogelsang-
Hanover l a b e l . . . M u r r a y i s i n f u r i a t i n g ; what good s t r a s s e 32...Dobell's
Kempton i n the New York i s c r i t i c i s m i f you have Record Store i n London
P o s t ; " I t takes o n l y one no i d e a of the c r i t i c ' s has a L i g h t n i n ' Hopkins
t r i p t o the Newport Jazz identity?"...Down Beat album t h a t i s a v a i l a b l e ,
Festival the g e n t r y i n f o r t u n a t e l y has s t a r t e d so f a r as I know,
the f r o n t row w i t h t h e i r i d e n t i f y i n g i t s reviewers. nowhere e l s e . I t ' s c a l l e d
M a r t i n i shakers, the I d e a l l y , the best reviewers The Rooster Crowed i n
s a i l o r s s q u a t t i n g i n the are those with thorough England. D o b e l l ' s i s at
back, t h e i r heads between musical backgrounds. But 77 Charing Crss Road,
t h e i r knees, upchucking there are egregious London, W.C. 2...Gerry
t h e i r beer to remember exceptions men with the M u l l i g a n ' s new b i g band
what a weird mixture i s m u s i c a l knowledge but debuts at B a s i n S t r e e t
M i l e s D a v i s ' world. Was s m a l l c o n c e p t i o n of what East at the end of March...
ever anything i n America c r i t i c i s m i s . An example i s Irwin S i l b e r has a u s e f u l
at once so f a s h i o n a b l e and Down Beat's r e l a t i v e l y new a r t i c l e on F o l k Songs and
so s q u a l i d ? " . . .Andre P r e v i n reviewer, Don DeMicheal. C o p y r i g h t s i n theFebruary-
i n an i n t e r v i e w with ...Symphony S i d on WEVD, March Sing Out (121 West
47th S t r e e t , New Y o r k ) . . .
38
Is it "suggestive of things unpleas- Kingsley's account was quoted at

the word ant, of atavistic leanings of which we


are all properly ashamed, of borrow-
ings from savages, of near-orgies that
length in the August 25 Literary Di-
gest, twenty days after it appeared
in the Sun, and a year later Current
have quite properly been combatted Opinion reprinted it verbatim. Henry
by those who have care of the young Finck, a music critic, referred to it
and the morals of youth"? in Etude magazine in 1924 and Henry
Should it be dropped in favor of some Osgood, an opera critic and jazz
such euphemism as "ragtonia," sug- chronicler, discussed it in So This Is
gested thirty-five years ago in Etude Jazz! (1926), the first book about
magazine; or "crewcut," awarded jazz published in this country.
$1,000 grand prize in a contest to A slightly reworked account was at-
rename the music ten years ago by tributed to Lafcadio Hearn by George
Down Beat? Newell in Outlook in 1928, by Stanley
We think not. Jazz, said or played, is R. Nelson in 1939, by the French
here to stay as long as the spirit jazz historian Robert Goffin in his
This is the first in a series of five swings. While the years have gradu- book, Jazz: From the Congo to the
articles on the origin and history of ally toned down the opposition, the Metropolitan (1932), by Dr. Frank H.
the word "jazz" as reported in the little four-letter word has picked up Vizetelly, a lexicographer, in a letter
literature from 1917 through 1958. status from Novosibirsk to Newport. to The New York Times in 1934, and
A bibliography will be published of all "Jazz" is stamped in gold on one of by others.
the references cited in these articles the push buttons of Telefunken ra-
dios. (Another push button on the Forgetting Kingsley's somewhat curi-
with the final installment. ous juxtaposition of the then Gold
same radios is labeled " M u s i c " )
Where it came from and how it got Coast, the Congo and the Cameroons,
here are the questions. Not just the catch here is in the attribution
\txzz academic ones, either, considering
the answers submitted by fifty-seven
to Hearn of the use of "jaz" by New
Orleans Creoles. Nowhere in Hearn's
works could we find a single refer-
writers, critics, philologists, jazz and

JAZZ classical musicians and long-hair mor- ence to the word of any word like it.
alists over the last forty-two years. Queries to Hearn scholars have drawn
similar blanks. Professor John Ball
of Miami University in Ohio wrote
Part I. Trans-language accounts
(May 2, 1958) that "After still fur-
Until August 5, 1917, the record
ther checking (and as I told you in
shows no one except Walter Kingsley
cared; at least no one apparently had Chicago, Carl Swanson, a Hearn col-
said anything for the recordnot lector from Lakewood, Ohio, has
even Lafcadio Hearn, Kingsleys pro- checked all his rare collection), I find
fessed authority. The etymological no Hearn mention of 'jazz.' "
Pandora's box was opened that day Kingsley never gave the source of his
in the New York Sun. Under the head- reference to Hearn. Nor did any of
line, "Whence Comes Jass? Facts the writers who cited Kingsley's state-

jazz
From The Great Authority On The ment from the Sun. Unless Kingsley
Subject," the late Mr. Kingsley knew Hearn personally and got it
declared: first-hand, or unless a letter or docu-
ment has gone unnoticed, this trail
The word is African in origin. It is com- ends in a semantic quagmire.
mon on the Gold Coast of Africa and Kingsley, though he may not have
in the hinterland of Cape Coast Castle. known it, however, had an ally of
In his studies of the Creole patois and letters in Princeton. The following
idiom in New Orleans Lafcadio Hearn item appeared in the October 15,
reported that the word "jaz", meaning 1934 edition of The New York Times:
to speed things up, to make excite-
ment, was common among the blacks Some interesting etymological discov-
of the South and has been adopted by
the Creoles as a term to be applied to eries in an eight-year survey conducted
music of a rudimentary syncopated by Professor Harold Bender of Prince-
type. In the old plantation days when ton University, and a staff of eleven
Fradley H. Garner and the slaves were having one of their associates in preparing the edition of
rare holidays and the fun languished Webster's New International Dictionary,
Alan P. Merriam some West Coast African would cry are described . . . It took three years
out, "Jazz her up," and this would be to track down the origin of the word
the cue for fast and furious fun. No jazz, and he had to write more than
Does the word "jazz" come from doubt the witch doctors and medicine 100 letters seeking information on the
Africa, Arabia, the Creole, Old Eng- men on the Congo used the same term word. He found it to have come from
at those jungle "parties" when the
lish, Spanish, the American Indians, tomtoms throbbed and the sturdy war- the West Coast of Africa with the slaves
the name of a mythical musician, an riors gave their pep an added kick imported to Colonial America. It be-
old vaudeville practice, association with rich brews of Luhimbin bark came incorporated later in the Creole
with sex and vulgarity, or onomato- that precious product of the Camer- patois as a synonym for "hurry up"
paeia? oons (Kingsley 1917:111, 3:6-7). (Anon 1934:19:6).
Professor Bender's papers were about The peoples of the North African coast les provinces (plus tard devenues
to be organized after his death on are not Negroes; they belong to the Etats) de la Louisiane et de la Caro-
August 16, 1951, and his widow Semitic family and their language is line du Sud. Dans les villes cultivees
answered our letter to him. She dis- closely allied to the Arabic tongue. du Sud (la Nouvelle-Orleans et Char-
claimed any knowledge of the hun- Many of the words of each are almost leston), le Francaise fut pour un cer-
identical. For several centuries there tain temps la langue dominante, et,
dred letters. No further reference was were migrations of North Africans into dans les plantations possedees par les
made to them in any professional or Southwestern Europe, resulting in an Francais, c'etait la seule langue dont
lay journal that we have seen. intermingling of the two people. South- on usat. Les esclaves au service des
Meanwhile, at least one other scholar western Europe is very darkskinned Francais durent obliges d'apprendre la
had carried the investigation a step far into the Italian peninsula and even langue de leurs maitres, ce qu'ils ap-
above West Africa to Arabia, from into Central Europe. prennent, des inflexions et des modi-
whence, he claimed, "jazz" osmosed The African migrants into Europe fications propres a leur race.
through the Dark Continent to the carried their household words with S'il faut en croire Larousse, le verbe
New World. them and implanted them in the francais jaser signifie causer, bavar-
speech of the people with whom they der, parler beaucoup. Dans la littera-
I submit a few words on music and came in contact. As an instance, the ture fraicais, jaser s'applique souvent
musical instruments in the Western prefix "guad" found in a score of a une conversation animee sur divers
Soudan, through whose portals Islamic words in the Spanish peninsula is an sujets, alors que tout le monde parle
culture filtered to the various West and Arabic word meaning "water." The ensemble; et, souvent aussi, jaser tra-
Central African peoples, from whom river Guadalquiver is the Arabic "Wadi- duit plus specialement un 'chuchote-
America obtained not merely the word el-Kabir." The imported African words ment badin sur de petits hens'
were carried along wherever migrants (Schwerke 1926:679).
jazz, but much of what it stands
for. . . . from the Spanish peninsula wentin
detail, into the West Indies, and the There is nothing logically wrong with
The term jazz . . . is derived from the still retain their Arabic earmarks. I am this explanation, which was cited
Arabic jaz, a term used in the oldest inclined to believe, therefore, that both again by James D. Hart in the jour-
Arabic works on prosody and music, Dr. Vizetelly and Professor Bender are nal American Speech in 1932 (1932:
and meant "the cutting off," "the apo- correct (Redway 1934: IV, 5:2). 245), by jazz critic Wilder Hobson in
copation." It passed with numerous his book American Jazz Music in
other Arabic musical terms and cus- Arabia and West Africa were not 1939 (1939:49), by Douglas Stan-
toms, to the peoples of the West Coast even mentioned in passing by Peter nard in the New Statesman and
of Africa, to be handed on, in the Tamony, in his "Origin of Words," Nation in 1941 (1941:83), by Frank
course of time, to America (Farmer San Francisco News Letter and Wasp, Patterson in Negro Digest in 1947,
1924; 158). March 17, 1939. Mr. Tamony said and others.
simply: "It it a Creole word and There may even be a connection
Henry George Farmer reported he had
means, in general, "to speed up" between jaser, "to chatter," and
gathered this information during a (Tamony 1939:5).
period of research at the University Kingsley's theory, endorsed by
Differences among scholars over others, that "jazbo" and "jazz" have
of Glasgow in 1918-1920. Dr. Vize- the meaning of the alleged Arabic something to do with "speeding
telly supported the Arabian thesis in word "jaz" should be noted, as things up." Chapman, in Down Beat
his letter of October 18, 1934 to the should the fact that some insist it (Anon 1958a: 10), is quoted as say-
Times: is pronounced with an initial " h " ing that in French, "chassee beaux '
If one accepts the African source as sound, though spelled with a " j " in means a "Gallic dandy." But a search
correct, it may do no harm to point English. of the literature fails to reveal any
out that in Arabic "jazz" is vitriol; that The African theory may be accept- other references to "chasse beaux."
one who allures or attracts is "jazib," able on acculturative grounds (the Four other languages have been cre-
and, by extension, "jazibiyah" means Negroes brought the word as well as dited, one in 1935 by jazz writer
"charm, grace, beauty, loveliness"; also the rhythmic concept with them from Charles Edward Smith: "The word
the power of attraction. It may not be Africa), butfor what it's worth itself is not of African or French
amiss to cite the fact that in Hausa, not one exchange student from West origin but is an old English word
an African language that resembles Africa nor a single scholar in African applied to Honky Tonk pianists as
Arabic, "jaiza" is used to designate the linguistics that we talked to ever early as forty years ago" (Smith
rumbling noise of distant drums, or a heard of such an African word, let 1935:45), three others by Frank
murmuring as of discontented persons. alone a word with similar meaning Vizetelly: "F. P. Vreeland traced it to
In Arabic, "jaza" signifies "compensa- on the Guinea Coast.
tion or reward; also, complaint or the Africans, Indians and the Span-
Lest the French be slighted, one of iards for the New York Times in
lamentation." Arabic "jazb" connotes
"allurement or attraction." In Hindus- the more believable accounts harks 1917" (Vizetelly 1934:22:6). We
tani, "jazba" expresses violent desire." back to the French verb "jaser." In have been unable to locate the Vree-
Now, in view of the fact that the Arabs 1926 Irving Schwerke gave it vigor- land reference, even with the help
have always been known as great slave ous endorsement reservations of the Times library research staff.
traders, is it not within the bounds of about the future of the music not- The trans-language accounts vari-
possibility that the term . . . ought withstanding. His article in the March ously trace the word to Arabic, Afri-
to be labeled Arabic (Vizetelly 1934: 19 Guide du Concert was gleefully can, Creole, French, Old English,
22:6). titled "Le Jazz Est Mort! Vive le Indian and Spanish vocabularies. The
Jacques Ward law Redway proposed a Jazz!" last three probably can be dismissed
compromise. The Times on October prima facie; the Arabic and African
Le mot jazz est d'origine francaise et explanations, while plausible, cannot
21, 1934, published his comments son application a la musique est la
under the headline, "History of Term be verified by West African nationals
fidele image de son sens literal. II y or linguistic scientists. The strongest
'Jazz' ReviewedDivergent Theories a 250 ans, la civilisation francaise
of Experts Are Thus Reconciled": case can be made for "jaser."
trouva un solide point d'appui dans

40
Reconsiderations/Jimmy Yancey
The second commences with the re-
peated note motive shown in Ex. 2.
This is the other principal idea of
the piece. It lasts for four bars on
Except among a few record collectors for two choruses more but, to the its first appearance and is linked by
boogie woogie is now largely a for- best of them, Yancey was able to a kind of interlude (bar 5) to the first
gotten aspect of jazz. It was a kind impart an impressive degree of for- repeat of the main material as shown
of blues piano playingmost imme- mal cohesion. And there is real mas- in Ex. 1A. The third chorus is even
diately characterised by the use of tery in the way he shepherded his more concerned with the repeated
ostinato bass figures that devel- rather small vocabulary of phrases note motive, this time in octaves
oped in the lumber, railroad and so that the.performance had a just (Ex. 3) and it occupies bars 1 and
turpentine camps of the middle west balance of unity and variety. 2, 5 and 6, and 9. Each of these
in the latter years of the nineteenth State Street Special consists of seven sections is linked by contrasted ma-
century. The untrained pianists had medium tempo blues choruses in E terial like that in bars 3 and 4 of Ex.
at all times to work on poor, unre- flat. In the first five bars of the open- 3. It is a further indication of the
sponsive instruments and developed ing chorus the pair of right hand tightly-constructed nature of the
a style that, although of considerable sixths on the lead-in are developed piece that this 'interlude' material,
musical richness, lacked subtitles of briefly to form an introduction to besides providing contrast with the
touch and other refinements of ex- bars 6-12 which contain the solo's octave passages, is related to other
ecution. Travelling north with the main material (Ex. 1). This material parts of other choruses. The similar-
migrations of Negro workers during recurs, either in whole or in part, in ity between bar 4 of Ex. 3 and bar 7
the first world war it flourished in the latter part of five of the six fol- of Ex. 1 will be noted and bars 7 and
the obscurity of rent parties and lowing choruses and thus State Street 8 of this chorus are almost identical
bars in Chicago and other cities. Special can be described as a kind with bars 11 and 12 of chorus num-
In the 'thirties it enjoyed a brief, of rondo. Yet the pianist is never ber five. Nine bars having thus been
fashionable vogue with some of its content to repeat literally and in each taken up the material of Ex. 1 has
most efficient exponents playing at instance some modification takes to be telescoped. Yancey here em-
concerts and at New York night clubs. place. One of these variants is shown ploys bars 5-7 of Ex. 1A with slight
Despite the apparent 'toughness' of in Ex. 1A. It will be noted that where alterations in the bass. In the fourth
its idiom boogie rather quickly de- the right hand is unchanged the bass chorus this material appears at its
teriorated when removed from its has been altered and usually to no- normal length, commencing in the
natural surroundings. In the concert ticeable effect. Thus in the first bar sixth bar. Chorus five introduces the
and night club atmospheres the play- of each example although the right triplet idea shown in Ex. 4 that, con-
ing of even such gifted men as hand is the same it has a somewhat sisting as it does of the same three
Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons different effect because in one case noteS throughout, can be regarded
became mechanical and empty. it is played over a heavy bass and as another variation of the repeated
Jimmy Yancey (1894-1951) seldom in the other over a light one. note idea. This lasts four bars and,
appeared at concerts or night clubs The left hand part in Ex. 1 shows as in chorus two, is linked to the
and his work retained the musical the basic rhythmic pattern of the customary chorus-ending with a con-
purity and freshness that his col- piece but, as can be seen from sub- trasting interlude bar. The repeated
leagues' playing eventually lost. For- sequent examples, it is subject to note motive is further developed in
tunately he made some recordsit considerable modification. In the two the sixth chorus only here the notes
was one of the good things about the final choruses a dotted-eighth and are sustained instead of being re-
vogue that some of the best pianists sixteenth rhythm is maintained peated. Development centers round
in the idiom were recorded for the throughout to give the perforomance the alternation of tonic and flattened
first time. greater momentum towards the thirdan exceedingly commonplace
close. It has been argued that with device that Yancey still manages to
Initially Yancey's records may seem
these variation in the bass patterns use to good effect. Ex. 5 shows bars
to reveal him as an individual but
Yancey was really outside the normal 2-5 of this chorus. Bars 7-10 are
very limited musician. He lacked the
confines of boogie. In fact while most made up of material similar in char-
inventive ability of Meade Lux Lewis
exponents of the idiom maintained an acter to that of bars 3-4 and 7-8 of
nor did he have the technique that
unvaried left hand rhythm against chorus three (see latter half of Ex.
enabled Albert Ammons to produce
which they threw a variety of right 3). It seems that the rondo character
such irresistibly powerful recordings
hand patterns Yancey integrated his is to be lost here and the chorus end
as Boogie Woogie Stomp. His themes
hands so that one enhanced the without any of the usual material but
are comparitively few in number and
effect of the other in a number of in fact Yancey telescopes the chorus-
it will be found, for example, that
different ways. In any case some ending even more than in chorus
Yancey Stomp, Janie's Joys, Midnight
kind of ostinato was always the norm three, reducing it to two bars and
Stomp and Yancey Limited are all
of his pieces and I think the truth the final two bars of this sixth chorus
based on the same material. Despite
is not that he was guilty of some consist of a repeat of the two final
this Yancey was easily the most re-
kind of stylistic impurity but that he bars of the first chorus (Ex. 1, bars
markable pianist to work in the
had more imagination than his fel- 6-7). The development of the repeat-
boogie idiom and often achieved sing-
lows! ed note idea reaches its climax in
ular depth of expression. Superficially
his recordings consist of strings of If the unity of this piece is achieved the seventh chorus where it appears
blues choruses that might equally by the repetition of modified mate- in seconds, thirds, and sixths in the
well end one chorus shorter or go on rial its variety is to be found in the opening four bars (Ex. 6). The mate-

41
rial of Ex. 1 is not heard again and Example 1
bars 5-10 consist of an extension of
bars 7-10 of the preceeding chorus.
There is a two-bar coda.
It has already been said that State
Street Special is a rondo but in fact
it is something more. A rondo would,
have an A-B-A-C-A-D-A etc. form with
B, C and D representing new music
and A the repetition of the opening
material. State Street Special is really
A - B - A - B - A - B - A - B etc. in which
1 1 2 2 3 3

A (Ex. 1) is modied on each reappear-


ance and B (Ex. 2) is subject to
further development every time. This
is more enterprising than simple Example la
rondo form and, but for the absence
of modulation, could almost be de-
scribed as a special kind of sonata-
rondo. That this degree of formal or-
ganisation is present in a sequence
of Yancey's blues choruses may sur-
prise those unfamiliar with his work
and it may be asked how such a Example 2
musician, who worked in noisy bars
and at rent parties, became con-
cerned with the formal problem. This
, i . .f>fTr ffi ffi- |Tr fffff ftiflfffiySgj
is a problem all solo jazz pianists
have to face but blues players have
devoted less attention to it than most
and in Yancey's case we may guess Example 3
it was to some degree unconscious
at first. Yet while at a rent party he
might improvise on a number for
half an hour and produce a perform-
ance that really was nothing more
than a string of twelve-bar units, he
probably felt the need to give a de-
gree of balance and unity to his
ideas. Working on his themes over Example 4
the years he gradually moulded his
soles into the relatively elaborate
formal patterns exemplified by State
Street Special. This is obviously a
form of composition and a study of
Yancey's work, as of that of so many
other jazzmen, shows us that compo-
sition and improvisation are not real- Example 5
ly such discrete and separate proc-
esses and that composition plays a
larger part in jazz than is still gen-
erally realised. Much of the emotional
force of Yancey's work derives, then,
not only from the intrinsic quality of
his ideas and personal nuances of
his playing, but also from the skill
with which the ideas are deployed
through varied repetition, contrast
and development.
Max Harrison
Musical examples are reproduced
from State Street Special by Jimmy
Yancey. Copyright M C M X L ,
MCMXLIII by LEEDS MUSIC COR-
PORATION, 322 West 48th Street,
New York 36, N. Y. Reprinted by
Permission. All Rights Reserved.
42
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