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Vinyl Vibrations with Brian Frederick podcast

Exploration into sounds and grooves from artists that produced their works on vinyl records

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Jeff Beck Guitar Part 2 VV-019

JEFF BECK EARLY YEARS 1975-1976 Today’s show is JEFF BECK GUITAR EARLY YEARS — PART 2 During the two years of 1975 – 1976, two Jeff Beck albums BLOW BY BLOW and WIRED, set a standard for instrumental rock.  In today’s podcast episode, JEFF BECK GUITAR PART 2, we review 4 works from the album BLOW BY BLOW, released in 1975, and 3 works from the album WIRED, released in 1976.  In the previous episode JEFF BECK GUITAR PART 1, we reviewed the early years of British, blues-based fusion guitarist Jeff Beck during his recordings with THE YARDBIRDS in 1966, and then his formation of the JEFF BECK GROUP in 1968. By 1975, Beck’s band consisted of Phil Chen on bass, Richard Bailey on drums and Max Middleton on keyboards. Middleton continued on from the earlier Jeff Beck Group. The sound with this new group and this album is instrumental Jazz Fusion It is a sound with influences from Miles Davis, and Mahavishnu Orchestra. PROGRAM LIST Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers (Stevie Wonder) Rec Oct 1974, BLOW BY BLOW, Epic Records/Sony Music Entertainment, 1975, 5:42 Freeway Jam (Max Middleton), Rec Oct 1974, BLOW BY BLOW, Epic Records/Sony Music Entertainment, 1975, 4:58 Diamond Dust (Bernie Holland) Rec Oct 1974, BLOW BY BLOW, Epic Records/Sony Music Entertainment, 1975, 8:26 Led Boots (Max Middleton), Rec Oct 1976, JEFF BECK WIRED, Epic Records, 1976, 4:03 Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Charles Mingus, 1959) Rec Oct 1976, JEFF BECK WIRED, Epic Records, 1976, 5:31 Blue Wind (Jan Hammer) Rec Oct 1976, JEFF BECK WIRED, Epic Records, 1976, 5:54 Love is Green (Narada Michael Walden) Rec Oct 1976, JEFF BECK WIRED, Epic Records, 1976, 2:30 9-4-20 at 1333

4 Sep 2020

Rank #1

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Jeff Beck Guitar Part 1 VV-018

JEFF BECK GUITAR EARLY YEARS 1966- 1968 Today’s show is JEFF BECK GUITAR EARLY YEARS — PART 1 In this VINYL VIBRATIONS episode, I tour early vinyl records that showcase ENGLISH ROCK and FUSION GUITARIST GREAT … JEFF BECK. The recordings presented in this podcast are a compilation from my own LP and Singles collection.  Today – we will review six songs from Jeff Beck’s early years, 1966 – 1968: SHAPES OF THINGS – The Yardbirds (single) OVER UNDER SIDEWAYS DOWN – The Yardbirds (single) BECK’S BOLERO – Jeff Beck (single) GREENSLEEVES – Jeff Beck Group (TRUTH LP) SHAPES OF THINGS – Jeff Beck Group (TRUTH LP) MORNING DEW – Jeff Beck Group (TRUTH LP) Jeff Beck achieved notoriety in the mid 1960’s, through the music of The Yardbirds and their hit song “Shapes of Things”.  He had been working actively as a musician since the age of 19, during the time he was attending college at what is now called the Wimbledon College of Art in London. That college specializes in theatre, screen, and performance art. That’s 1963. Just five years later, Beck had launched three singles and his debut LP album, TRUTH.­­­

34mins

2 Aug 2020

Rank #2

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Wes Montgomery Guitarist Part 2 VV-017

In today’s VINYL VIBRATIONS podcast, I continue to tour early vinyl records that showcase JAZZ GUITARIST GREAT WES MONTGOMERY. The recording presented in this podcast are a compilation from my own LP collection – – from the golden age of vinyl. I heard these Montgomery Brothers LPs during my childhood. These records were a frequent play on my parent’s Hi-Fi record player – you could stack up to 10 records, and Wes Montgomery was a regular in that record stack.Today, I will pick more of Wes Montgomerys best recordings, made between 1961 and 1968, In those years Wes would have been between the ages of 38 and 45. Love For Sale (Cole Porter 1930 ) Rec Oct 9, 1961, Buddy Montgomery vibes, George Shearing piano, Monk Montgomery electric bass, Walter Perkins drums, WES and FRIENDS, Milestone 1973 remaster 3:32 from the musical The New Yorkers The song is written from the viewpoint of a prostitute advertising various kinds of “love for sale”: “Old love, new love, every love but true love“. No Hard Feelings (Buddy Montgomery) Rec Oct 9, 1961, Buddy Montgomery vibes, George Shearing piano, Monk Montgomery electric bass, Walter Perkins drums, WES and FRIENDS, Milestone 1973 remaster 3:45 Born To Be Blue (Mel Torme) Rec Apr 22 1963 Wes Montgomery guitar, Mel Rhyne organ Jimmy Cobb drums The Alternative Wes Montgomery Milestone Records 1963 Produced Orrin Keepnews 7:23 I can hear contemporary Pat Martino through this Wes Montgomery guitar part. Fried Pies (Wes Montgomery) Rec Apr 22 1963 Wes Montgomery guitar, Mel Rhyne organ Jimmy Cobb drums The Alternative Wes Montgomery Milestone Records 1963 Produced Orrin Keepnews 6:34      awesome thumb pluck technique half way into song Besame Mucho take 2 (Consuelo Velazquez 1940) Rec Apr 22 1963 Mel Rhyne organ Jimmy Cobb drums The Alternative Wes Montgomery Milestone Records 1963 Produced Orrin Keepnews   6:24    An exceptional improviser the likes of Joe Pass guitar and Oscar Peterson piano improvisation. The content is massive, each listen draws out another impressive sound. The story goes that WM was often not satisfied with his recordings. That;s\\’s nothing unusual for a god musician. Sure there are musicians that sit once and nail the take. Peter Keepnews was WM’s producer during the Riverside Records years. These tracks are WM’s rejects, and they sound so very good. This song used in the 1987 Brazilian film Besame Mucho. I’ll Be Back, (Lennon-McCartney) Recorded May 7, 1968, “Road Song”, A&M Records, 2:30 Herbie Hancock piano, Richard Davis Bass, Grady Tate drums, and a cast of many in the orchestra.goes back and forth from major to minor. Road Song (Wes Montgomery) rec May 8,1968 “Road Song”, A&M Records, 3:50 Herbie Hancock Piano , Richard Davis Bass, Ed Shaughnessy drumsalso flute oboe recorder bassoon trumpet clarinet trombone french horn violin viola cello harpsicord and percussion parts..,. final recording before his death on June 15, 1968. A lot of Octave playing in this song. First let’s recap what we learned about Wes in Part 1 He was born in 1923 in Indianapolis INDIANA, Wes has two musician brothers – Monk Montgomery on bass and Buddy Montgomery on piano and vibes They recorded as the Montgomery Brothers in the 1950s Wes recorded with Pacific Jazz in the 1950s and then Riverside Records 1959-1963, and also VERVE and A&M records from 1964 to 1968 The music style, it is jazz guitar, bebop An Original technique: Wes ‘plucks’ the guitar string with his thumb – not a guitar pick Guitar solos used three-tier approach: 1 single notes 2 octave notes 3 block chord melodies That octave string sound became known as “THE NAPTOWN SOUND” , naptown being Indianapolis Wes was a self-taught musician !! He learned Charlie Christian songs note-for-note by listening to records, Lionel Hampton hired Wes for that reason, Wes then toured for 1-1/2 years with Lionel He preferred to play in a jazz trio, quartet or quintet format, with his brothers So today let’s continue with his recording in 1961 and two songs, in particular, M1 LOVE FOR SALE and M2 NO HARD FEELINGS On VINYL VIBRATIONS ! M1 Our first song is Love For Sale by Cole Porter, written in 1930, and this is Wes’s excellent interpretation. The song Love For Sale is from the musical The New Yorkers. The song is written from the perspective of a sex worker. The lyrics say it all: “Old love, new love, every love but true love“. The song was considered in bad taste, and was banned from radio airplay. Two versions went to top 20 in 1931 and other versions of the song were played as instrumentals. What we have NOW is a Wes Montgomery rendition, recorded some 30 years later, Oct of 1961. The tune shifts between a major and minor feeling that’s a signature attribute for Porter. There is an ultra clean upbeat sound to this song. With George Shearing on piano, what a great assembly of artists. The song features: Buddy Montgomery vibes, George Shearing piano, Monk Montgomery electric bass, Walter Perkins drums, From the album WES and FRIENDS, M2 No Hard Feelings written by Buddy Montgomery, and recorded in October of 1961. What an interesting song line, with the theme as a base and piano playing opposite each other. The up-tempo antics of Shearing and Montgomery is impressive almost 55 years after it was recorded. That’s George Shearing on piano, George Shearing is 42, 4 years older than Wes On electric bass, Monk Montgomery Buddy Montgomery is on vibes and the song composer, Wes on guitar and Walter Perkins drums, From the two-LP set titled WES and FRIENDS, Born To Be Blue a Mel Torme composition, Recorded in 1963, with Wes Montgomery guitar, Mel Rhyne organ Jimmy Cobb drums The Alternative Wes Montgomery Milestone Records 1963. 7:23 I can hear contemporary guitarist Pat Martino through the Wes Montgomery guitar part on Born To Be Blue. Even today, Wes’s techniques like octaves, block chord melody solo, are the kind of things jazz guitar students strive to accomplish, even partially. Contemporary guitarists trace their guitar influences back to Wes Montgomery, many consider Montgomery the greatest influence among modern jazz guitarists. Names like Pat Metheny, George Benson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix, Lee Ritenour, Larry Coryell, and Pat Martino have pointed to him numerous times as a great influence. M4 Fried Pies by Wes Montgomery, recorded in 1963 with Wes Montgomery guitar, Mel Rhyne organ Jimmy Cobb drums From the double LP The Alternative Wes Montgomery . 6:34 In just one year ,1964, Montgomery will move to VERVE RECORDS where he will release ten albums in 4 years. With Verve, Wes will be taken in a different direction, and crossover into pop/jazz style, where he did well and gained recognition in the mid 1960s. In 1966 he won a Grammy Award for “Best Instrumental Jazz Performance”. M5 Besame Mucho take 2 (BAY SAW MAY MOO CHO) composed by Consuelo Velazquez 1940 and Wes recorded this rendition in 1963. Wes Montgomery on guitar Mel Rhyne on organ with bass pedals Jimmy Cobb drums From the 2-LP set The Alternative Wes Montgomery, 1963, Milestone Records. On this song, Wes is an exceptional improviser I compare his wizardry to that of Joe Pass-guitar and Oscar Peterson-piano improvisations that go on for minutes. The song is rich with ideas, and each listen draws out another impressive sound. The story goes that Wes Montgomery was often not satisfied with his recordings, and would himself reject takes…well…that’s not unusual for any self-respecting musician, but word is that he was a bit of a perfectionist…. So these tracks, Wes’s rejects, do SOUND VERY GOOD. The song Besame Mucho was used in the 1987 Brazilian film by the same name.  M6 I’ll Be Back, a Lennon-McCartney song, recorded in May of 1968, on the “Road Song” LP, A&M Records. A shorter pop tune at 2 minutes 30 seconds. The move to A&M Records firmly places Wes Montgomery in the POP/JAZZ world, taking the pop hits of the day and adding Wes as a lead guitar part. On I’ll Be Back the artists were: Herbie Hancock piano, Wes Montgomery guitar Richard Davis Bass, Grady Tate drums, …and a cast of many in the orchestra.  Like many Lennon McCartney songs, ILL BE BACK goes back and forth from major to minor. But with the orchestra – – did Wes Montgomery really enjoy what he was doing? There is such a difference as compared to his favorite format—a jazz trio. M7 Road Song was composed by Wes Montgomery and recorded May 8,1968 and released on the album “Road Song”, on A&M Records The song showcases what Wes is known for in JAZZ circles, now going to a much broader POP base. So in this song there is extensive Octave playing (level 2 of the 3-level, solo technique) ROAD SONG features : Herbie Hancock Piano , Richard Davis Bass, Ed Shaughnessy drums and small orchestra This song is very probably the final recording before Montgomery’s death. Montgomery had just returned from a tour with his quintet On the morning of June 15, 1968, while at home in Indianapolis, Indiana, Montgomery died of a heart attack —he was only 45 years old at the time of his death….and was at the top of his fame. Montgomery earned a high level of popular acceptance and set the bar so much higher for young and aspiring jazz guitarists. A year following his death, in 1969, he won a second Grammy, again for “Best Instrumental Jazz Performance” Love For Sale (Cole Porter 1930 ) Rec Oct 9, 1961, “WES and FRIENDS“,Milestone 1973 remaster 3:32 No Hard Feelings (Buddy Montgomery) Rec Oct 9, 1961, “WES and FRIENDS”, Milestone 1973 remaster 3:45 Born To Be Blue (Mel Torme) Rec Apr 22 1963 “The Alternative Wes Montgomery” Milestone Records 1963 7:23 Fried Pies (Wes Montgomery) Rec Apr 22 1963 “The Alternative Wes Montgomery” Milestone Records 1963 6:34 Besame Mucho take 2 (Consuelo Velazquez 1940) Rec Apr 22 1963 “The Alternative Wes Montgomery” Milestone Records 1963 I’ll Be Back, (Lennon-McCartney) Recorded May 7, 1968, “Road Song”, A&M Records, 2:30 Road Song (Wes Montgomery) rec May 8,1968 “Road Song”, A&M Records 1968, 3:50

50mins

8 May 2018

Rank #3

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Wes Montgomery Guitarist VV-016

In today’s VINYL VIBRATIONS podcast, I tour some early vinyl records that showcase JAZZ GUITARIST GREAT WES MONTGOMERY. The recording presented in this podcast are a compilation from my LP collection from the golden age of vinyl. From my father’s LP record collection, I heard these LPs during my childhood. These LPs were a frequent play on the house Hi-Fi — it had a stackable record player. Wes Montgomery was a regular in that record stack..Jazz renditions by Wes Montgomery have had a big influence on my musical development and my music interest since that time – – some 55 years ago ! Wes Montgomery Part 1 (1959-1961) PART 1 ‘Round Midnight (music by Thelonious Monk 1944) Recorded Oct 5-6, 1959, Wes Montgomery guitar, Melvin Rhyne organ, Paul Parker drums. 4:49 Remaster 1968 Riverside Records. …bebop. Original LP: “THE WES MONTGOMERY TRIO, A Dynamic New Sound for Guitar/Organ/Drums” Yesterdays (music by Jerome Kern 1933-from Roberta) Recorded Oct 5-6, 1959 Wes Montgomery guitar, Melvin Rhyne organ, Paul Parker drums. 3:13 Remaster 1968 Riverside Records …‘brightswing 200’ much faster pace than the Roberts play song. Original LP: “THE WES MONTGOMERY TRIO, A Dynamic New Sound for Guitar/Organ/Drums” Love Walked In (music by George Gershwin 1930) recorded October 9, 1961 Wes Montgomery guitar, George Shearing Piano, Buddy Montgomery Vibes, Monk Montgomery Bass, Walter Perkins Drums. Riverside Records remaster, 1968. What a dynamite jazz rendition of this George Gershwin music classic, by Wes Montgomery and George Shearing. What do we know about the musical family “Montgomery”. 2:10 Airegin (Sonny Rollins) Wes Montgomery guitar, Tommy Flanagn piano, Percy Heath bass, Albert Heath druma. Recorded January 1960. Riverside Records 4:26 Note the tight synch between drummer and wes , wes is weaved into the rhythm section. Four on Six (Wes Montgomery) Wes Montgomery guitar, Tommy Flanagn piano, Percy Heath bass, Albert Heath druma. Recorded January 1960. Riverside Records 6:10 long one there is plenty of time to develop the theme and have a more ideas play out Tune Up-Take 9 (Miles Davis) Recorded Oct 12, 1960 Wes Montgomery guitar, James Clay, Flute, Victor Feldman, Piano, Sam Jones Bass, Bobby Thomas drums, Produced by Orrin Keepnews, released in 1963, consists of alternate unissued takes (1960-1963) from previously issued albums on the Riverside label   4:39 Bock to Bock-take 1 (Buddy Montgomery) Recorded Jan 3, 1961 for “The Montgomery Brothers-Groove Yard” in 1961 , Wes Montgomery guitar, Buddy Montgomery piano, Monk Montgomery bass, Bobby Thomas drums. Orinially produced by Orrin Keepnews, released in 1963, consists of alternate unissued takes (1960-1963) from previously issued albums on the Riverside label 5:35 Today in Part 1, I will pick some of Wes Montgomery best recordings, made between 1959 and 1961, – – – he was between the young ages of 36 and 38. Wes Montgomery had just signed with Riverside Records. There would be several LP and LP Sets released with Riverside over the next seven years…a prolific period for Wes! What do we know about Wes Montgomery ? John Leslie Montgomery was born March 6, 1923 in Indianapolis. He was called Wes, the baby pronunciation of his name, Leslie.  Amazing Technique fact 1 Wes Montgomery is a SELF TAUGHT musician, learning by ear, starting at age12 on a tenor guitar, then at age 20, he began playing a 6-string guitar. He had listened and learned from the recordings of his guitar idol, CHARLIE CHRISTIAN. Wes Montgomery learned these melodies and riffs … by ear. That is an amazing fact. Wes grew up with two musician brothers – – Monk Montgomery plays bass, and Buddy Montgomery plays piano and vibes. Montgomery did most of his early performance work in the 1950’s in Indanapolis, with his brothers, and together with with Indianapolis organist Melvin Rhyne – – they recorded from 1957-1959 for the PACIFIC JAZZ label. The story goes that Wes learned how to play Charlie Christian songs by memory, note-for-note, and that Lionel Hampton hired Wes for this reason. His early professional history began by briefly TOURING with Lionell Hampton’s orchestra, from 1948-1950. This would have been when Wes was from the ages of 25 to 27. Then, in 1959, at the age of 36, Wes got his big break, and signed with RIVERSIDE RECORDS. First album was “THE WES MONTGOMERY TRIO, A Dynamic New Sound for Guitar/Organ/Drums”, recorded October 1959. There were several wonderful recordings released, featuring small-group jazz bee-bop format of jazz guitar. You will hear FIVE of those Riverside RECORDS LP recordings today – – On VINYL VIBRATIONS !! M1 Round Midnight.  This first song from the 1959 recording is ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT, a Thelonious Monk composition.This features Wes Montgomery on guitar, Melvin Rhyne on organ, and Paul Parker on drums and now….’ROUND MIDNIGHT. An interpretation of Thelonious Monk’s 1944 song, recorded in 1959, and released on Riverside Records, distributed by ABC Records. M2 Yesterdays Music by Jerome Kern 1933-from the play “Roberta”. Recorded Oct 5-6, 1959 ….with Wes Montgomery guitar, Melvin Rhyne organ, Paul Parker drums. The sheet music calls for a tempo named ‘brightswing 200’ a much faster pace than the song in Roberts. The Original LP was titled : “THE WES MONTGOMERY TRIO, A Dynamic New Sound for Guitar/Organ/Drums” Another amazing fact about guitar technique WES developed an unusual playing technique, using his right THUMB to pluck the strings, instead of a guitar pick. That may not sound significant, but when you consider the speed of some of his guitar lines, as a guitarist, it is mind-boggling to hear his performance – rapid succession of a line of notes, with just the thumb. Like for example this line from Jingles:. Today some great guitarists use this thumb style –Jeff Beck, George Benson, John Abercrombie, and the late    Emily Remner… M3 Love Walked In Our next jazz tune is titled Love Walked In (music by George Gershwin 1930) and was recorded in 1961 in LA the track was included in a release titled George Shearing and the Montgomery Brothers This is a jazz quintet — Wes Montgomery guitar, George Shearing Piano, Buddy Montgomery Vibes, Monk Montgomery Bass, Walter Perkins Drums. What a dynamite jazz rendition of this Gershwin classic, performed by Wes Montgomery and George Shearing. A very short piece at 2 minutes 10 seconds. Found on a Riverside Records 1968 remaster . THE BEST OF WES MONTGOMERY and featuring george shearing, Wes, Buddy and Monk Montgomery and Walter Perkins Drums. M4 Airegin (a Sonny Rollins composition) from the 1960 album The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery a QUARTET with Wes Montgomery on guitar, Tommy Flanagan piano, Percy Heath on bass, and Albert Heath drums. Riverside Records The title of the song AIREGIN …is NIGERIA spelled backwards. Note the tight synch between drummer, and guitarist Wes is weaved into the rhythm section. M5 Four on Six Our next song is a Wes Montgomery composition – – with Wes on guitar, Tommy Flanagan piano, Percy Heath bass, Albert Heath drums. Recorded January 1960. Riverside Records. At 6:10 this is a longer piece — plenty of time to fully develop the theme and have the ideas played out . The sheet music shows the song is in 4/4 … so where does that title FOUR ON SIX come from? One interpretation is 4th track sixth album. Another is four fingers six strings…or is it the four theme notes G-D-C-G ,repeated six times…  Maybe you know the truth. And now, Four on Six M6 Tune Up-Take 9 (Miles Davis) Recorded Oct 12, 1960 …Wes Montgomery guitar, James Clay, Flute, Victor Feldman, Piano, Sam Jones Bass, Bobby Thomas drums, produced by Orrin Keepnews, released in 1963. This album consists of alternate unissued takes from previously issued albums on the Riverside label   This track has a different sound, instead of the full-bodied guitar sound, this track sound as if the only bridge pickup is used, a hollow sound without the bottom-end we hear on other Montgomery tracks. A Miles Davis compositrion played by Wes Montgomery guitar, James Clay, Flute, Victor Feldman, Piano, Sam Jones Bass, Bobby Thomas drums, recorded in 1960. A bit about Wes Montgomery’s signature solo technigue. It’s three tiered !! He begins with a single notes solo. Next he solos in OCTAVE notes And third he moves to chord melodies or so-called “block chords” . And that is the tree tiered solo technique of Wes Montgomery. M7 Bock to Bock-take 1 (Buddy Montgomery) Recorded in1961 for “The Montgomery Brothers-Groove Yard”. It features a quartet including the brothers ! Wes Montgomery guitar, Buddy Montgomery piano, Monk Montgomery bass, With Bobby Thomas drums. This track was found on an LP released in 1963, containing unissued takes from previously issued albums of the Riverside label. The song title BOCK to BOCK is a reference to PACIFIC JAZZ RECORDS producer and founder Richard Bock, whom the Montgomery Brothers recorded with from 1957 to 1959. When the track starts, it sounds a bit like Peggy Lee and her hit song “FEVER”, which came out in 1958. Recorded in 1961 with the Montgomery Brothers WES BUDDY and MONK and Bobby Thomas on drums. ‘Round Midnight (T. Monk 1944) Recorded 1959, Riverside 4:49 Yesterdays (J. Kern 1933) Recorded 1959 3:13 Love Walked In (G. Gershwin 1930) Recorded 1961 Riverside 2:10 Airegin (S. Rollins) Recorded January 1960. Riverside 4:26 Four on Six (W. Montgomery) Recorded January 1960. Riverside 6:10 Tune Up-Take 9 (M. Davis) Recorded Oct 12, 1960, Producer Orrin Keepnews 4:39 Bock to Bock-Take 1 (B. Montgomery) Recorded Jan 3, 1961 Producer Orrin Keepnews, 5:35

47mins

8 May 2018

Rank #4

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Fats Waller Piano and Organ Solos Part 2 VV-015

Fats Waller Piano and Organ Solos Part 2      (1940-1943) In today’s VINYL VIBRATIONS podcast, I tour some early vinyl records that showcase PIANIST AND ORGANIST GREAT FATS WALLER. Many of these will be original compositions by Fats Waller . These recordings of Fats Waller are found on my Vinyl LP Record compilation of his recordings between 1929 and 1943…. PART 2 Dancing Fool, The Rarest Fats Waller Volume 4. Recorded March, 1940. Piano solo. Honeysuckle Rose (Fats Waller), ’Fat’s’ Waller and His Rhythm/Ain’t Misbehavin’, recorded 5/13/1941, 1956, RCA Victor Records. Piano solo. Ring Dem Bells, Handful of Keys, Fats Waller and His Rhythm, RCA Victor LPM-1502, 1957. Recorded May 13, 1941. Piano solo. Waller Jive, (Fats Waller) Fats Waller-Last Testament 1943, Alamac Recording Company, OSR2438 , recorded Sept 1943. Piano solo. Hallelujah, (Fats Waller) Fats Waller-Last Testament 1943, Alamac Recording Company, OSR2438 , recorded Sept 1943. Piano solo. Martinique, (Fats Waller) Fats Waller-Last Testament 1943, Alamac Recording Company, OSR2438 , recorded Sept 1943. Organ solo Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, (spiritual, c1870, US), “Fats Waller Plays, Sings and Talks” recorded Sept 23, 1943. 1956, Jazz Treasury JT-1001. Organ solo. Bouncin’ On A V-Disc, (Fats Waller) “Fats Waller Plays, Sings and Talks” recorded Sept 23, 1943, organ solo 1956, Jazz Treasury JT-1001 THOMAS WRIGHT “FATS” WALLER was borne May 21, 1904 in NYC, the youngest of 11 children. He started paying piano at age six. His father was the Reverend Edward Martin Waller and by the time Thomas Waller was 10, he had learned how to play the organ at his father’s church. At age 14, he was playing the organ at Harlem Lincoln’s Theater. Fats Waller is best known for his stride piano style. [insert sample of stride piano] . At age 15 he was a professional pianist and worked the local cabarets and theatres. Some of his original compositions are well known standards today, like Honeysuckle Rose, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Handful of Keys, Squeeze Me, Blue Turnin Grey Over You. Recordings of Fats Waller were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, first in 1984, the song Honeysuckle Rose, and again in 1998 the song Ain’t Misbehavin’. TODAY We will hear piano and organ solo performances by Fats Waller from 1929, during the time of the Great Depression, and 1943, when America was deeply involved in World War II in Europe and in the Pacific.

39mins

8 May 2018

Rank #5

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Fats Waller Piano and Organ Solos VV-014

In today’s VINYL VIBRATIONS podcast, I tour some early vinyl records that showcase PIANIST AND ORGANIST GREAT FATS WALLER. There are some 360 original compositions credited to Fats Waller, so where does one start in an attempt to represent his most imortant works? These recording you will hear in this podcast are found on a vinyl LP Record compilation that were collected by my father. During my childhood, these LPs were a frequent favorite on the house Hi-Fidelity record player. FATS WALLER PART 1 Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Music by Fats Waller, Harry Brooks), ‘Ain’t Misbehavin, Fat’s’ Waller and His Rhythm’ 1956, RCA Victor Records. rec 8/2/1929, original version of the song released 1929. Piano solo. Baby Oh Where Can You Be (Music by Ted Koehler and Frank Magine), The Rarest Fats Waller Volume 2 RFW-2, Organ solo. Recorded 8/24/1929. Tanglewood, (composed by Fats Waller and Sidney Easton) The Rarest Fats Waller Volume 2 RFW-2, organ solo, recorded 8/24/1929.Handful of Keys, Handful of Keys, Fats Waller and His Rhythm, RCA Victor LPM-1502, 1957. Recorded March 1, 1929.ZSz Piano solo. Tea for Two (Music by Vincent Youmans) ’Fat’s’ Waller and His Rhythm/Ain’t Misbehavin’, recorded June, 1937 from the 1924 musical “No, No Nanette” 1956, RCA Victor Records Then You’ll Remember Me (Music by Michael William Balfe), Fats Waller Plays, Sings and Talks , 1956, Jazz Treasury JT-1001. From Balfe’s opera, The Bohemian Girl c1861-1865) recorded Nov 30, 1939. Piano solo. Electrical Transcription (ET). Sextet Fats Waller Plays, Sings and Talks, 1956, Jazz Treasury JT-1001. from Lucia Di Lammermoor. Recorded Nov 20, 1939. Piano solo. Electrical Transcription (ET). MY HEART AT THY SWEET VOICE Fats Waller Plays, Sings and Talks, 1956, Jazz Treasury JT-1001. Recorded Nov 20, 1939. Piano solo. Electrical Transcription (ET). Today in Part 1, I will canvass solo performances of Fats Waller of his recordings between 1929 and 1939, when he was between the ages of 25 and 35. Today’s show is called Fats Waller Piano and Organ Solos. . . . THOMAS WRIGHT WALLER was born May 21, 1904 in NYC, the youngest of 11 children. He started pl aying piano at age six. His father was the Reverend Edward Martin Waller . By the time Thomas was 10, he had learned how to play the organ at his father’s church. At age 14, he was playing the organ at Harlem Lincoln’s Theater. Fats Waller is best known for his stride piano style. At age 15 Fats was a professional pianist and worked the local cabarets and theatres. Some of his original compositions are well known standards today, like Honeysuckle Rose, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Handful of Keys, Squeeze Me, Blue Turnin Grey Over You. Recordings of Fats Waller were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, first in 1984, the song Honeysuckle Rose, and again in 1998 the song Ain’t Misbehavin’. Thomas Waller earned the nickname “Fats” at an early age, because as a Harlem ten year old boy, he was very heavy, over 250 pounds, and for the remainder of his life, his weight would stay between 280 and 300. Fats Waller was hard-working and trained in music theory and in the piano classics. He was prolific and there are some 360 songs credited to him during his short lifetime of 39 years. In terms of music performance, he preferred small groups to big bands, and preferred to lead groups of 6-8 men. ` We will hear piano and organ solo performances by Fats Waller from 1929, during the time of the Great Depression, and 1939, the start of WW II in Europe, the invasion by Nazi Germany into Poland. PLUG – VINYL VIBRATIONS – – M1 Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Music by Fats Waller, Harry Brooks), ‘Ain’t Misbehavin, Fat’s’ Waller and His Rhythm’ 1956, RCA Victor Records. rec 8/2/1929, original version of the song released 1929. Piano solo. In our first segment, we listen to Ain’t Misbehavin’. Music is composed by Fats Waller and Harry Brooks. This is one of the earliest solo recordings of Fats Waller. This 1929 recording was re-mastered from 78 to LP vinyl record by RCA Victor Records many years later, in 1956. Perhaps this song is the single most popular of Fats Waller’s original composions today. This is a piano solo version, normally one would hear the lyrics – – very whimsical… I don’t stay out late Got no place to go I’m home about 8 Just me and my radio Ain’t misbehavin’ I’m savin’ my love for you] The solo version we will hear next is performed by Fats and recorded in August, 1929. Fats is just 25 years old. What an easy stride piano style this is. With the stride style, the left hand rhythm, he creates a rhythm section. M2 Baby Oh Where Can You Be (Music by Ted Koehler and Frank Magine), The Rarest Fats Waller Volume 2 RFW-2, Organ solo. Recorded 8/24/1929. That was Fats Waller and his organ solo rendition of Baby Oh Where Can You Be… Music by Ted Koehler and Frank Magine), from the vinyl LP “The Rarest Fats Waller Volume 2” . The liner notes for this album are in the form of a single typewritten sheet of paper …The only information provided …reads like this:   “THOMAS WALLER (pipe organ), 24Aug 1929.” M3 Tanglewood I have another outstanding pipe organ solo. This song is titled Tanglewood, and was composed by Fats Waller and Sidney Easton. This remastered version was found on the LP “The Rarest Fats Waller Volume 2, and also was recorded on 8/24/1929. Fats Waller is considered to be the first JAZZ ORGANIST. He made his first recordings inside a church owned by the Southern Music Company, in Camden, NJ. The organ solos were published on VICTOR records, as 78 RPM discs. The publication of this music, using a church pneumatic organ, could be one of Fats Wallers most outstanding achievements. M4 Tea for Two (Music by Vincent Youmans) from the LP album ’Fat’s’ Waller and His Rhythm/Ain’t Misbehavin’, …. The song Tea for Two is from the 1924 musical “No, No Nanette” This piano solo was recorded in June, 1937 and remastered to LP in 1956 by RCA Victor Records There is some amazing technical finger work on Tea for Two, and Fats Waller is solid with his rhythm and the stride style piano that he is well known for. M5 Then You’ll Remember Me (Music by Michael William Balfe), Fats Waller Plays, Sings and Talks , 1956, Jazz Treasury JT-1001. From Balfe’s opera, The Bohemian Girl c1861-1865) recorded Nov 30, 1939. Piano solo. Electrical Transcription (ET). In 1939, Fats Waller performed a solo piano version of Then You’ll Remember Me The music was composed by Michael William Balfe, and is from Balfe’s opera, The Bohemian Girl . Balfe composed the opera in 1843, and it became one of his most praised works. The Bohemian Girl spread all across Europe and even made it to some cities in the US. The music and lyrics of “Then You’ll Remember Me” touch on ideas of love, loss, and heartache. There is no chorus in this piece, reflecting the time period this was produced, the early 1800s. This LP track had been remastered in 1956 by Jazz Treasury JT-1001, from Fats Waller Plays, Sings and Talks. The program was recorded Nov 30, 1939, is believed to be remastered from an electric transcription. During “Golden Age” of radio, most programs were aired live. But performances were recorded while they were being broadcast. Why, you ask?? The recording was made so that a sponsor or a producer could listen to them later, or use the recording for a rebroadcast. These so-called Electrical Transcriptions” were recorded into 16″ records, called “ET’s”. This continued into the 1950s when the audio tape was used for recording. Many of these ET’s were discarded or abandoned in large quantities. Today they are considered valuable collector items. You need a turntable large enough to handle the large 16” disc. THEN YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, a Fats Waller piano solo. M6 Sextet and is adapted from Lucia Di Lammermoor , a tragic opera written by Gaetano Donizetti in 1835, the song title meaning the song includes six singers. The piano solo version by Fats Waller is found on the 1956 JAZZ TREASURY LP, Fats Waller Plays, Sings and Talks, Sextet, as with the previous recording, was recorded into an Electrical Transcription disc Nov 20, 1939 and then remastered in 1956 to vinyl LP record by JAZZ TREASURY. LUCIA SEXTET has found its way into many modern productions, such as SCARFACE, THE DEPARTED, THE THREE STOOGES AND MICRO PHONIES AND SQUARE HEADS OF THE ROUNDTABLE, THE MONEY PIT, THE FLINTSTONES, LAW AND ORDER and BEETLEJUICE. M7 MY HEART AT THY SWEET VOICE And now our final solo performance in this part 1 of Fats Waller solo piano and organ performances, the song MY HEART AT THY SWEET VOICE . This is a lesser known piano solo recorded in November 1939 as an Electrical Transcription (ET) and found on the LP titled: Fats Waller Plays, Sings and Talks, remastered to LP record format in 1956 by Jazz Treasury. My Heart at thy sweet voice is from an ARIA from the GRAND opera SAMSON ET DALILA, by Camille Saint-Saens, FIRST PERFORMED IN 1877. IT IS BASED ON THE BIBLICAL TALE OF SAMSON AND DELILAH FROM THE BOOK OF JUDGES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. Maybe you can find the humor, this aria is sung by Dalilah, a mezzo-soprano, she is trying to make up to Sampson, the tenor, just before he goes to sleep… and she cuts off his hair. Today, the song is a popular wedding song. And now, MY HEART AT THY SWEET VOICE performed by Fats Waller in 1939. About V-Discs Some listeners might assume that V-Disc Recordings is a collection of the most famous recordings that Fats Waller made for RCA Victor during World War II. Most of the material was, in fact, recorded during the Second World War, but not for RCA Victor. The Best of the War Years is actually a collection of V-disc recordings. In the ’40s, V-discs were 78s that were pressed for the United States military. They were not sold commercially — V-discs were strictly for the enjoyment of American servicemen overseas — and many well-known jazz artists expressed their patriotism by donating recordings to the V-disc program. Sadly, Waller did not live long enough to see the end of World War II — the good-natured pianist/singer/organist was only 39 when he died of pneumonia on December 15, 1943. Some of this CD’s 16 tracks predate World War II and the V-disc program, including a 1936 performance of “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie,” and a 1939 version of “Your Feet’s Too Big.” (In some cases, V-discs did not contain recordings that were made specifically for the V-disc program — they contained unreleased alternate takes or radio broadcasts that the artist donated). Most of the material, however, was recorded at a studio session in September 1943 — only three months before Waller‘s death — and that includes inspired performances of “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” and Duke Ellington‘s “Solitude.” Waller set up that September 1943 session for the sole purpose of providing V-disc recordings; those recordings turned out to be his final studio performances, and they are the work of a true musical giant who was very much on top of his game during the final months of his life.

35mins

8 May 2018

Rank #6

Podcast cover

Gypsy Guitar Django Reinhardt Part2 VV-013

In my previous Vinyl Vibrations podcast of Gypsy Guitarist-Great, Django Reinhardt, I reviewed some of his early vinyl recordings. I reviewed nine songs which Django composed in the 12-year period between 1937 and 1949. As a composer, Reinhardt was prolific, with at least 112 original compositions to his credit. His own songs, in my opinion, are the most interesting of his works, because they are his creations, and embody his humor and his thinking in a most complete way. M10 Porto Cabello (D. Reinhardt) rec 5/21/1947, Paris, 3:18, [Django Reinhardt et son Quintette du Hot Club de France, Distribution Musidisc-Europe1979] M11 Double Whisky (D. Reinhardt) rec 5/11/1951, Paris, 2:53, [Django Reinhardt et son Quintette du Hot Club de France, Distribution Musidisc-Europe1979] M12 Vamp (D. Reinhardt) rec 5/11/1951, Paris, 2:39, [Django Reinhardt et son Quintette du Hot Club de France, Distribution Musidisc-Europe1979] M13 Fleche D’or (D. Reinhardt) rec 1/30/1952, Paris, 3:00, [Django Reinhardt et son Quintette du Hot Club de France, Distribution Musidisc-Europe1979] M14 Troublant Bolero (D. Reinhardt) rec 1/30/1952, Paris, 3:30, [Django Reinhardt et son Quintette du Hot Club de France, Distribution Musidisc-Europe1979] M15 Nuits de St. Germain-des-Pres (D. Reinhardt) rec 1/30/1952, Paris, 3:05, [Django Reinhardt et son Quintette du Hot Club de France, Distribution Musidisc-Europe1979] M16 Anouman (D. Reinhardt) rec 1/30/1953, Paris, 2:45, [Django Reinhardt et son Quintette du Hot Club de France, Distribution Musidisc-Europe1979] M17 D.R. Blues (D. Reinhardt) rec 1/30/1953, Paris, 3:08, [Django Reinhardt et son Quintette du Hot Club de France, Distribution Musidisc-Europe1979] M18 Deccaphonie (D. Reinhardt) rec 4/8/1953, Paris, 3:15, [Django Reinhardt et son Quintette du Hot Club de France, Distribution Musidisc-Europe1979] In Part I, I reviewed….. M1 Improvisation (D. Reinhardt), rec 1937, M2 Minor Swing (S.Grappelli-D.Reinhardt) , rec 9/9/1937, M3 Naguine (D. Reinhardt), rec 6/30/1939, M4 Djangology (D. Reinhardt), rec 5/8/1942, M5 Blues Clair (D. Reinhardt), rec 2/26/1943 M6 Belleville (D. Reinhardt), rec 1950 M7 Nuages (D. Reinhardt-J. Larue), rec 2/1/1946 M8 Swing 48 (D. Reinhardt), rec 7/6/1947, M9 Brick Top (D. Reinhardt-S. Grappelli), rec Feb 1949 In today’s podcast, Part II, I continue with more of Django’s original compositions. DJANGO REINHARDT lived in Belgium and France between 1910 and 1953 and is best known, and most widely published, for his performances with his jazz group “Quintette du Hot Club de France”. The quintet popularized the gypsy jazz style, also known as gypsy swing or hot club jazz or jazz manouche. The story goes that Django and younger brother Joseph Reinhardt were “discovered” one day,   by a French bass player, Louis Vola, as they were playing guitars on a beach at Toulon, a town in southern France. Vola invited them to jam with his own band, which included the young violinist, Stephane Grappelli, and guitarist Roger Chaput. The “Hot Club de France” was a music society devoted to the preservation of jazz, and two of its leaders and promoters Pierre Nourry and Charles Delaunay urged Django and Stephane to form a full-time group. The rest is history…..and “The QUINTETTE DU HOT CLUB DE FRANCE was formed in 1934 and remained active for 15 years. The original lineup included five members, Django, Grappelli, bassist Louis Volla, Django’s brother Joseph, and one other rhythm guitarist, Roger Chaput. There was no real percussion section in the quintette, the two rhythm guitars and bass created all of the percussion in this all-string ensemble. Django and Grappelli remained constants in future recordings, while rhythm guitarists and bassists rolled in and out of the group. Five years later, when World War II broke out in   1939, the Quintette was on a concert tour of England. Reinhardt, returned home to France, and Grappelli stayed in England throughout WW2. Back in France, Django continued using the Quintette name but without violinist Grappelli, he substituted Hubert Rostaing on clarinet. He also added conventional rhythm section by adding drums. After the war, in 1946, Grappelli and Django re-teamed under the Quintette banner in an all-string format. and the quintette performed and recorded until about 1948. All of the songs we review today were recorded in Paris, in five recording sessions, between May 1947 and April 1953. These recordings are found on a rare, two-disc LP set titled “DJANGO REINHARDT et son QUINTETTE DU HOT CLUB DE FRANCE. This LP set was produced in France in 1973 under the Disques Festival label, and distributed by MUSICDISC-EUROPE. M10 PORTO CABELLO. Our first song in this podcast is PORTO CABELLO recorded in Paris, May 1947 a Django Reinhardt composition. THE SONG TITLE—PORTO CABELLO…..brings to mind the seaside resort in Venezuela… Puerto Cabello, after which the CABELLO spider was named …… perhaps Django named it after this distant coastal city….. PORTO CABELLO has some similarities to the movie theme from SOUTH PACIFIC—BALI HAI —a film to appear two years later, in 1949. PORTO also has similarities to the Cole Porter song Night and Day, in which Django performs here….. PORTO CABELLO opens and closes with the Hubert Rostaing clarinet melody. The mid-song guitar solo by Django is mind-boggling, given that the high-speed neck runs are all performed with just the first two fingers. Personnel Hubert Rostaing cl Eugene Vees rg Emmanuel Soudieux, b Pierre Fouad dm Recorded 5/21/1947, Paris, M11 DOUBLE WHISKY Another Django Reinhardt Swing classic The song has a nice, easy going stride to it. This is a larger arrangement, with lead parts for alto sax.…and muted trumpet ….Django is playing an electrified guitar. The album cover photo shows Django with a spruce-top, large-body guitar with electric pickup clamped in place over the sound hole. DOUBLE WHISKY WAS Recorded May 11, 1951, PARIS Personnel included Django on guitar solo Pierre Michelot b Pierre Lemarchand dm Raymond Fol Piano Hubert Fol as Bernard Hullin tp [Django Reinhardt et son Quintette du Hot Club de France, Distribution Musidisc-Europe1979] M12 Next up is a song titled VAMP ….this is a beautiful, slow song for a quartet of guitar-sax-bass-and piano—–VAMP is another great Jazz Standard. Easy to learn, VAMP would be a good candidate for an intermediate music class such as Jazz 101.   Again we have lead parts for alto sax and guitar For those occasional dancers in the room that will do ONLY the slow dances, myself included, one would want a song like VAMP to play much, much longer…..this song lasts only 2 minutes 39 seconds !! Recorded May 11, 1951, PARIS Personnel included Django on guitar solo Pierre Michelot b Raymond Fol Piano Hubert Fol as and now…VAMP M13 Fleche D’Or, that’s French for GOLDEN ARROW Here we have a somewhat complex and really different sounding introduction and finale theme, with unison playing by guitar muted trumpet and alto sax. This is progressing away from SWING, with more of a bebop sound with a faster pace, alternating rhythms, and a combo consisting of saxophone, trumpet, bass, drums, and piano….plus Django on electric guitar and a screaming guitar at that.. What wild stuff for 1952!!! Here is an early example of distortion or overdrive from Django’s guitar pickup. I note on the album cover the pickup has a single large white knob, no doubt a control for the amount of GAIN that is sent to the amplifier. Here is an example It must have been exciting to take his playing to an even higher level, …..by adding amplification and now overdrive/distortion…..AND by progressing into a new style of Jazz Bebop !!!! As a guitar player myself, vicariously, it is a thrill to hear it years later. Golden Arrow Fleche D’Or was Recorded 1/30/1952, Paris, 3:00 Personnel included Django on guitar solo Roger Guerin on Trumpet Raymond Fol Piano Hubert Fol as …..and in the rhythm section …….. Barney Spieler b Pierre Lemarchand dm M14 TROUBLANT BOLERO , or French for “Troubling Bolero” another fine D. Reinhardt composition. TROUBLANT BOLERO starts with an eerie Bass and rhythm guitar line, followed by a muted trumpet melody line, add in the harmony of the alto sax……..then KABOOM, a blazing guitar solo. Just as you get up off the floor from the last solo, Django knocks you over again with this powerful , melodic, finessed guitar solo…again electrified guitar with overdrive….. TROUBLANT BOLERO was Recorded 1/30/1952, Paris, 3:30 Personnel included Django on guitar solo Roger Guerin on Trumpet Raymond Fol Piano Hubert Fol as …..and again in the rhythm section …….. Barney Spieler b Pierre Lemarchand dm ….And Now… M15 Nights in the St. Germain-des-Pres , This song, is one of Django’s more obscure “BOP” tunes. But the title tells a great story. The song title refers to a neighborhood in Paris, located around the church of the former Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This neighborhood was the center of the existentialist movement. There were many cafes, such as Café de Flore, and Les Deux Magots, which hosted French intellectuals during the post-war years and were a rendezvous of the literary and intellectual élite of Paris. There is one particular cafe in this district, also named St. Germain-des-Pres, that has a rich history in jazz music. During the occupation of Paris by the Nazis, jazz music was outlawed on the airwaves and in public places.The hard-core jazz fans in Paris simply took their music down into the soundproof, underground cellar clubs of St.Germain-des-Pres and the Latin Quarter of Paris. There were many such Clubs such as Les Rats de Cave, The Flore, Les Deux Magots and the Tabou Club. During the occupation, these were street level cafes by day, and jazz cellars by night. The title of this song comes from the reopening of the infamous club Saint-Germain des-Prés, where at this time, about 1951, Reinhardt was showing off a new sound—his new bebop sound. Recorded 1/30/1952, Paris Personnel included Django on guitar solo Roger Guerin on Trumpet Raymond Fol Piano Hubert Fol as …..and again in the rhythm section …….. Barney Spieler b Pierre Lemarchand dm M16 ANOUMAN. Our next piece is An-ouman, written and recorded in January1953. In this recording session, Maurice Vander plays the piano introduction …on a very out-of-tune instrument …….The song has a sad and beautiful melody …played by Hubert Fol on alto sax. Perhaps Django had some sense that his time on this earth was very short. Is he looking for strength? The song title may be a reference to a Hindu God named HANUMAN —according to Hindu scripture “Lord Hanuman is the only God of Hindus who will retain his divine power when darkness prevails…..”. Reinhardt takes the lead mid-song, using a hollow-body electric guitar with reverb, giving a sound that fits well with the smoky, late night alto-sax and piano accompaniment. Beautiful music Recorded 1/30/1953, Paris. Personnel included Maurice Vander P Hubert Fol as Django on guitar solo Pierre Michelot bass Pierre Lemarchand dm AND NOW….ANOUMAN, composed by Django Reinhardt M17 D. R. Blues, composed and recorded by Django Reinhardt in 1953 …A short 3-minute, 12-bar blues song, arranged for a quartet format……. Personnel included Maurice Vander P Django on electric guitar Pierre Michelot bass Pierre Lemarchand dm … M18 DECCAPHONIE Django’s final recording session took place on April 8th 1953, and it produced this gem…… DECCAPHONIE…..his last composition ….and his last recording committed to wax. He recorded this up-tempo song with…… Personnel included Martial Solal on Piano “Fats” Sadi Lallemand on vibraphone …..and the rhythm section was Pierre Michelot bass Pierre Lemarchand dm PAUSE The song title….Deccaphonie…. is French for Decca Voice. Many of Django’s recordings were produced on the DECCA label, in the format of the time…..…….these records can be found in 78RPM, 45RPM and LP records, produced from 1939 to 1963. In many, many recordings, it was the DECCA label that gave Django a lasting voice for his work……so the song title DECCAPHONIE seems so appropriate for this song. Just five weeks after the DECCAPHONIE recording, on May 15th 1953, while walking home from the railway station after playing in a Paris club……Django suffered a massive brain hemorrhage and died shortly thereafter, at home. Django Reinhardt, Gypsy Jazz Guitar Great, was dead at the age of 43. And so I close out Part II of the Django Reinhardt podcast with this up-tempo, 12-bar improvisation. From April 1953, here is DECCAPHONIE…by Django Reinhardt

49mins

8 May 2018

Rank #7

Podcast cover

Gypsy Guitar Django Reinhardt VV-012

In today’s VINYL VIBRATIONS podcast, I tour some early vinyl records that showcase GYPSY GUITARIST GREAT DJANGO REINHARDT. Many of these will be original compositions by Django Reinhardt . These recordings of Django are found on Vinyl LP Record compilations of his recordings between 1937 and 1949.  Today I will  divide the show into three segments, DJANGO Songs Pre-WW2, Songs During WW2 and Songs after WW2. In all, I will SHOWCASE ten of the great works of GYPSY GUITARIST DJANGO REINHARDT. When Day is Done (R. Katscher-B. de Sylva), rec 4/22/1937, ____, 3:10 [Capitol-Bluenote Compilation 1996] Minor Swing (S.Grappelli-D.Reinhardt) , rec 9/9/1937, _____, 3:14 [Capitol-Bluenote Compilation 1996] Naguine (D. Reinhardt), rec 6/30/1939, Paris, 2:25 [Capitol-Bluenote Compilation 1996] Djangology (D. Reinhardt), rec 5/8/1942, Brussels, 3:04 [VERVE Jazz Masters Compilation 1994] Blues Clair (D. Reinhardt), rec 2/26/1943, _______, 3:01 [Capitol-Bluenote Compilation 1996] Belleville (D. Reinhardt), rec 2/1/1946, London, 3:15 [VERVE Jazz Masters Compilation 1994] Nuages (D. Reinhardt-J. Larue), rec 2/1/1946, London, 3:15 [VERVE Jazz Masters Compilation 1994] Swing 48 (D. Reinhardt), rec 7/6/1947, Paris, 2:45 [VERVE Jazz Masters Compilation 1994] Brick Top (D. Reinhardt-S. Grappelli), rec Feb 1949, Rome, 3:42 [Djangology remaster 1961] Night and Day (C. Porter), rec 3/10/1953, Paris, 2:51 [VERVE Jazz Masters Compilation 1994] http://youtu.be/OYX4hQ00zcw Django Reinhardt, Jean Vaissade – La Caravane – Paris, 20.06.1928 L’Accordéoniste Jean Vaissade – Jean Vaissade (acc); Django Reinhardt (bj); unknown (slide whistle) – 1928 June 20 – Paris DJANGO REINHARDT is so well known in Jazz and Guitar circles that perhaps he needs no introduction…. yet there is much cultural and personal background about this fascinating guitarist and his place in music history in the context of world events of the 1940s !!! Jean Reinhardt, nicknamed “DJANGO, a gipsy word for “I AWAKE”, was born 1/23/1910, in a caravan, in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, about 60km south of Brussels, into a family of Manouche gypsies. This was just 4 years before the German invasion of Belgium in 1914 and Germany’s declaration of war on France, in WW1. Starting at age 8, Reinhardt spent most of his youth in Romani, or Gypsy encampments close to Paris, playing banjo, guitar and violin. His brother Joseph Reinhardt, two years younger, was an accomplished guitarist. Django Reinhardt played the violin at first, then at the age of 12, he learned to play a “banjo-guitar”. A banjo-guitar looks like a banjo, and sounds like a banjo, but is tuned like a guitar and can be played by guitarists. By the age of 13, Reinhardt was able to make a living playing music. His first known recording (in June 20, 1928, AGE 18) is of him playing the banjo –guitar with accordianist Jean Vaissade Not long after this first recording, also when he was 18, Reinhardt was severely injured in a caravan fire. (For those non-europeans, the term “caravan” refers to a small trailer in which one can live while traveling. In the context of 1928 Belgium, these were horse-drawn caravans.) In this fire, Django received first- and second-degree burns over half his body. His right leg was paralysed and the third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly burned. He was able to walk within a year with the aid of a cane. And he relearned his guitar-playing skill … even though his third and fourth fingers remained partially paralysed. He played all of his guitar solos with only two fingers, and used the two injured digits for playing chords. This is an amazing fact, when you hear the speed, clarity and musicality of his guitar solos Between 1929 and 1933 Django abandoned the banjo-guitar for the classical guitar….. Django somehow was able to acquire an extraordinary guitar, a Selmer Maccaferri. This is a large body steel-string, arched-top guitar with a “D”-shaped soundhole and a wide neck, like a classical guitar. The body had an internal resonator, invented circa 1931 by guitarist and luthier [loo-ti’-er] Mario Maccaferri, the resonator wwas designed to increase the volume of the guitar. In 1934, Reinhardt and Parisian violinist Grappelli were invited to form the “Quintette du Hot Club de France” with Reinhardt’s younger brother Joseph and Roger Chaput on guitar, and Louis Vola on bass. The guitars also served as percussion instruments—-they had no true drums or percussion section. The Quintette du Hot Club de France (or QHCF) jazz ensemble was composed only of STRING instruments. Today I will  divide the show into three segments, DJANGO Songs Pre-WW2, Songs During WW2 and Songs after WW2. In all, I will SHOWCASE ten of the great works of DJANGO REINHARDT, In our first segment, we look at three of DJANGO REINHARDT’s SONGS PRE-WW2, defined as the time leading up to September 1939, the invasion of Germany into Poland M1 When Day is Done (R. Katscher-B. de Sylva), rec 4/22/1937, ____, 3:10 [Capitol-Bluenote Compilation 1996] When Day is Done performed by Quintette du Hot Club de France recorded in April 1937 with a beautiful octave stle lead-in by Django and a lovely solo intro, followed by a tempo change for stephane grapelli’s violin solo. Recorded in: 4/22/1937 Personnel of the Quintette du Hot Club de France included Stephanie Grappelli VN Django Reinhardt G Marcel Bianchi RG Pierre Ferret RG Louis Vola B M2 Minor Swing (S.Grappelli-D.Reinhardt) , rec 9/9/1937, _____, 3:14 [Capitol-Bluenote Compilation 1996] In Minor Swing we hear the great expression in Django’s lead including fantastic runs up and down the neck. “Ahhhh Yeah!” THAT WAS Minor Swing (S.Grappelli-D.Reinhardt) , Recorded in: rec 9/9/1937 Personnel of the Quintette du Hot Club de France included Stephanie Grappelli VN Django Reinhardt G Joseph Reinhardt RG Eugene Vees RG Pierre Ferret RG Louis Vola B M3 Naguine (D. Reinhardt), rec 6/30/1939, Paris, 2:25 [Capitol-Bluenote Compilation 1996] This is a very easy-going solo demonstration of chorded guitar melody, a studio recording from June of 1939. The name of the song, Naguine, is also his second wife’s middle name, Sophie “Naguine” Ziegler, whom he married fours years later, in central France, and with whom he had a son, Babik Reinhardt, who became a respected guitarist in his own right. Personnel Django solo performance SONGS DURING WAR (1939-1945) When WWII broke out, (or September 1939) the original quintet was on tour in the United Kingdom. Reinhardt returned to Paris and Grappelli remained in the United Kingdom for the duration of the war (six years, or May 1945). Reinhardt reformed the quintet in Paris, with Hubert Rostaing on clarinet replacing Grappelli’s violin. Just a few months after returning to Paris, in May of 1940, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands fell to the Nazis. Reinhardt’s problems were compounded by the fact that the Nazis officially disapproved of jazz. Jazz was prohibited by the Nazis at the beginning of the war. The Nazi regime even passed edicts banning jazz records and muted trumpets calling them…. degenerate art!! He made several attempts, unsuccessful, to escape occupied France. Reinhardt survived the war unscathed, unlike many Gypsies who perished in the Romani holocaust. Nazi Germany, the Independent State of Croatia, the Kindom of Hungary and their allies, attempted to exterminate the Romani people of Europe during World War II…..both Roma and Jews were defined as “enemies of the race-based state” by the Nuremberg laws; ….and the Nazi regime systematically murdered several hundred thousand European Gypsies. There may be two reasons why Django succeeded in surviving persecution, after all he was living in France and a key musician of “Quintette du Hot Club de France” now for six years. One reason is that Eastern European Romani communities were less organised than Jewish communities, and therefore not well documented. The other reason is that supposedly, Django enjoyed the protection of one jazz-loving Nazi, Luftwaffe officer Dietrich Schulz-Köhn, nicknamed “Doktor Jazz. Our first wartime song is DJANGOLOGY, recorded in Brussels, May 8, 1942. At this time, Belgium had fallen to the Nazis along with France and the Netherlands, two years earlier. The Battle of Britain had also passed, and Belgium is occupied at this time. Djangology leads the piece with a brief solo, then the Stan Brenders and Son Grand Orchestra performers are added in, and Django is prominently mixed to be in the front of the orchestra. Note the lack of violinist Stephan Grappelli. He remains in London during the WW2. Here is an early example of jazz guitar with a LEAD role within a large orchestra. The very young jazz guitarist Charlie Christian has died two months earlier in New York. Without further adieu, Djangology (composed by D. Reinhardt), recorded in 1942 Djangology (D. Reinhardt), from the VERVE Jazz Masters Compilation 1994 Recorded in: Brussels May 8, 1942 Personnel Included members of the Stan Brenders and Son Grand Orchestra M5 Blues Clair (D. Reinhardt), rec 2/26/1943, _______, 3:01 [Capitol-Bluenote Compilation 1996] Blues Clair is a 12-bar blues format but in a happy major scale and without the commonly used Pentatonic scale of American Blues. Django demonstrates a number of bizaar techniques here, including some fabulous fast-strumming chords , the use of ringing harmonics, and picking strings beyond the guitar bridge. Listen to these strange techniques, all played together, mid song… We also hear Django’s high paced single-note guitar lead delivery. There is a drum part in this song, not commonly done, in earlier recordings of Quintette du Hot Club de France, the guitar strumming and bass provided all of the percussion. Recorded in: 1943 Personnel Included Django Reinhardt G Eugene Vees RG Gaston Leonard D Jean Storne B Now we switch gears and go to SONGS POST WW2. It is now early 1946, eight months after the capture of Berlin by Polish and Soviet forces. M6 Belleville (D. Reinhardt), rec 2/1/1946, London, 3:15 [VERVE Jazz Masters Compilation 1994] We start with Belleville, a Django composition. We are back with the Quintette du Hot Club de France and Stephane Grappelli again, recording in LONDON. There are two rhythm guitarists and a bass. Belleville (D. Reinhardt composition), Recorded in: London, 1946 Personnel of the Quintette du Hot Club de France with Stephanie Grappelli VN Django Reinhardt G Jack Llewellyn G Alan Hodgkiss G Coleridge Goode B M7 Nuages (D. Reinhardt-J. Larue), rec 2/1/1946, London, 3:15 [VERVE Jazz Masters Compilation 1994] Nuages, French for Clouds. Nuages is another jazz standard, it is frequently played and has been reincarnated or emulated in two other songs, for example, Melancholy Serenade, the theme song of the Jackie Gleason Show, and Sand, the Hawaiian sounding steel guitar instrumental by Jerry Byrd. And now the original classic, NUAGES, with a unique guitar introduction, recorded in 1946 in London Recorded in: 1946 in London Personnel Included Personnel of the Quintette du Hot Club de France with Stephanie Grappelli VN Django Reinhardt G Jack Llewellyn G Alan Hodgkiss G Coleridge Goode B M8 Swing 48 (D. Reinhardt), rec 7/6/1947, Paris, 2:45 [VERVE Jazz Masters Compilation 1994] Next up is SWING 48. Another Django original composition. We are back in Paris now. The personnel have changed. We have Hubert Rostaing on CLARINET, instead of Grappelli on violin. Now DJANGO is performing on ELECTRIC GUITAR. This I different kind of sound all together. Recorded in 1947, Django is BLAZING on guitar. His younger brother Joseph is on rhythm guitar. And we have the jazz drummer Andre Jourdan … Swing 48, composed by Django, performed on an electric / acoustic guitar. Recorded in: Paris, 1947 Personnel of the Quintette du Hot Club de France with Hubert Rostaing CL Django Reinhardt G Joseph Reinhardt G Ladislas Czabanyck B Andre Jourdan D M9 Brick Top (D. Reinhardt-S. Grappelli), rec Feb 1949, Rome, 3:42 [Djangology remaster 1961] M10 Night and Day (C. Porter), rec 3/10/1953, Paris, 2:51 [VERVE Jazz Masters Compilation 1994] Next up is Night and Day (C. Porter), rec 3/10/1953, Paris. In the Django Reinhardt et Ses Rythmes we hear PIANO, DRUM, BASS and GUITAR. In the electric guitar work, we hear a prediction of the sounds of SUSTAIN and DISTORTION effects. For DJANGO, this is both a demonstration of his TECHNICAL PROWESS and wonderful MUSICAL CONTENT. Just two months after this recording, while walking from the Fontainebleau-Avon railway station after playing in a Paris club, he collapsed outside his house from a brain hemorrhage. Reinhardt was declared dead on arrival at the hospital in Fontainebleau at age 43. Recorded in:Paris, 1953, just two months before Dango’s untimely death in France. Personnel of the Django Reinhardt et Ses Rythmes Django Reinhardt G Maurice Vander P Pierre Michelot B Jean Louis Viale D

56mins

8 May 2018

Rank #8

Podcast cover

Jazz Guitarist Charlie Christian VV-011

PROGRAM NOTES Hotter Than That, (Lil Hardin) Louis Armstrong Hot Fives, Lonnie Johnson guitar, 1927 (Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz CBS 1973) Mahogany Hall Stomp (Spencer Williams) (excerpted), Louis Armstrong & Orchestra, Lonnie Johnson guitar, 1929, Parlophone R571 All Star Strut, (R. Mergentroid) Metronome All Star Nine, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, NYC, Columbia Records, 1940 Gone With What Wind, (C. Basie, B. Goodman) Benny Goodman Sextet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, NYC, 1940 I Got Rhythm, (I + G Gershwin) Charlie Christian Quintet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, Minneapolis, 1940 Tea For Two, (I. Caesar, V. Youmans) Charlie Christian Quintet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, Minneapolis, 1940 Benny’s Bugle (B. Goodman) Benny Goodman & his Sextet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, Columbia, NYC, 1940 Royal Garden Blues, (C. Williams, S. Williams) Benny Goodman & his Sextet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, Columbia, NYC, 1940 Gilly (B. Goodman) Benny Goodman & his Sextet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, Columbia NYC, 1940 Blues Sequence / Breakfast Feud (B. Goodman) Benny Goodman & his Sextet Charlie Christian amplified guitar Columbia NYC, 1940 I Found A New Baby (Jack. Palmer, Spencer. WIlliams) Benny Goodman & his Sextet Charlie Christian amplified guitar Columbia NYC, 1941 Solo Flight (Charlie. Christian, James Mundy, Benny Goodman) Benny Goodman & his Orchestra, Charlie Christian amplified guitar Columbia NYC, 1941 In today’s VINYL VIBRATIONS podcast, I tour some early vinyl records that showcase guitarist great Charlie Christian. These performances of Charlie Christian are found on Vinyl LP Record compilations of his recordings between 1939 and 1941. Often you will hear remarks from today’s jazz, pop, blues, even rock guitarists ….like Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Eric Clapton ….that their BIGGEST INFLUENCES came from two or three early guitarists — DJANGO REINHARDT, LONNIE JOHNSON and CHARLIE CHRISTIAN. You will hear this many times. The former, DJANGO REINHARDT, the BELGIAN jazz guitarist, is well known for his EUROPEAN style of jazz, the so-called “HOT JAZZ” or “GYPSY JAZZ” or “ROMANI” style of music, that has become a living musical tradition within FRENCH GYPSY CULTURE. DJANGO’s “GYPSY JAZZ” style is widely emulated by today’s jazz guitarists. DJANGO lived 43 years, between 1910 and 1953, and some of his most popular ORIGINAL compositions, such as MINOR SWING, DAPHNE, BELLEVILLE, DJANGOLOGY, SWING 42 and NUAGES…are jazz standards today. DJANGO REINHARDT is widely recorded, with SIX recordings during his lifetime, and a total of 23 recordings all together, many of which are compilations of his works. So DJANGO as a cultural influence, is a fascinating subject in and of itself, and will be the subject of an upcoming VINYL VIBRATIONS podcast! LONNIE JOHNSON, ANOTHER Jazz and blues guitarist, is credited with PIONEERING the ROLE of jazz guitar …..and for being perhaps the FIRST recorded case of playing single-note guitar solos. He had an extensive discography and lived to be 71, so Lonnie Johnson is well recognized, having being extensively recorded AND after having a long-standing career, performing as late as 1966, or at age 67 years. But WHAT ABOUT THIS THIRD INFLUENTIAL GUITARIST …the AMERICAN guitarist CHARLIE CHRISTIAN…NAMED SO OFTEN…..OF WHOM WE KNOW SO LITTLE ??? CHARLIE CHRISTIAN. Who is that??? What are his songs? What was his guitar style? How can CHRISTIAN be cited so often as a strong influence, when there are relatively few recordings to play? IS CHARLIE CHRISTIAN LOST IN JAZZ MUSIC HISTORY? I am going to bring to light some of this lesser known work of Charlie Christian, and feature some of the first recorded examples of his jazz guitar. More importantly, jazz guitar where the instrument is amplified and the guitarist is playing a lead role. This is truly unusual, in retrospective. Today, I feature the young guitarist genius born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, named Charlie Christian. So who is guitarist Charlie Christian?? It’s a fair question ….because Charlie Christian played professionally a very long time ago, and one would only hear this guitarist in the context of music from the AMERICAN SWING ERA. Christian was recorded in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He was captured in …at most…25-30 distinct songs, in which he is primarily captured as a sideman with his catalyst, band leader Benny Goodman. Christian lived to be only 25 years of age, having succumbed to the infectious disease tuberculosis, in Staten Island New York, in 1942. What makes Charlie Christian so unusual is how much influence and groundbreaking guitar work he did achieve in just 8 to10 years of his adult lifetime. This guitar work represents one of the FIRST recorded examples of SINGLE-NOTE AMPLIFIED GUITAR, WHERE THE GUITAR IS BEING PLAYED AS A LEAD INSTRUMENT IN A SEXTET or in a BIG BAND. This is very unusual, because of the nature of the jazz guitar. Until the time of Charlie Christian, the jazz guitar was strictly an acoustic instrument, perhaps a classical guitar, with gut strings, playing a RHYTHM part in the band, with the pronounced strumming of chords in time or double time with the bass line. Often a banjo was used as the rhythm instrument, it was brighter in sound, and projected better than a guitar. So, for the jazz guitar circa 1938, THAT WAS IT…just rhythm strumming. No pickups. No amplifiers, no instrument microphones and definitely no SOLO role for the guitarist. Pretty cozy, really, for the guitar work. No pressure at all….. M1 LONNIE JOHNSON HOTTER THAN HOT in background… TEN YEARS BEFORE CHARLIE CHRISTIAN, THERE IS ONE OTHER EXAMPLE OF LEAD GUITAR IN A JAZZ BAND , RECORDING STARTING IN 1925.   —Lonnie Johnson. Hotter Than That, (Lil Hardin) Louis Armstrong Hot Fives, Lonnie Johnson guitar, 1927 (Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz CBS 1973) LONNIE JOHNSON was born in 1899 in NEW ORLEANS. He was an American blues and jazz singer/guitarist and songwriter who pioneered the role of jazz guitar and is recognized as the first to play single-string guitar solos. Johnson’s discography is ENORMOUS with 192 songs recorded between 1925 and 1942, 65 of which are his original compositions. He recorded on OKEH (‘OKAY’), BLUEBIRD and DECCA labels. Johnson lived to be 71 and he performed, off and on, even later in life, and he performed as late as 1966 in Toronto. Now let’s go back in time to 1927, in Chicago, Lonnie Johnson, from New Orleans, is just 28 years old, and here he is being recorded as a guest artist with Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five, the song is “Hotter than That”. This is an experimental jazz improvisation, played in the New Orleans “DIXIE” style of Jazz. LONNIE JOHNSON is playing lead guitar side-by-side with a 26-year old Louis Armstrong,   and Armstrong is doing his SCAT style of singing. Louis Armstrong has to be credited with the innovation of emphasizing a solo guitarist, ……who would know that this would be the natural future state of jazz bands??? For this particular recording session, the Hot Fives became, in effect, the Hot Six, based on the addition of guitarist Lonnie Johnson. Thank you Louis Armstrong !! note— LONNIE IS LEAD GTR AT 1:21-1:33 and 1:54-2:07 M2 Mahogany Hall Stomp (Spencer Williams) (excerpted), Louis Armstrong & Orchestra, Lonnie Johnson guitar, 1929, Parlophone R571 (78 RPM record0. Here is another example of Lonnie Johnson in Mahogany Hall Stomp (Spencer Williams), another DIXIE JAZZ style of music. Lonnie Johnson is credited on this 78RPM album with being “GUITAR SOLOIST“. … this is thought to be a FIRST in CREDITS (GUITAR SOLOIST) in jazz guitar history. Personnel included Louis Armstrong ~ Trumpet and Vocal Lonnie Johnson ~ Guitar J.C. Higginbotham ~ Trombone Albert Nicholas ~ Alto Saxophone Charlie Holmes ~ Alto Saxophone Teddy Hill ~ Tenor Saxophone Luis Russell ~ Piano Eddie Condon ~ Banjo Pops Foster ~ String Bass Paul Barbarin ~ Drum M3 SOME TRACKS FEATURING CHARLIE CHRISTIAN ON SOLO GUITAR Many of the tracks I will play today are from the compilation double album “Solo Flight: The Genius of Charlie Christian”. This is a 1972 LP 2-album set, collecting the few recordings that captured performances of this little-known artist.   Most of the recorded works are of songs performed as SIDEMAN from sessions with Benny Goodman’s bands. The INNOVATION is that Benny Goodman, (like Louis Armstrong with guitarist Lonnie Johnson) saw the future of amplified guitar as a solo instrument. THIS FIRST SONG, ALL STAR STRUT is performed by the Metronome All Star Nine, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, this was recorded in NYC in 1940. The Metronome All-Stars were a collection of jazz musicians assembled for studio recordings by Metronome Magazine. All Star Strut has the Dixie Jazz flavor to it.   You can clearly hear Christian’s amplified guitar, the traditional rhythm strumming, it is in time with the bass line. The clarinet is first to solo then amazingly, the GUITAR is the second to solo. This is groundbreaking to employ the guitar at a peer level with the other band instruments — clarinet–trombone-piano -bass-trumpet-saxophone-and drums- Christian’s ONE guitar solo is clear and stands up well with these other instruments Personnel recorded in New York, Feb 1940 with the Metronome All Star Nine: ▪       Benny Goodman — clarinet ▪           Charlie Christian — amplified guitar ▪           Harry James — trumpet ▪           don’t read ▪           Jack Teagarden — trombone ▪           Benny Carter — alto saxophone ▪           Eddie Miller — tenor saxophone ▪           Jess Stacy — piano ▪           Bob Haggart — bass ▪           Gene Krupa — drums M4 GONE With WHAT Wind, (C. Basie, B. Goodman) featuring the Benny Goodman Sextet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar Charlie Christian is 21 years old, and has the third lead solo, following the Benny Goodman clarinet (age 31) and Count Basie on piano (age 36)           Christian plays his solo for 28 seconds, and is followed by Lionel Hampton, then age 32, on the Vibrophone. This is true Swing Era music. Perhaps the Song title …GONE with WHAT wind….exemplifies the nature of swing, which is emphasis on the first and third beat of a four beat pattern. GONE with WHAT wind, contracted with the later BOP style whack emphasized TWO and FOUR, such as …..salt PEANUTS salt PEANUTS. Gone With What Wind, (C. Basie, B. Goodman) Benny Goodman Sextet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, NYC, 1940 from the Benny Goodman Sextet … Personnel included … ▪       Count Basie — piano ▪           Benny Goodman — clarinet ▪           Charlie Christian — amplified guitar ▪           Lionel Hampton — vibes ▪           don’t read the rest ▪           Artie Bernstein — bass ▪           Nick Fatool — drums M5 I Got Rhythm, played by the Charlie Christian Quintet, with Christian on amplified guitar, Minneapolis, 1940 Now this is a stretch for recorded material, that is…..case in point on how little material there is from Charlie Christian. Christian is just 23 years old. The so-called “Charlie Christian Quintet” is being recorded privately at a club in Minneapolis, MN, early Mar 1940, on acetate discs, by a local disc jockey. The sound quality is not as good as a studio / professional recording. But there is a lot of solid Charlie Christian guitar work here. Being the lead of his own Quinte, Christian can mix in his guitar at any loudness he wants. In this case….LOUD !!!! Even his rhythm strumming is quite loud in the mix. This is a George Gershwin composition from 1930. I Got Rhythm,  performed by the Charlie Christian Quintet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, Minneapolis, 1940 Personnel included (Charlie Christian Quintet): ▪       Charlie Christian — amplified guitar ▪           Jerry Jerome — tenor saxophone ▪           Frankie Hines — piano ▪           unknown — bass, drums M6 Tea For Two, (music by Vincent Youmans) the song from the 1925 movie “NO NO NANETTE”, performed again by the Charlie Christian Quintet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, Minneapolis, 1940, This is another track that was recorded privately at a club in Minneapolis, MN, It is again a highly distorted track, but Charlie Christian shows his chops on this song. Toward the last few measures of this song, in the final guitar solo, are TWO of Charlie Christian’s lead guitar techniques were later reincarnated in the music of two very different and great guitarists — Buddy Guy, and Larry Coryell, respectively. Here is a sample of those two segments….. Tea for Two, performed by the Charlie Christian Quintet): ▪           Charlie Christian — amplified guitar ▪           Frankie Hines — piano ▪           Jerry Jerome — tenor saxophone ▪           unknown — bass, drums M7 Benny’s Bugle (B. Goodman) Benny Goodman & his Sextet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, Columbia, NYC, 1940 This is a REAL recording. Following the Cootie Williams bugle call on this quintessential SWING ERA song, Charlie Christian is the FIRST to SOLO on this track. Benny’s Bugle….(B. Goodman) Personnel included: Benny Goodman and His Sextet featuring Cootie Williams — trumpet Benny Goodman — clarinet   Count Basie] — piano   Charlie Christian — amplified guitar  George Auld — tenor saxophone Artie Bernstein — bass Harry Jaeger — drums M8 Royal Garden Blues, (Clarence Williams, Spencer Williams (no relation), 1919). Royal Garden Blues is a jazz standard from Swing Era music.. Performed by Benny Goodman & his Sextet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, Columbia, NYC, 1940 Royal Garden Blues starts out with the muted trumpet, and Charlie Christian’s brief guitar solo is in two parts, mid song. The song is primarily a Benny Goodman showcase, with Charlie Christian having an easy, mis-song solo.   You have to have songs like that. Performers: ▪           Cootie Williams — trumpet ▪           Charlie Christian — amplified guitar M9 Gilly, pronounced “JILL-Y”. Gilly (B. Goodman) Benny Goodman & his Sextet, Charlie Christian amplified guitar, Columbia NYC, 1940 We hear some innovative work on guitar and trumpet—-Charlie Christian’s lead guitar work on “Gilly” is unusual, his single-note lead guitar playing opens the song, followed by Cootie William’s toilet-plunger “wow” trumpet style. The guitar work includes bold open-string harmonics, a few fat-shaped chords, and there is also single-note harmony playing between clarinet and guitar. The interplay between piano, clarinet and guitar is fun to hear. Another Swing Era classic. Notable performances in the Benny Goodman and His Sextet were ▪     Benny Goodman — clarinet ▪       Charlie Christian — amplified guitar ▪       Cootie Williams — trumpet with the WOW effect M10 Blues Sequence /Breakfast Feud This next song “BREAKFAST FEUD – BLUES SEQUENCE” is a series of jazz guitar solos from Benny Goodman’s song and features Charlie Christian in a big way, he is the dominant player, with a SMOKING HOT guitar part. This track was obtained from a compilation by the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz , and published as an LP BOX SET in 1973 by CBS.  Breakfast Feud–Blues Sequence, B. Goodma recorded in 1940 Benny Goodman — clarinet Charlie Christian — amplified guitar Cootie Williams — trumpet M11 I Found A New Baby  Benny Goodman & his Sextet This is one of Charlie Christian’s later recordings, recorded in NYC in January, 1941 on Columbia.. An ultra-clean song in terms of each of the instrument lines, and relatively restrained sound level. Christian has the first mid-song, guitar solo, followed by piano, muted wow-trumpet of Cootie Williams, tenor sax by George Auld. A shortie at 2 minutes 55 seconds. Recorded in New York 15 Jan 1941. I Found A New Baby (Jack Palmer, Spencer WIlliams) Personnel from Benny Goodman and His Sextet included Benny Goodman — clarinet Cootie Williams — trumpet George Auld — tenor saxophone Count Basie — piano Charlie Christian — amplified guitar M12  Solo Flight Background Our final track in this podcast is the song Solo Flight one of the only songs credited to CHARLIE CHRISTIAN as composer. Many have suspected that more of the Benny Goodman hits were Charlie Christian composition, but this is speculation, and it was not reflected in the form of song credits, copyrights or royalties.   SOLO FLIGHT is credited as a collaboration song…Charlie Christian, James Mundy, Benny Goodman. Charlie Christian begins to solo early in this song, and plays single note lead guitar on amplified guitar continuously to the end. The title is appropriate because he does fly solo for the entire 2 minutes and 45 seconds. By the time of this recording, March of 1941, Charlie Christian knew he had Tuberculosis. But Christian remained busy, not only with the national fame of the Benny Goodman Band and the Benny Goodman Sextet, but also he was busy with a night club in Harlem called “Minton’sPlayhouse”, where he was incubating the next wave of jazz music — BE-BOP music. In June 1941 he was admitted to Seaview Hospital, a sanitarium on Staten Island in New York City. Christian declined in health and died March 2, 1942. He was just…25 years old.

1hr 5mins

7 May 2018

Rank #9

Podcast cover

Guitarists-Jazz Fusion Greats VV-010

In today’s VINYL VIBRATIONS podcast, I tour some LP records that showcase guitarist greats in the emerging jazz fusion music era. These performances are found on Vinyl LP and today’s show is called GUITARISTS – JAZZ FUSION GREATS. In today’s podcast, we will hear jazz and jazz fusion guitarists from the 17-year period of 1960 to 1977, including… 1 Charlie Byrd Trio The Guitar Artistry of Charlie Byrd Nuages (Rheinhardt) Riverside 1960 2 Wes Montgomery Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery Four On Six (Montgomery) Riverside-OJC 1960 3 Frank Zappa Chunga’s Revenge Chunga’s Revenge (Zappa) Reprise-Warner Bros 1970 4 Mahavishnu Orchestra Birds of Fire Open Country Joy (McLaughlin) 1973 Columbia 5 Pat Metheny Bright Size Life Missouri Uncompromised (Metheny) ECM 1975 6 Larry Coryell Philip Catherine Twin-House Guitar Duos Mortgage on Your Soul (Keith Jarrett) WEA Musik 1977 7 Al Di Meola Elegant Gypsy Suite Elegant Gypsy Suite (Di Meola) Columbia 1977 We will hear examples of guitarists playing various forms of jazz, leading up to the emerging jazz-rock fusion genre of the 1970s. These are LP records, produced between the years 1960 and 1977. We will hear influences of gypsy jazz in Reinhardt, ear-trained Montomery, zany Zappa, mahavishnu McLaughlin, modal Metheny and elegant gypsy DiMeola …as composers of the songs in this podcast. M1 Charlie Byrd Trio, Nuages. Charlie Byrd was born in Suffolk, Virginia, in 1925. He was an American guitarist playing the genres of bossa nova, brasilian jazz, latin jazz and swing. Byrd played fingerstyle on a classical guitar. His father, a mandolinist and guitarist, taught him how to play the acoustic steel guitar at age 10. In 1943 he was drafted into the United States Army for World War II, and was stationed in Paris in 1945 where he played in an Army Special Services band. Byrd’s greatest influence was the gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, whom he saw perform in Paris. After the war, Byrd returned to the United States and went to New York, where he studied composition and he began playing a classical guitar. In 1954 he became a pupil of the Spanish classical guitarist Andres Segovia and spent time studying in Italy with Segovia. Byrd was best known for his association with Brazilian music, especially bossa nova. In 1962, Charlie Byrd collaborated with Stan Getz on the album Jazz Samba, a recording which brought bossa nova into the mainstream of North American music. This song, Nuages is one of the best-known compositions by Django Reinhardt. Reinhardt recorded about thirteen versions of the song, and today it is a jazz standard and a main portion of the gypsy swing repertoire. It was originally an instrumental piece. Charlie Byrd Trio, The Guitar Artistry of Charlie Byrd , Nuages (Django Rheinhardt) , Riverside OLP 1960, 3:05 Personnel Charlie Byrd guitar  1925-1999 Keter Betts  bass Buddy Deppenschmidt  drummer M2 Wes Montgomery , Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery , Four On Six (Montgomery) , Riverside-OJC 1960, 6:14 Personnel • Wes Montgomery- electric guitar • Tommy Flanagan – piano • Percy Heath – bass • Albert Heath – drums Wes Montgomery was born in Indianapolis. and came from a musical family. Two brothers were also jazz performers. Monk on bass and Buddy on vibraphone and piano. The brothers released a number of albums together as the Montgomery Brothers, on the Pacific Jazz label. As a band leader, Wes produced many albums, 31 albums over a 10 year period, with three labels, Riverside, Verve and A&M. He also is recorded only three times as a guitar sideman- – showing that Wes Montgomery preferred to lead his own band. Montgomery toured with Lionel Hampton early in his career, age 25-27, however he returned home to Indianapols to support his family of eight. Montgomery worked in a factory from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm, then performed in local clubs from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am.  Montgomery’s created a unique guitar sound, and his tracks can be identified almost immediately based on his signature technique. Some points you may not know, about Montgomery’s jazz guitar technique: 1. Wes could learn complex melodies and riffs by ear. Montgomery played a 4-string tenor guitar from the age of 12 and then started learning the six-string guitar at the relatively late age of 20 by listening then learning the recordings of his idol, guitarist Charlie Christian. Montgomery had the ability to play Charlie Christian’s solos note for note, and in 1948 Wes was hired by Lionel Hampton for this ability. He was just 25, and toured almost two years with Hampton, then returned home to Indianapolis. He did not record for 7 years until his first release, “Fingerpickin”, in 1958. 2. Wes had 3-tiered solo technique, and it worked like this.  First, he would start a solo with single-note lines, [Four on Six EXAMPLE1 at 0:39] then he would follow with his trademark octave sound, [Four on Six EXAMPLE2 at 3:00] and then begin using block chords or chord melodies, often triads, in his solos [Besame Mucho Take 2 (iTunes) EXAMPLE at 2:30 ]. 3. Montgomery’s trademark octave sound was dubbed in the music world as the “naptown sound”, a reference to the nickname of his home town of Indianapolis. Here is another example of that “naptown” sound [Four on Six EXAMPLE3 at 1:34]. 4. Instead of using a guitar pick, Montgomery played the guitar strings with his thumb. This technique created a mellow, expressive tone. According to jazz guitar great, George Benson, Wes had a two-part thumb. A soft part, used for playing the mellow notes, and giving that mellow sound, and another area that had developed a corn from extended playing. This corn served as a sort of pick, giving the string a plucked or bright or pointed sound Today we hear a track from Wes’s FOURTH album, The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, released in 1960, at age 37. It took just two recording sessions in New York City to make this LP, which was recorded as a quartet, with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Percy Heath, who at the time was with the Modern Jazz Quartet, and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath. The album featured two of Montgomery’s most well-known compositions, “Four on Six” , which we will hear, and “West Coast Blues.  This is song 4 of 8 on that LP. I believe this is Wes Montgomery’s finest record. This recording put Wes Montgomery on the map and earned him Down Beat magazine’s “New Star” award in 1960. Montgomery’s jazz guitar sound is just as fresh today, over 50 years after this recording. M3 Frank Zappa, Chunga’s Revenge is the album and title song, Chunga’s Revenge, Reprise-Warner Bros 1970, 6:16 Personnel • Frank Zappa guitar • Ian Underwood electric alto sax with wah-wah pedal • Sugar Cane Harris organ • Max Bennett bass • Aynsley Dunbar drums Frank (1940 –1993) was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, recording engineer, record producer and film director. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands; he later switched to electric guitar.This LP album was produced by Frank Zappa. And all selections were written and published by Zappa. It is a strange album, not just because it is all Zappa, but because of how eclectic these songs are, a mix of songs from POP, JAZZ FUSION, BLUES and ROCK music forms. The title track, Chunga’s Revenge, is a song about a small mutant Gypsy vacuum cleaner, the protagonist of the title song of this album. On the LP front cover is this bit of Zappa story prose about ..the Chunga.. “A Gypsy industrial vacuum cleaner dances about a mysterious night time camp fire. Festoons. Dozens of imported castanets, clutched by the horrible suction of its heavy duty hose, waving with marginal erotic abandon in the midnight autumn air.” The inside panels of this folding LP cover displays a the gypsy vacuum cleaner playing through an amplifier, in front of a campfire, in a camp of caravans, horses, castanets, microphones, and a recording studio control panel. Bizaar indeed. Zappa’s electric guitar work is strong here. The song has a jazz format, with formal beginning and ending and extended improvisation midsection, giving Zappa a long runway to show his colorful wah-wah, compressed guitar style. This marries up well with the wah-wah electric alto sax of Ian Underwood.  Zappa was innovative with his use of tone control, alternating between high distortion and sustain to wah-wah pedal effects.  Zappa would open his show with this slow and very deliberate piece, with an ELEGANT lead melody line. Zappa was 30 at the time of this recording. Thirty years later, Chunga’s Revenge was recorded by Parisian tango revival group Gotan Project for their 2001 debut album La Revancha del Tango. M4 Mahavishnu Orchestra , Birds of Fire, Open Country Joy (McLaughlin) , Columbia 1973, Side two, track 3., 3:54. Personnel • John McLaughlin guitar • Rick Laird bass • Billy Cobham percussion • Jerry Goodman violin • Jan Hammer keyboard This is an example from the “first” Mahavishnu Orchestra lineup, this ensemble recorded two records with Columbia between 1971 and 73. This is the second, and last album with that lineup. The band’s original lineup featured “Mahavishnu” John McLaughlin on acoustic and electric guitars, Billy Cobham on drums, Rick Laird on bass guitar, Jan Hammer on electric and acoustic piano and synthesizer, and Jerry Goodman on violin. This was a multinational group: McLaughlin being from England; Cobham from Panama; Hammer from Prague, Goodman from Chicago; and Laird from Dublin. McLaughlin and Cobham met while performing and recording with Miles Davis during the Bitches Brew sessions. In a word, this song is ELEGANT, with a simple melody and theme.  The sound is a blend of GENRES — the high-volume electrified rock sound (pioneered by Jimi Hendrix), clearly there is an interest in both Indian and Western Classical Music, and another McLaughlin favorite, the feel of funk music.  The music on this early Mahavishnu album was all instrumental. In “Open Country Joy,” recording starts with a sort of pastoral scene, in which the composer employs various techniques to create a simple and peaceful mode, and starts with the familiar and relaxing sound of the jangley guitar chords of Mclaughlin – – – similar to that jangly sound from the song “Mr. Tambourine Man!” by the BYRDs in 1965 [Example 1 0:00-0:10 Mr Tambourine Man—iTUnes][Example 2 Open Country Joy LP].  4/4 time. Then add in the beautiful electric violin work of Jerry Goodman. The pastoral mode continues for just over a minute. Then, at 71 seconds, all chaos begins, as instruments are turned up, the tempo is doubled, and for another minute there is an incredible energy level, and then at 2:30, we return back to the serene, pastoral scene. Recorded in 1973 in New York and London, the jazz fusion guitar work of John McLaughlin and the first Mahavishnu Orchestra, performing OPEN COUNTRY JOY. M5 Pat Metheny , Bright Size Life , Missouri Uncompromised (Metheny) , ECM Records 1976, 4:13 Personnel • Pat Metheny 6 and 12-string guitars  b1954 • Jaco Pastorious bass (fretless) • Bob Moses drums BRIGHT SIZE LIFE must have been an expression that defined a very exciting time in Pat Metheny’s early career. He was 21, and although he had been recording earlier, BRIGHT SIZE LIFE was his first big album. The album was not produced on an American label, but a German label, ECM Records, and recorded in, Ludwigsburg, West Germany in 1976. All songs but one were composed by Metheny, just a kid from the suburbs of Kansas City.  Metheny was able to assemble some great talent for this first LP. For example the bassist, is another fusion pioneer, Jaco Pastorius, borrowed from Epic records. Pastorius, as you might remember, was one the first to bring the electric fretless bass to fusion. [example Missouri Uncompromised 0:25 to 0:30] And Bob Moses on drums, who had performed with Larry Coryell in The Free Spirits, a jazz fusion ensemble, and in the Gary Burton Quartet. The song “Missouri Uncompromised” is a very strange assembly of ideas. An abstract sound, for all parts, drums, bass, and the strange melody of this song. The lines are angular, and the song has a rhythmic drive. Perhaps the song is as strange as the namesake Missouri Compromise. From U.S. history, the Missouri Compromise was an agreement passed in 1820 between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, on the regulation of slavery in the new, western territories. Is there historical symbolism in this song? Or was the song just a random title, pulled from one of Metheny’s college textbooks.  Three years earlier before this album, Metheny had been attending the University of Miami, when, as a Freshman, he was struck by a great opportunity. Should he continue at the University, or take an opportunity to be a teaching assistant. Not just any school. The Berklee College of Music. And not just any teaching assistant, he would be the assistant to none other than jazz vibraphonist great, Gary Burton.  It was 1972, Gary Burton was a BIG jazz player, and already had recorded 17 albums as the leader. And at the time of the recording of BRIGHT SIZE LIFE 1975-1976, Pat Metheny was in already Gary Burton’s band. Pat Metheny, age 21, his debut LP, Bright Size Life, the song “Missouri Uncompromised”.  M6 Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine , Twin-House – Guitar Duos, Mortgage on Your Soul (Keith Jarrett) , WEA Musik 1977 (Hamburg), 3:00 Personnel • Larry Coryell acoustic guitar • Philip Catherine acoustic guitar The song Mortgage on My Soul (Wah Wah) is a Kieth Jarrett composition from his 1971 Atlantic album “Birth”.  In this arrangement of “Mortgage”, the song is actually mis-named on the Twin House album as “Mortgage on Your Soul”.  The Twin House version is played as an acoustic guitar duo, and the guitarists are Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine. In opening the song, they play the same bass line in unison, while the third guitar, which is Coryell overdubbed, takes the first solo. Catherine follows with his guitar solo. Here is some of the song opening sound. Coryell, from Texas, came into prominence in 1967 with Gary Burton Quartet , and is still an active jazz guitar performer today, with his signature fiery sound. Catherine is from Brussels, and like Coryell, draws his influences from Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt.  This track was recorded in London in 1977 by WEA Musik GmbH, and released by Elektra / Warner records. M7 Al Di Meola  b1954, Elegant Gypsy Suite , Elegant Gypsy Suite (Di Meola) , Columbia 1977, Producer: Al Di Meola Elegant Gypsy Suite is the second album by American jazz fusion guitarist Al Di Meola, Born in 1954 in Jersey City, New Jersey. At 17, in 1971 he enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1974 he joined Chick Corea’s band, Return to Forever, and played with the band until a major lineup shift in 1976. In 1977, DiMeola was just 23, and the Elegant Gypsy Suite was recorded as a studio album, which he self-produced. The Genre is Latin jazz, jazz fusion. Di Meola was still a member of Return to Forever at the time of this recording. No wonder the sound of the Gypsy Suite piece is remarkably similar with Return to Forever’s Chick Corea leading on keyboards, compared to Jan Hammer on Gypsy. Return’s Bill Connors guitar on compared to Al Di Meola. And Return’s Stanley Clark on bass as compared here to Anthony Jackson. Di Meola has a distinctive, though not a virtuoso, sound to his guitar artistry. One of his techniques is his Sweep Picking technique, in which he produces a rapid and specific series of notes with a fluid sound, evident in his lead work here. Here is an example of sweep picking: [EXAMPLE ELEGANT GYPSY SUITE iTunes 3:20 – 3:30] a form of shred guitar. Elegant Gypsy Suite delivers a fusion of rock and latin jazz. with lightning-fast unison playing betweem Hammer, DiMeola and drummer Steve Gadd. Personnel • Al Di Meola: Electric guitars, Acoustic Guitars • Anthony Jackson: Bass guitar. • Jan Hammer: Keyboards, synthesizer. • Steve Gadd: Drums

1hr 2mins

7 May 2018

Rank #10