Three rediscovered solos. After this week's listening sessions, I rediscovered three marvelous solos on albums you probably already own. Each solo is stunning for different reasons:
Al Haig—Groovin' High (1945). This is from the recently issued Town Hall, June 22, 1945. If you're like me, you've probably been too caught up in Bird and Dizzy's solos on this track. But Haig's piano solo ranks right up there with those delivered by Bird and Diz. Haig's playing here is an overlooked masterpiece of bop technique and hair-raising lines.
Art Farmer—Work of Art (1953). This track is on The Art Farmer Septet, Farmer's first date as a leader for Prestige. His trumpet lines are as mentholated as Noxzema and his phrasing and attack are completely new to the scene. Remarkably, his solo remains free from the influence of Miles Davis, Clifford Brown or Chet Baker. It's a style all Farmer's own and signals the arrival of one of jazz's greatest and often underappreciated horns.
Dexter Gordon—Where Are You? (1962). From the album Go, Dexter pours all of his foghorn sorrow into this ballad. In fact, he's so deeply into the song and his solo that he loses pianist Sonny Clark. For some strange reason, Clark can't seem to get comfortable behind Dexter on this track or for that matter many of the other tracks on the album.
New Concord Records releases due. Coming in June from the label's remastered Keepnews Collection:
- Coleman Hawkins—The Hawk Flies
- McCoy Tyner—Fly with the Wind
- Nat Adderley—Work Song
- Sonny Rollins—Freedom Suite
- Wes Montgomery—Incredible Jazz Guitar.
Coming in July from the label's remastered Rudy Van Gelder series:
- John Coltrane—Dakar
- Miles Davis—The Musings of Miles
- The Modern Jazz Quartet—Concorde
- The Red Garland Trio—Groovy
- Sonny Criss' This Is Criss.
Chet Baker posts. Doug Ramsey and Ted Gioia offered marvelous posts this past week on trumpeter Chet Baker, who died 20 years ago after a fall from an Amsterdam hotel. Doug's post here includes a reply from Jeroen de Valk, author of a forthcoming Baker biography. Ted's two-part post here provides wonderful personal anecdotes.
More jazz show tunes. In response to my post last week, "5 CDs: Swing Stage and Screen," disc jockey Sid Gribetz of WKCR-FM in New York offered two more that are off the beaten path:
- Michael Hashim—Guys And Dolls (Stash/1992) is available here used for about $3.
- Gary MacFarland—How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Verve/1961) is out of print but available here for about $90.
For a fabulous discography of jazz interpretations of show and movie scores, go here. The list was compiled by Will Friedwald of the New York Sun, Arnold Jay Smith and Michael Fitzgerald
Johnny Hodges and Jack Teagarden. Two sites hosted by Michael Palmer of Australia are worth noting. One is devoted to Johnny Hodges [pictured] here and the other celebrates Jack Teagarden here. Both tribute sites feature large-size photos of these greats plus others that you haven't likely seen before.
Neal Hefti. Today (Sunday), disc jockey Sid Gribetz presents a five-hour radio tribute to the trumpeter, arranger and composer Neal Hefti [pictured]. The show will air from 2 to 7 pm (EST) on WKCR-FM (89.9) in New York. Go here to listen live.