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January 25, 2010


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Larry Kart

Gil Melle's chief model as a soloist pretty clearly was "Long Island Sound" Stan Getz. One can hear this on the early tracks on the Blue Note collection where Melle plays tenor. Getz's rather icy timbre of that time, translated to the baritone, is what gives Melle's playing its unique, almost bassoon-like quality.

Ed Leimbacher

"Icy timbre"? I'd go with that. What little I ever heard of Melle's atonal and then electronic compositions convinced me his name must be spelled "Melee." Even his Modern Art jackets for others' albums seemed to be embattled. But enough with the cheap jokes. Gil's Guests looks interesting, so... once more unto the breach (drear fiends?).

Han Schulte

Hi Marc,

Beautiful story on Gil Mellé!
One remark: The title of the June 1, 1956 track is BALLET TIME not Ballad Time.
I checked this in the 1972 discography "Prestige Jazz Records 1949 - 1971" by Michel Rupply (p. 37:". "take 909 Ballet Time PR LP 7040".
Han Schulte


Hey, he did Kolchak! anyone remember that show,
man i used to stay up to watch that one when i was a kid.
lead character was funneee.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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