Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Guide to Best Jazz Scores for Cinema#3

Art Blakey and Barney Wilen
Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
Roger Vadim

Musicians: Lee Morgan, trumpet; Barney Wilen, tenor sax, soprano sax; Bobby Timmons, Duke Jordan, piano; Jymie Merritt, bass; Art Blakey, drums; John Rodriguez, bongos; Tommy Lopez, Willie Rodriguez, congas. In party sequence: Charlie Rouse, Barney Wilen, tenor sax; Thelonious Monk, piano; Sam Jones, bass; Art Taylor, drums. Appearing as themselves: Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Barney Wilen, tenor sax; Duke Jordan, piano; Paul Rovere, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums.

Listen to No Problem, composed by Duke Jordan, from the soundtrack:

Charles Mingus and Shafi Hadi
John Cassavetes

Musicians: Shafi Hadi (Curtis Porter), sax solos; (possibly) Anthony Ortega, reeds; Jimmy Knepper, trombone; Phineas Newborn Jr., Horace Parlan, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Dannie Richmond, drums.

David Shire
Farewell My Lovely
Dick Richards

Musicians:Cappy Lewis, trumpet; Dick Nash, trombone; Ronnie Lang, alto sax; Justin Gordon, clarinet, tenor sax; Don Menza, soprano sax; Artie Kane, piano; Al Hendrickson, Tommy Tedesco, guitar; Chuck Domanico, bass; Larry Bunker, drums; Emil Richards, percussion.

Main title music, aka the Marlow theme:

Philip Green
All Night Long
Basil Dearden

Musicians: Bert Courtley, trumpet; Keith Christie, trombone; John Dankworth, alto sax; Johnny Scott, alto sax, clarinet, flute; Tubby Hayes, tenor sax, vibraphone; Colin Purbrook, Dave Brubeck, piano; Ray Dempsey, guitar; Kenny Napper, Charles Mingus, bass; Allan Ganley, drums; Barry Morgan, bongos, timbales.Allan Ganley coached and ghosted drum routines for actor Patrick McGoohan.

From the soundtrack, Brubeck plays It's a Raggy Waltz:

Emil Newman/Hugo Friedhofer
A Song Is Born 
Howard Hawks

Music Orchestrated by Sonny Burke and Neal Hefti. 
Musicians: The Charlie Barnet Orchestra including Jimmy Salko, Jimmy Campbell, Everett McDonald, Chico Alvarez, trumpet; Freddie Zito, Phil Washburn, Herbie Harper, trombone; Charlie Barnet, Bob Dawes, Jack Henerson, George Weidler, Warner Weidler, Frank Pappalardo, reeds; Bob Bain, grt; Don Tosti, bass; Dick Shanahan, drums.
Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra, including Jimmy Nottingham, Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Britt Woodman, trombone; Bobby Plater, Charlie Fowlkes, reeds; Milt Buckner, piano; Billy Mackel, guitar; Joe Comfort, bass; Earl Walker, drums.
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra , including Charlie Shavers, Ziggy Elman, trumpet; Corky Corcoran, Marty Berman, reeds; Tony Rizzi, guitar; Louie Bellson, drums.
Encyclopedia combo including Benny Goodman Benny Goodman, clarinet; Lionel Hampton, vibraphone;
Mel Powell, piano; Al Hendrickson, guitar; Harry Babasin, bass; Louie Bellson, drums. 
Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton Band including Vic Dickenson, trombone; Barney Bigard, clarinet; Benny Carter, alto sax; Phil Moore, piano; Lionel Hampton, vibraphone; Laurindo Almeida, guitar; Charlie Drayton, bass; Zutty Singleton, drums.

Return to Part 2                                                      Go to Part 4

Monday, June 6, 2011

Swinging Persia

Jazz in Iran? Yes, and no! Once upon a time, before the 1979 revolution, when oil's money was overflowing, a Queen and some of her advisers had the idea of making the country more sophisticated, more prestigious. Thus, among so many decisions they made, one was inviting the jazz acts to the country. Of course, long before this plan that long before Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Pearl Bailey and Louie Bellson appear in Tehran's biggest amphitheater by that invitation, Duke Ellington and his Orchestra showed up in Isfahan, a place so amazingly beautiful that inspired Duke and Billy Strayhorn to embed all that beauty in one of the most majestic alto solos in history of jazz, Isfahan, as played later by Johnny Hodges.

Dizzy Gillespie during the 1956 State Department jazz tour, at a reception with Princess Shams Pahlavi, elder sister of the Shah of Iran, and her husband Mehrdad Pahlbod (Later Minster of Culture and the Arts) at the capital of oil in Iran, Abadan. Also I've seen some very rare photos of Dizz with Shah's generals in a port in southwest of Iran, which a friend discovered in an antique shop in Florida.

Everybody was coming to Iran, from Frank Sinatra to Karlheinz Stockhausen! Money was flowing and even if Frank Sinatra's concert in Jamshidieh Stadium in Tehran was a flop, it didn't stop musicians from visiting lavish, old, and rich Persia. Falling in love with the country was so easy, as William Wyler's host in Iran told me, "he came for a week long festival, and ended up staying for a month on the shores of Caspian sea and eating best Caviar in the world." Magic carpet was ready to give a free ride to everyone whose name was big enough to give credit to the country that was longing for that.

What Frankie is doing with Shabaan the Brainless? Shabaan the Brainless was a notorious thug who had a direct role in American Coup d'├ętat of 1953 that led to overthrow of Iranian first and last democratic government. According to the CIA's declassified documents and records, some of the most feared mobsters in Tehran were hired by the CIA to stage pro-Shah riots. In 2000, Madeleine Albright, ex-U.S. Secretary of State, confessed that intervention by the U.S. in the internal affairs of Iran was a setback for democratic government, but it was too late.
So Dizzy Gillespie and his big band was visiting oil cities, like a treasury minister, and Willis Conover's voice was in the air, as Hollywood films had their premiere in Tehran cinemas. Sundays, Jack Teagarden in a striped suite played good old jazz in national TV. The country was like a story from 1001 nights, a modern fairy land, where at days you had Peter Brook to perform in Shiraz, enjoying the best grapes in the world, and at nights John Cage was on stage, an artist whose musical ideas was even too much for the Western ears.

Karlheinz Stockhausen (front right) at the Shiraz Arts Festival, Iran, 2 September 1972. How many of these people understand what's happening, musically?
Aloys and Alfons Kontrarsky, 2.9.1972, Shiraz.

Among those who landed in Iran, there was a young American jazzman who had something else in mind.

...to be continued.

Part 2 here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ray Bryant (1931-2011) R.I.P

Ray Bryant died at 80; the news is always as simple as this. But we all know that behind these numbers that sadly reflect the passing of time, years and years of music, joy of pure humanity and deep belief in art is hidden. The ending is always so sad for me, but let's not forget about the "sound" and the "joy" that always has existed, and is here to stay!

with Ike Isaac (b) Specs Wright (d). April 5, 1957. Prestige  
Blues Changes (composed by Bryant) from the album, Ray Bryant Trio  

He was a hard-bopper, in the same category with Sonny Clark, Kenny Drew, Tommy Flanagan, Elmo Hope, Wynton Kelly, or Randy Weston. But he had a delicate touch, like Red Garland and Jimmy Rowles. He was doing magic in small groups (mostly trios - listen to Good Morning Heartache here), and even when he was all alone (dig Alone With The Blues LP!). But also he could accompany the giants in the best way one can imagine. [listen to La Rosita here]

with Charlie Shavers (tp) Coleman Hawkins (ts) Tiny Grimes (g) George Duvivier (b) Osie Johnson (d). April 3, 1959. Prestige.  
La Rosita from Hawk Eyes   

Mr Richard Cook summarizes his long career:
Many premier musicians have come out of Philadelphia and Ray Bryant might head the list. He was the regular piano man at the city’s Blue Note club from 1953, where he accompanied all the visiting giants and later in the 50s he performed a similar role at Prestige, taking the piano seat on such sessions as Worktime (Sonny Rollins) and several in the great sequence of discs which Colman Hawkins recorded there. In 1959, though, he settled in New York, establishing his own trio although he never shied away from playing on his own and – unlike such contemporaries as Red Garland – he has set down a distinctive body of solo work on record. He recorded prolifically for Cadet and Colombia in the 60s (although the latter label wasted his time with pop material) and for Pablo in the 70s but he saved many of his finest hours for an outstanding sequence of records for Emarcy in the late 80s and early 90s, which have been too quickly deleted and are too little appreciated. Outgoing and capacious in his style, with a great feel for gospel currents and a gracious touch with blues, Ray is perhaps only fully appreciated in Japan, where he has always had a large and loyal following. His brother Tommy (1930-82) was a bassist.  
with George Duvivier (b), Grady Tate (d). January 10 or 12, 1976. Pablo 
Good Morning Heartache from Here's Ray Bryant

I don't remember any pianist using this much of two hands, and use it so beautifully. R.I.P Ray!