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On this day in jazz (June 15)

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On this day in 1967, Antônio Carlos Jobim completed recording the album Wave at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. It was a very successful album, reaching #5 on the US Jazz Album charts.  On this album you will hear Tom (his preferred name) playing piano, guitar, celeste and harpsichord. He was assisted by a large cast including a string orchestra. gives the album a perfect five star rating and Rolling Stone Brazil lists the album as one of the 100 best Brazilian albums in history. In his review, Richard S. Ginell said this of the album:

...this stunningly seductive record, possibly Jobim's best. Jobim contributes his sparely rhythmic acoustic guitar, simple melodic piano style, a guest turn at the harpsichord, and even a vocal on "Lamento," while Claus Ogerman lends a romantically brooding hand with the charts. A pair of instant standards are introduced ("Wave," "Triste"), but this album is to be cherished for its absolutely first-rate tunes -- actually miniature tone poems -- that escaped overexposure and thus sound fresh today.

If you're looking for something relaxing to listen to, I think that this album is a great one to put on.

Here's Tom with "Wave":

Track listing:

  1. "Wave" – 2:56
  2. "The Red Blouse" – 5:09
  3. "Look to the Sky" – 2:20
  4. "Batidinha" – 3:17
  5. "Triste" – 2:09
  6. "Mojave" – 2:27
  7. "Diálogo" – 2:55
  8. "Lamento" (lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes) – 2:46
  9. "Antigua" – 3:10
  10. "Captain Bacardi" – 4:29
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 August 2016 13:32

On this day in jazz (June 14)

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On this day in 1957, cornetist Webster Young recorded the album For Lady (for Lady Day, Billie Holiday) at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. The album was the only one which Webster would record as a leader, but it includes one of my all time favorite songs, "Moanin' Low". Most of the songs were songs that Billie Holiday had made famous; however, Webster did throw in one original--the title track, "For Lady". Webster was joined by Paul Quinichette on tenor saxophone, the wonderful Mal Waldron on piano, Joe Puma on guitar, Earl May on bass, and Ed Thigpen on the drums.

Jim Todd reviewed the album for, saying: "While trumpeter Webster Young pays tribute to Billie Holiday on this, his only studio date as a leader, the set is equally a tribute to Young's musical role model, Miles Davis". It's too bad that he didn't record more often. Instead of touring and recording he decided to move from New York City back to Washington, DC, during the mid-1960s to teach music theory at the University of the District of Columbia. Later, he became the director of the District of Columbia Music Center jazz workshop band. Webster died in 2003 from brain cancer.

Here's Webster with "Moanin' Low":

Track listing:

  1. "The Lady" (Webster Young) - 7:00
  2. "God Bless the Child" (Billie Holiday, Arthur Herzog, Jr.) - 7:05
  3. "Moanin' Low" (Howard Dietz, Ralph Rainger) - 7:42
  4. "Good Morning Heartache" (Ervin Drake, Dan Fisher, Irene Higginbotham) - 8:54
  5. "Don't Explain" (Holiday, Herzog) - 7:10
  6. "Strange Fruit" (Abel Meeropol) - 4:18
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 August 2016 13:32

On this day in jazz (June 13)

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On this day in 1980, pianist Andrew Hill began recording his 22nd album, Strange Serenade at Barigozzi Studios in Milano, Italy. The album consists of four songs: three originals and the song "Andrew" which was written by his wife, Laverne Hill. Completing the trio were Alan Silva on bass and Freddie Waits on the drums. rates the album with four stars, calling it "stirring".

Hill was born in Chicago in 1931 where he took up the piano at age 13 and attended the University of Chicago Experimental School. As a teenager he joined legends such as Miles Davis and Charlie Parker when their tours came to town. In the 1950s he played with jazz greats such as Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Hank Mobley and Tony Williams (just to name a few). In 1961, while he was an accompanist for Dinah Washington, he moved to New York City and shortly thereafter primarily recorded as a leader.

Andrew had a very long career lasting from the early 1950s until his death in 2007. In the years 2000-2008, he won the following awards:


  • 2001: "Dusk" was the Down Beat Album of the Year; Down Beat Winner Critics Poll Jazz (also in 2000)
  • 2006: Jazz Journalist Composer of Year Awards (as well as in 2000, 2001 and 2003); "Time Lines" was Down Beat Album of the Year; Playboy Jazz Artist of the Year
  • 2007: election to the Downbeat Hall of Fame; Jazz Journalist Association Pianist of the Year, Composer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award; conferred an honorary Doctorate of Music-Berklee College of Music
  • 2008: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master (our nation's highest jazz honor)


Here's Andrew with "Mist Flower":

Track listing:


  1. "Mist Flower" - 15:26
  2. "Strange Serenade" - 7:03
  3. "Reunion" - 8:50
  4. "Andrew" (Laverne Hill) - 10:40


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 August 2016 13:32

On this day in jazz (June 12)

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On this day in 1964, guitarist Grant Green recorded music for the album Solid at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Although the album was recorded in 1964, it didn't get released until Blue Note released it in 1979. That's very odd given how good the music is: rated it four and a half stars and The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide gave it five stars. It's true that it was recorded only a month after his album Matador was recorded--but you would think the label would have found a way to release it sooner. Grant was joined by James Spaulding on the alto saxophone, Joe Henderson on the tenor saxophone, the wonderful McCoy Tyner at the piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass and Elvin Jones on the drums--that's a very fine lineup.

Steve Huey of said this of the album:

Solid is a bright, hard-charging affair. There's a little modal jazz, but Solid's repertoire is chiefly complex hard bop, full of challenging twists and turns that the players burn through with enthusiasm. Green didn't tackle this kind of material — or play with this kind of group — very often, and it's a treat to hear him do so on both counts... one of Green's strongest jazz outings and a unique standout in his catalog.

Here's Grant with "Grant's Tune":

Track listing:


  1. "Minor League" (Pearson) – 7:05
  2. "Ezz-Thetic" (Russell) – 10:41
  3. "Grant's Tune" (Grant Green) – 7:01
  4. "Solid" (Rollins) – 7:23
  5. "The Kicker" (Henderson) – 6:23


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 August 2016 13:31

On this day in jazz (June 11)

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On this day in 1953, trumpeter Clifford Brown began recording the album Memorial in New York City. He would complete the album on September 15 in Stockholm. For the session recorded on June 11, Clifford and Art Farmer were on trumpets, Arne Domnerus played the alto sax, Lars Gullin was on the baritone sax, and Ake Persson played the trombone. The rhythm section was supplied by Bengt Hallverg on piano, Gunnar Johnson on bass and Jack Noren was on the drums.

Clifford is the true embodiment of "only the good die young". Unfortunately, he would die 3 years after this album was recorded at the young age of 25. Regarding this album the recording engineer said this:

When Brownie stood up and took his first solo on "Philly J J", I nearly fell off my seat in the control room. The power, range and brilliance together with the warmth and invention was something that I hadn't heard since Fats Navarro.

Here's Clifford with "Falling In Love":

Track listing:


  1. "Stockholm Sweetnin'" (Quincy Jones) - 5:29
  2. "'Scuse These Blues" (Quincy Jones) - 4:29
  3. "Falling in Love With Love" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) - 5:25
  4. "Lover Come Back to Me" (Sigmund Romberg, Oscar Hammerstein II) - 5:22
  5. "Philly J J" (Tadd Dameron) - 5:14
  6. "Dial 'B' for Beauty" (Dameron) - 4:37
  7. "Theme of No Repeat" (Dameron) - 5:23
  8. "Choose Now" [#1] (Dameron) - 4:57
  9. "Choose Now" [#2] (Dameron) - 3:26


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 August 2016 13:31

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