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On this day in jazz (July 05)

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On this day in 1960, saxophonist Harold Land began recording the album Eastward Ho! Harold Land in New York. On the album Harold plays the tenor,  Kenny Dorham in on trumpet and the rhythm section consisted of Amos Trice on piano, Clarence Jones on bass and Joe Peters on the drums. The album was produced by legendary jazz producer Orrin Keepnews. The song "O.K. Blues" was dedicated to Orrin.

I haven't profiled Harold Land on the blog and since I'm getting close to completing 1 year of blogging "On this day in jazz", I figured I might try and get in a couple of fresh faces. Here's a few facts about Harold:


  • Born in Houston and grew up in San Diego
  • Started playing at the age of 16
  • His first recording (as a leader) was in 1949
  • In 1954 he joined the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet
  • In the 80s and 90s he was a member of the Timeless All-Stars which featured Cedar Walton on piano, Buster Williams on bass, Billy Higgins on drums, Curtis Fuller on trombone and Bobby Hutcherson on vibes.
  • He joined the UCLA Music Department in 1996


Here's Harold with one of my favorite songs, Cole Porter's "So In Love":

Track listing:


  1. "So in Love" (Cole Porter) - 5:58
  2. "Triple Trouble" (Amos Trice) - 5:46
  3. "Slowly" (Kermit Goell, David Raksin) - 6:59
  4. "'On a Little Street in Singapore" (Peter DeRose, Billy Hill) - 7:07
  5. "O.K. Blues" - 12:23


Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 15:46

On this day in jazz (July 04)

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On this day in 1970, Alice Coltrane recorded the song "Isis and Osiris" at The Village Gate in New York City. The song would be the last song on her fourth album Journey in Satchidananda. Satchidananda refers to Satchidananda Saraswati (aka Yogiraj Sri Swami Satchidananda) whose religious teachings Alice followed. On the album Alice plays the harp and piano, Pharoah Sanders adds soprano saxophone and percussion, Vishnu Wood plays the oud (only on "Isis and Osiris"), Charlie Haden plays the bass (only on "Isis and Osiris"--Cecil McBee plays bass on all other songs), Tulsi plays the tambura and Majid Shabazz plays bells & tambourine (on all tracks by "Isis and Osiris") and Rashied Ali plays the drums on all songs.

Critics in general rate the album highly, and punk rocker Paul Weller of The Jam / The Style Council lists it as one of his favorite albums. I also like it a lot and agree with Thom Jurek's view that the album is quite approachable and accessible. Thom also said this: "...a remarkable album, and necessary for anyone interested in the development of modal and experimental jazz". Give it a listen!

Here's Alice with "Isis and Osiris":

Track listing:


  1. "Journey in Satchidananda" -6:39
  2. "Shiva-Loka" - 6:37
  3. "Stopover Bombay" - 2:54
  4. "Something About John Coltrane" - 9:44
  5. "Isis and Osiris" - 11:49


Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 15:28

On this day in jazz (July 03)

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On this day in 1986, pianist Andrew Hill began recording the album Shades for Soul Note records at the Barigozzi Studio in Milano, Italy (it would be completed the next day). The album was Andrew's first as a leader in six years and his twenty-fourth album overall. He was accompanied by the excellent Clifford Jordan on tenor saxophone, Rufus Reid on bass and Ben Riley on the drums.

Scott Yanow reviewed the album for giving it a four star rating (users' give it a four and a half), saying this about the music:

The quartet set (with bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Ben Riley) has six of Hill's typically challenging and complex inside/outside originals, a perfect outlet for Jordan and the pianist to interact. Stimulating and unusual music that is difficult to classify as anything but "modern jazz".

A little bit about Andrew: he 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, 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 continued recording until his death in 2007. In fact, just in the years 2000-2008, he won the following awards:

  • 2008: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master (our nation's highest jazz honor)
  • 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
  • 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
  • 2001: "Dusk" was the Down Beat Album of the Year; Down Beat Winner Critics Poll Jazz (also in 2000)

Here's Andrew with "Tripping":

Track listing:

  1. "Monk's Glimpse" - 4:36
  2. "Tripping" (aka "Naked Spirit") - 6:31
  3. "Chilly Mac" - 5:29
  4. "Ball Square" - 5:34
  5. "Domani" - 7:28
  6. "La Verne" - 13:43
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 15:45

On this day in jazz (July 02)

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On this day in 1990, Charlie Haden and Jim Hall were recorded live in concert at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The set list is quite impressive including Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing", Ornette Coleman's "Turnaround", the standard "Body and Soul", Hoagy Carmichael & Johnny Mercer's "Skylark" and four originals by the two men. Also note that the entire concert is a series of duets.

Pat Metheny, who considers both Charlie and Jim to be two of his musical heroes, said that the album is "a recording for the ages." I agree. Thom Jurek provides an excellent review of the album at Here are the salient parts of that review:

Given their respective careers up to this point, both men had nearly perfected the artistry of playing in this particular chamber jazz setting. That all said, it does not prepare the listener for the canny, intimate, yet absolutely electric interplay on offer here. From readings of standards such as "Bemsha Swing," "Body and Soul," and Skylark" through to Ornette Coleman's "Turnaround" and excellent originals by both men -- including Haden's bookends, the tenderly dissonant "First Song" and the knotty "In the Moment," and Hall's sprightly melodic Latin waltz "Down from Antigua" and his fingerpopping "Big Man Blues" -- this music is an adventure top to bottom. It unfolds gradually and cannily over 76 minutes. Ethan Iverson's liner essay is spirited, insightful, and illuminating to boot. This set is not only impossible to criticize, but adds an immeasurable depth to the catalogs of both artists.

Here's Charlie and Jim with "Bemsha Swing":

Track listing:


  1. Bemsha Swing (Thelonious Monk/Denzil Best)
  2. First Song (Charlie Haden)
  3. Turnaround (Ornette Coleman)
  4. Body & Soul (John Green/Edward Heyman/Robert Sour)
  5. Down From Antigua (Jim Hall)
  6. Skylark (Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer)
  7. Big Blues (Hall)
  8. In The Moment (Haden)


Last Updated on Friday, 19 August 2016 19:05

On this day in jazz (July 01)

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On this day in 1959, Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond recorded "Take Five" at Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City. The song would appear on the album Time Out. The album is noted not only for the great music but also for the unusual time signatures the songs were based on. For example, "Blue Rondo à la Turk" has both 9/8 and 4/4 signatures while "Take Five" uses quintuple time (5/4). "Take Five" was played by Dave on piano, Paul  (also the song's composer) on alto saxophone, Eugene Wright on bass and Joe Morello on the drums.

The album Time Out was the first jazz album to be certified platinum by the RIAA and actually reached #2 on the Billboard Pop Charts. It was added to the National Recording Registry in 2005. In 2009, Legacy Records released a 3-CD set with improved audio over the original CD release as well as previously unreleased concert recordings from the 1961, 1963, and 1964 Newport Jazz Festivals. It was also released in "DualDisk" format along with 14 other albums in late 2004. However, due to a rights issue, it was recalled and only 50 known copies of the disk exist. Collectors lucky enough to have grabbed one have one valuable piece of plastic in their collection.

Here's Dave and Paul with "Take Five":

Track listing (all by Dave Brubeck except "Take Five"):


  1. "Blue Rondo à la Turk" 6:44
  2. "Strange Meadow Lark" 7:22
  3. "Take Five"  (Paul Desmond) 5:24
  4. "Three to Get Ready" 5:24
  5. "Kathy's Waltz" 4:48
  6. "Everybody's Jumpin'" 4:23
  7. "Pick Up Sticks" 4:16


Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 15:43

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