Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Giants of Jazz: heavenly music

( Naar de Nederlandse vertaling.)
JAZZLAB SERIES ALLSTARS BAND Giants of Jazz: Hemelse Muziek

The album I played last week, titled The Bop Fathers is one of those jazz records that should be in every collection. It has been recorded at one of the numerous concerts by the succesfull formation, labelled as The Giants of Jazz, which made a lenghty tour all around the world, from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Israel to Europe, finishing in London on the 14th of november 1971.

Dizzy Gillespie.

The idea for such a tour was made by George Wein, producer and organisator of jazz concerts ( he started the Newport Jazz Festival.) He wanted to organize a series of concerts with the last surviving great names in bebop for a world tour that lasted two months. He invited Dizzy Gillespie to play the trumpet ( who else?) Sonny Stitt on the saxophone, Kai Winding on the trombone, Al McKibbon on bass, Art Blakey on drums and Thelonious Monk on piano.


The Giants of Jazz in London ( 14th of November, 1971)

A perelous undertaking; not only because these "Giants of Jazz" were all skilled band leaders and jazz musicians, who were used to rule the roost - what would happen when they had to play all six together in one band - for forty-two ( 42 !!) concerts? And what about the weak health of musicians like Thelonious Monk? To make a long story short - there were no major problems.

Thelonious Monk.

It was exciting to see how those six individuals were rehearsing each other's tunes. Dizzy learning Monk's music - Monk listening to the Parker and Gillespie tunes that the group played. Listening, listening, Alyn Shipton writes in his book Groovin' High about Dizzy's life. There was no leader, although Dizzy would do the speaking. Dizzy wouldn't introduce the musicians individual when on stage, so there would be no order of appearance. I do have the CD mentioned above, titled The Bop Fathers which is a registration of the Milan, Italy concert from the 20th of October 1971. Another album is titled The Giants of Jazz and is from the Belgrade concert, the 2nd of November 1971.

The Giants of Jazz ( Belgrade 2nd of november 1971)

The fragment I found is from one of the European concerts in 1971. Can someone inform me where and when this was recorded? If you search on internet you can find a fragment of the Rotterdam concert, but the sound and film have a poor quality.

No problems with Thelonious Monk during this two-month tour - he even made some great recordings after the tour, on the 15th of November 1971 - while in London, which were released by Black Lion in a series of CDs titled Thelonious Monk - The London Collection.


JAZZLAB SERIES ALLSTARS BAND:
De JazzLab concerten zijn al vijftien jaar lang een begrip in België. Vijftien jaar lang werden er concerten georganiseerd voor onbekende startende, maar ook reeds gesettelde meer ervaren Belgische jazzmusici. Dit jaar wordt haar vijftiende verjaardag gevierd met o.a. een serie concerten door de Jazzlab Series Allstars Band. In deze band vinden we Bart Defoort op tenorsax, Frank Vaganée op alt, Nathalie Loriers op piano, Peter Hertman op gitaar, Nicolaas Thys op bas en Felix Simtaine op slagwerk. Volgend weekend zijn ze voor het eerst te horen tijdens Jazz in't Park in Gent en daarna nog op acht podia door heel Vlaanderen. Zie hun website voor meer informatie.

GIANTS OF JAZZ: HEMELSE MUZIEK:

Een all-star band is vaak niet meer dan een door toeval bijeengebracht groepje musici. Toch droomt iedere Jazzliefhebber er wel eens van om zijn ideale all-star band bij elkaar te brengen - soms een onmogelijkheid als uitverkoren musici allang overleden zijn. George Wein kreeg die kans wel - in 1971 bracht hij zes musici bij elkaar die stuk voor stuk hun sporen in de bebop hadden verdient en nu, in 2008, vast allen een plaatsje hebben verworven in het Heaven All-Star Jazz Ochestra hierboven. Lees morgen over deze Giants of Jazz: hemelse muziek.

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