Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wardell Gray

Another record in my collection everone should have listened to. Wardell Gray - Memorial volume one and volume two. I have volume one, which contains two sessions featuring the bebop tenor saxophone player Wardell Gray, one from November 1949 and another one from February 1953.
The CD contains, as I said above, two recordings sessions. The last one contains four tunes but the first one, in fact, four too, but all (?) takes of these four tunes have been released on this album: Twisted ( four takes), Easy Living ( two takes), Southside (seven takes), Sweet Lorraine ( one take). I can imagine that someone who wants to buy a nice bebop recording will leave this CD in the shop due to the fact that it contains seven versions of Southside.

Never throw your unsuccesfull pictures away !
During the 78rpm period each tune was recorded on a wax plate and when the recording session had finished the audio engineer and producer took those takes that were good enough to produce the final shellack product; some takes were stored in the archive in case the original would be damaged - other stampers where destroyed. The saved takes contain versions of the song as played during that set, and a real jazz artist will improvise and play each tune each time in a different way, so it is very interesting to have the seven takes on one CD to compare with each other. But you have to agree when your wife grumbles after the fifth take: I've heard that one ..... don't you have some different tunes?

Wardell Gray is one of those legends in bebop who lived too short. He died, in 1955, 34 years young, probably due to problems with drugs. He became known by his cooperation with Dexter Gordon, as I wrote in a previous blog. He played around 1950 with Benny Goodman and had some fine recordings with Annie Ross, who sung Twisted and Farmer's Market. He recorded with Tadd Dameron and Count Basie and I found some film shots with that orchestra from this period you can see and hear Wardell Gray perform. Enjoy it.

Semilar records of this artist in my collection:
wardell gray/easy swing
wardell gray/giants of jazz
jazz in history III/stan getz-wardell gray-coleman hawkins-ben webster
dexter gordon-wardell gray/including the chase (giants of jazz)

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

j. j. johnson/the eminent volume 2 - orpheon celesta/shim me sha wabble - ademilde fonseca/compilation ( 1942-1952) - wardell gray/memorial volume one

Door problemen bij het posten van deze weblog kwam ik in tijdnood en kon ik deze keer geen Nederlandse vertaling produceren. Helaas !! - Due to some problems posting this blog I didn't find the time to publish it in the Dutch too. Sorry 'bout that.


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