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A Heavy Dose of Duke Ellington

I compiled a “Heavy” duty dose of Duke Ellington to make you feel better than ever. A potent mixture of the highest quality with that hardcore effect so you can enjoy Duke Ellington further more. But in reality, this is just a minute sedative compared to all his achievements. After all, experts cannot even determine how many songs Duke Ellington composed, they estimate over 4,000. Not to mention, he co-wrote, arranged and rearranged many, many more with Billy Strayhorn, another giant Jazz composer.

Note to all new readers of the Cubanology MediaBlog: All the podcasts are located in the beginning and end of the post. I suggest opening up the podcast by clicking on “Play in new window” so you can scroll through the post itself and visit the links and/or go on with your business and listen in the background. Thank you and enjoy!


1st Set:

1. “Track 360  2. “C Jam Blues”  3. “The Swinger’s Jump” 4. Three J’s Blues”  5. “Pie Eye’s Blues” From the Duke Ellington  “Blues in Orbit” CD Album.

More on Album:

BLUES IN ORBIT is a spectacular, well-rounded assembly of early and latter-day Ellington material. Most of these recordings were made in 1959, when the popularity of the LP was changing the ways in which music was conceived and made. While Ellington is known for his “extended works,” most of the tracks here resemble–in form, length, and feel–the style of the musician’s early catalog. Spacious, conversational pieces (such as the title track) and the slinky exotica of “Smada” fit nicely alongside such favorites and standards as “C Jam Blues,” “Sentimental Lady,” and “In A Mellotone.”

Pacing and tone vary according to the standard Ellington program scheme. Wailing up-tempo blues (“Pie Eye’s Blues,” “Three J’s Blues”-in which instrumentalists Jimmy Hamilton and Ray Nance get to stretch a bit) alternate with tracks such as the meltingly beautiful “Brown Penny,” this last number featuring an incomparable solo by Johnny Hodges. Ellington delivers with grace, prowess, and supreme creativity, and BLUES IN ORBIT, with its superb playing and diverse, wonderful track list, is a keeper…….Read More 

2nd Set:

6. “One O’Clock Jump” 7. “Bonga” 8. “Tricky’s List” 9. “Blues in C” 10. “Take the A Train” 11. “Fly me to the Moon” 12. ” More” 13. “Never on Sunday” 14. “Pretty Little One” 15. “Rhapsody in Blue” From the Duke Ellington “The Reprise Studio Recording” CD Set.

More on this Box Set:

When Frank Sinatra started his Reprise label in the early ’60s, one of the first artists he approached was Duke Ellington. Nearly 40 years later, as part of the 1999 celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Ellington’s birth, Warner Brothers, which had long since bought and absorbed Reprise, finally released a complete retrospective box set, THE REPRISE STUDIO RECORDINGS.

This five-disc, 101-track collection is fascinating, as Ellington’s Reprise recordings feature probably his greatest stylistic range. This tracks are all over the map, from re-recordings of old Ellington classics, to sometimes-radical rearrangements of gospel and blues standards, to the three-part “Night Monster” suite, to jams with titles like “Non-Violent Integration,” to versions of then-current pop tunes like “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.” Yet somehow, each track is unmistakably Ellington. The box set also includes a full sessionography and extensive liner notes…….Read More


16. “Happy go lucky’ 17. “Paris Blues” 18. “Ready Go” From the “Duke Ellington And His Orchestra Featuring Paul Gonsalves” CD Album.

More on the Album:

This is a wonderful and rather unusual Ellington outing. Eschewing the revolving-spotlight ethic usually favored by the Duke, this disc features tenor-sax icon Paul Gonsalves fronting the Orchestra in a run-through of some of their best-known tunes. As usual, Gonsalves is in fine form, and his chops and imaginative improvisations are shown off to splendid effect. Relaxed, laid-back versions of “C-Jam Blues” and “Take The ‘A’ Train” frame the saxophonist’s statement of themes with slow, lyrical passages and-at the end of “‘A’ Train”-blazing jams and unaccompanied codas.

Gonsalves blows both hot and cool on such blues numbers as “Happy-Go-Lucky Local” and the jump-up “Ready, Go” (from Ellington’s RED CARPET SUITE.) With Ellington leading at the ivories and the Orchestra providing solid, dynamically fluctuating backing, Gonsalves turns in an album full of worthwhile performances. He acquits himself as one of the ensemble’s deftest, most versatile, and most powerful players…..Read More

And Again:

A Mini-Jazz special with variety in mind

I’ve been concentrating all my effort on my tribute to Lee Morgan and the “Lee Morgan Project” and veered off my Jazz specials. So to get the listeners back on track, I made a quick mini-Jazz special. I am featuring FOUR Sets of different styles to sort of satisfy everyone and more importantly, to prove that there is a place for those who feel Jazz is not really their kind of music. These are just 4 different sounds but I will feature more variations in the future.

Note to all new readers of the Cubanology MediaBlog: All the podcasts are located in the beginning and end of the post. I suggest opening up the podcast by clicking on “Play in new window” so you can scroll through the post itself and visit the links and/or go on with your business and listen in the background. Thank you and enjoy!


1st Set:

Start: Charles Mingus “Blue Cee” 1. “Fuji” 2. “Picadillo”  3. “Unidos” From the CD Album “El Sonido Nuevo- The New Sound.”

More on Album:

Latin jazz titans Eddie Palmieri (piano) and Cal Tjader (vibraphone) join forces on this thoroughly enjoyable session of south-of-the-border post-bop. Entitled EL SONIDO NUEVO, this 1966 release finds Tjader and Palmieri blending hot Latin styles (there are echoes of mambo, and foretastes of salsa) with the cool timbres and feel then popular in West Coast jazz. Despite relentless Latin grooves by the percussionists, and Palmieri’s fiery playing–in which he incorporates guajira (a meter-shifting Cuban folk dance) and compasa (Cuban hill chants), among other styles–the proceedings have a smooth, almost lounge-like feel.

This is attributable largely to the languid, shimmering sound of Tjader’s vibes, and the slick, focused production. Still, the band swings intently on such rhythmically complex numbers as “Ritmo Uni” and Tito Puente’s “Picadillo.” The title track, which has Tjader and Palmieri building luminous lines while the percussion creates a net of dense rhythms, sounds like something Bill Evans might have dreamed while on vacation in Havana. The Verve reissue of EL SONIDO NUEVO includes six bonus tracks from BREEZE FROM THE EAST and ALONG COMES CAL, two other ’60s Tjader dates, making this classic Latin jazz package an especially good bet……Read More

2nd Set:

4. “Everything Happens to Me” 5. “Kary’s Trance” 6. “Sweet and Lovely” From the “Inside Hi-Fi ” CD Album.

About Album:

This excellent recording (part of their 1987 Jazzlore series) features altoist Lee Konitz with two separate quartets during 1956. Either guitarist Billy Bauer or pianist Sal Mosca are the main supporting voices in groups also including either Arnold Fishkind or Peter Ind on bass and Dick Scott on drums. The most unusual aspect to the set is that on the four selections with Mosca, Konitz switches to tenor, playing quite effectively in a recognizable cool style……Read More

Biography on Lee Konitz:

Born :

October 13, 1927 in Chicago, IllinoisSaxophonist Lee Konitz rose to fame in the 1940s by being the only alto saxophonist who played in a style that wasn’t strongly influenced by the bebop of Charlie Parker. But Konitz’ reputation was not limited that of a contrarian. From his early days with pianist Lennie Tristano and saxophonist Warne Marsh, he proved himself as an innovator who sought new ways to approach harmony, melody, and rhythm in his improvisation. He has performed actively since, and now in his 80s, he remains one of the foremost jazz saxophonists.

Swinging Influences:

As a child, Lee Konitz was drawn to the sounds of clarinetist Benny Goodman’s big band, whose swing music filled the radio waves in the 1930s. Konitz began playing the clarinet, but later switched to tenor saxophone. At age 18, he began playing in a Chicago dance band led by clarinetist Jerry Wald, who offered him the job on the condition that he would switch to alto saxophone.

To Bop or Not to Bop:

Around this time, Konitz also met Lennie Tristano, the pianist who would later help propel the young alto player’s career. He also played a briefly in Claude Thornhill’s big band, in which he was exposed to the harmonies of arranger Gil Evans. Tristano, Thornhill, and Evans each played a part in the development of “cool jazz,” which was defined by its subtlety and introspectiveness, setting it apart from bebop.

New York:

In 1949, before his 22nd birthday, Konitz moved to New York to pursue a performance career. At this point, bebop was reaching its peak, with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and others playing breakneck tempos and melodic lines brimming with intensity. Konitz performed music of a different sort……Learn More

3rd Set:

7. “Tenderly” 8. “And I Love Him”  9. “Round Midnight” From the “Live At The 1971 Monterey Jazz Festival” CD Album.

About Album:

Sarah Vaughan was approximately three decades into her career when she stepped onto the stage at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 1971 and still at the top of her game. Her voice swoops, sways and swings; it’s a veritable roller coaster of pitch, tone and tempo, and Vaughan is in complete control of her instrument at all times. The voice is weightier than it was during her early days, but having recently taken a few years off from recording it was primed and ready for the remarkable push Vaughan was prepared to give it. Backed by the very capable trio of Bill Mays on piano (Vaughan introduces him as Willie Mays), Bob Magnusson on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums, Vaughan wastes no time showing why she always appears on the short list of jazz’s greatest singers: On “I Remember You” she takes command of the rhythm and bends it to her will; it’s impossible not to fall within her spell instantaneously. Vaughan must know she’s on a roll because midway through the song she lets out a “Whoo!” that one might expect to hear from an audience member rather than the singer herself. “There Will Never Be Another You,” taken at a breakneck pace, gives the band ample opportunity to blow, and Vaughan stays just far enough ahead to lead the way — at times it sounds as if she will leave them in the dust………Read More

Sarah Vaughan Biography:


Sarah Vaughan was a jazz vocalist who sang in her church choir and then won an amateur contest at the famed Apollo Theatre in 1942. By the mid-1940s, she was appearing on television variety show, soon known by the nickname “Sassy.” She had a three octave range and is regarded as one of the greatest of all jazz singers. She was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame the same year she died, 1990.


(born March 27, 1924, Newark, N.J., U.S.—died April 3, 1990, Hidden Hills, Calif.) American jazz vocalist and pianist known for her rich voice, with an unusually wide range, and for the inventiveness and virtuosity of her improvisations.

Vaughan was the daughter of amateur musicians. She began studying piano and organ at age seven and sang in the church choir. After winning an amateur contest at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theatre in 1942, she was hired as a singer and second pianist by the Earl Hines Orchestra. A year later she joined the singer Billy Eckstine‘s band, where she met Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Vaughan’s singing style was influenced by their instruments—“I always wanted to imitate the horns.” Gillespie, Parker, and Vaughan recorded “Lover Man” together in 1945…….Learn More

10. “Empty Pockets” 11. “Alone and I.” From the “Takin’ Off” CD Album.

About Album:

TAKIN’ OFF was Herbie Hancock’s first album as a leader. The 1996 reissue of TAKIN’ OFF adds alternate takes of “Watermelon Man,” “Three Bags Full” and “Empty Pockets.”

TAKIN’ OFF (1962), Herbie Hancock’s debut as a leader, holds up exceptionally well decades after its release, even in light of the vast, eclectic, and excellent solo catalogue that followed. Still in the thick of his groundbreaking work with Miles Davis, Hancock had already established himself as a pianist and composer of the first order, and those qualities shine on TAKIN’ OFF. Flanked by superb personnel….Read More


Highlights of Charles Mingus “Epitaph”

Charles Mingus, one of the most influential jazz composers of our time, died before he could see his magnum opus performed in its entirety. That’s precisely why he called it Epitaph; he says he wrote it for his tombstone.

Mingus passed in 1979, leaving behind not only a remarkable legacy but a mess of compositions, recording, and notes. When Andrew Homzy went in to archive and catalogue everything, he discovered a massive 500-page score that featured 19 movements for 31 musicians. Epitaph was the largest jazz composition ever written at the time, and was finally performed live in 1989 at the Alice Tully Hall in New York City.

Eagle Vision presents that 1989 performance, which was recorded live for British television, in its original, retro glory. The concert, which lasts over two hours, begins with an introduction by Sue Mingus, Charles’ wife. Once conductor Gunther Schuller takes the stage, however, Epitaph is played straight through with incredible skill and creativity by an orchestra filled with jazz veterans—including a very young Winton Marsalis.

The music itself is incredibly moving and brilliant. If you’re a fan of Mingus, then you’ll instantly recognize his contrapuntal orchestrations, the gospel hymns, swelling low brass sections, and the occasional spoken word segment. While his music can at times be very challenging and chaotic, Mingus’ tunes can also be very accessible. Epitaph is like a history lesson, not only through Mingus’ personal career, but through jazz itself. He weaves in references to other jazz greats (like in the piece “Monk, Bunk & Vice Versa (Osmotin)”) and even does a full-on cover (he tears apart a version of Jelly Roll Morton’s “Wolverine Blues”). Because there were some large gaps in Mingus’ weathered and confusing composition notes, Schuller tried to fill in the blanks a bit. He works in the Mingus classic “Freedom,” which features the entire orchestra chanting behind the recitation of free verse poetry. The individual compositions, much like Mingus’ music in general, are varied and energetic, yet create a cohesive masterpiece. The performance ends with a three-part improvisation by the entire 31-piece orchestra. Risky stuff, but they pull it off beautifully.

Epitaph has only been performed live a handful of times since it was discovered, and this is the first time that its premiere has ever been released on video. If you’re a fan of Charles Mingus, or jazz in general, this is not to be missed………Learn More

Peggy’s Blue Sky:

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Wolverine Blues:

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Better Get It In Your Soul:

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You can Buy the Two-CD Version of Epitaph here

The Irene Tropical Storm Music Special

It is a little after 5 A.M and Hurricane Irene will be landing on top of New York City in about 4 to 6 hours. It has been losing speed and will be considered a Tropical Storm when it enters New York harbor. Nevertheless, it is packing a big punch and will have a strong storm surge, so flooding is inevitable. The streets of “the city that never sleeps” are completely empty now and will remain like this for about 24 hours more. Meanwhile, I have prepared a podcast for everyone, in the path of this monster and also for those that have been fortunate enough to avoid it. Let’s hope there is minimal damage for all that have been affected. Good Luck to all! Here’s the podcast, a compilation of Classic Jazz, Classic Afro-Cuban Jazz and Pure Cuban Music:

“Con Alma” with “Manteca” from Denmark 1970

These two videos are from a 1970 Dizzy Gillespie concert in Denmark. It’s one of many great DVD’s of “Live” performances from Jazz Icons. This one is split into two separate recordings, 1958 and 1970. Purchase it here

Sample Liner Notes by Ira Gitler: I started listening to jazz as a pre-teen in the Swing era, schooled by my older brother and surrounded by the sounds (through records and radio) and images (through movies and theater stage shows) of the big bands. I remember the buzz Benny Goodman’s band created with their appearance at the New York Paramount in March of 1937. It was the talk of our dinner table. I was 8 years old.

By the end of 1938, at 10, my favorite was Count Basie, with Jimmie Lunceford a close second. Our record collection continued to grow and we had recordings from Harry James and Charlie Barnet to Erskine Hawkins and Edgar Hayes, as well as the very popular Cab Calloway. Two of those Calloway recordings, “Bye Bye Blues” and “A Bee Gezindt” had solos by Dizzy Gillespie, but I didn’t become aware of this until after I discovered him in 1945.

As I was already heavily involved with jazz by this time, I can’t say that Dizzy Gillespie radically changed my life, but he strongly reinforced the direction I was going. Like many young musicians and fans of my generation, I embraced the music of Gillespie and Charlie Parker. I had already planned on a career as a writer, but this new passion brought it all into focus—I wanted to write about jazz. In 1946 my first jazz piece for my high school newspaper was centered on Gillespie’s appearance at the Spotlite Club on West 52nd Street.

Dizzy had already announced himself to the jazz world at large in 1945 at the Three Deuces on that very same 52nd Street when he and alto saxophonist Charlie Parker led a quintet that changed the course not only of jazz, but music around the world. The recordings they made together in that time spread the message beyond the audiences of New York……Learn More

“Con Alma” which means “With Soul” was composed by Dizzy Gillespie

“Con Alma” 1970:

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“Manteca” was co-written by Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo in 1947. It was one of the first examples of world music and Afro-Cuban influences being incorporated into mainstream jazz.

“Manteca” 1970:

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The Lee Morgan Project (Part One)

Since Lee Morgan is my favorite Jazz Trumpet player, I have organized a multi-part series of podcasts.This is my personal tribute to him and I have named it “The Lee Morgan Project.” This here particular post and podcast will be Part One and concentrates on his first 8 albums. It ranges from 1956 to 1958. He was very talented, as Blue Note records took a chance on him at the ripe age of 18. He died at the young age of 33 in New York City when he was shot dead in a club where he was performing. It was the beginning of a new era in music when we lost him, the 70′s were here and he was making his transformation into a new sound. We only were able to get a tiny taste of it and it was strong. One thing is for sure, he was a traditionalist and he would had never abandoned his roots like many other artist did. He did manage to record 30 albums in his short career and this the “Lee Morgan Project” will serve as an introduction to all. I hope everyone will realize how great he was but I’m sure you will.

Note to all new readers of the Cubanology MediaBlog: All the podcasts are located in the beginning and end of the post. I suggest opening up the podcast by clicking on “Play in new window” so you can scroll through the post itself and visit the links and/or go on with your business and listen in the background. Thank you and enjoy!

Here’s Lee Morgan’s biography:

Lee Morgan was a stalwart of the driving jazz-meets-funk-meets-blues grooves produced by Blue Note in the 1960′s. A flashy player of enormous technique and invention, he became the natural successor to Clifford Brown, emerging on the jazz scene shortly after Brownie’s death in 1956. Morgan quickly developed his own style, fusing classic bebop motifs with more modern rhythms, harmonies and melodies. Born in Philadelphia on July 10, 1938, he began his trumpet studies with a private instructor, and continued them at Mastbaum High School for the Arts, where he also played the alto horn. A fan of jazz from an early age, he was exposed to a wide variety of live music in the vibrant Philadelphia music scene, which had produced such notables as John Coltrane, Benny Golson, the Heath brothers, and many others……. Read More

1st Set (6 Songs):
(1956) 1. ” Reggie of Chester” and 2. “The Lady” From the Lee Morgan “Indeed!” CD Album

More on this Album:

A gem of an early album from Lee Morgan – quite different than his work as a leader for the Savoy label during the same period! Although Morgan’s only a wee lad at the time, the album’s got an incredible sense of warmth and imagination – one that’s steeped in lessons learned from Horace Silver and Art Blakey, and played with a style that’s as richly expressive as it is soulful – a no-nonsense, no-tricks approach to the trumpet…..Read More

(1956) 3. “Bet” and 4. “P.S. I Love You” From the “Introducing Lee Morgan” CD Album

 Young upstart Lee Morgan was earning his chops in Dizzy Gillespie’s big band (the cover shows Morgan playing the famous “tilted trumpet”) at the time of this recording. While his style was not yet fully formed here, Morgan dazzles with his stream of inventive ideas. On uptempo numbers, such as the opener “Hank’s Shout,” he alternates staccato bursts with eighth-note runs, and punctuates with subtle swing figures and mild shifts in dynamics. On slower numbers, like “P.S. , I Love You,” “That’s All” and “Easy Living,” he displays a rich, open tone and a gentle handling of melody…..Learn More

(1957) 5. “Whisper Not” and 6. “Where Am I” From “The Lee Morgan Sextet Vol 2” CD Album

More from the CD:

Recorded in 1956, LEE MORGAN VOL. 2 was one of the trumpeter’s first dates for Blue Note, and shows off plenty of the musician’s chops (which were especially formidable given Morgan’s tender age at the time). The hard-swinging personnel includes Horace Silver on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, Hank Mobley on tenor, Charlie Persip on drums, and Kenny Rodgers on alto, and the compositions, penned primarily by Benny Golson, are engaging, accessible post-bop of the first rank. The Rudy Van Gelder remastering on the CD reissue makes it especially sweet…..Learn More

7.“I Remember Clifford” and 8.“Tip-Toeing” From the Lee Morgan “Vol 3” CD Album.

About the CD:

This 1957 session from trumpeter Lee Morgan, which dates among his earliest recordings for Blue Note, is an excellent post-bop album. The compositions by Benny Golson (who also plays tenor on the date) are streamlined and accessible, yet are still complex and full of challenging ideas. Morgan shows off his nimble technique, and is ably assisted by Gigi Gryce on alto, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Charlie Persip on drums. The CD reissue of this solid disc, complete with Rudy Van Gelder remastering, is very welcome……Learn More

About the song “I Remember Clifford” (From by Paula Edelstein, All Music.com):

“I Remember Clifford” is a tender ballad written by Benny Golson in 1956 and is a homage to the hard bop jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown. The song pays the composer’s respect to “Brownie” who was killed in a car crash in June 1956 along with pianist Richie Powell, a member of the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet. The song appears on over 100 albums and CDs and has been recorded by such jazz luminaries as Stan Getz, Dinah Washington — former bandmember of Clifford Brown — the tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, pianist Oscar Peterson, Woody Herman, Quincy Jones, Arturo Sandoval, and Ernestine Anderson. There are actually two different versions of the song: one an instrumental and one with lyrics added by noted songwriter Jon Hendricks. The latter has been included on at least seven albums since 1959 and tells the story of the warmth of Clifford Brown’s trumpet tones, his phrasings, and the songs he played. The song ends with the composer/lyricist thinking he cannot fathom the trumpeter as departed and will always remember him. The version with lyrics features two verses with chorus and a section for improvising instrumental solos. The instrumental version features sections for an emotive woodwind, brass, or piano and is underscored by a sensitive rhythm section. It is written in standard jazz compositional structure: head in, solo, head out. Later versions of the song include one by Sonny Rollins, an instrumental, included on his 2000 compilation entitled The Best of Sonny Rollins: The Complete RCA Recordings, as well as a vocal rendition by Ernestine Anderson on her 2000 compilation for Concord Jazz entitled Ballad Essentials.

13. “C.T.A” and 14. “Personality” From the “Candy” CD Album

More on the CD:

Recorded on November 18, 1957 & February 2, 1958. Includes liner notes by Robert Levin & Michael Cuscuna.

A seminal figure in the golden age of Blue Note records, Lee Morgan was the definition of the ’50s post-bop trumpet style and sound. His album CANDY from 1958 is a quintissential document of the easy swing and tight ensemble work that was prominant before the onset of hard-bop and free-jazz of the ’60s. Morgan’s nimble lines and smooth sound contrast perfectly with drummer Art Taylor’s jumping solo spots in the opening title track. The bluesy ballad “Since I Fell For You” is just smokey and subtle enough to melt even the coldest heart. Jimmy Heath’s “C.T.A.” and Irving Berlin’s “Who Do You Love, I Hope” are nice-and-quick workouts that find pianist Sonny Clarke and bassist Doug Watkins in perfect sync with Taylor in support of their agil leader. For Sinatra fans, Morgan’s reading of the classic “All The Way” is a beautiful interpretation that would make Old Blue Eyes smile. Overall, this is a golden snapshot of one of the most stylish trumpeters in jazz……Read More

15. “Speak Low” and 16. “Git Go Blues” From the “Peckin’ Time” CD Album

About this Album:

Hank Mobley’s PECKIN’ TIME is a classic bop date featuring heavyweight talent. Besides the obvious abilities of the leader, most notable here is a still very young Lee Morgan on trumpet. The jubilant Morgan, at this time a rising star yet to hit his stride, makes an exquisite partner for the bluesy Mobley, one of the most underrated tenor men in jazz. Rounding out the quintet is the rhythm section of pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and the often-overlooked drummer Charlie Persip.

As the title suggests, PECKIN’ has the spirit of a blowing session with a hefty amount of up-tempo rousers. The bopping opener “High and Flighty” gets things kicking with frenzied ensemble work and hard-blowing solos. The only standard of the set is the classic “Speak Low,” here presented as a bouncing rhumba with exceptionally lyrical contributions by Morgan. The swinging title track and the aptly titled burner “Stretchin’ Out” both offer more opportunities for all to display their wares with plenty of hard bop gusto. Finally, “Git-Go Blues” closes the session with a long, rolling groove that swings hard and deep. Also included are three alternate takes that offer even more blowing and swinging…..Read More

Here’s the Podcast:

Lee Morgan PART TWOClick on Image and go to “Part Two” or go here

Part Three:

Click on Image

Part Four-Final:

Click on Image

Thelonious Monk (Videos) and Charlie Rouse Bio: “Blue Monk” and more

Charlie Rouse Biography (Happy Birthday):

Born: April 6, 1924 | Died: November 30, 1988 | Instrument: Sax, tenor

Though a top tenor man in his own right, he will always be remembered as the saxophonist for the Thelonious Monk quartet. He adapted his playing to Monk’s music; his tone became heavier, his phrasing more careful, and he seemed to be the medium between Monk and the audience.Charlie Rouse studied clarinet before taking up tenor saxophone. He played in the bop big bands of Billy Eckstine (1944) and Dizzy Gillespie (1945), but made his first recordings as a soloist only in 1947, with Tadd Dameron and Fats Navarro. 

After playing rhythm-and-blues in Washington and New York, he was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra (1949-50) and Count Basie’s octet (1950). He took part in Clifford Brown’s first recordings in 1953, then worked with Bennie Green (1955) and played in Oscar Pettiford’s sextet (1955); with Julius Watkins, also one of Pettiford’s sidemen, he led Les Modes (later the Jazz Modes), a bop quintet (1956-59). He joined Buddy Rich briefly before playing in Thelonious Monk’s quartet (1959-1970), the association for which he is best known.

In the 1960s Rouse adapted his style to Monk’s work, improvising with greater deliberation than most bop tenor saxophonists, and restating melodies often. His distinctive solo playing with Monk may be heard on the classic recordings in the bands heyday.

Though he would go on to do some solo projects, they were very selective and he opted for quality over quantity. His first outing as leader was “Taking Care of Business,” (1960) for this overdue debut, he selected trumpeter Blue Mitchell, and a rhythm section of pianist Walter Bishop and bassist Earl May, and Art Taylor on drums.

During the 1970s he worked as a freelance, and recorded three albums as a leader. The album “Two is One” was recorded in 1974 for Strata East. Charlie in 1977 did “Moments Notice,” and enlisted the help of some top crack Brazilian locals for “Cinnamon Flower.” Dom Salvador, Amaury Tristao, Dom Um Romao, Portinho and Claudio Roditi were hooked up with some of NYCs finest-Ron Carter,Bernard Purdie and Clifford Adams. This was a highlight album for Rouse in that period, very well received.

In the early 1980s he was a member and joint leader of the quartet Sphere, which was dedicated to the performance of Monk’s music. He recorded other albums as “Social Call,” (’84) where he joined up with Red Rodney. His offering of “Epistrophy,” (1988) was his tribute to Monk. This was his last recording as he died seven weeks later. (AllAboutJazz.com)

Here’s a Video of Thelonious Monk with Charlie Rouse “Blue Monk” 1963:


“Lulu’s Back In Town” (Part One)1966:


“Lulu’s Back In Town” (Part Two)1966:

(Video) Roy Eldridge and Coleman Hawkins Jam Session

Classic Jazz and Jazz Standards Podcast

Here’s a podcast which is really a two part Jazz special. The First part is classic Cannonball, Oliver Nelson and Joe Henderson with a dash of Mingus, along with a finishing touch of Art Blackey and his famous Jazz Messengers. The second part begins with the soft but powerful voice of Tony Bennett and breaks into 4 live Concert tunes by Frank Sinatra and the Count Basie Orchestra. Finally, after Sinatra leaves the stage, the podcast finishes off with a great version of “Yesterday, when I was young” by Mel Torme. Here are the songs in order:

Note to all new readers of the Cubanology MediaBlog: All the podcasts are located in the beginning and end of the post. I suggest opening up the podcast by clicking on “Play in new window” so you can scroll through the post itself and visit the links and/or go on with your business and listen in the background. Thank you and enjoy!

1. “Sack O’ Woe” The Cannonball Adderley Quintet “Live at the Lighthouse” CD ALBUM

2. “One For Bob” Oliver Nelson “More Blues and the Abstract Blues” CD Album

3. “Short Story” Joe Henderson “In N’ Out” CD ALBUM

4. “East Coasting” and 5. “West Coast Ghost” Charles Mingus “East Coasting” CD Album

Recorded in New York, New York in August 1957. Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff and Joseph F. Laredo.

Digitally remastered by Tom Moulton, Rich Essig and Greg Vaughan (Frankford Wayne Mastering Labs, New York, New York).

EAST COASTING is a Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop recording that’s a departure from the volatile PITHECANTHROPUS ERECTUS that precedes it. The music is more lyrical than many of his more renowned works, perhaps due in part to the line-up of musicians on this recording, including pianist Bill Evans.

The set begins with the standard “Memories of You,” which gets the Mingus treatment, and ends with “Fifty-First Street Blues,” which changes in a way the blues usually don’t. “Conversation” begins as a ballad and later launches into a blues featuring a fine Bill Evans solo. While EAST COASTING may not be as fervent as either the aforementioned PITHECANTHROPUS ERECTUS, or as colorful as TIJUANA MOODS, it splendidly displays Mingus’ full range as a composer whose music is so fueled by emotion that even a ballad has its explosive moments.

Complete original album ‘East Coasting’ released in 1957 on Bethlehem plus 5 bonus tracks. 2 alternate take tracks (East Coasting & Memories of You), the song “Revelations” (the only other collabration that Mingus & Evans ever made), plus 2 long standards from Oct. ’57 session by Mingus’ Jazz Workshop “Woody’n You” and “Billie’s Bounce”. 11 tracks

Personnel: Charles Mingus (bass); Shafi Hadi (alto & tenor saxophones); Clarence Shaw (trumpet); Jimmy Knepper (trombone); Bill Evans (piano); Dannie Richmond (drums)…..Learn More

7. “On Green Dolphin Street”  8. “Solitude” 9. “Street of Dreams” and 10. “Close Your Eyes” Tony Bennett “Jazz” CD Album

11. “Come Fly With Me” 12.”I’ve Got You Under My Skin” 13. “You Make Me Feel So Young” 14. “The September Of My Years” Frank Sinatra and The Count Basie Orchestra “Frank Sinatra at the Sands” CD Album

The 1998 re-issue of SINATRA AT THE SANDS includes a previously unreleased version of “Luck Be A Lady” that was left off the original LP release due to time restrictions.

This live recording from Las Vegas finds Sinatra fully in his element. An artist of his caliber certainly needs no contextualizing element in order to come across, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better medium for Sinatra’s message. Vegas in the ’60s was a center of unabashed showmanship, slightly crass elegance and a bourbon-drinking, dice-rolling, pre-boomer-generation sensibility–a perfect setting to bring Sinatra’s music out of the abstract and into the realm of flesh and blood. At the Sands, the center of Vegas nightlife, Sinatra is the unchallenged king, and on this album he wears the crown with grace. And, naturally, he swings……Read More

Finale: 15. “Yesterday When I Was Young” Mel Torme “A Time For Us” CD Album

Here’s the podcast (You can open ” Play on a New Window” and listen while reading the post or even surf the web) Enjoy!

The Great Johnny Hodges

Johnny Hodges Biography:

Born: July 25, 1907 | Instrument: Sax, alto

Johnny Hodges  – alto saxophone, (1907-1970)“Never the world’s most highly animated showman or greatest stage personality, but a tone so beautiful it sometimes brought tears to the eyes, this was Johnny Hodges. Because of this great loss, our band will never sound the same. Johnny Hodges sometimes sounded beautiful, sometimes romantic, and sometimes people spoke of his tone as being sensuous. With the exception of a year or so, almost his entire career was with us. So far as our wonderful listening audience was concerned, there was a great feeling of expectancy when they looked up and saw Johnny Hodges sitting in the middle of the saxophone section, in the front row. I am glad and thankful that I had the privilege of presenting Johnny Hodges for forty years, night after night. I imagine I have been much envied, but thanks to God….” Duke Ellington  eulogy.

John Cornelius Hodges was born on the 25th July 1906 in Cambridge, Mass. He started his musical career playing drums and piano before taking up the saxophone at the age of 14, beginning on the soprano and later the alto. Originally self-taught he was given lessons by Sydney Bechet, whom he got to know through his sister. He followed Bechet into Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith’s quartet at the Rhythm Club (around 1924), then played in the house band with Bechet’s Club ‘Basha’ in Harlem. He continued to live in Boston and traveled to New York at weekends playing with such musicians as Bobby Sawyer (1925), Lloyd Scott (1926), then from late 1926 with the great Chick Webb  at The Paddock Club and The Savoy Ballroom, etc. followed by a short stint with Luckey Roberts .

In May 1928 Johnny joined Duke Ellington’s orchestra and he remained a mainstay of the group for the next 40 years. From his first recording in 1928 he revealed his authority and technical mastery of the saxophone, playing with a broad, sweeping tone and producing impressive, cascading runs. In the opinion of many people, he soon became Duke’s most valuable soloist. He made hundreds of recordings with Duke and from 1937 led his own small studio group drawn from the orchestra which made many successful series of recordings for Victor and other labels. Titles included “Jeep’s Blues,” “Hodge Podge,” “The Jeep is Jumpin” all of which were co-written with Duke. Also in this period of great creativity he played in many other small groups with musicians such as Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, etc., producing classics of the period.

Johnny was one of the many stars of the Ellington band of the 40s producing solos of immense authority on songs such as “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be,” “Don’t Get Around Much Any More,” “Passion Flower,” etc. From the 40s he concentrated on the alto leaving the soprano alone completely and in this period he regularly won the popularity polls run by magazines such as Downbeat, Metronome, and Esquire.

In March 1951 Johnny left Duke to form his own small group taking with him Lawrence Brown and Sonny Greer and in their first recording session they produced a hit record of “Castle Rock.” Johnny disbanded the group in the spring of 1955 and after a brief spell of TV work on the Ted Steele Show, rejoined Duke in August of that year where, apart from a few brief periods, he remained for the rest of his life. In the spring of 1958 he worked with Billy Strayhorn and in 1961 went to Europe with some of the other band members in a group called The Ellington Giants…….Learn More

“Timons of Athens”

“All of Me”


Celia Cruz and her Salsa Days

Here’s a podcast I made on Celia Cruz and here Salsa contributions. She did not only bring the Cuban element into Salsa music but became a worldwide figure and to the extend of being recognized as the “Queen of Salsa.” This will be one of several podcasts that I will be making concerning Celia’s golden contribution to Salsa music and of course, Cuban Music. Here are the songs I played and where you can buy them:

1. “Lo Tuyo Es Mental”

2. ” El Tumbao y Celia”

3. “El Pregon del Pescador”

From the CD Album “Celia & Johnny

4. “Usted Abusó”

5. “Tu y Las Nubes”

6. “Todos Somos Iguales”

7. “Dulce Habanera”

8. “Rinkinkalla”

From the CD Album “Cruz and Colon, Only They Could Have Made This Album

9. “Besito De Coco”

10. “Se Que Tu”

11. “Ahora Si”

12. “Guillate”

From the CD Album “Celia, Johnny, Justo & Papo Recordando el Ayer

My FIRST Radio Style Podcast (Miles, Machito,Cannonball, Jimmy Smith, Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter)

This was my first of many “Radio Style” podcast. It was a little over one hour long and consisted of 9 songs total:

1. “Hog Calling Blues” Charles Mingus “Oh Yeah” CD Album

2. “Footprints”  3. “Masqualero” Miles Davis Quintet “The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings Of The Miles Davis Quintet January 1965 To June 1968”  Six CD Album Box Set

4. “Congo Mulence” 5. “Conversation” Machito and Cannonball Adderley “Kenya” CD Album

6. “My Groove your move” 7. “The more I see you”  Hank Mobley “Roll Call” CD Album

8. “T-Bone Steak” Jimmy Smith “Respect” CD Album

9. “Flamingo” Jimmy Smith “The Sermon” CD Album

Cannonball Adderley and “Jive Samba” 1963

This is the Cannonball Adderly Quintet performing one of their big hits, ‘Jive Samba” in 1963. The quintet consisted of Cannonball Adderley – alto sax; Nat Adderley – cornet; Yusef Lateef – tenor sax, oboe, flute; Joe Zawinul – piano; Sam Jones – bass; and Louis Hayes – drums.

Machito, Toots, Benny and a sneak Weather Report 4/19/2010

On this podcast here, I broke my two to three set format and sneaked in a 2 song Jazz Fusion set of Weather Report. It was a sort of tribute to a great Bass player and to a very unique band. This set is heard in the very beginning, outstanding:

Weather Report:

Weather Report was an influential jazz fusion band of the 1970s and 1980s. Along with Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters,it is seen as a definite representation of jazz fusion in the 1970s. This outfit had an enduring staying power as they were active for over fifteen years.

The band was originally a spin-off from the group of musicians associated with Miles Davis in the late sixties and early seventies. The stable core of the group was the duo of pianist/leader Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, while the other musicians were rotated with almost every album…. More

It was Joe Zawinul who started Weather Report, here’s more information about him:

Legendary musician Joe Zawinul was one of the most influential jazz musicians of the twentieth century. He was a pioneer in the use of electronic musical instruments, bringing the electric piano into the mainstream, and possessed an unparalleled ability to make the synthesizer an expressive musical instrument. He composed some of the best-known standards in jazz, including “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and “Birdland.” With Wayne Shorter, Joe founded and led Weather Report, arguably the most successful band of post-sixties jazz. His unique ability to combine jazz with ethnic music from around the world blazed the trail for what would later be called “world music….Read More