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Monday, December 31, 2018

My Fair Lady Loves Jazz - Billy Taylor Trio

My Fair Lady Loves Jazz
Billy Taylor Trio
With Quincy Jones
Featuring Gerry Mulligan, Jimmy Cleveland & Ed Thigpen
Produced by Creed Taylor
Engineer: Irv Greenbaum
Recording and Masters: Bob Thiele and Rudy Van Gelder
Cover Design: Robert Flynn/Viceroy
Cover Photography: Jules Maidoff
Liner Notes: Joe Lebow
A Product of ABC-Paramount Records, Inc.

Impluse!
Formerly released on ABC Paramount Records
Technically Augmented Mono A-72
Recorded February, 1957
1965

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and liner note excerpts.

Personnel:

Billy Taylor, piano
Earl May, bass
Ed Thigpen, drums
Don Elliott, vibes, bongo, mellophone and trumpet
Gerry Mulligan, baritone sax
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax and bass clarinet (on "Accustomed," "Street," and "Loverly")
Anthony Ortega, tenor and alto sax
Ernie Royal, trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland, trombone
Jay McAllister, tuba
Don Butterfield, tuba (on "Accustomed")

From the inside cover: This set, My Fair Lady Love Jazz, was recorded in February 1957, and was introduced at an all-cast party celebrating the show's first year on Broadway. Everyone liked it and praised both Taylor and Jone for their conceptions.

It is well to point out at this time that the Billy Taylor Trio of 1957, made up of bassist Earl May and drummer Ed Thigpen, was one of the finest small groups in jazz – each member was a consummate artist on his instrument and they worked wonderfully together as a cohesive unit. Pianist Taylor wrote some years later, "There was never a night with them (May and Thigpen) that I didn't feel like playing. Not all good musicians feel like giving fine performances, you know. But with Thigpen and May there was always some spark. If one of us didn't have it, another did, and we could always feel each other. They are part of the most memorable years of my career."

Quincy Jones selected a medium-size ensemble of top instrumentalists to achieve a variety of tonal colors and unexpected voicings in his arrangements. There are short solos by the members of the ensemble, sensitive and dynamically phrased ensembles; but most of the emphasis is on Taylor's piano.

The arranger's intention was to retain the character of the score while making use of various elements of the jazz language. With the fine musicianship available, collectively and individually, and intelligent writing, Jones has succeeded in presenting an imaginative album that should please all the numerous fans of My Fair Lady.


Original Billboard ABC 177 review - April 13, 1957: This compelling score lends itself very well to a second styling of jazz harmonies and tempos. This interpretation combines Taylor's clean precise, but sensitive piano with tasteful, modern ork support from Jones. With the show continuing to play to capacity houses and the music as popular as ever, there's a good possibility that this excellent package will be able to make it – even tho it arrives well after a previous hit jazz version by Shelly Manne with Audre Previn. Taylors many fans will find this one of his finest efforts. – George Hoefer - Associate Editor, Jazz Magazine

Show Me
I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face
With A Little Bit Of Luck
The Rain In Spain
Get Me To The Church On Time
Wouldn't It Be Lovely?
I Could Have Dance All Night
On The Street Where You Live

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