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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Jazz Song Book With Les Brown And His Band Of Renown

Willow Weep For Me
Jazz Song Book
With Les Brown And His Band Of Renown
Coral Records CRL 7557311

Personnel on:

I Remember Your
Our Love Is Here To Stay
The Claw
Apple Honey

Trumpets: All Porcino, Wes Hensel, Dick Collins, Jerry Kadowitz, Clinton McMahan
Trombones: Roy Main, Dick Kenndy, J. Hill, Clyde Brown
Reed: Mat Utal, Ralph La Polla, Bill Usselton, Al Aaron, Butch Stone
Rhythm: Donn Trenner, piano; Jules Bertaux, bass; Mel Lewis or Bob Neef, drums.

Personnel on:

I Only Have Eyes For You
Let's Get Away From It All
Willow Weep For Me

Trumpets: We Hensel, Dick Collins, Jerry Kadowitz, Clinton McMahan
Trombones: Roy Main, Dick Kenney, J. Hill, Clyde Brown
Reeds: Mat Utal, Ralph La Polla, Bill Usselton, Al Aaron, Butch Stone
Rhythm: Donn Trenner, piano; Jules Bertaux, bass; Mel Lewis, drums

Personnel on:

King Phillip
Chelsea Bridge
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Pizza Boy

Trumpets: Wes Hensel, Dick Collins, Jerry Kadowitz, Clinton McMahan
Trombones: Roy Martin, Dick Kenney, J. Hill, Clyde Brown
Reeds: Matt Utal, Ralph La Polla, Bill Usselton, Al Aaron, Butch Stone
Rhythm: Donn Trenner, paino; Jules Bertaux, bass; Jack Sperling, drums; Tony Rizzi, guitar

From the inside cover:

Buddy De Franco

At 36, after well over a decade as a figure of great influence on his instrument, Buddy De Franco continues to forge ahead, to try. Not anything new for him. DeFranco was among the first clarinetists to endeavor to mesh the oder swing elements with the ideas of Charlie Parker in the Forties. "In music – just as in everything else – there are constant periods of change, and the artist must be prepared for them. It's like a surf-boarder waiting for a wave. When it comes, he must be ready for it." DeFranco told John Tynan of Down Beat.

As a member of the reed section of Gene Krupa's orchestra, and later with Charlie Barnet, Tommy Dorsey and the progressive Boyd Raeburn in the Forties, DeFranco made his name. He soon began to win polls, going on to reign supreme in the clarinet division for 11 years. Now others have challenged him; Tony Scott and Jim Giuffre have grown in stature, and recognition, from critics and fans, has come their way. But to many, Buddy is still "King Of The Clarinet." As Leonard Feather wrote during the course of a review of a DeFranco record. "Mr. DeFranco did for the clarinet what Bird did for the alto – placed it on a new plateau of harmonic and melodic imagination, dazzling technical brilliance, and an exciting new way of swinging."

Over the last decade, the clarinetist has had big and small bands and recorded prodigiously. He continues to impress; and I would venture to say that definite progress has been made towards his ultimate goal; "To experience a somatic feeling in addition to the intellectual experience in modern music. "As Buddy says: "You gotta have both – the cerebral and the feel, the funk."

Frank Rosolino

They build cars and jazzmen in Detroit. Trombonist Frank Rosolino is just one of the may jazzmen who was born and raised there. He first attracted attention with the Gene Kruppa band in the late Forties, came into his own with George Auld's jumping quintet in 1951, and moved to national prominence as trombone soloist with the Stan Kenton orchestra, a few years later.

Tired of the road, Rosolino planted roots in sunny Los Angeles in 1955 and has seldom strayed far from the warmth and smog of Southern California since. Currently, the trombonist is employed at one of the last bastions of modern jazz in the LA area, The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, and is active in studio and recording work.

According to Down Beat's John Tynan: "His clowning on the job, at record dates, or with a band on the road has become fabled among musicians who know the stocky trombonist as one of the most likable and extroverted jazzmen in the business."

Much of his humor-filled personality come through in his playing. But it's when he's most serious and really gets down to blowing that you realize his capacity. A man of his time, his conception is essentially modern, his technique, imposting. More important, there is a sense of perspective to Rosolino's work, a vitality and earthiness that grows from hearing, understanding and assimilating what came before as well as what's happening now in jazz.

Terry Gibbs

Terry Gibbs' middle name is ENERGY. He's constantly on the move when playing, and if I'm to believe interviews, in his every day life as well. It all began for vibraphonist Terry in Brooklyn 35 years ago. Reared in a section of that borough which produced such jazz notables as Al Cohn and the late Tiny Kahn, Gibbs first came to the ears of jazz fans in 52nd Street jazz cellars in the mid-Forties. But it was not until he had toured with a star-filled Buddy Rich band, and went on to join the great Herman Herd in 1948 that he burst into the national jazz picture.

Leaving the Herman band in 1949, after a year of fun and "wailing", Gibbs worked with a short-lived band composed of Stan Getz, George Wallington, Kai Winding, Curly Russell and Stan Levey. The next step was the formation of a sextet with Charlie Shavers and Louis Bellson, which was hired in toto by Tommy Dorsey. "Terrible Terry" did not remain with "That Sentimental Gentleman" too long, for he never got anything to play. In 1951, however, he swung into action by joining the Benny Goodman Sextet

For the last half dozen years or so, Gibbs has had his own group, a group that reflects the leader's outgoing attitude about jazz. Like many of his former colleagues in the great Herman band – Shorty Rogers, for one; Jim Giuffre, for another – the vibraphonist's home-base in now in California. The warm weather, however, has not stunted his restless spirit which is accessible these nights shooting through his new big band in Southern California clubs - and here on a shouting run-down of an old Woody Herman favorite, Apple Honey, and a swingin' "put on" of horror movies, The Claw.

Don Fagerquist

Trumpeter Don Fagerquist, a disciple of Dizzy Gillespie, was first heard to advantage in 1944 and 1945 with Gene Krupa's band. Krupa had a band with modern arrangements and inclinations in those days. Fagerquist's budding style had a chance to blossom, and then to mature in the bands of Artie Shaw, Woody Herman and Les Brown later on.

Today, Don is interesting and often cogent, and reminds the listener, especially on I Remember you, that a musician can be a factor in jazz without breaking new ground; that while brining small, individual twists to an established style, he can crave a place for himself.

Ronnie Lang

Ronnie Lang, who plays alto flute, flute, alton and baritone sax during his two outings, joined Les Brown in 1949 and remained with the Band Of Renown until a little over a year ago, when he left to free-lance. Previous to his tenure in the Brown reed section, Lang spent time with bands fronted by Earl Spencer, Ike Carpenter and Skinnay Ennis.

Faced with selecting soloists for this album, Les mentioned Ronnie almost immediately. "He's so under-rated, and plays so well." Brown told me when he was last in New York. Listening to Lang's two tracks, it becomes obvious that his ex-employer's faith is well placed.

To the alto sax, Lang brings a Parker-like conception, somewhat softened by a sound that is more mellifluous than that of the master. The earthy in this man of many reeds manifests when he takes to the baritone sax; his sound is darker; his phrasing, not as jagged, but more even. The results: a rolling rhythmic feeling and gutsy power not often accessible in his work on the smaller saxophone.

On flute, a "lighter" facet of Lang's personality emerges. Realizing the very nature of the instrument does not permit power or sweep, he creates movement and portrays emotion in an almost flippant way, exercising his rhythmic sense more than he does on the other instruments.

Zoot Sims

John Haley Sims, better known as Zoot, is a free soul. Loose, uninhibited, well versed in the blues, and perhaps the most rhythmically vital of the modern tenor men, Zoot can laugh, cry, talk, sing and swing on his horn. "Zoot is one of the best rhythm sections I know," says his one-time employer Woody Herman. "He can swing more by tapping his toe than most guys with a band behind them."

Another excellent, succinct description of Sims was given during an interview by ex-George Shearing sideman, Jean "Toots" Thielemans, to wit: "Zoot isn't one of those cold, calculating musicians who thinks ahead as he plays. He just flows and lets phrases tumble out. There may be better technicians and some with a keener harmonic sense but nobody swings like Zoot."

Zoot has been swinging "professionally" since he joined Kenny Baker's orchestra in 1941 at 16. Though found in small groups during the last few years, notably Gerry Mulligan's and his own in leadership with kindred soul – Al Cohn, he traveled with big band for many years. Most widely identified with Woody Herman's "Four Brothers" Herd, Sims also has added pulsing life to Bobby Sherwood, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich and Stan Kenton orchestras.

Once heavily influenced by Lester Young, Sims has come to a point in his development where one is conscious of his roots, but is more than aware that he has his own voice... and uses it as an individual should.

A final note – Bill Holman's arrangements for Zoot relate very well to the way the tenor man plays. Both show him to advantage; both set a particular mood; both allow Sims sufficient freedom...

From Billboard - August 8, 1960: This is an unusual album for Les Brown. Instead of only the Les Brown crew, which is pretty good by itself, it also features a soloist on each tune, mean of the stature of Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Ronnie Lang, Zoot Sims, Frank Rosolino and Don Fagerquist. Each of these men comes thru with strong performances and the ork backing is mighty fine too. Tunes are mainly standards, from "I Remember You," to "I Only Have Eyes For You".

King Phillip Stomp
Willow Weep For Me
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
'S Wonderful
Apple Honey
I Remember You
The Claw
Pizza Boy
Let's Get Away From It All
Love Is Here To Stay
I Only Have Eyes For You
Chelsea Bridge

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