Oscar Pettiford

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Oscar Pettiford

Post by Musicgate on Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:16 am

Oscar Pettiford - The Manhatan Jazz Septette (1956) / Barry Galbraith and his Orchestra: GUITAR & THE WIND (1958)

Recording Date: 1956, 1958
Release Date: 2006 Lone Hill Jazz LHJ10262, Made in EU
Genre: Mainstream Jazz

About albume:

Original Liner Notes:
Once upon a time, in a happy and innocent yesterday, everybody danced and every band was a dance band. Not every dance band was a jazz band, of course, but all the jazz bands played with the idea that their music was going to inspire most couples to take off across the floor in their own personal interpretations of the light fantastic. In those days, the ideal tempo was the gently heated beat exemplified by the more relaxed excursions of the Benny Goodman small groups. The playing was firm, definite and danceable, urging the would-be dancer to get up and cooperate. This urge to engage in a little stimulating heel-and-toe still remains in most of us, the natures of the human male and the human female being what they are, but finding the proper accompaniment is not as easy as it should be nowadays.
'So, to fill this gap, to provide a dancing beat which is spelled out with more body than sighing strings can provide, we have the Manhattan Jazz Septette, a group which in no sense is imitative of the Benny Goodman small groups mentioned above, but which cannot disclaim some lineal descent from them.
The area in which the Septette works is that of the easy-going, swinging beat expressed in tightly knit, up-to-date arrangements. The man who knits the group's arrangements so well -and who created all of the original numbers in this set -is Manny Albam, whose knowledgeable hand has been involved in an incredible number of jazz settings for both instrumental groups and singers in the past two or three years. His prolific work as both writer and conductor has given Albam a perceptive insight into the bounds to be set and the cliches to be avoided in writing for a danceable jazz group such as the Septette. More than that, Manny spent his jazz apprenticeship in such dance-worthy pre-war bog bands as Bob Chester's and Georgie Auld's before he moved his baritone-saxophone into Charlie Barnet's 1949 powerhouse troupe and then, finally, gave up playing entirely to concentrate on his behind-the-scenes activities with pen and baton. The Septette assembled to play Albam's artful sketches is made up of a blend of high skill and adventure, of the widely recognized musician and the emergent talent. The instrumentation itself is adventurous with a horn line-up consisting of a trombone and two reeds. The trombonist is Urbie Green who has been in the big time since he was 16 when he played with the bands of Bob Strong and Tommy Reynolds. Later, working his way from strictly dance bands to jazz groups, he was with Jan Savitt, Frankie Carle, Gene Krupa and, finally, Woody Herman. It was with the Herman Herd that Green emerged as one of the great jazz trombonists. He is noted for his versatility and is heard with the Septette playing in a variety of styles from the tender to the rough and rowdy. The two reed men, both doubling, are Hal McKusick and Herbie Mann. McKusick, who plays alto-saxophone and clarinet, received a thorough grounding in the jazz-tinged dance band field before he moved into small group work. Since 1942 he has played with Les Brown, Dean Hudson, Woody Herman, Boyd Raeburn, Al Donahue, Buddy Rich, Claude Thornhill and Elliot Lawrence. He was an important element in Terry Gibbs' Quintet for a year and has worked frequently with Don Elliot's group. With the Septette he is heard playing both his slightly Parker-touched alto and his smooth, lower register clarinet.
Herbie Mann is a relative newcomer in jazz compared with Green and McKusick but he has quickly made a place for himself as one of the most skilled and tasteful flautists working today, particularly as a result of his work with the Mat Mathews Quintet and in various small recording groups. Before he took up the flute, his instrument was the tenor saxophone and he reverts to it once ("At Bat for K.C.") with the Septette. Behind these three is a rhythm section which provides an unfailingly light, swinging beat. Eddie Costa, who dodges back and forth from piano to vibes, has successfully made the leap from high school music teacher to up-and-coming professional musician. He is gaining increasing attention for his deft, imaginative work on the vibes. Guitarist Barry Galbraith, one of the recognized masters of his instrument, has split his career between the rhythm sections of big bands (Red Norvo, Claude Thomhill, Hal Mclntyre) and the freer associations of the freelance career he has been following for the past ten years.
Oscar Pettiford and his bass appeared on the scene at the tail-end of the swing period, and were influential in the early days of bop and have since been heard with Duke Ellington, Woody Herman and innumerable small groups, all of which have benefited rhythmically from Pettiford's unusually polished musicianship. The Septette's drummer, Osie Johnson, is generally considered one of the three or four top men on his instrument for small group work. He has been with Earl Hines and Tony Scott and has played on and written arrangements for a long series, of recording dates. Six of the twelve tunes played by the Septette are the creations of Manny Albam. His neatly organized and melodically catchy arrangement of "Never Never Land" gives each of the solo aspirants a chance to be heard -Costa on vibes, McKusick on clarinet, and Mann on flute, while Green offers the expansive but tender side of his trombone nature. Both "Like Listen" and "Since When" have an insistently swinging beat, the first featuring a strongly expressed piano solo by Costa who returns to vibes for another well developed solo on "Since When". The latter number also gives Urbie Green a chance to trot out his big, rough tone. "Rapid transit" is the only selection that is not given a really suitable dance tempo. But the Septette can be granted one chance to take off as it does here behind Eddie Costa's occasionally fantastic and frequently awesome piano solo.
"Flute cocktail" provides a similar showcase, at a more modest tempo, for Herbie Mann's flute, while "At bat for K.C." is a bow in the direction of Kansas City's Count Basie, spelled out in the opening measures. McKusick takes one of his typical jabbing alto solos on this one and some of Urbie Green's humour leaps through at the end of his trombone solo. Albam's final original contribution is "Thou Svelt", for which he has written an unusual and rather weird opening with flute and clarinet blending over the stringed instruments.
The curtain raiser, "King Porter Stomp", is a lightly rolling modern version of Jelly Roll Morton's classic piano solo which is most familiar nowadays as a swinging big band vehicle for Benny Goodman's band. For "Love of my Life", Albam has done some tight ensemble writing which the Septette plays with a gentle bounce that is slightly reminiscent of John Kirby's little band. "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?", a number introduced in a film by Louis Armstrong, is given a very different feeling with Herbie Mann's flute leading the ensemble instead of an Armstrongian trumpet. "My Shining Hour" gives Barry Galbraith one of his rare chances to come to the front of the group, both in a single string solo and chording the melody over the riffing ensemble. The tempo picks up again for the finale, "There Will Never Be Another You", which features McKusick's alto and Green's high-noting trombone.
For the ear, the Septette's treatment is always suave. For the toe, it's tappable. Head to toe, it's a complete treatment. Try it on you feet.
John S. Wilson

About this Edition:
In addition to this interesting Pettiford LP, which appears here for the first time on CD, we present another complete album, "Guitar and the Wind", including many of the same musicians as our primary recording (Urbie Green, Eddie Costa, Osie Johnson and Barry Galbraith, who was the leader), and bearing a similar musical concept. This album was recorded exactly two years after the Manhattan Jazz Septette session and also includes brilliant saxophonist Bobby Jaspar and bassist Milt Hinton instead of Pettiford.

Tracks info:
Personel info:

1. KING PORTER STOMP (Jelly Roll Morton) 2:46
2. NEVER NEVER LAND (Comden-Green-Styne) 2:59
3. LIKE LISTEN (Manny Albam) 2:51
4. SINCE WHEN (Manny Albam) 2:54
5. LOVE OF MY LIVE (Johnny Mercer-Artie Shaw) 2:25
6. RAPID TRANSIT (Manny Albam) 2:34
7. FLUTE COCKTAIL (Manny Albam) 3:23
8. AT BAT FOR K.C. (Manny Albam) 3:41
10. MY SHINING HOUR (Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer) 3:10
11. THOU SVELT (Manny Albam) 3:17
12. THERE'LL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU (Warren-Gordon) 2:13

New York, June 7, 1956.
Urbie Green (tb), Hal McKusick (as), Herbie Mann (fl, ts), Eddie Costa (p, vib), Barry Galbraith (g), Oscar Pettiford (b), Osie Johnson (d), Manny Albam (arr).

13. BULL MARKET* (Billy Byers) 2:47
14. PORTRAIT OF JENNIE* (Burdge-Robinson)3:12
15. JUDY'S JAUNT* (AlCohn) 2:31
16. NINA NEVER KNEW* (Drake-Alter) 2:51
17. WALKING (DOWN)* (Carpenter) 3:15
18. A GAL IN CALICO* (Robin-Schwartz) 3:13
19. I LIKE TO RECOGNIZE THE TUNE* (Rodgers-Hart) 2:59
20. ANY PLACE I HANG MY HAT* (Arlen-Mercer) 3:10
21. LOVE IS FOR THE VERY YOUNG* (David Raskin) 2:51
22. HOLIDAY* (Al Cohn) 2:54
23. YA GOTTA HAVE RHYTHM* (Osie Johnson) 3:14
24. WHAT AM I HERE FOR?* (Duke Ellington) 2:36

* Bonus tracks

13-24: Barry Galbraith and his Orchestra: GUITAR & THE WIND

New York, January 16,1958
Tracks 13,16, 20 & 24: Urbie Green, Chauncey Welsch, Frank Rehak (tb), Dick Hixson (b-tb), Bobby Jaspar (fl, ts), Eddie Costa (p, vib), Barry Galbraith (g), Milt Hinton (b), Osie Johnson (d), Billy Byers (arr).

New York, January 21,1958.
Tracks 14,18,19 & 22: Bobby Jaspar (fl, ts), Phil Bodner, Romeo Penque, Spencer Sinatra (reeds), Eddie Costa (p, vib), Barry Galbraith (g), Milt Hinton (b), Osie Johnson (d), Al Cohn (arr).

January 28,1958
Tracks 15,17, 21 & 23: Same personnel and location as tracks 14,18,19 & 22, Reeds out on 15 & 23



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