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Keith Jarrett - The Art of Improvisation Top 25 icons in Jazz history

Keith Jarrett: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

Keith Jarrett: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

Born on May 8, 1945, in Allentown, PA; son of Daniel (a real estate salesman) and Irma Jarrett; married Margot while in high school; children: two sons. Education: Attended Berklee School of Music for one year.

In the February 1989 issue of Down Beat, Josef Woodward described the unique artistry and career of Keith Jarrett: “Like an unruly, self-determined river, Keith Jarrett’s pursuit of musical truth has taken him in a multiplicity of directions, either coursing a wide swath or branching off into tiny tangential reivulets. Similarly, his audience has been alternately swept up by the current, carried into the sidestreams, or has been left behind on the riverbanks.” Celebrated for his virtuosity and eclecticism, Jarrett has continued to experiment with the possibilities of the keyboard.

Jarrett was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1945. When his parents’ marriage dissolved, Jarrett and his four brothers were raised by Irma Jarrett, his mother. A child prodigy who became a professional while still in grade school, he began to play the piano as a child, and started formal composition training at 15.

Keith Jarrett spent a year at the Berklee College of Music in Boston but moved to New York to perform. Participation in Monday jam sessions at the Village Vanguard led to his first engagements. He toured with many of the most important ensembles in 1960s jazz, including Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and experimental saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and became the acoustic pianist for the Charles Lloyd Quartet on its successful tours of Western and Eastern Europe, the centers of popularity for American jazz.

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Played with Jazz Innovators

Jarrett’s compositions “Days and Nights Waiting” and “Sorcery” were given premieres in Europe by Lloyd’s Quartet. His own experimentation in these early years included one album of songs, Restoration Ruin, on which he played and overdubbed parts on the soprano saxophone, recorder, harmonica, guitar, piano, organ, electric bass, drums, bongos, tambourine, and sistra.

When Lloyd’s group disbanded in 1969, Jarrett played with other jazz innovators, most notably Miles Davis, but he also travelled and recorded with his own trio-Ornette Coleman veteran Charlie Haden on bass, and Bill Evans sideman Paul Motian on drums–adding saxophonist Dewey Redman in 1971 for their first album, Birth.

The quartet’s second album, Expectations, was awarded the French Grand Prix du Disque for Jazz in 1971. Jarrett began his recording collaboration with German producer Manfred Eicher and Editions of Contemporary Music (ECM) Records in 1971. As of 2002, Jarrett, Eicher and ECM had produced over 50 records together.

Remaining devoted to the acoustic piano, despite the contemporary fashion for the electronic keyboard, Jarrett continued to write music for his own group. He has also composed for larger numbers and has integrated existing classical music ensembles into his works, as he did with the American Brass Quintet and the string section of the Stuttgart Philharmonic on his double album In the Light. His most popular albums are the solo piano recordings Facing You, Solo Concerts, and The Koln Concert, which was the best-selling piano record in history as of 1995, according to the Keith Jarrett official website.

Jarrett’s reputation grew during the 1970s in Europe and the United States. His honors included a Guggenheim Fellowship for composition and being named Rolling Stone‘s Jazz Artist of 1973 and Down Beat‘s Composer and Pianist of the Year in 1975. Solo Concerts–recorded in 1974–was named record of the year by Down Beat, Stereo Review, Jazz Forum, Time and the New York Times. Jarrett began to split his time between his American quartet and the group of Scandinavian musicians–Jan Gabarek, Jo Christensen, and Palle Danieslsson–with whom he recorded Belonging. He brought them to New York in 1979 and sold out the venerable jazz club, the Village Vanguard, for five nights.

Returned to Classical Piano Performance

A return to classical piano performance began in the early 1980s as he performed the solo parts of concerti with orchestras. His repertory included the classics of twentieth-century composition, such as Concerti by Samuel Barber, Bela Bartok (2nd and 3rd) and Igor Stravinsky (Concerto for Piano and Woodwinds), as well as commissioned works by Lou Harrison and Peggy Glanville-Hicks.

He has also given piano recitals of the classical repertory, favoring Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, and Shostakovich; and has recorded Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier. Crossover critic John Rockwell wrote of Jarrett’s first recital in the New York Times:

“His interpretations had much to recommend them…. He has a venturesome musical mind, eager to embrace new music and new ways of playing familiar music.”

In addition to Barber, Bartok, and Stravinsky, his classical repetoire has also included Hindemith and his billings include performances with the San Francisco Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Beethovenhalle Orchestra Bobb, as well as with well-known classical performers and conductors.

In a 1989 Down Beat article, Jarrett analyzed the differences between playing the fully realized Bach compositions and the jazz standards. “In the case of the Well Tempered Clavier, I can see so clearly the process. The logic and motion of these lines makes beautiful sense…. I’m just more or less following his weave. He’s woven this thing and I’m reproducing it by hand…. In standards, there’s only a sketch, this single line with harmony. So I have to invent the rest of the rug.”

He described “My Song,” which Down Beat called his “most hummable” work, this way: “If somebody can write ‘My Song,’ then either they have [a] brainstorm and wrote this deceptively simple piece that everybody likes when they hear it, or they know what they’re doing.”

In 1983, Jarrett grouped with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette to form the Standards Trio. The group has stuck over the years, playing mostly standards for both large crowds and small houses, and recording in the studio. Their work resulted in two Grammy Award nominations, eleven critically-acclaimed recordings, the Pris du President de la Republique in 1991, and birthed 1996’s critically lauded Keith Jarrett at the Blue Note, a live recording of 37 songs with only three repeats on the whole album.

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Describing the way in which the group successfully plays together, Jarrett told John Ephland of Down Beat, “We need pro, con and mediator; otherwise, everything falls apart.” When asked by Ephland if they communicated through their instruments–and not through vocal commands or hand signals–Jarrett replied, “That’s right.”

While their communication onstage and in the recording studio makes them technically superior as a group, there’s more to it. “Every time we play, we might be playing the same material, but it’s a new planet.” Jarrett told Ephland. DownBeat.com said, “[the] acoustic trio … remains one of the most durable and dynamic in jazz today.”

Struggled with Illness

In 1996, Jarrett was struck with a severe case of chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating bacterial disease. He caught the airborn parasite while on a tour of Europe. He said that “Playing the piano has been my entire life,” according to Down Beat‘s Dan Ouellette, but Jarrett was forced to cancel all his engagements and even seriously consider whether or not he would ever play again.

And for over two years, he didn’t. He was, in fact, confined to his house during those two years, unable to play the piano even inside. Still unable to give the type of “athletic” performance he was known for when he returned to a trimmed-down touring scene, Jarrett learned to exist under a “roof” of physical ability, forever knowing he could hit that roof and relapse back into chronic fatigue. In 1999, Jarrett recorded The Melody at Night with You, an album for his wife as a Christmas gift, and his return to the music world.

Jarrett is best known for his improvisational performances; a musical genre that owes much to Baroque keyboard composers such as Bach and Scarlatti and to the traditions of jazz. In an article by James Lincoln Collier in the New York Times Magazine, Jarrett described the depth of his “Tabula-rasa approach to jazz improvising” as “I like to turn off the thought process. I’d like to forget that I even have hands. I’d like to sit down as if I’d never played the piano before.”

He got this idea when he was in his teens, and he heard his brother play the piano in a way that inspired him to play freely. He told Ted Panken of Down Beat, “Practicing usually gets in the way of my performing. It’s like it sets up patterns or makes my ears less open. I’ve often said the art of the improviser is the art of forgetting.”

And he claims to have had to work long and hard to put imperfections–“soul”–in his music. He told Ephland, “If I’m filled up, then all I can do when I play is throw up. But if I can get to some place and be real empty, then I can be available.” It’s a philosophy that has taken him far. He told Ephland, “If you own anything, you’re not free.”

Jarrett’s jazz–of a style and a level of talent all his own–has made him what the Keith Jarrett official website called “an improviser of unsurpassed genius and a master of jazz piano.” He performs and records music solo, with other musicians, and with his Standards Trio, improvising at the top of his game and growing even more influential. He has had more than 30 years of important accomplishments, working with the “imperfect instrument” to create the stuff that improvisation is made of.

by Barbara Stratyner

Keith Jarrett plays a solo improvisation at “Molde Jazz Festival” in Norway, August 2, 1972.

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Top 25 icons in Jazz history

Erroll Garner: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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Erroll Garner: The Top 20 pearls in Jazz history

Perhaps best known as the composer of “Misty,” Erroll Garner was also one of the most original, intuitive and exciting pianists to emerge during the modern jazz era. Garner’s significance as a major jazz innovator easily rivals his status as a successful composer. His approach to melody, harmony, and especially rhythm were fresh and inventive.

Garner was born Erroll Louis Garner on June 15th, 1921, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He and his twin brother Ernest were the youngest of six children and were raised in a musical environment. His older brother, Linton, became a noted musical accompanist and pianist. Garner was playing the piano by the age of three, although he never had any formal training throughout his long career.

His mother was born in Staunton, Virginia, and graduated from Avery College in Pittsburgh. She had a remarkable contralto voice and sang in a church choir with Garner’s father. Garner’s father had aspired to be a concert singer, but he suffered from asthma. At bedtime, Garner’s mother would play recordings for her children on the Victrola, and the next morning a young Garner would pull himself up on the piano stool and play exactly what he had heard the night before.

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A woman named Miss Madge Bowman taught piano to the Garner family, and Garner began taking lessons from her at age six. She gave up on him shortly thereafter when she realized he was playing all of her assignments by ear instead of learning to read notes. Garner’s childhood friend, bassist Wyatt “Bull” Ruther, took piano lessons from Garner’s sister, and Conley reported that Ruther remembered how easily Garner picked up music at a young age.

At age seven, Garner began to play regularly on Pittsburgh’s KDKA radio station with a group called The Candy Kids, and by the age of eleven he was playing on Allegheny riverboats. His high school band teacher recognized Garner’s innate ability and encouraged him not to take music lessons in order to preserve his unusual talents, and Gamer eventually dropped out of high school to play with Leroy Brown’s orchestra.

He learned to play the “novelty rag” styles of musicians such as Zez Confrey from the 1920s by listening to old 78 records, and this particular style was marked by steady left hand chord rhythms supporting loose, right-hand melodic interpretations.

Garner traveled to New York City in 1939 as an accompanist for night club singer Ann Lewis, and soon returned to serve as a substitute for Art Tatum in Tatum’s trio with guitarist “Tiny” Grimes and bassist “Slam” Stewart.

Garner stayed on when the trio became the Slam Stewart Trio in 1945. He had developed an extraordinary style that was uniquely his own, and it was around this time in New York City that he met pianists Billy Taylor and George Shearing, and bassist John Levy while playing at Tondelayo’s on 52nd Street. He also played at the Melody Bar on Broadway, at the Rendezvous, and at Jimmy’s Chicken Shack uptown. While playing in Los Angeles, Garner met and recorded Cool Blues with Charlie Parker, which was released in 1947.

Jazz innovator, pianist, and composer Erroll Garner was a notably distinctive pianist who recorded with Charlie Parker and was one of the most frequently seen jazz musicians on television in the 1950s and 1960s. Although Garner never learned to read music, and taught himself how to play and compose, his unique virtuoso technique attracted many imitators and ardent fans.

His technique included a four-beat fixed pulse of blocked chords in the left hand, using wide-spaced voicings similar to swing rhythm-guitar playing, and he often “kicked” the beat in a style similar to a swing drummer. Strong and bouncy left-hand rhythms and beautiful melodies were the trademarks of Garner’s music.

He is best known as the composer of “Misty,” now an American standard featured in the 1971 film Play Misty for Me, and his impact as a jazz innovator rivals his legacy as a successful composer. Paul Conley, who wrote and produced a show about Garner for National Public Radio (NPR), described Garner as, “one of the most original, intuitive and exciting pianists to emerge during the modern jazz era.”

Garner’s influences include “novelty rag” musicians from the 1920s such as Zez Confrey, in addition to Pittsburgh native Earl Hines, Count Basie guitarist Freddie Green, Fats Waller, and classical recordings. Down Beat’s Ralph J. Gleason wrote in 1995, “It would be hard to pick out 10 jazz pianists today in whose work Garner would not be justified in calling attention to his own influence.”

For the Record…

Born Erroll Louis Garner on June 15, 1921 (died January 27, 1977), in Pittsburgh, PA; youngest of six children, raised in a musical environment played piano by the age of three, never had any formal training throughout his long career; mother sang in a church choir with Garner’s father, who had aspired to be a concert singer, but suffered from asthma as a child; twin brother named Ernest, older brother Linton became a noted musical pianist and composer.

The Best of Erroll Garner

TRACKLIST

00:00 “Misty“ Erroll Garner 02:46 “Erroll’s Bounce“ Erroll Garner 05:45 “Laura“ Erroll Garner 08:31 “Undecided“ Erroll Garner 11:14 “Play Piano Play“ Erroll Garner 14:31 “Caravan“ Erroll Garner 21:33 “Penthouse Serenade“ Erroll Garner 24:30 “Trio“ Erroll Garner 27:34 “Frankie And Johnny Fantasy“ Erroll Garner

30:28 “The Man I Love“ Erroll Garner 33:07 “The Petite Waltz Bounce“ Erroll Garner 36:19 “Honeysuckle Rose“ Erroll Garner 38:59 “I Cover the Waterfront“ Erroll Garner 42:02 “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to“ Erroll Garner 48:24 “Memories of You“ Erroll Garner 51:30 “Blue Lou“ Erroll Garner 01:00:44 “Cherokee“ Erroll Garner

01:07:02 “How High the Moon“ Erroll Garner 01:10:27 “Indiana“ Erroll Garner 01:13:01 “Just You Just Me“ Erroll Garner 01:16:06 “Lover Man“ Erroll Garner 01:19:24 “Perpetual Emotion (Garnerology)“ Erroll Garner 01:29:02 “Stompin’ At the Savoy“ Erroll Garner 01:32:10 “This Is Always“ Erroll Garner

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Top 25 icons in Jazz history Bill Evans Harmony

Bill Evans: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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Bill Evans: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

More than 25 years after his death, Bill Evans remains one of the most important pianists in modern jazz. His introspective lyricism and subtle Western classical flourishes have echoes in a legion of fellow keyboard players. As a leader and composer, he introduced an influential, highly interactive approach to trio and small-group performances.

Born William John Evans on Aug. 16, 1929, in Plainfield, N.J., Evans was fascinated by music from an early age — as a toddler, he would eavesdrop on his older brother’s piano lessons. By the time he was 6, he was taking lessons himself and displaying an uncanny ability to read and absorb music.

Evans followed his brother to Southeastern Louisiana University. He left college for a brief stint in the Army, and in 1955 enrolled at New York City’s Mannes College of Music. The New York jazz scene allowed him to hone his craft and mingle with pianists such as Bud Powell, Horace Silver, Lennie Tristano, and George Shearing. Evans soon landed a recording deal with Riverside Records, and his debut album (New Jazz Conceptions) came out in September 1956.

More than 25 years after his death, Bill Evans remains one of the most important pianists in modern jazz. His introspective lyricism and subtle Western classical flourishes have echoes in a legion of fellow keyboard players. As a leader and composer, he introduced an influential, highly interactive approach to trio and small-group performances.

Born William John Evans on Aug. 16, 1929, in Plainfield, N.J., Evans was fascinated by music from an early age — as a toddler, he would eavesdrop on his older brother’s piano lessons. By the time he was 6, he was taking lessons himself and displaying an uncanny ability to read and absorb music.

Evans followed his brother to Southeastern Louisiana University. He left college for a brief stint in the Army, and in 1955 enrolled at New York City’s Mannes College of Music. The New York jazz scene allowed him to hone his craft and mingle with pianists such as Bud Powell, Horace Silver, Lennie Tristano, and George Shearing. Evans soon landed a recording deal with Riverside Records, and his debut album (New Jazz Conceptions) came out in September 1956.

The Best of Bill Evans

Tracklist:

00:00:00​ Minority 00:05:22​ Young and Foolish 00:11:12​ Lucky to Be Me 00:14:49​ Night and Day 00:22:02​ Epilogue, Pt. 1 00:22:41​ Tenderly 00:26:12​ Peace Piece 00:32:47​ What Is There to Stay?

00:37:37​ Oleo 00:41:43​ Epilogue, Pt. 2 00:42:19​ Come Rain, or Come Shine 00:45:40​ Autumn Leaves 00:51:05​ Witchcraft

00:55:39​ When I Fall in Love 01:00:35​ Peri’s Scope 01:03:49​ What Is This Thing Called Love? 01:08:25​ Spring Is Here

01:13:31​ Some Day My Prince Will Come 01:18:25​ Blue in Green

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Bill Evans Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

Bill Evans was born on August 16th, 1929. He earned his fame for being a brilliant jazz pianist. During his youth years, he got his first piano training from his mother. He later went on to school in Southeastern Louisiana University before joining Mannes School of Music. At the school of music, his area of focus was in composition.

He migrated to the New York City in 1955 and collaborated with George Russell, a bandleader. Three years later, he joined a group of six members headed by Miles Davis. The band group recorded Kind of Blue which was released in 1959. This album went on to become a commercial success while being given credits for leading best-selling jazz album ever. 

Early Life

Bill Evans was born on August 16th, 1929. His place of birth was in Plainfield, New Jersey. His parents were Mary and Harry Evans. Evans faced a difficult time when he was young as his father was an alcohol addict. Aside from this, he practiced gambling and frequently abused Evans’s mother. Evans had an elder brother named Harry. 

Evans began his piano lessons when he was only six years old. Together with his brother, Harry, they took piano lessons from Helen Leland. When he was aged 7, he took lessons for other musical instruments including violin, piccolo, and flute. These instruments would later have a profound impact on his expertise on the keyboard. With the experience that he had gained by the time he was 13 years old, Evans had the confidence to play in big events such as weddings. His pay rate was only $1 for an hour of play at this period. 

Career 

After completing his studies at Southeastern Louisiana University in 1950, Bill Evans continued with his performances in different concerts. Around this period, he also worked with one of the bands headed by Herbie Field. He went on a tour with them before later receiving a draft notice to join the army. He served in the army for three years. After this service, he was back to the city of New York where he could easily pursue his music career. He also joined Mannes College of Music where he studied musical composition for three semesters. At this time, he performed in small gigs including weddings and dances.

With time, he landed on better opportunities which gave him the advantage of showcasing his talent. 

During the 1950s, Evans partnered with a band headed by Miles Davis which consisted of six members. After playing for the band for some time, he joined the group in 1958. A year later, Kind Kind of Blue was recorded. This album recording was released in August the same year. It was a commercial success with the credits of being the best-selling album. 

Personal Life

Bill Evans tied the knot with Nenette Zazzara in 1973. Their marriage lasted for seven years and ended in 1980. The couple had a son named Evan. 

Death

Bill Evans passed away on September 15th, 1980. He was aged 51 at the time of his death. 

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Top 25 icons in Jazz history

Carla Bley: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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Carla Bley: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

One of the finest and most productive of all female jazz instrumentalists, bandleaders and composers is Carla Bley. From her sprawling jazz opera Escalator Over The Hill to her arrangements for Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, and from her Big Carla Bley Band to her trio with saxophonist Andy Sheppard and bassist Steve Swallow, she has made her mark on all sizes of composition and ensemble. This ten-piece band toured in the 1980s and catches her iconoclastic reworking of gospel and big band jazz.

Carla Bley: a life in Music

Carla Bley (born Lovella May Borg, May 11, 1936) is an American jazz composer, pianist, organist and bandleader. An important figure in the free jazz movement of the 1960s, she is perhaps best known for her jazz opera Escalator over the Hill (released as a triple LP set), as well as a book of compositions that have been performed by many other artists, including Gary Burton, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Art Farmer, John Scofield and her ex-husband Paul Bley.

Every jazz fan knows the name of Carla Bley, but her relentless productivity and constant reinvention can make it difficult to grasp her contribution to music. I began listening to her in high school when I was enamored with the pianist Paul Bley, whose seminal nineteen-sixties LPs were filled with Carla Bley compositions. (The two were married.) My small home-town library also had a copy of “The Carla Bley Band: European Tour 1977,” a superb disk of rowdy horn soloists carousing through instantly memorable Bley compositions and arrangements. Some pieces change you forever. The deadly serious yet hilarious “Spangled Banner Minor and Other Patriotic Songs,” from that 1977 recording, celebrates and defaces several nationalistic themes, beginning with the American national anthem recast as Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata. From the first notes onward, I was never quite the same again.

The novelist and musician Wesley Stace has a similar story: “Aged sixteen, and full only of rock and pop music, I came upon Carla Bley by chance through a Pink Floyd solo project, Nick Mason’s ‘Fictitious Sports,’ which I only bought because the vocals were by my favorite singer, Robert Wyatt, once of Soft Machine. It’s a Carla Bley album in all but name: her songs embellished with brilliant and witty arrangements. I wanted to hear more. ‘Social Studies’ (also from 1981) thus became the first jazz album I ever bought, opening up a whole world I knew nothing about. ‘Utviklingssang’ is perfect, all gorgeous melody and abstraction, no words required. She’s everything I want from instrumental music.”

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In the last half decade, many of Bley’s remaining peers from the early years have died: Paul Bley, Charlie Haden, Roswell Rudd, Ornette Coleman, Paul Motian. At eighty-two, Bley is still composing and practicing the piano every day. But it also felt like it was high time to rent a car, visit a hero, and try to get a few stories on the official record.

Bley and her partner, the celebrated bassist Steve Swallow (and another living link to the revolutionary years of jazz) live in an upstate compound tucked away near Willow, New York. When I drove up, Bley and Swallow were just coming back from their daily walk through the woodland. Their lawn boasts an old oak tree and a massive chain-link dinosaur made by Steve Heller at Fabulous Furniture, in nearby Boiceville.

The home offers enough room for two powerful artists and their personal libraries, not to mention striking paintings by Dorothée Mariano and Bill Beckman. Bley’s upstairs study is stocked with hundreds of her scores and an upright piano, on which she played me her latest opus, a sour ballad a bit in the Monk tradition, with just enough unusual crinkling in the corners to prevent it from being too square. When we sat down to talk, Bley proved to be witty and surreal, just like her music. (Swallow is the house barista and fact checker.)

Bley’s early development as an independent spirit is well documented in the excellent 2011 book “Carla Bley,” by Amy C. Beal. I began a little further along, and asked her about Count Basie in the late nineteen-fifties. “Count Basie was playing at Birdland, Basin Street, and the Jazz Gallery when I was working as a cigarette girl,” she said. “I got to hear him more than anyone else, and it was an education.” Basie is still her favorite pianist: “He’s the final arbiter of how to play two notes. The distance and volume between two notes is always perfect.”

At the end of the decade, her husband, an associate of Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, and Sonny Rollins, wanted to play more as a trio pianist but lacked material. One day Paul Bley came to Carla and said, “I need six tunes by tomorrow night.” There’s an obvious thread of European classical music in early Bley compositions, and this fit perfectly with the sixties jazz avant-garde. Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” is closer to a Mahler dirge than to Duke Ellington; Charles Mingus gave a deconstructed blues composition the European-style catalogue number “Folk Forms No. 1.” Many of Bley’s own pieces from that era have atonal gestures and abstract titles like “Ictus” and “Syndrome.”

Among the many musicians listening carefully was Keith Jarrett, who told me that Paul Bley was, “Sort of like Ahmad with certain kinds of drugs.” Ahmad Jamal’s biggest hit was the D-major dance “Poinciana,” a bland old standard given immortality by Jamal’s rich jazz harmony and the drummer Vernel Fournier’s fresh take on a New Orleans second-line beat. Paul Bley’s recordings of Carla’s famous melody “Ida Lupino” have a G-major dance with a new kind of surreal perspective. When comparing “Poinciana” and “Ida Lupino” back to back, Jarrett’s comment—“certain kinds of drugs”—makes sense.

However, while Ahmad Jamal had to use plenty of imagination when rescoring “Poinciana,” Paul Bley just needed to get the paper from his wife and read it down: Bley’s piano score of “Ida Lupino,” with inner voices and canonic echoes, is complete. Like many jazzers, I first heard of the film-noir icon Ida Lupino thanks to Bley’s indelible theme. I finally got to ask her about the title. “I just saw a few movies she did, and I thought she was sort of stripped and basic,” Bley said. “She didn’t have all the sex appeal that a female star should have. She was sort of serious. Maybe I felt a bond with her for that reason. I wanted to be serious. It wasn’t anything to do with her being the first female director. I learned that later.”

Another significant early Bley work is “Jesus Maria,” first recorded by Jimmy Giuffre with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow for Verve, in 1961. Among the listeners inspired by this trio was Manfred Eicher, who reissued these recordings for ECM, in 1990. The reissue leads off with the rather classical “Jesus Maria,” where the pretty notes seem to suspend in the air, suggesting the famous “ECM sound” several years before the label was founded. I asked Eicher about Bley’s early compositions and he said, “There are so many of them, each as well crafted as pieces by Satie or Mompou—or Thelonious Monk for that matter. Carla belongs in that tradition of radical originality.”

Bley was a radical, but she also sought structure. She told me about the early-sixties avant-garde: “In free playing, everybody played as loud as they could and as fast as they could and as high as they could. I liked them, but there was also what Max Gordon said about a bunch of guys screaming their heads off: ‘Call the pound.’ I think the music needed a setting. Just as it was, I thought free jazz needed work.”

A key turned in the lock when Bley heard the roiling, church-inspired experimental tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler, who she says was, “Maudlin! Maudlin in the most wonderful way. He gave me license to play something that was really corny and love it.” Another watershed was “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the Beatles, a suite of songs that form a bigger picture. “An artist friend of mine came over one day with this album,” Bley told me. “He said, ‘Jazz is dead. All the artists are listening to this. We don’t listen to jazz anymore. This is it.’ ”

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Carla Bley Big Band – Festival de Jazz de Paris 1988

Track List

00:00:09​ – Song of the eternal waiting of canute 00:10:24​ – The girl who cried champagne – I 00:18:05​ – The girl who cried champagne – II 00:21:50​ – The girl who cried champagne – III 00:29:29​ – Real life hits 00:40:53​ – Fleur carnivore 00:52:48​ – Lo ultimo 01:00:51​ – end credits

Personnel

Carla Bley – piano

Christof Lauer – saxophone-soprano

Wolfgang Puschnig – saxophone-alto Andy Sheppard – saxophone-tenor

Roberto Ottini – saxophone-baryton

Lew Soloff – trompette

Jens Winter – trompette

Gary Valente – trombone

Frank Lacy – cor

Bob Stewart – tuba

Daniel Beaussier – oboe, flute

Karen Mantler – orgue

Steve Swallow – bass

Buddy Williams – batterie

Don Alias – percussions

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Top 25 icons in Jazz history

John Coltrane: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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John Coltrane: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

23 Sept. 1926 – 17 July 1967

John Coltrane. Courtesy of the John Coltrane Media Library.John William Coltrane, modern jazz saxophonist and composer, was born in Hamlet, the son of Alice Blair and John W. Coltrane, Sr. By the time of his death, he had achieved international eminence as one of the most talented, creative, and controversial figures in the history of jazz. His training in music began in high school, where he studied the E-flat alto horn, clarinet, and saxophone.

He continued his musical training at the Granoff Studios and Ornstein School of Music in Philadelphia, making his professional debut in 1945 as a member of a cocktail party combo. He served in Hawaii with the U.S. Navy Band in 1945–46 and, upon returning to civilian life, toured as a sideman with Eddie Vinson’s rhythm and blues band in 1947–48. He played in Dizzie Gillespie’s big band from 1949 to 1951 and then with Earl Bostic in 1952–53 and Johnny Hodges in 1953–54.

In 1955, Coltrane joined the Miles Davis Quintet, which was to become the outstanding jazz group of its day. With Davis’s group, Coltrane first attracted public and critical attention for his distinctive style of saxophone jazz. In the summer and fall of 1957 he worked with Theolonious Monk at the Five Spot in New York City. In January 1958 he rejoined Davis’s quintet, remaining with the band until April 1960, when he organized his own quartet.

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The Coltrane band was one of the most original and influential groups in jazz during the period 1961 to 1965. Coltrane reached the peak of his public acclaim in 1965, winning the Down Beat award John Coltrane. Courtesy of the John Coltrane Media Library.as America’s best tenor saxophonist, Hall of Fame selection, and Jazzman of the Year, while his composition and recording of A Love Supreme was voted Record of the Year. From 1965 to 1967, he experimented broadly in the instrumentation of his group and developed a growing predilection for modality and multihorn group improvisation.

Coltrane’s music, although influenced by Indian, Oriental, and African forms, was unique in its development and exploration of sixteenth notes as a rhythmic base for jazz. His superb technical skill on the saxophone enabled him to experiment freely with the broadest improvisation in avant-garde jazz, thus making him a central and controversial figure in the field.

Coltrane recorded for numerous companies, including Columbia, Riverside, Blue Note, Prestige, Atlantic, and Impulse. Among his important recordings are Straight, No Chaser, Blue Train, Kind of Blue, Giant Steps, My Favorite Things, Impressions, Chasin’ the Trane, Crescent, A Love Supreme, Ascension, Naima, Locomotion, In a Sentimental Mood, Expressions, Soultrane, and Kulu Se Mama.

He was married to Alice McLeod, a jazz pianist who performed with his group on many occasions. He died in Huntington, N.Y., with memorial services at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York City.

The legendary saxophone virtuoso John Coltrane continues to influence modern jazz even from the grave. Coltrane’s death more than two decades ago only enhanced his reputation as an artist who brought whole new dimensions to a constantly innovative musical form. The “sheets of sound” and other bizarre stylistic elements that characterize Coltrane’s jazz sparked heated debate at the time of their composition.

Today his work is still either hailed as the very pinnacle of genius or dismissed as flights of monotonous self-indulgence. In an Atlantic retrospective, Edward Strickland calls Coltrane “the lone voice crying not in the wilderness but from some primordial chaos” whose music “evokes not only the jungle but all that existed before the jungle.” The critic adds: “Coltrane was attempting to raise jazz from the saloons to the heavens. No jazzman had attempted so overtly to offer his work as a form of religious expression…. In his use of jazz as prayer and meditation Coltrane was beyond all doubt the principal spiritual force in music.”

Andrew White, himself a musician and transcriber of many of Coltrane’s extended solos, told down beat magazine that the jazz industry “has been faltering artistically and financially ever since the death of John Coltrane…. Besides being one of our greatest saxophonists, improvisors, innovative and creative contributors, Coltrane was our last great leader. As a matter of fact, he was the only leader we’ve had in jazz who successfully maintained an evolutionary creative output as well as building a ‘jazz star’ image. He merged the art and the money.”

What Coltrane called “exploring all the avenues” was essentially the quest to exhaust every possibility for his horn in the course of a song. He devoted himself to rapid runs in which individual notes were virtually indistinguishable, a style quickly labeled “sheets of sound.” As Martin Williams puts it in Saturday Review, Coltrane “seemed prepared to gush out every conceivable note, run his way a step at a time through every complex chord, every extension, and every substitution, and go beyond that by reaching for sounds that no tenor saxophone had ever uttered before him.”

Needless to say, this music was not easily understood–critics were quick to find fault with its length and monotony—but it represented an evolution that was welcomed not only by jazz performers, but by composers and even rock musicians as well.

Selected discography

(With Miles Davis and others) Kind of Blue, Columbia.

(With Davis) ‘Round Midnight, Columbia.

(With Davis) Straight, No Chaser, Columbia.

(With Thelonious Monk) Trinkle Tinkle, Riverside.

(With Monk) Ruby My Dear, Riverside.

Blue Train, Blue Note, 1957.

Bahia, Prestige, 1958.

Coltrane Jazz, Atlantic, 1959.

Giant Steps, Atlantic, 1959.

Ballads, Impulse, 1962.

My Favorite Things, Atlantic.

Impressions, Impulse, 1963, reissued, 1987.

A Love Supreme, Impulse, 1964, reissued, 1986.

Crescent, Impulse, 1964.

Download the best Jazz sheet music from our Library.

The Best of John Coltrane

Tracklist:

Part I – Acknowledgement 0:00​ Part II – Resolution 7:42​ Part III – Pursuance 15:02​ Part IV – Psalm 25:44

Personnel:

John Coltrane — bandleader, liner notes, vocals, soprano and tenor saxophone

Jimmy Garrison — double bass

Elvin Jones — drums

McCoy Tyner — piano

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Top 25 icons in Jazz history

Horace Silver: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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Horace Silver: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

Horace Silver biography

From the perspective of the 21st century, it is clear that few jazz musicians had a greater impact on the contemporary mainstream than Horace Silver. The hard bop style that Silver pioneered in the ’50s is now dominant, played not only by holdovers from an earlier generation, but also by fuzzy-cheeked musicians who had yet to be born when the music fell out of critical favor in the ’60s and ’70s.

Silver’s earliest musical influence was the Cape Verdean folk music he heard from his Portuguese-born father. Later, after he had begun playing piano and saxophone as a high schooler, Silver came under the spell of blues singers and boogie-woogie pianists, as well as boppers like Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell. In 1950, Stan Getz played a concert in Hartford, Connecticut, with a pickup rhythm section that included Silver, drummer Walter Bolden, and bassist Joe Calloway. So impressed was Getz, he hired the whole trio. Silver had been saving his money to move to New York anyway; his hiring by Getz sealed the deal.

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Silver worked with Getz for a year, then began to freelance around the city with such big-time players as Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Oscar Pettiford. In 1952, he recorded with Lou Donaldson for the Blue Note label; this date led him to his first recordings as a leader. In 1953, he joined forces with Art Blakey to form a cooperative under their joint leadership.

The band’s first album, Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers, was a milestone in the development of the genre that came to be known as hard bop. Many of the tunes penned by Silver for that record — “The Preacher,” “Doodlin’,” “Room 608” — became jazz classics. By 1956, Silver had left the Messengers to record on his own. The series of Blue Note albums that followed established him for all time as one of jazz’s major composer/pianists. LPs like Blowin’ the Blues Away and Song for My Father (both recorded by an ensemble that included Silver’s longtime sidemen Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook) featured Silver’s harmonically sophisticated and formally distinctive compositions for small jazz ensemble.

Silver’s piano style — terse, imaginative, and utterly funky — became a model for subsequent mainstream pianists to emulate. Some of the most influential horn players of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s first attained a measure of prominence with Silver — musicians like Donald Byrd, Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, Benny Golson, and the Brecker Brothers all played in Silver’s band at a point early in their careers. Silver has even affected members of the avant-garde; Cecil Taylor confesses a Silver influence, and trumpeter Dave Douglas played briefly in a Silver combo.

Silver recorded exclusively for Blue Note until that label’s eclipse in the late ’70s, whereupon he started his own label, Silveto. Silver’s ’80s work was poorly distributed. During that time he began writing lyrics to his compositions, and his work began to display a concern with music’s metaphysical powers, as exemplified by album titles like Music to Ease Your Disease and Spiritualizing the Senses. In the ’90s, Silver abandoned his label venture and began recording for Columbia.

With his re-emergence on a major label, Silver once again received a measure of the attention his contributions deserve. Certainly, no one ever contributed a larger and more vital body of original compositions to the jazz canon. Silver died in New York on June 18, 2014 at the age of 85.

He had a son, Gregory – now a rap musician under the name of G Wise – from his marriage to Barbara, which ended in divorce.

Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver, pianist and composer, born 2 September 1928; died 18 June 2014.

Selected Discography

Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers, Blue Note, 1954
Blowin’ the Blues Away, Blue Note, 1959
Song For My Father, Blue Note, 1964
Cape Verdean Blues, Blue Note, 1965
The Hardbop Grandpop, GRP, 1996

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Horace Silver – Blowin The Blues Away

Personnel:

Horace Silver – piano

Blue Mitchell – trumpet

Junior Cook – tenor saxophone

Gene Taylor – bass

Louis Hayes – drums

from the album ‘BLOWIN’ THE BLUES AWAY’ (Blue Note Records)

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Top 25 icons in Jazz history

Red Garland: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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Red Garland: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

Biography

William “Red” Garland (pianist) was born on May 13, 1923 in Dallas, Texas and passed away on April 23, 1984 in Dallas, Texas at the age of 60.

Garland’s family was not particularly musical, and his father worked as an elevator technician. Garland’s first instruments were the clarinet and the alto saxophone. He studied with saxophonist Buster “Prof” Smith, who had been an early mentor of alto saxophonist Charlie Parker in Kansas City.

He joined the United States Army in 1941 and began to learn the piano while stationed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. At this time, he was also an amateur boxer. He fought the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson, but he lost the bout.

After being discharged from the military in 1944, Garland played locally around Texas until 1946 when he was chosen to join trumpeter Oran “Hot Lips” Page’s band. Garland toured with Page that same year, ending the tour with the band in New York. Garland decided to stay in New York and soon found work there and also in Philadelphia. While in New York, Garland was recommended to singer Billy Eckstine, who hired him for several weeks.

red garland sheet music pdf

In 1947, Garland began a long stint as the house pianist at the Down Beat club in Philadelphia, where he backed Charlie Parker and Fats Navarro among others, and played with drummer Charlie Rice in the house band. Garland also recorded that year with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, appearing on the song Ravin’ At The Heaven. By the early 1950s Garland’s stature as a pianist grew to the point that he found regular work with saxophonists Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young, and led his own trio.

Garland was still playing with Young when Miles Davis approached him to record for his Prestige album, The Musings of Miles, on June 7, 1955 at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio.

This album was the start of an association with Davis that lasted from the summer of 1955 through 1958. Garland was as integral part of Davis’s first great “quartet,” which featured bassist Paul Chambers, saxophonist John Coltrane, and drummer “Philly” Joe Jones.

When Miles Davis signed to Columbia Records in 1955, the quintet released the album Round About Midnight. Davis also released several albums for Prestige in 1955 and 1956, which included Working With the Miles Davis Quintet, Steamin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet, The New Miles Davis Quintet, and Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet. Garland played on all of these releases.

Red Garland’s playing on these sessions can best be described as being heavily rooted in the old traditions of jazz piano. He at times has a strong sense of swing while his solo lines are very rich and profound. His style is very lyrical while his right hand clusters contrast the chordal movements of his left hand, which can give a listener goose bumps. Garland’s style is also very rooted in the stylistics of show tunes and Broadway songs.

The right hand block chord device, which he strongly employed on nearly every solo, had the effect of locking in the rhythm section with a strong sense of swing and synchronization. Garland’s playing at times was bluesy as he was much more comfortable in this capacity than in a modal setting, which he didn’t embrace after leaving Miles Davis, who strongly embraced it during Garland’s tenure with the trumpeter.

On Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet, Garland can be heard on saxophonist Sonny Rollins’ composition Oleo, and There Is No Greater Love. On Steamin, Garland can be heard on Surrey With the Fringe On Top. Garland can also be heard on Rollins’s 1956 album Tenor Madness.

While performing and recording with Davis, Garland also released several trio albums. In 1956, Garland released the Prestige album A Garland of Red, which featured Paul Chambers on bass and Art Taylor on drums. The same personnel appeared on the Prestige albums Groovy in 1956, and The P.C. Blues in 1957.

Garland recorded with saxophonist Art Pepper in 1957, having appeared on the Contemporary release Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section along with his fellow band mates Paul Chambers and “Philly” Joe Jones. This album featured the band on the You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To.” Garland also recorded with trombonist Curtis Fuller in 1957, yielding the album Curtis Fuller With Red Garland.

By April of 1957, Garland was a mainstay in Davis’s working band, whose rotating cast of musicians included saxophonists Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane. Garland stayed with Davis through the trumpeter’s 1958 release of Milestones, which proved to be very influential in establishing the trumpeter’s shift towards modal jazz.

Garland and Davis had some confrontations during their time together. On the song Sid’s Ahead, from Milestones, Davis is the pianist because Garland got mad at him and left the studio during the recording session.

red garland sheet music

By the middle of 1958, Garland was no longer playing with Davis, having been replaced by Bill Evans. He did record two albums with John Coltrane that year, Soultrane and Settin’ the Pace.

In 1959, Garland along with drummer Art Taylor and bassist Sam Jones released the album Red In Bluesville, which featured the song He’s a Real Gone Guy, As the jazz industry faced declining record sales during the 1960s, Garland’s performance and recording schedule slowed. In 1968, Garland returned to Dallas to care for his ailing mother and remained there until the mid 1970s.

Garland returned from semi-retirement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1978 he released the album Feelin’ Red, which featured drummer Al Foster and bassist Sam Jones. That same year, Garland recorded Equinox with drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Richard Davis. In 1979, Garland recorded with bassist Ron Carter and guitarist Kenny Burrell, and maintained an active performance schedule over the next few years.

In 1983, Garland recorded My Funny Valentine live at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco. Garland died of a heart attack on April 24th, 1984 at the age of sixty, leaving behind a legacy that influenced the many pianists who followed in his footsteps.

Sheet Music download here.

Red Garland: the Best of

Track List:

01 Soft Winds – Red Garland 00:00 02 So Sorry Please 06:17 03 See See Rider 10:23 04 Satin Doll 18:26 05 Ralph J. Gleason Blues 28:18 06 On Green Dolphin Street 35:04 07 Love Is Here To Stay 40:15 08 Lil’ Darlin’ 45:01 09 It Could Happen To You 52:25

10 Excerent! 58:08 11 Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home 01:04:16 12 Avalon 01:08:27 13 You’ll Never Know 01:14:52 14 You Better Go Now 01:20:22 15 Winter Wonderland 01:25:36 16 We Kiss In A Shadow 01:31:00 17 Trouble In Mind 01:37:49 18 ‘Tis Autumn 01:43:42 19 Stormy Weather 01:52:50 20 Sonny Boy 02:03:28

Red Garland’s Partial discography

As leader

  • A Garland of Red (Prestige, 1956)
  • Red Garland’s Piano (Prestige, 1956)
  • Red Garland Revisited! (Prestige, 1957 [1969])
  • The P.C. Blues (Prestige, 1956-57 [1970])
  • Groovy (Prestige, 1956–57)
  • All Mornin’ Long (Prestige, 1957)
  • High Pressure (1957)
  • Dig It! (Prestige, 1957–58)
  • It’s a Blue World (Prestige, 1958)
  • Manteca (Prestige, 1958)
  • Can’t See for Lookin’ (Prestige, 1958)
  • Rojo (Prestige, 1958)
  • The Red Garland Trio (Moodsville, 1958)
  • All Kinds of Weather (Prestige, 1958)
  • Red in Bluesville (Prestige, 1959)
  • Coleman Hawkins with the Red Garland Trio (Moodsville, 1959) – with Coleman Hawkins
  • Satin Doll (Prestige, 1959 [1971])
  • Red Garland Live! (Prestige, 1959)
  • The Red Garland Trio + Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (Moodsville, 1959)
  • Soul Junction (Prestige, 1960)
  • Red Garland at the Prelude (Prestige, 1960)
  • Red Alone (Moodsville, 1960)
  • Alone with the Blues (Moodsville, 1960)
  • Halleloo-Y’-All (Prestige, 1960)
  • Bright and Breezy (Jazzland, 1961)
  • The Nearness of You (Jazzland, 1961)
  • Solar (Jazzland, 1962)
  • Red’s Good Groove (Jazzland, 1962)
  • When There Are Grey Skies (Prestige, 1962)
  • Lil’ Darlin’ (Status, 1963)
  • The Quota (MPS, 1971)
  • Auf Wiedersehen (MPS, 1971)
  • Groovin’ Live (Alfa Jazz, 1974)
  • Groovin’ Live II (Alfa Jazz, 1974)
  • Keystones! (Xanadu, 1977)
  • Groovin’ Red (Keystone, 1977)
  • Red Alert (Galaxy, 1977)
  • Crossings (Galaxy, 1977)
  • Feelin’ Red (Muse, 1978)
  • I Left My Heart… (Muse, 1978 [1985]) with Leo Wright
  • Equinox (Galaxy, 1978)
  • Stepping Out (Galaxy, 1979 [1980])
  • So Long Blues (Galaxy, 1979 [1984])
  • Strike Up the Band (Galaxy, 1979 [1981])

Compilations

  • Rediscovered Masters (Prestige 1958-1961; released 1977)
  • Soul Burnin’ (Prestige 1959-1961; released 1964)

As sideman

With Arnett Cobb

  • Sizzlin’ (Prestige, 1960)
  • Ballads by Cobb (Moodsville, 1960)

With John Coltrane

  • John Coltrane with the Red Garland Trio (Prestige 1957; reissued as Traneing In)
  • Soultrane (Prestige 1958)
  • Lush Life (Prestige 1961)
  • Settin’ The Pace (Prestige 1961)
  • The Believer (Prestige 1964)
  • The Last Trane (Prestige 1965)

With Sonny Rollins

  • Tenor Madness (Prestige 1956)

With Miles Davis

  • The Musings of Miles (Prestige 1955)
  • Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1955)
  • Cookin’ with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1956)
  • Relaxin’ with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1956)
  • Workin’ with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1956)
  • Steamin’ with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1956)
  • ‘Round About Midnight (Columbia 1957)
  • Milestones (Columbia 1958)

With Curtis Fuller

  • Curtis Fuller with Red Garland (Prestige 1957)

With Jackie McLean

  • McLean’s Scene (Prestige 1956)

With Art Pepper

  • Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section (Contemporary 1957)

With Phil Woods

  • Sugan (Prestige Status, 1957)
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Top 25 icons in Jazz history Gershwin's music

Sarah Vaughan: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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Sarah Vaughan: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

Sarah Vaughan free sheet music & scores pdf download

Jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughan performed with big bands before becoming a solo artist. She is known for singing “Send in the Clowns” and “Broken-Hearted Melody.”

Who Was Sarah Vaughan?

Jazz singer Sarah Vaughan grew up with a love of music and performing. Winning a talent competition held at Harlem’s Apollo Theater launched her singing career. She worked with bandleaders Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine before becoming a successful solo performer who commingled pop and jazz. At age 66, Vaughan died in Hidden Hills, California, on April 3, 1990.

Early Life

Sarah Lois Vaughan was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 27, 1924. Outside of their regular jobs—as a carpenter and as a laundress—her parents were also musicians. Growing up in Newark, a young Vaughan studied the piano and organ, and her voice could be heard as a soloist at Mount Zion Baptist Church.

Vaughan’s first step toward becoming a professional singer was taken at a talent contest held at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, where many African American music legends made their name. After being dared to enter, she won the 1942 competition with her rendition of “Body and Soul.” She also caught the attention of another vocalist, Billy Eckstine, who persuaded Earl Hines to hire Vaughan to sing with his orchestra.

Songs and Career

In 1944, Vaughan left Hines to join Eckstine’s new band. Also working with Eckstine were trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker, who introduced the group to a new form of jazz, known as bebop. An inspired Vaughan brought bebop into her singing, which can be heard in the 1945 recording of “Lover Man” that she made with Parker and Gillespie.

After performing with Eckstine’s orchestra for a year, Vaughan briefly worked with John Kirby before leaving big bands behind to become a solo artist (though she often reunited with Eckstine for duets). Having already been given the nickname “Sassy” as a commentary on her onstage style, it was while striking out on her own that she was dubbed “The Divine One” by a DJ in Chicago. In the late 1940s, her popular recordings included “If You Could See Me Now” and “It’s Magic.”

The next decade saw Vaughan produce more pop music, though when she joined Mercury Records she also recorded jazz numbers on a subsidiary label, EmArcy. She sang hits like “Whatever Lola Wants” (1955), “Misty” (1957) and “Broken-Hearted Melody” (1959), which sold more than a million copies. Vaughan gave concerts in the United States and Europe, and her singing was also heard in films such as Disc Jockey (1951) and Basin Street Revue (1956).

Later Career

After the 1950s, shifting musical tastes meant that Vaughan no longer produced huge hits. However, she remained a popular performer, particularly when she sang live. In front of an audience, her emotional, vibrato-rich delivery, three-octave vocal range and captivating scat technique were even more appealing. Though her voice took on a deeper pitch as Vaughan got older—likely due in part her smoking habit—this didn’t impact the quality of her singing, as could be heard on “Send in the Clowns,” a staple in her repertoire.

Vaughan’s later recordings include interpretations of Beatles songs and Brazilian music. Over the years, she collaborated with people like producer Quincy Jones, pianist Oscar Peterson and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Vaughan won her first Grammy thanks to her work with Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Gershwin Live! (1982).

Death and Legacy

Vaughan’s final concert was given at New York’s Blue Note Club in 1989. She passed away from lung cancer on April 3, 1990, at age 66, in Hidden Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, California. Married and divorced four times, she was survived by her adopted daughter.

Throughout her career, Vaughan was recognized as a supremely gifted singer and performer. She was invited to perform at the White House and at venues like Carnegie Hall, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1989 and was selected to join the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1990. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Top 25 icons in Jazz history

Thelonious Monk: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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Thelonious Monk: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

Recognized as one of the most original musicians in American history, Thelonious Sphere Monk fashioned a startlingly unique, inimitable playing and composing style that influenced virtually every succeeding jazz generation.

His playing technique offered a percussive approach to the piano, identified by sparse, complex, sometimes dissonant harmonies, developed from unusual intervals and rhythms, and imbued with warmth and playfulness. (His motto was “There are no wrong notes on the piano.”)

Monk‘s name is synonymous with the creation of modern jazz; many of his compositions are jazz standards including, “Round Midnight,” “Well You Needn’t,” “Straight, No Chaser,” and “Epistrophy.” His bold musical conceptions sought to bind harmony and rhythm seamlessly to melody. A classically trained pianist, he was deeply influenced by Harlem’s stride piano tradition. Monk‘s Blue Note recording sessions between 1947 and 1948, and 1951 and 1952, netted two volumes, numerically titled Genius of Modern Music. He cut outstanding albums for Riverside and Prestige in the ’50s (Brilliant Corners), and Columbia in the ’60s (Monk’s Dream).

On-stage, he was in constant motion: he’d leave his piano to dance during another player’s solo, wiggle on his piano bench to emphasize a rhythm, and even bash elbows and forearms onto the keys in search of different tones. Monk released the charting Criss-Cross and Monk’s Dream in 1963 and landed on the cover of Time a year later. After leaving Columbia in 1971, he recorded and played live only sporadically. From 1976 until his death in 1982, Monk lived at the home of longtime friend Pannonica de Koenigswarter. In 1978, he was honored by President Jimmy Carter during a White House jazz party.

Monk was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina in October of 1917. His family moved to New York City when he was five. He started playing piano a year later and received formal classical tutoring from age 11. He also received rigorous gospel training accompanying his church choir (in which his mother sang), and attended Stuyvesant High School, where he excelled at physics and math. Near his home were several jazz clubs, as well as the residence of Harlem stride pianist James P. Johnson, from whom Monk learned a great deal. By age 13 he was playing in a local bar and grill with a trio. A year later he was playing rent parties.

Monk gained distinction while performing at the Apollo Theater’s weekly amateur contests: He won so often, he was ultimately banned from the competition. Subsequently, he accompanied a faith healer and preacher for a year-long tour that revealed to him the subtleties and intricacies of rhythm & blues accompaniment. During the late ’30s he toured as a pianist with a gospel group, then began playing stride and swing in clubs where drummer Kenny Clarke heard and hired him for the house band at Minton’s Playhouse in 1941.

Minton’s was home to the late-night jam sessions frequented by young lions Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Max Roach, and Bud Powell; the club served as an incubator for the emergent bebop. Monk was hired by Lucky Millinder‘s orchestra in 1942 and he also worked with the Coleman Hawkins Sextet between 1943 and 1945, making his recording debut on the 78 “Flyin’ Hawk.” Monk was a member of Dizzy Gillespie‘s big band in 1946, and started leading his own groups in 1947.

The period between 1945 and 1954 was difficult for Monk. Because his rhythmic solos reflected an uncommon use of space, and a somewhat percussive technique, some musicians and critics erroneously thought him an inferior pianist. His compositions were so harmonically and rhythmically advanced — even when employing a 12-bar blues or 32-bar ballad architecture — they confused lesser and/or lazier players.

Add to this the systemic racism of the era, his unusual name, his large physical stature, and iconic fashion sense: He wore a stylish goatee, and had a constantly changing array of colorful hats, bamboo sunglasses, and sharp cut suits. His personality that rendered him an occasionally uncommunicative introvert but also the ultimate hipster who spoke in the jazz vernacular.

All served to brand him an outsider. A trumped-up charge for drug possession (he took the rap for Powell) didn’t help, either, as it deprived Monk of his New York cabaret license in 1951, forcing him to seek work in Brooklyn and elsewhere for six years. He was also forced to rely on the freely offered financial assistance of his patron, Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter.

Blue Note’s Alfred Lion paid no mind to critics. He believed in Monk and recorded him extensively between 1947 and 1948 and again in 1951 and 1952. His singles were eventually compiled onto two 10″ vinyl LPs released as Genius of Modern Music, Vols. 1 & 2. The initial release, issued when Monk was 35, offered eight originals including “Epistrophy” “‘Round Midnight,” “Well You Needn’t,” Ruby My Dear,” and “Off Minor”; the second featured “Criss-Cross,” “Four in One,” and “Straight, No Chaser.”

Each of these titles reflected Monk’s trademark playing style, which incorporated silence and dissonance as forms of self-expression. Soon after that first recording session, Monk married Nellie Smith, who gave birth to his two children Barbara and T.S. Monk II.

During his time with Blue Note, Monk recorded a host of titles for Prestige including Thelonious Monk Plays and Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk. In 1955, Prestige sold his contract to Riverside where he released Plays the Music of Duke Ellington to appease the label. By 1956, Monk had come into his own with Brilliant Corners, considered to be his first masterpiece (due in part to its complex title track). It proved so technically demanding and harmonically complex that the album version had to be edited together from separate takes.

In 1957, he recorded Mulligan Meets Monk with Gerry Mulligan; the release helped expose him to a wider audience. With the Riverside release of the solo Thelonious Himself and Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane, the artist received belated but well-deserved acclaim. In 1957 and 1958, he won the Down Beat Critics Poll as Best Jazz Pianist. Monk also worked with classical composer Hall Overton to present his music orchestrally for 1959’s At Town Hall.

The pianist signed to Columbia in late 1961 and toured Europe for the first time with a quartet that included saxophonist Charlie Rouse, drummer Frankie Dunlop, and bassist John Ore. (Later rhythm sections would include bassists Butch Warren or Larry Gales, and drummer Ben Riley). He issued two long-players in 1962, Monk’s Dream and Criss-Cross, both compiled from EP and single sessions.

They both charted and were received enthusiastically by critics. In 1964, Monk, at the peak of his popularity, appeared on the cover of Time Magazine: He is one of only five jazz musicians to have done so. (The others were Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, and much later, Wynton Marsalis.)

Columbia issued two charting titles by him that year, including Big Band and Quartet in Concert and It’s Monk’s Time. 1965 saw the release of Monk, comprised of a pair of striking originals (Teo” and “Pannonica”) and standards. It’s one of the artist’s most unjustly underrated offerings, and it’s still a radical album.

Critics complained that he wasn’t writing new music, but Monk re-recorded tunes to reinvigorate them using fresh harmonic and rhythmic approaches. His approach to standards here was to strip them to basic harmonies and rhythms then rebuild them in his own musical image. In 1965, the release of Solo Monk appeased them.

A standout in his catalog, most of its sides were cut during breaks on a 1964 West Coast quartet tour in October and November. The jaunt netted two masterful live quartet releases as well: Live at the It Club and Live at the Jazz Workshop (unreleased until the ’80s).

By 1965, Columbia had become enthralled with rock and R&B artists on its roster thanks to administrative vice-president and general manager Clive Davis, who took the helm in 1966. Jazz was losing its place of import. Still, Monk continued to record and tour for the label. The seminal Straight, No Chaser was released in 1967.

Underground, Monk‘s last Columbia record to receive acclaim during his lifetime was released in 1968 at the pinnacle of the counterculture, its iconic Norman Griner cover shot featured Monk in a makeshift bunker (actually an upscale New York photo studio) with a rifle strapped to his back and assorted grenades and handguns on a table, a cow, a tied-up Nazi, and a broken piano that he played for 90 minutes. Monk spoke only to the cow during the entire shoot.

1969’s Monk’s Blues was his last outing for the label. Recorded by Monk‘s quartet with a big band in Los Angeles, it was deemed a commercial failure. Columbia‘s disinterest, combined with Monk‘s deteriorating mental and physical health, kept him out of the studio. In January of 1970, Rouse left the band, and less than two years later, the label quietly dropped Monk from its roster.

In 1971, Japan’s Express signed him and issued Monk in Tokyo with a pick-up quartet comprised of saxophonist Paul Jeffrey, bassist Larry Ridley, and drummer Lenny McBrowne on one side, and with Toshiyuki Miyama & His New Herd Orchestra on the flip. He recruited saxophonist Pat Patrick and son Thelonious, Jr. for his quartet. Monk toured widely in 1972 with the “Giants of Jazz,” a bop supergroup consisting of Dizzy Gillespie, Kai Winding, Sonny Stitt, Al McKibbon, and Art Blakey, resulting in the Atlantic-issued live set Giants of Jazz.

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That said, he accepted ever fewer live engagements. Monk cut two outings for Black Lion in London, comprised of solo and trio recordings with Blakey and McKibbon. Commercially they appeared as Something in Blue in 1972 and The Man I Love in 1973. (A final recording from these sessions appeared as Blue Sphere in 1977.)

This material, all but ignored during his lifetime, was collected for a box set by Mosaic after his death and acclaimed for the inspiration and quality in his playing. After appearances at both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in 1974 and 1975, and the Newport Jazz Festivals in 1975 and 1976, Monk quit performing altogether.

With the full approval of his wife Nellie, he retired to a single room in Baroness Pannonica’s New Jersey mansion. The room contained a piano, but he seldom touched it. He spoke even less. Monk, seriously ailing, would rise, shower, put on a fresh suit, and return to bed where he spent the day watching television. In 1979, Columbia issued the two-fer Always Know, a compilation of unreleased material from his tenure with the label.

Monk died from a stroke in 1982. Having lived in the same ground floor apartment on West 63rd St. for years, New York City named it “Thelonius Monk Circle” (sic). The spelling wasn’t corrected until 2013. The year of his death, Columbia issued two stellar double-length live offerings from its vaults: Live at the It Club and Live at the Jazz Workshop.

Two years later, producer Hal Willner‘s seminal tribute to the musician, That’s the Way I Feel Now, was issued by A&M. Its track list included performances by jazz musicians such as the Carla Bley Big Band with Johnny Griffin; Steve Lacy with Elvin Jones or Gil Evans, and many others, but it also included rock and funk musicians like Was (Not Was), Joe Jackson, and NRBQ interpreting Monk‘s tunes. Mulligan Meets Monk was released by Milestone that same year.

Download the best Jazz sheet music and transcriptions from this Library.

It contained the original album appended with alternate takes — including a 21-minute version of the title tune in the process of being recorded. Mosaic, the jazz collector’s label, offered The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Thelonious Monk as its debut release. It sold out almost instantly. A few years later they followed with The Complete Vogue Recordings/The Black Lion Sessions, fomenting a major critical reappraisal of the work; they were once maligned as inferior.

In 1988, director Charlotte Zwerin‘s biographical documentary Straight, No Chaser appeared to thunderous acclaim and awards; Clint Eastwood was a executive producer.

Virtually all of Monk‘s officially released recordings have been remastered and reissued several times. In 2005, Blue Note released The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall to unanimous critical acclaim and chart success. Recorded during a benefit concert in 1957, the tape sat untouched in the Library of Congress until recording lab supervisor Larry Appelbaum unearthed it for restoration by Michael Cuscuna and T.S. Monk.

In 2013, Robin D.G. Kelley’s award-winning biography Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, was published. In 2017, the release of Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 contained 30 unreleased minutes of Monk‘s music cut in a single day by his quartet for Roger Vadim‘s film of the same name. In 2019, a long-lost 1968 recording of the Thelonious Monk Quartet (with Rouse, Gales, and Riley) at Palo Alto High School by Danny Scher emerged. Simply titled Palo Alto: Live at Palo Alto High School, it was set for release by Impulse! during the summer, but a dispute between Monk‘s estate and the label delayed its issue indefinitely.

The best of Thelonious Monk

Tracklist :

00:00 – Gil Evans – Straight No Chaser 06:16 – Gerry Mulligan – Rhythm-A-Ning 11:33 – Thelonious Monk – We see 14:08 – Bud Powell – Monk’s Mood 21:15 – Chet Baker – Round’ Midnight 26:22 – Donald Byrd – 52nd St Theme 32:52 – Kai Winding & Jay Jay Johnson – Blue Monk 37:20 – Thelonious Monk – Off Minor 39:51 – Clark Terry – Pannonica

45:27 – Barney Wilen – Mysterioso 49:35 – Thelonious Monk – Crepuscule With Nellie 52:07 – Johnny Griffin – Well You Needn’t 01:00:29 – Junior Mance – Ruby My Dear 01:06:30 – Jimmy Raney – Round’ Midnight 01:11:50 – The Modern Jazz Quartet – Round’ Midnight 01:14:48 – Barney Wilen – Epistrophy

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Erroll Garner: The Top 20 icons in Jazz history

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Erroll Garner: The Top 20 pearls in Jazz history

Perhaps best known as the composer of “Misty,” Erroll Garner was also one of the most original, intuitive and exciting pianists to emerge during the modern jazz era. Garner’s significance as a major jazz innovator easily rivals his status as a successful composer. His approach to melody, harmony, and especially rhythm were fresh and inventive.

Garner was born Erroll Louis Garner on June 15th, 1921, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He and his twin brother Ernest were the youngest of six children and were raised in a musical environment. His older brother, Linton, became a noted musical accompanist and pianist. Garner was playing the piano by the age of three, although he never had any formal training throughout his long career.

His mother was born in Staunton, Virginia, and graduated from Avery College in Pittsburgh. She had a remarkable contralto voice and sang in a church choir with Garner’s father. Garner’s father had aspired to be a concert singer, but he suffered from asthma. At bedtime, Garner’s mother would play recordings for her children on the Victrola, and the next morning a young Garner would pull himself up on the piano stool and play exactly what he had heard the night before.

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A woman named Miss Madge Bowman taught piano to the Garner family, and Garner began taking lessons from her at age six. She gave up on him shortly thereafter when she realized he was playing all of her assignments by ear instead of learning to read notes. Garner’s childhood friend, bassist Wyatt “Bull” Ruther, took piano lessons from Garner’s sister, and Conley reported that Ruther remembered how easily Garner picked up music at a young age.

At age seven, Garner began to play regularly on Pittsburgh’s KDKA radio station with a group called The Candy Kids, and by the age of eleven he was playing on Allegheny riverboats. His high school band teacher recognized Garner’s innate ability and encouraged him not to take music lessons in order to preserve his unusual talents, and Gamer eventually dropped out of high school to play with Leroy Brown’s orchestra.

He learned to play the “novelty rag” styles of musicians such as Zez Confrey from the 1920s by listening to old 78 records, and this particular style was marked by steady left hand chord rhythms supporting loose, right-hand melodic interpretations.

Garner traveled to New York City in 1939 as an accompanist for night club singer Ann Lewis, and soon returned to serve as a substitute for Art Tatum in Tatum’s trio with guitarist “Tiny” Grimes and bassist “Slam” Stewart.

Garner stayed on when the trio became the Slam Stewart Trio in 1945. He had developed an extraordinary style that was uniquely his own, and it was around this time in New York City that he met pianists Billy Taylor and George Shearing, and bassist John Levy while playing at Tondelayo’s on 52nd Street. He also played at the Melody Bar on Broadway, at the Rendezvous, and at Jimmy’s Chicken Shack uptown. While playing in Los Angeles, Garner met and recorded Cool Blues with Charlie Parker, which was released in 1947.

Jazz innovator, pianist, and composer Erroll Garner was a notably distinctive pianist who recorded with Charlie Parker and was one of the most frequently seen jazz musicians on television in the 1950s and 1960s. Although Garner never learned to read music, and taught himself how to play and compose, his unique virtuoso technique attracted many imitators and ardent fans.

His technique included a four-beat fixed pulse of blocked chords in the left hand, using wide-spaced voicings similar to swing rhythm-guitar playing, and he often “kicked” the beat in a style similar to a swing drummer. Strong and bouncy left-hand rhythms and beautiful melodies were the trademarks of Garner’s music.

He is best known as the composer of “Misty,” now an American standard featured in the 1971 film Play Misty for Me, and his impact as a jazz innovator rivals his legacy as a successful composer. Paul Conley, who wrote and produced a show about Garner for National Public Radio (NPR), described Garner as, “one of the most original, intuitive and exciting pianists to emerge during the modern jazz era.”

Garner’s influences include “novelty rag” musicians from the 1920s such as Zez Confrey, in addition to Pittsburgh native Earl Hines, Count Basie guitarist Freddie Green, Fats Waller, and classical recordings. Down Beat’s Ralph J. Gleason wrote in 1995, “It would be hard to pick out 10 jazz pianists today in whose work Garner would not be justified in calling attention to his own influence.”

For the Record…

Born Erroll Louis Garner on June 15, 1921 (died January 27, 1977), in Pittsburgh, PA; youngest of six children, raised in a musical environment played piano by the age of three, never had any formal training throughout his long career; mother sang in a church choir with Garner’s father, who had aspired to be a concert singer, but suffered from asthma as a child; twin brother named Ernest, older brother Linton became a noted musical pianist and composer.

The Best of Erroll Garner

TRACKLIST

01- 7-11 Jump 00:11 02- All of a Sudden (My Heart Sings) 07:30 03- Dont Worry Bout Me 10:53 04- How Could You Do a Thing Like That to Me 15:55 05- Its All Right with Me 20:12 06- Ive Got The World On A String 23:25 07- Mambo Carmel 27:27 08- Red top

31:03 09- Theres A Small Hotel 34:26 10- They cant take that away from me 37:36 11- You Are My Sunshine 41:49 12- April in Paris 45:16 13- Autumn Leaves 49:58 14- Errolls Theme 56:16 15- Teach Me Tonight 57:15 16- Rosalie 01:00:49 17- In a Mellow Tone 01:03:27 18- I’ll Remember April 1:07:46 19- Misty 01:12:05 20- Part time blues 01:14:53

Erroll Garner – GREATEST HITS (FULL ALBUM)

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