Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-01-28 - 9:28 a.m.
My DHS memorial - only 3 pounds from FOPP - live recordings of GBO opening with Wade in the Water - sounds to me like it could have happened last week except that half the band has shuffled off and the drummer and the bass player are still not talking I believe. Recorded on a Monday at Klooks Kleek towards the end of 1964. - there’s a voice announcement that Sonny Boy Williamson is playing the following night. Great beery feel. Bond was able to use the pedals to keep the bass going while Jack Bruce soloed on bass or harmonica . Even today that’s innovative. Bond plays alto and organ simultaneously on the modal Spanish Blues - not many people can do that either . The thickened line is completed by DHS on the lowest voice. Around eighteen months before Paul Butterfield’s East West. They also do train time which I heard at the Richmond Jazz n Blues Festival.
I was reading in the Blue Note history about the impact that Jimmy Smith made when he first got to NYC around 1957. The Hammond with the Leslie was loud in a completely new way for jazz - add the virtuosity of JS and the musical commitment he projected. It took only three or four years for that idea to get to London and the exponent was Graham Bond who crossed over from alto. You can really hear the hard bop in DHS solos especially when GB slips in an eleventh underneath - say on the ninth bar. GB was the first person to gig with a Mellotron.
I have also stumped up for the 6 CD boxed set of Herbie Hancock on Blue Note which opens on 11 December 1961 with HH in Donald Byrd’s band at Rudy van Gelder’s. Wayne Shorter is on tenor and Billy Higgins is on drums - ie a school friend of Lamont Young with 40% of the 2nd great Miles 5tet under Detroit leadership. Then a set of tracks with same rhythm section, Freddie Hubbard and Dexter Gordon who sounds a lot like mid 50s Trane.
Billy Higgins was in the late 50s Ornette Coleman 4tet which popularized free playing. Just now I am listening to the 1949 Capitol Sessions which are the first recorded attempt to play free jazz. They were organized by the blind pianist and theorist Lennie Tristano - with Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz. Tristano taught Peter Ind who taught Bob Brearley who I met when I was 18 and it was thanks to BB that I have had a crack at a few LT tunes. FOPP is doing 19 Tristano & Marsh tracks for three pounds.
Steve and I went to Cardiff yesterday to meet a prof to talk globalisation and skills. We had lunch down by the bay. It all seemed to go pretty well. The countryside looked pretty on the M4 and M5. I told Steve about Laurence’s approach to leadership training. Steve’s stuff is mostly outdoors whereas Laurence used to strive for similar effects indoors.
Here s some LT commentary by Chris Kelsey:
‘Tristano's written lines were a great deal more involved than the already complex melodies typical of bebop; he subdivided and multiplied the beat in odd groupings, and his harmonies did not always behave in a manner consistent with functional tonality. The complexity of his constructs demanded that his rhythm section provide little more than a solid foundation. Tristano's bassists and drummers were not expected to interact in the manner of a bop rhythm section, but to support the music's melodic and harmonic substance. Such restraint lent Tristano's music an emotionally detached air, which to this day has been used by unsympathetic critics as a sledgehammer to pound him. In 1951, Tristano founded a school of jazz in New York, the first of its kind. Its faculty consisted of many of his most prominent students, including Konitz, Bauer, Marsh, and pianist Sal Mosca.’
A certain melancholy.