What is Soul in Jazz?

Quote of the Day:

      “What is soul in jazz? It’s what comes from within: It’s what happens when the inner part of you comes out. It’s the part of playing you can’t get out of the books and studies.  In my case, I believe that what I heard and felt in the music of my church was the most powerful influence on my musical career. Everyone wants to know where I got that funky style. Well, it came from the church. The music I heard there was open, relaxed, impromptu – soul music.” — Milt Jackson, from the liner notes to the LP Plenty, Plenty Soul, Atlantic 1269, liner notes by Nat Hentoff.

 

One of the criticisms of the Modern Jazz Quartet was that the structure of the band held back the playing of the brilliant vibist Milt Jackson. This was Jackson’s response when he was asked if, indeed, being in the MJQ held him down:

            “No, not actually. It may not sound or look like it when you’re listening out front because it’s all so well planned, but I still get to play more or less what I want to play. I’m relaxed. I’ve always been able to adjust myself to a situation. When I first joined the MIQ, there were times when I looked at the planning as a handicap, but now I’ve come to look on it as an asset. In terms of the business, and musically too. Discipline can be a good thing and having been under discipline can be a help when you do let loose.” — Source: Liner notes to the LP Milt Jackson, Plenty, Plenty Soul, Atlantic 1269. Liner notes by Nat Hentoff.

 

 “Lester was a one or two take man. He’d say, ‘I can’t do anything better than that,’ and usually that was it. His statements were emotional ones and when they were done, they were done.”

            Norman Granz on Lester Young. Liner notes from the album The Lester Young Story, Verve MG V-8308, 1960. Liner notes by Nat Hentoff.

The Gift Of Hindsight

One of the pleasures of having an extensive jazz collection is that it gives you the opportunity to go back and review the history of jazz in real time, as it was happening. This is particularly the case when you look at old issues of Downbeat or Metronome, or review old liner notes, an art form that began approaching extinction with the advent of the compact disc format. In any case, allow me to share some interesting stuff from my archives.

           

Downbeat, January 18, 1962

Review: John Coltrane, Africa/Brass, Impulse 6

 

This record was a departure for Coltrane: The first time he ever played with a brass section. It is now regarded as a classic, rightfully so, particularly the title cut, which makes up the entire first side of the album. At the time, however, the Downbeat reviewer, Martin Williams, didn’t see it that way.  He gave it only two stars, out of a possible five. Here’s a sample from the review:

           Read more

Billie Record, Warhol Cover

More eBay watching today. Here are some of the items and dealers we’re keeping an eye on for you:

 Billie Holiday at Jazz At the Philharmonic, Clef 169. This is a 10-inch LP with the beautiful illustration on the cover that is either by David Stone Martin or Andy Warhol. We looked in our price guide for earlier mint copies of this LP and it sold twice recently, for $610 and $325. This copy is also near mint and was only in the $70 range as we posted this.

Read more

Lots and Lots on eBay

Back from another weekend away, so it’s time to see what happened on eBay the past few days. We were watching auctions from a group of dealers that had some amazing records. Here are some of the dealers and their wares. You can do a general eBay search on completed items for any of these dealers to see more.

 

Here are items sold by the dealer Jazz5060. This dealer also has a bunch of great records for auction now.

 

Charlie Persip, Jazz Statesman, Bethlehem 6046, in M-/M- condition. Price: $157.50

 Walter Benton Quintet, Out of this World, Jazzland 28, in M-/M- condition. Price: $449

 Zoot Sims, Stretchin’ Out, United Artists 4023. This was a promo copy in M-/VG++ condition. Price: $460

 Freddie Hubbard, Goin’ Up, Blue Note 4056, in M-/VG++ condition. Price: $349.95

 The Return of Howard McGhee, Bethlehem 42 in M-/M- condition. Price: $676 Read more

Reader Comments: Dinah Washington, Prestige Covers

If it’s Thursday, it must be mail day. Today we have a couple of thank-you notes, plus a request for information about Prestige 10-inch LPs. If anyone out there has the answer to the Prestige question, send a note to us. And please, keep those cards and letters coming.

 

“Just wanted to say thanks for the Dinah Washington Sings Fats Waller LP I won a month or so back. Only got to listen to it last night and, wow, was I impressed. My orbit for jazz vocals has always had Ella at the center, with Sarah Vaughan, a little early Nancy Wilson and not much else. I’d never really heard Dinah before. Oh, what I’d been missing. Read more

Another Day, Another Thousand Records

Another day, another thousand or so records on eBay. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to go through them all and it may as well be me. Here are some of the items we’re watching over the next couple of days: Don Sleet, All Members, Jazzland 45

After you click this item do yourself a favor and click “View Seller’s Other Items.” You will see some great records in great condition that will sell for high prices.

This is another dealer with some good items this week. Art Taylor, Taylor’s Wailers, Prestige 7117

One of these days we will get this record, but not this week. The price tag of $450 is already a little too steep. Read more

Tubby Hayes, Art Taylor, Shades of Red

Back from the weekend and finally caught up on eBay. Here are some of the records we’re looking at over the next day or two:

 The dealer JBLD44000 out of Seattle has still more highly collectible records in nice condition at high prices. He has a few closing today, including:

 Tubby Hayes Quintet, Down in the Village, Fontana 680-998, with a price of $750 as we posted this.

 This dealer has many more high-priced, interesting items over the next two days, including:

 Art Taylor, Taylor’s Wailers, Prestige 7117 in M- condition.

The price on this is already $450. We missed out last week on a copy in VG++ condition that sold for $307.

Freddie Redd, Shades of Redd, Blue Note 4045 in nice condition, but not mint. This is priced at $295. I’m watching this because it is a favorite of mine – I think the music is terrific, with Jackie McLean and Tina Brooks – and the only copy I have is a Japanese pressing. My copy sounds great, but it’s not like having the original. Read more

Hot Records, High Prices

Back home after a weekend away. Let’s see what happened on eBay the past few days.

 The seller JBLD44000 out of Seattle, who has been selling some nice records the past few weeks, had a bunch of items up this weekend, with mixed results. A few of the records sold for high prices, including:

Hank Mobley, Soul Station, Blue Note 4031, for $1,337.28

Kenny Drew, Walkin’ and Talkin’, Jazz West 4, for $532

This dealer also had several high-ticket items that didn’t get bids at all. Based on our previous experience watching his auctions, we anticipate that these records will be back on eBay in the near future with somewhat lower start prices and, perhaps, Buy-It-Now prices. Among those records are: Read more

Some Stories on Sal Nistico

We received some interesting letters about our item last week on Sal Nistico. Here are a couple:

“I enjoy your newsletter very much. Your encounter with Sal Nistico Jr. struck a chord with me. From the first I heard Papa Sal on the Mangione Brothers albums I was a huge fan. The only time I heard him live was a complete surprise for me. Sometime in the mid-’60s I went to the Prom Ballroom in St. Paul, MN., to catch a one nighter by the Basie band. The  fist set had just started and as I entered the room my eyes went immediately to the stage to see who as blowing that torrential tenor. Read more

The Value of A Reliable Dealer

As promised, we spent the past couple of days catching up on eBay, looking ahead and looking back. Here are some of the items we’re watching over the next couple of days:

Curtis Fuller, Volume 3, Blue Note 1583

We take note any time we see an item from the Jazzrecordcenter for two main reasons: (1) They are probably the premier jazz dealer in the world and (2) Because they sell with integrity, knowledge and credibility. In addition to this Curtis Fuller LP, click “View Seller’s Other Items” for some more nice records, including George Wallington, The Prestidigitator, East-West 4004 and Read more

1 168 169 170 171 172 173