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"Out There a Minute Jazz Program" with Micheal Akutagawa (archive)

Sunday, July 31, 2011 | 10:00 to 12:00 | Specialty

Artist Song Album Label Comments
Joey Defrancesco Puttin' on the Ritz The Baddest B-3 Burner in the Business Silverwolf, 2007 Irving Berlin composition.
Graham Reynolds and The Golden Arm Trio Echoes of Harlem Duke! Three Portraits of Ellington Innova, 2011 Ellington/Williams composition. The original was recorded in 1936.
Matthew Shipp Take the 'A' Train Art of the Improviser Thirsty Ear Productions, 2011 Strayhorn composition. Originally recorded in 1941, this quickly became the "theme song" for the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Charlie Christian (with Benny Goodman and His Orchestra) Solo Flight Progressions: 100 Years of Jazz Guitar Sony BMG, 2005 1941 instrumental song by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra. On the Columbia label, the song featured Christian and was released in 1944. It went to No. 16 on the Pop Charts and was No. 1 on the Harlem Hit Parade.
George Shearing In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning Ballad Essentials Concord Records, 2001 David Mann composition, 1955. Introduced as the title song for Frank Sinatra's 1955 album, In the Wee Small Hours (with lyrics, then by Bob Hilliard).
Sonny Rollins The Bridge The Bridge BMG, 2000, 1962 Rollins composition. The "backstory" behind "The Bridge" is well-known to jazz fans: Rollins, not yet 30 years old, is feeling pressured by his sudden rise to jazz fame; so, to the mystification of many, decides to take a break. He spends the nearly three years away practicing even more, working on his craft. But since he lives on Manhattan's Lower East Side and has no private place to practice, he starts taking his saxophone to the Williamsburg Bridge to practice alone. George Avakina's liner notes to the original album illustrate that by 1962, the story of Rollins' solo bridge practice sessions had already become near-iconic to jazz fans. The scene was depicted "in a thinly-disguised work of fiction by Ralph Berton in the July 1961 issue of Metronome, about a jazz fan who heard, as he walked one lonely night across the Brooklyn Bridge, the sound of a lonely saxophone--and found that it was no dream fantasy, but a musician who had chosen the unfrequented pedestrian walkway high the above the motor traffic to peacefully commune with himself and his work. That the supposed fictional encounter actually took place [albeit on the Williamsburg Bridge and not the Brooklyn Bridge] was quickly guessed by Sonny's friends and fans, for not only were there many clues dropped in Berton's story, but the whole idea of this kind of woodshedding pointed to the serious, thoughtful, and slightly mystic Sonny. The proximity of Sonny's apartment to the Bridge also lent credence to this theory." When three years later, Rollins returned to performing, the name of his first album, including its title composition, was a nod to the place of those solo practice sessions and, possibly, also an embracing of the whole "backstory" and its many meanings. Further illustration of the story being a part of jazz lore: In The Simpsons, episode 12 season 5, the jazz musician "Bleeding Gums Murphy" makes his appearance playing his saxophone on a bridge in the middle of the night.
The Charlie Parker Remix Project Salt Peanuts (The Mr. Peanuts Chronical) LP version Bird Up Savoy Jazz, 2003 Personnel: Kronos Quartet (strings); Dr. John (piano). Originally "Salt Peanuts" was recorded by the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Quintet, 5/11/1945. The Quintet consisted of Gillespie (trumpet); Charlie Parker (alto sax); Al Haig (piano); Curly Russell (bass); and Sid Catlett (drums).
United Future Organization Stolen Moments No Sound Is Too Taboo Mercury Music, 1994 Oliver Nelson composition; to be found on the 1961 album Blues and The Abstract Truth.
Charles Mingus Memories of You Mingus Plays Piano MCA Records, 1997 Eubie Blake composition. Recorded 6/30/1963 in NYC. Charles Mingus, solo piano.
Count Basie and Joe Williams Every Day I Have the Blues Count Basie Swings: Joe Williams Sings Verve, 1993, 1956 Song is usually credited to Peter Chatman (aka "Memphis Slim") and was first released in 1949; often associated with Williams and B. B. King. This version spent 20 weeks on the R&B Chart, where it reached No. 2.
Ray Charles Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying Ultimate Hits Collection Rhino, 1999 Joe Green composition. Recorded in NYC on 5/6/1959. Personnel: Charles (vocals, piano); Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone); Allen Hanlon (guitar); Wendell Marshall (bass); Ted Sommers (drums); unknown backing vocals.
Brooklyn Funk Essentials Take the L Train (To 8th Ave.) Cool and Steady and Easy BMG, 1995 Personnel: Lati Kronlund (bass, beats, keys and samples); Bassy Bob Brookman (flugelhorn).
Lester Young Stardust Lester Young with The Oscar Peterson Trio Verve, 1997, 1952 Hoagy Carmichael composition, 1927. (Lyrics added in 1929 by Mitchell Parish.) One of the most recorded songs of the 20th century. In 2004, Carmichael's original 1927 recording of the song was added to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.
Oscar Peterson Trio Jet Song West Side Story Verve, 1998, 1962 Oscar Peterson (p); Ray Brown (b); Ed Thigpen (d). Recorded 1/24-25/1962.
Sonny Stitt Cry Me a River Legends of Acid Jazz Fantasy, 1996 Arthur Hamilton composition, 1953. Personnel: Stitt (tenor sax); Leon Spencer (organ); Don Patterson (guest organist); Melvin Sparks (guitar); Idris Muhammad (drums); Virgil Jones (trumpet).
Oscar Brown, Jr. Hazel's Hips Sin & Soul . . . And Then Some Sony, 1996, 1961 Brown Jr. composition. Brown, vocals. Recorded 6/20/1960 in NYC.
Brooklyn Funk Essentials The Creator Has a Master Plan (instrumental) Cool and Steady and Easy BMG, 1995 Pharoah Sanders/Leon Thomas composotion. Personnel: Lati Kronlund (bass, beats, keys and samples); Joi Cardwell (vocals, on the vocal version); Pap Dee (vocals, on the vocal version); Paul Shapiro (sax and flute); Bassy Bob Brockmann (trumpet); Joshua Roseman (trombone); Mattias Torell (guitar).
Coleman Hawkins Body and Soul Ken Burns Jazz (disc 3) Sony Music, 2000 Green/Heyman/Sour/Eyton composition. Recorded 10/11/1939. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings says that, even some seventy years later, this recording "still sounds like the most spontaneously perfect of all jazz records". It was fitted into the recording session as an afterthought and done on one-take. Personnel: Hawkinds (tenor sax); Joe Guy (tenor sax); Tommy Lindsay (trumpet); Earl Hardy (trombone); Jackie Fields, Eustis Moore (also sax); Gene Rogers (piano); William Oscar Smith (bass); Arthur Herbert (drums).
Iswhat?! Mooch The Life We Chose Hyena, 2006 Ellington composition ("The Mooch"), first recorded in 1928. Personnel: Napoleon (beatbox); Jac (tenor sax); Matthew (bass/arr.); Roy Campbell (pocket trumpet); Liz Wu (vibes).
Sun Ra Blues at Midnight Super Sonic Jazz Evidence, 1991, 1956 Personnel: Sun Ra; Art Hoyle (t); Julian Priester (tb); James Scales (as); Pat Patrick (as, bs); John Gilmore (ts); Charles Davis (bs); Wilburn Green, Victor Sproles (b); Robert Barry, William "Bugs" Cochran (d); Jim Herndon (perc).
The Microscopic Septet Brilliant Corners Friday the Thirteenth: The Micros Play Monk Cuneiform, 2010 Thelonius Monk composition, 1957. The title track for Monk's 1957 album, the first to feature his own compositions. In 2003, it was added to the National Recording Registry.
Billy Bang (featuring Sun Ra) Lover Man Billy Bang featuring Sun Ra: A Tribute to Stuff Smith Soul Note, 1993 Jimmy Davis/Roger Ramirez/James Sherman composition, 1941.
Benny Goodman and His Band St. James Infirmary The Yale University Archives, vol. 5 Amerco, 2008.