Thursday, October 22, 2015

George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet at the Subway

Like many of you, I first heard this band as the nucleus of Charlie Mingus's 70s groups, at least those involving George Adams and Don Pullen. Dannie Richmond, of course, had a much longer history of owning the drum chair in Mingus's establishment.

Yet, it was with post-Mingus recordings that I fell in love with the music they were making, a music which, according to Richmond, must have influenced even Mr. Mingus himself.

Hand to Hand, featuring Richmond and Adams was one of the most played records in my "early advanced" years of listening to jazz. Since then, I haven't lost my interest in this marvelous unit whose key members sadly died too soon.

The quartet, adding Cameron Brown, started as a one-off live band, but miraculously lasted for nearly a decade, and it was recorded regularly in Europe. This video tape from Cologne, Federal Republic of Germany, is one of them.

The band is full of fire and fierce energy. This makes Lee Jeske to compare them with a Lamborghini:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rudy Can't Fail

"Red" Rudy Williams

Who's playing the alto saxophone on this one?

Did I hear Charlie Parker? Well, no, it ain't Bird. Yet there is some Parkerian connection, in the style of the player, and also in real life.

The musician playing alto on the 1948 track you heard which was recorded under Tadd Dameron's name is "Red" Rudy Williams, a musician  Charlie Parker used to dig intensely, almost religiously, during his first visit to New York City.

Member of a hard swinging band, Al Cooper's Savoy Sultan, he was usually featured on radio broadcasts some ten years before the above recording was waxed. (Other musicians featured on the piece you heard are Fats Navarro, Allen Eager, Curly Russell, and Kenny Clarke.)

In 1939, Williams was enjoying the success of this hit song, Little Sally Water, in which his name is called by Savoy Sultan's before he moves to front for a solo: