Some jazz, and not the usual suspects

Well, apart from this first track: Take Five, by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, is so named because it uses a 5/4 metre, which was unusual for jazz records back in 1959. The piece was written by Paul Desmond. When Desmond died in 1977 he left the royalty rights for Take Five with the American Red Cross, which has since received royalties of around $100,000 per year…

Spyro Gyra are a jazz fusion band who came out of Buffalo, in New York State, in the mid 1970s. Their biggest hit was released in 1979 and it’s called Morning Dance, from an album of the same name…

At the 1996 Edinburgh Fringe, Bill Bailey came up with the idea of doing the Dr Who theme as Belgian jazz. The following is a slightly re-worked version for a later BBC video…

Art Pepper was a saxophonist who was born in 1925. In the 1940s he got addicted to heroin and it plagued the rest of his life. Pepper got mixed up with the criminal underworld and during the 1950s and 60s, he served four prison sentences for drug related offences, one of them a 3 year stretch. Despite all the time he served, and the heroin addiction, the quality of Pepper’s recordings were not affected. He maintained a high quality of musicianship until his death from a brain hemorrhage in 1982. Here’s Art Pepper playing Gershwin’s Foggy Day. I believe this recording was made in the 1950s, shortly after Pepper had finished his first prison sentence…

Back in the day, we used to roll out of the 100 Club on Oxford Street or the old Marquee on Wardour Street at around midnight, after hearing some pretty raucous bands. Many times we’d then end-up in Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on Frith Street, because it had a licence until 2am (this was in the days before London became a 24 hour city). There were often blues men and rock and rollers playing. If there were no big names on the bill sometimes Ronnie would come on stage with his saxophone and if his band were in the mood they’d play until dawn. This final track is a live session at Ronnie Scott’s Club, in 2007, and shows how small/intimate the place is. The artists are Jeff Beck on guitar, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Tal Wilkenfeld on bass and Jason Rebello on keyboard. The track is called Nadia. It’s an example of what a great guitarist Jeff Beck is. The other one to watch is the young girl, Tal Wilkenfeld, on bass. Tal Wilkenfeld is a brilliant player. You can’t really hear it in this gig because Beck’s guitar gets all the amps. I’ve made a separate post about Wilkenfeld here. In the meantime this is Nadia

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