Sleuthing Rifftides

We are happy to report that the artsjournal.com technical wizards have tracked down and liquidated the gremlin that was disabling the “Older Posts” function at the bottom of the main page. Now, when you click on that command, it will take you to the previous 20 posts. Click on it again, you will see another 20, and so on back through the mists of time to the primitive beginnings of this blog in June of 2005. There are two other ways to search Rifftides:

1. Scroll down to “Archives” in the right-hand column. Select the month and year you want to see.

2. Enter a name or term in the box under the artsjournalblog logo at the top of the right column and click on “Search.” I just tried it with Count Basie and came up 83 Rifftides items about Basie or mentioning him. Happy exploring.

Here’s a reward for paying attention to our little tutorial. The clip is from an episode of Art Ford’s Jazz Party, a program that survived for eight months of 1958 on WNTA-TV in New York. This kind of eclectic assemblage of musicians was still possible then. The tune is “I’ve Found a New Baby.” The players are Tyree Glenn, trombone; Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophone; Johnny Windhurst, trumpet; Hank D’Amico, clarinet; Alex Templeton, piano; Mary Osborne, guitar; Teddy Charles, vibes; Morey Feld, drums; Doc Goldberg, bass.

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Comments

  1. says

    Great, great playing by all. Osborne was cookin’ up a storm. Everybody was! Such melodic invention. Wow!

    I had the honor of playing 2 weekends with Hank D’Amico in the mid 60′s. Just Hank, a drummer and me. I was depping for Dave McKenna, Hank’s favorite pianist.

    It was a revelation and an education for me to be so close to this brilliant musical mind and absorb his melodic concepts, both in his improvising and in the way he interpreted and phrased the song.

    He gave me an experience that I relived listening to to this clip. We didn’t play together after that gig, but for me it was like earning a PH.D. in Jazz, in 4 nights with Hank as the professor.

  2. says

    Wonderful party! Jack — Lucky you that you played with Hank D’Amico. What an intelligent, what a great player he was!

    The vibraphonist could have been Joe Roland … ah, there were a lot of them, playing those shows:

    • Doug Ramsey says

      The vibes player was Teddy Charles, Brew. You are required to read the introduction as well as watch the video.

  3. says

    Yeah, yeah, okay, Doug, man! — As punishment, you could force me to read all your articles from 2005 on. ;)

  4. says

    Addendum: For quiet listening without any moderation or fanfares, here is a link to Vol. 1 on LP:

    I got it, and it sounds fantastic; especially when Charlie Shavers is singing “The Best Things In Life Are Free” ;) and Rex Stewart is warming up his old Dukish warhorse “Boy Meets Horn.” There is a whole load of music for everyone’s taste. Since I didn’t know that a Vol. 2 exists (or even more?), I will go for them.

    • Doug Ramsey says

      I’ve had the other LP from this series (Enigma 301) for years. It has Lester Young playing a “Mean to Me” that is one of the imperishable solos of his last period. I just went to YouTube, taking the farfetched chance that it exists on video. To my astonishment, it does, complete with Prez’s admonishment to the drummer to dial it down to “a little tinky-boom.” If you could frame a video and hang it on the wall, this one would be on mine.

      Yes, the clarinetist at the end was Pee Wee Russell.

      • says

        Thanks for the translation, Doug. — The Prez was one hell of a jazz educator ;) — Quite an embarrassment for the man of skins. But funny to hear that the little chat doesn’t interrupt Lester’s melodic flow at all. It’s just a verbal interlude.

  5. Charlton Price says

    Open, Sesame! We can now swim all around in Rifftides (Block that Metaphor! as The New Yorker used to plead..). There’s so much here since 2005 that we newcomers quickly forget about, or never knew.

    And the Prez clip, you’re right, is imperishable.